Binge-worthy: Lifestyles of the rich and miserable on show again in The White Lotus 2

Jon Gries (left) and Jennifer Coolidge in The White Lotus 2. PHOTO: HBO GO

The White Lotus 2

HBO (StarHub TV Channel 601 and Singtel TV Channel 420) and HBO Go

4 stars

The first season of the Emmy-sweeping The White Lotus (2021) was a social satire disguised as a murder mystery, one set at a swanky Hawaiian resort where the power dynamics among the rich guests and staff made viewers both laugh and squirm.

Season 2 takes place at another White Lotus hotel, this time in Sicily, where beloved character actress Jennifer Coolidge reprises her Emmy-winning role as lonely heiress Tanya McQuoid alongside a new set of guests, staff and locals.

And like the first season, the comedy-drama anthology television series opens with a dead body that viewers have to keep watching to learn the identity of. Here are three reasons to do just that.

1. Lifestyles of the rich and miserable

Leading a cast of dysfunctional characters is Tanya (Coolidge), who is as entitled, ditzy and fragile as ever – and now on holiday with her rather distant husband Greg (Jon Gries).

Tanya and her whiny assistant Portia (Haley Lu Richardson) befriend the squabbling Di Grasso family (F. Murray Abraham, Michael Imperioli and Adam DiMarco), who are here to retrace their Sicilian roots, as well as the smarmy Quentin (Tom Hollander), an expatriate who seems keen to get to know them.

Then there are the Spillers (Aubrey Plaza and Will Sharpe) and the Sullivans (Theo James and Meghann Fahy), two couples on holiday together but not exactly good friends.

2. Engrossing sexual politics

Season 2 takes place at another White Lotus hotel, this time in Sicily. PHOTO: HBO GO

There is a heap of sexual tension this season, from the wandering eyes of the married couples to the young Sicilian women who sneak into the resort to pick up men.  And it is freighted with deception, power plays and varying degrees of awkwardness and abandon – all fascinating to watch.  

3. Funny, cringey and truthful

Once again, creator-writer-director Mike White has an unerring eye for dark, funny and uncomfortable truths about human nature. Five of the season’s seven episodes were provided for review, and you can sense some of the characters’ peccadilloes will be their undoing at the end. And as unlikeable as some are, you cannot wait to see what happens to them. 

Remote video URL

Join ST's Telegram channel and get the latest breaking news delivered to you.