The location for this season of “The White Lotus” is the gorgeous landscape of Sicily with its rolling hills and beautiful beaches. And, of course, an unidentified dead body to open the season, giving the whole thing a mystery element that hangs in the background.
Once again, we get to know the manager of the establishment, the hard-working Valentin (Sabrina Impacciatore), but White smartly shifts a bit from the classic “Upstairs, Downstairs” dynamic of the last season, showing how power dynamics can be at play in locations like this even when no hotel employees are involved. For example, Portia (the excellent Haley Lu Richardson) has been forced by her boss Tanya (Jennifer Coolidge, reprising her Emmy-winning role) to join her on the trip, even though she has to hide from Tanya’s husband Greg (Jon Gries, the only other returnee from last year).
Told to go away but not far enough away that Tanya can’t get her if she needs her, Portia meets a sweet American named Albie (Adam DiMarco), who has traveled to the region with his father Dominic (Michael Imperioli) and grandfather Bert (F. Murray Abraham). Dominic’s wife was supposed to be on the trip too, but he was recently caught cheating (again) and has chosen to indulge in that character flaw again with the gorgeous Lucia (Simona Tabasco), who works the hotel’s richer clientele with her friend Mia (Beatrice Grannò), who longs to leave it behind and be a professional singer.
Finally, there’s a quartet through which I believe White wants us to view most of the season’s themes. A successful alpha male named Cameron (Theo James) has invited his college roommate Ethan (Will Sharpe) on the trip, and both gents have brought their partners. To the judgmental Harper (Aubrey Plaza), Cameron and his wife Daphne (Meghann Fahy) seem to be just awful people, but she’s almost fascinated by what seems like emotional stability and genuine happiness. We like to think that rich and powerful people must be miserable on the inside, but what if they’re just oblivious enough to their awfulness to be perpetually happy? “We’re all entertaining each other as the world burns,” says Harper, but White seems to be unpacking how there are certain people in this world who can’t even smell the smoke.
Source by www.rogerebert.com