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Fantasy Island meet hierarchical bureaucracy

Chezney DaSilva-Gomes

Anchor Contributor


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Have you ever wondered what it would be like if you stayed at a resort for a week with a bunch of insanely privileged rich people who can’t get their acts together? Take a look at HBO Max’s "The White Lotus" to provide you with enjoyable cringe-worthy drama. In this American satirical comedy-drama, a group of dysfunctional guests and employees work and stay at an exclusive tropical resort.

The series takes place at The White Lotus, a fictional luxury resort. The show follows three groups of vacationers and resort staff who must cater to their needs with numerous end results. The tv series broadly speaks about social climbing. The point of this class satire is built around the foundation of class in America and stories of the hierarchy that has a rich history in American pop culture.

Armond, portrayed by Murray Bartlett, is seen as the worst hotel manager you’d probably expected to have. When his guests were in need of help, he’d offer his services, but too bad it turned out to be a disaster.

What made it such a fascinating watch for me was the show’s writing. It was something different and I’d never seen portrayed before. Certain points in the series were appalling because you’d hear what some of the characters were saying and think to yourself what the hell? Others were very interesting because the characters brought up a lot of social causes that people watching can resonate with, or talk about themselves.

The series demonstrated the hierarchy of rich vs poor through the course of five episodes. For example, throughout the series it is brought up by the employees of the hotel that the guests who stay are all rich pricks. In some cases, that is true. There was conversation brought up in one episode about it being wrong for the Hawaiian dancers to have to perform for rich white people.

Throughout the limited series I found myself resonating the most with Paula, played by Brittany O’Grady. Paula’s character is intelligent and has a fondness for reading books about philosophy and politics. My intelligence has been important to me since I can remember, as well as my fondness for reading.

Shane and Rachel Patton, played by Jake Lacey and Alexandra Daddario, portray honeymooners. Lacey’s character is a wealthy Cornell grad, who pays very little attention to his wife. He focuses more on the vacationing college students, his mother and getting the Pineapple Suite than anything else. Daddario’s character is ready to commit her life to the man she believes she loves. During the trip she learns he might not be the one after all. She begins to experience anxiety tied to giving that up as well as employment issues.

The Mossbacher family are a crazy bunch. Nicole and Mark Mossbacher, played by Connie Britton and Steve Zahn, are a married couple on vacation with their two children and daughter’s friend. Connie’s character is a successful CFO of a popular search engine. Zahn’s character experiences an embarrassing health scare and discovers something about his father that troubles him during most of his family’s vacation.

Quinn Mossbacher, played by Fred Hechinger, portrayed a lost 16-year old guest on vacation with his family. Hechinger’s character is a loner type because he doesn’t know how to fit in. During the course of the trip he comes alive. The ocean and the locals call to him and they welcome him with open arms.

Paula and Olivia Mossbacher, played by Brittany O’Grady and Sydney Sweeney, are college students on vacation with Olivia’s family. Together they read books on philosophy and politics, smoke marijunana and share pills. O’Grady’s character is still a teenager who lacks maturity, seems distant and detached. As the show progresses she begins to demonstrate a more complex side. Her interest in social causes isn't as dialogical as Olivia's, and her knowledge helps support and defend her stances.

Sweeney’s character is still a teenager who is selfish and arrogant. She shows her disdain towards her family, in particular her younger brother Quinn. Her fixation with her best friend Paula can be intense and troubling at times. Despite all her negative traits Olivia does show passion for social causes.

Overall "The White Lotus" offers up some interesting twists and turns, dark humor, light suspense and a colorful cast of characters.

The White Lotus premiered on July 11, 2021 and can be viewed on HBO MAX.


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