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  • Writer's pictureWill Scarbrough

Review: The White Lotus - Season 2

Set in a tropical resort, it follows the exploits of various guests and employees over the span of a week.

Jennifer Coolidge, Aubrey Plaza, Theo James, Murray Abraham, Adam DiMarco, Michael Imperioli, Haley Lu Richardson, Sabrina Impacciatore, Beatrice Grannò and Simona Tabasco. 

The White Lotus wraps up its second season in the greatest, most thrilling and exciting possible way full of twists and moments that will have your jaw on the ground. Mike White has impressed me in so many ways, I just wish he would make more, not only of The White Lotus but TV in general. His ability to manipulate the audience’s expectations to align with characters expectations and paranoia is genius.

Which is just it, paranoia and manipulation. A feeling that nearly every character feels throughout the season, each on their own intense scale. This feeling is tight led throughout each storyline that subtly ties the audience along to question events as they unfold, always theorising and creating false expectations, for it all to be thrown away in the end brilliantly. This not only is conveyed through the expertly written story and characters, but also through its expert directing and cinematography.

Every show needs consistency, whether limiting itself with less episodes so it becomes more focused, or with a high budget and stakes to keep storylines interesting. The White Lotus has managed to keep all technical elements consistent, particularly the editing which surprised me greatly. Each cut felt very intentional, especially when it showed B-roll shots that clearly convey a certain thought or emotion that I haven’t entirely worked out yet. The way it uses fades to build tension, or create beauty is wonderfully done. Every frame holds some kind of weight, not just through its framing but the gorgeous lighting and colour grading. Each moment is full of beauty & elegance, which definitely is complimented by the beautiful locations. 

While the writing and the technicals are to such a high standard, the greatest standout is the entire cast’s phenomenal performances that blew me away each week. It’s almost impossible to choose a standout actor, as everyone gives it their A-game. Each delivering emotional, but hysterical performances and line delivery. Through each close up tells a thousand stories of every characters past, which creates intense complexity to everyone that is never explored but only implied. 

The story comes together in the end in such perfection that it’s hard to ignore how masterful this season has been and how it has topped its first. Mike subtly plants storylines that meet gracefully and grippingly, every moment is never wasted or thrown in for filler. Relationships are entirely fleshed out and each carry their own emotional weight that do come together, or apart in the end. Despite the lack of conclusion, leaving things up to interpretation, season 2 has left audiences with enough to create their own follow up narrative and easily predict where each character goes moving forward. The White Lotus season 2 is one of the best seasons of the year and I couldn’t have asked for any element to be greater. 

*-each episode review can be found on the Screened website search bar-*

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