The HBO Max series “The White Lotus” was a hit in its first season — fans loved it and over 20,000 industry professionals who make up the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences (ATS) also did. At the recently concluded 74th Primetime Emmy Awards, the drama series won the Emmys for Outstanding Limited or Anthology Series as well as nine other awards out of 20 nominations. 

Imagine for a second that you are Mike White, the creator of “The White Lotus.” What other proof of concept do you need to validate your work than the remarkable success the series has pulled off in its first season? The viewership, ratings, and awards say it all, fans can’t get enough of the drama series — and they’ll get more.

“The White Lotus” returns for a second season this year. This article discusses all that you need to know about the new season, from the cast to the storyline and of course the premiere date.

The White Lotus Official Trailer | HBO MAX

What is “The White Lotus” About?

Wondering if “The White Lotus” is a good series to watch? Here’s a little about the storyline — hopefully that helps you decide.

Set in Hawaii, the storyline follows the unexpected interactions between guests of a resort chain and a group of employees. These complex interactions lead to very complicated results. The first season examines themes like cruelty and the power gap between the rich and the poor.

The new season would follow a different set of vacationers and explore different themes, but before we get into who plays what role and what the second season is about, here’s a quick recap of the major highlights of season one.

Sabrina Impacciatore in "The White Lotus"

Sabrina Impacciatore in “The White Lotus” | Source: HBO Max

What Happened in “The White Lotus” Season 1?

In just one week of meeting each other at The White Lotus, the lives of the guests and employees of the tropical resort entwined in very insidious ways, setting fans up with several notable moments. 

Here are a few highlights of some of the notable moments in season one.

Disarray in Paradise

“The White Lotus” is supposed to be a vacation in some sort of paradise full of bliss, peace, and fun. However, things appeared messy from the first episode “Arrivals” when we met Shane (Jake Lacy). Shane had just completed his stay at The White Lotus resort and was at the airport terminal waiting to catch his flight. Then we got to find out from other travelers about an ongoing investigation into a murder incident at the resort. The series then begins with a flashback to the events that happened at the resort a weekend earlier. 

Creator Mike White brilliantly sets the tone for a satirical flow from the start of the series and while fans didn’t know how things will pan out later, it was undoubtedly obvious the series will be full of a lot of shenanigans. 

“Mysterious Monkeys”

“You know what’s real? Gay, straight, whatever, we’re all just monkeys, we’re just f—ing monkeys…driven by base instincts to create these hierarchies and hump each other,” Mark Mossbacher (Steve Zahn) remarks to his disinterested son, Quinn Mossbacher (Fred Hechinger).

In episode three “Mysterious Monkeys” the flashback continues and although there hasn’t been a murder yet, there were several notable moments. It’s another dawn at the resort and it comes with several revelations. Paula (Brittany O’Grady) was out all night with one of the waiters she’s been attracted to the entire trip. Mark (Steve Zahn) is dealing with the news that his father was gay. Belinda (Natasha Rothwell) arrives at work and sees Armond (Murray Bartlett) completely blacked out in his car. “You know I thought you were dead right,” Belinda remarks. Maybe not yet, but that sure was a foreshadow of what will become of the character.

All the while, creator Mike White was conditioning our minds to expect the unexpected.

The Murder Unfolds

It took a patient wait till the end of the finale to discover which character was killed at the resort. Guess who? It was Armond (Murray Bartlett). The death of Armond was the result of a feud between the hotel employee and their guest, Shane. Shane thinks they were checked into the wrong room and his complaint got Armond fired. Armond gets back at Shane by defecating in his luggage however before he could leave the room Shane comes in. Shane grabs a knife as he combs the room for Armond, a fight ensues and before you know it, Armond is in the bathtub dead and lifeless.

Season one is super intriguing. If you’re still on the fence about whether to watch the series, well, we think it’s a must-see.

Where Can You Watch “The White Lotus?”

You can watch all the episodes of “The White Lotus” season one on HBO Max. You can also stream the show when you rent or purchase it on Vudu, Amazon Prime Video, or Apple TV.

Jennifer Coolidge and Haley Lu Richardson in "The White Lotus"

Jennifer Coolidge and Haley Lu Richardson in “The White Lotus” | Source: HBO

Cast and Characters of “The White Lotus” Season 2

Both Murray Bartlett and Jennifer Coolidge won Emmy awards for their roles in “The White Lotus” season one. Frankly speaking, every one of the cast members did put up fantastic displays in the first season of the series. However, of the entire cast, only Jennifer Coolidge and Jon Gries make a return for the second season. That means we have seen the last of the likes of Connie Britton, Steve Zahn, Jake Lacy, Fred Hechinger, Brittany O’Grady, Natasha Rothwell, Alexandra Daddario, Sydney Sweeney, and Molly Shannon. 

Here’s a quick highlight of the ensemble of star acts that joined the franchise for “The White Lotus” season 2:

  • Michael Imperioli: Imperioli began his acting career in the ’80s but his major recognition came when he played the character Spider in “Goodfellas (1990).” He has since featured in other movies like “Jungle Fever,” “Malcolm X” and “Summer of Sam.” Imperioli plays Dominic Di Grasso in “The White Lotus.”
  • F. Murray Abraham: Academy Award-winning veteran actor F. Murray Abraham is Dominic’s elderly father, Bert Di Grasso in the series. Abraham brings over five decades of acting experience to the ensemble cast in “The White Lotus.”
  • Adam DiMarco: Canadian-born actor Adam DiMarco is best known for his role as Randall Carpio in Netflix’s “The Order.” He portrays Dominic’s son, Albie Di Grasso in “The White Lotus.”
  • Jennifer Coolidge: Coolidge is a versatile actress and experimental comedian. The American actress made her debut in 1995 as a nurse in the sci-fi “Not of This Earth” however she is mostly renowned for her role in “American Pie (1999)” where she played Stifler’s mom. She repeats the character Tanya McQuoid-Hunt whom we already met in season one.
  • Theo James: English actor Theodore Peter James is renowned for playing the character Tobias “Four” Eaton in “Divergent,” “The Divergent Series: Insurgent” and “Allegiant.” He portrays the character Cameron Babcock.
  • Meghann Fahy: American actress Meghan Fahy has featured in movies like “The Lost Valentine,” “Miss Sloane” and “The Bold Type.” She plays the role of Daphne Babcock, Cameron Babcock’s wife.
  • Tom Hollander: Tom Hollander was introduced to acting as a child earning a place in the London-based National Youth Theatre and later the Children’s Music Theatre. Hollander has featured in several movies and TV shows in a career that’s spanned over four decades. He is Quentin in “The White Lotus,” an English ex-pat on a trip with his friends.
  • Sabrina Impacciatore: Italian-born actress Sabrina Impacciatore has had successes in cinema, theater and television acting. She is best known for her impressive performances in movies like Mel Gibson’s “The Passion” and Gabriele Muccino’s “L’ultimo Bacio.” Impacciatore portrays the character Valentina, the manager at the White Lotus, Sicily.
  • Aubrey Plaza: American actress and comedian Aubrey Christian Plaza had her first major acting role in the 2012 sci-fi comedy “Safety Not Guaranteed (2012).” She is cast as Harper Spiller in “The White Lotus.” Spiller is on a vacation with her husband and friends Daphne and Cameron Babcock.
  • Will Sharpe: English actor and writer Will Sharpe is most popular for his appearances in “Flowers,” “Landscapers” and “The Electrical Life of Louis Wain.” Sharpe portrays the character Ethan Spiller, Harper’s husband.

Other cast members in the drama series include:

  • Beatrice Grannò as Mia
  • Haley Lu Richardson as Portia, Tanya McQuoid-Hunt’s worker.
  • Simona Tabasco as Lucia
  • Jon Gries reprises his role as Greg in season one.
  • Leo Woodall as Jack, one of the guests at “The White Lotus.”
Murray Bartlett in "The White Lotus"

Murray Bartlett in “The White Lotus” | Source: HBO Max

What Will “The White Lotus” Season 2 be About?

The adventure never ends as creator Mike White and the producers of “The White Lotus” explore the different dramas and experiences that a new group of vacationers brings to another White Lotus property — this time in Sicily, Italy. According to Variety, the Four Seasons San Domenico Palace in the exclusive Sicilian resort town of Taormina will be used as the setting for the White Lotus hotel.

Four Seasons San Domenico Palace

Four Seasons San Domenico Palace | Source: Four Seasons

The new second season features three generations of a family known as Di Grassos — grandfather Bert, son Dominic, and grandson Albie Di Grasso.

Here’s how White describes season two, “It definitely feels like White Lotus; the theme is different. It’s not about power dynamics, more men and women and sexual politics.” Furthermore, the showrunner describes it as “a bedroom farce with teeth.” Similarly, when the new season was just still developing Coolidge was reported to have told ET, “They haven’t told me what the script is, but I hope I have lots of romance and sex in this next one. I felt like I didn’t get enough of that in the first one.” Both White and Coolidge’s statements seem to suggest that season two would be morally ugly — whatever you make of that.

Another cast member, Aubrey Plaza teases about the upcoming season in an interview with ET, “I know it’s a lot to live up to, but Mike is so good about making the second season different.” “It’s still The White Lotus, but now it’s in Italy, so it has a totally different vibe and so, I think people are going to be surprised.”

When is the Release Date of “The White Lotus” Season 2?

Fans would not have to wait for long for this. “The White Lotus” season 2 is set to premiere in October — no official release about the date yet.

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