The coronavirus pandemic not only causes numerous restrictions in everyday life, but has also hit holiday culture hard. Long-distance travel has been associated with a great risk since March 2020 – which is why many people are currently out of the question. But that doesn’t mean you can’t bring a little beach vibes home can, for example through good series.
2021 was full of good series. One of them has had crazy success in the USA, which has satisfied this longing for the beach and vacation for many people. At the same time, however, it is also a well-formulated, extremely nasty criticism: A criticism of how many people behave on vacation and how absurd some tourist paradises work, to sell vacationers a perfect world. This masterpiece, which got lost a bit in the streaming jungle, is called like the fictional hotel in Hawaii in which it is set: “The White Lotus”.
Wellness oasis Hawaii: What is “The White Lotus” about?
The series is essentially about the manic hotel manager Armond (Murray Bartlett), who runs the White Lotus in Hawaii. It has many stars and even more pools and is a popular holiday destination for the super-rich. And such people are arriving again: There is the embittered Tanya McQuoid (Jennifer Coolidge), who wants to bury the ashes of her deceased mother in Hawaii. Also coming Familie Mossbacher, including: businesswoman Nicole (Connie Britton), her husband Mark (Steve Zahn), perpetually sarcastic daughter Olivia (Sydney Sweeney), her little brother Quinn (Fred Hechinger) and Paula (Brittany O’Grady), Olivia’s best friend, who was allowed to go on holiday and threatens to outdo the other four in terms of irritation.
Armond already thinks the Mossbacher family are white, rich misfits, but then he meets newlyweds Rachel (Alexandra Daddario) and Shane (Jack Lacy), who are honeymooning at the White Lotus. Shane is a completely spoiled millionaire’s son who, at the slightest objection, immediately tries to turn all the guests and employees in the hotel against Armond. Rachel, on the other hand, actually comes from a poorer background and still has to adapt to that Privileges of the fashionable get used to. Her independence is important to her – on the other hand, she also likes to have a good time there.
Now Armond has to deal with these bangers – and take their problems seriously, no matter how ridiculous he might find them. Luckily, he enjoys saying no to the elitist pricks. He finds support from his staff, the muscle-bound waiter Kai (Kekoa Kekumano), the always friendly wellness manager Belinda (Natasha Rothwell) and the radiant sunny boy Dillon (Lukas Cage) …
Prosperity Satire: What Makes “The White Lotus” So Great?
Spending six episodes, or a total of six hours, with unsympathetic people will not be everyone’s dream of good entertainment. So why is “The White Lotus” worth it? So: Hardly any series has ever exposed the top one percent in such a funny and witty way, as they like to say. Series creator Mike White is based on other series productions such as the very successful noble soap “Succession” or the suburban drama “Big Little Lies” and demonstrates how toxic the behavior of the rich and beautiful actually is. The White Lotus is a kind of microcosm of our world: while environmental researchers, for example, keep complaining that a large part of the climate damage is caused by the richest fraction of our world’s population, in the hotel it is the hard-working employees who are affected by the ignorant, reckless activities of the guests to be pulled.
Through his staging, White evokes another association: the way they sit there, the guests, in their luxury, how he shows us their extravagance in slow motion, how the camera nestles up against valuables, like the music of the Canadian composer Christobal Tapia de Veer creates an enraptured atmosphere with drums and even animal sounds, even remind guests of Greek gods from old legends, who lead their petty wars in Olympus – which usually causes the people to suffer. And how it suffers: The series shows the Hawaiians as the victims of turbo tourism. Armond cannibalizes the rich culture of Native Hawaiians for the benefit of white guests. He sells them Hawaii as the hula paradise we all know from TV. It gets really bitter when the guests stroll through Hawaii themselves and enthusiastically point the finger at “real Hawaiians”. the subtle racism of white affluent society has never been more aptly criticized than here.
This makes you think about our own holiday culture. For White is Tourism is nothing but the postmodern form of imperialism: Instead of showing a sincere interest in other cultures, these vacationers are only concerned with “conquering” and “opening up” to foreign ways of life, like watching tigers and elephants in a zoo. The most brilliant scene of the series (or the whole series year 2021?) shows the golf course of the White Lotus – revealing that it was built on an aboriginal burial site. The games of the oh-so-enlightened world are fought on the graves of the repressed past (and truth).
The eye eats with you: Is “The White Lotus” the perfect winter series?
You can enjoy six hours of fantastic satirical criticism, you can outstanding acting (particularly Murray Bartlett & Jennifer Coolidge) enjoy or admire the stylistically unique mix, which looks a bit as if an episode of “Die Geissens” had been implemented with the look of “The Young Pope”. You can even tune in as a crime fan, since the series gets a little murder mystery imposed on it, which the plot honestly didn’t need at all. But “The White Lotus” is above all perfect for the cold season, because: the fantastic shots of the Hawaiian beaches, the warm, comforting pictures create a summer mood in the living room.
A second season is already on the way, but is meant to tell a whole new story with new characters in the White Lotus. Great series entertainment like this is mostly produced by HBO in the USA, and this is also the case here. For German customers, this means: If you want to stream “The White Lotus”, you have to at Sky Ticket or Sky Go do. It’s really worth it – if only for those who only know Jennifer Coolidge as the mother of Stifler from “American Pie” and want to see what a force of nature this actress has been dormant over the years.
If you don’t want to go on vacation in 2022, you can make up for it at “The White Lotus” – and at the same time you may not feel like long-distance travel for a while.