“The White Lotus Season 1” Review: How much trouble can the rich have?

TV Series

If you haven’t seen HBO’s “The White Lotus Season 1”, I strongly recommend you to, it’s arguably the most unique and best-looking American drama in recent times.

This is the story of a group of wealthy people on vacation.

Among these people, there is a female CEO and her family who can buy tens of thousands of dollars for a bracelet.

There is a rich straight white man and his new wife who are used to getting everything he wants.

There are single middle-aged white women who have no idea how comfortable they are.

Obviously, it is a beautiful and delicious food, but these people don’t care because of the troubles that are not worth mentioning to many people.

"The White Lotus Season 1" Review: How much trouble can the rich have?

For this group of people who have long been accustomed to a superior life, they have unknowingly brought their real life to a vacation that should have been an escape from reality.

The Mossbacher family’s vacation has been turbulent from the start.

The hostess, Nicole, just wants to take her family for a good vacation, but the host, Mark, has a lot of thoughts.

After he finally got the good news that he did not have cancer, he was suddenly shocked to learn that his father was a closet, which made him completely doubt his life.

Daughter Olivia took her friend Paula with her, but she became jealous when she saw Paula and Kai, a local guy who worked at the resort.

Paula is on vacation with a friend’s family, but she obviously doesn’t really like Olivia as a friend that much, and her inner torment finally erupts in a bad way.

Son Quinn was ignored the whole time, bullied by his sister and could only sleep by the beach, but this strange foreign land gave him something he had never had before.

"The White Lotus Season 1" Review: How much trouble can the rich have?

Shane is the typical wealthy white man from a good background who has never endured hardship in his life, he is used to getting everything he wants.

So when he didn’t get the room he wanted, and was even teased by hotel manager Armond, the honeymoon that should have been relaxing and happy was completely ruined.

This man, who has always been self-centered and spoiled by his mother, is not even aware of the unusual behavior of his new wife Rachel on the pillow.

Rachel is beautiful but from an ordinary background. Although she married a rich man, she did not want to give up her career.

When the new husband put the focus of his honeymoon on the dispute with the hotel manager, and when her mother-in-law suddenly appeared on her honeymoon, Rachel finally had to face herself and do her soul torture: Did I make a big mistake?

Tanya came to the resort with her mother’s urn, intending to say a final goodbye to her mother.

A bewildered Tanya seems to have found a new direction after meeting Belinda, the spa manager at the resort, but soon her focus changes again.

In reality, these people, without exception, live far better lives than ordinary people.

But they don’t seem to know anything about it. It seems that what they want is normal and should be.

"The White Lotus Season 1" Review: How much trouble can the rich have?

Therefore, for ordinary people, in their eyes, expensive resorts that can be used to escape from reality are ordinary and even full of “can’t get” troubles.

This is a story about privilege, but compared to other similar works, this film is quite excellent in terms of story direction, character creation, or core depth.

Among the tourists, Paula is the only non-white person, but at the moment she enjoys all white privileges, and her skin color only makes her slightly more sensitive than her companions.

From the conversation between Paula and Kai, it can be seen that she doesn’t like her “best friend” Olivia so much, and she fully understands her shortcomings. Even watching Olivia’s family involuntarily reveal a sense of superiority, she is not So comfortable.

But at the same time, she went on vacation with this family and enjoyed all the benefits that the family’s privilege brought her. Naturally, she was tormented inside, but this torment did not change her identity as a privileged party.

Quinn is probably the most sympathetic character in the film. He is ignored by his family, and he doesn’t have the attitude of his family for granted.

But as part of the family, he also enjoys the privilege without knowing it.

Another sympathetic character, Rachel, is about the same.

Rachel’s husband, Shane, is a rich, straight man who can’t be typical.

"The White Lotus Season 1" Review: How much trouble can the rich have?

He is full of confidence, has no doubt that he should have everything, and unconsciously looks down on all people who are not his own class, even his new wife.

While he was still on his honeymoon, he could belittle his wife’s family and his wife’s work at will, and he could imagine how he looked down upon others.

But is Rachel really so sympathetic with such a person?

Although her husband’s aggressive attitude made her uncomfortable, here, she really enjoyed the privileges that came with it.

And Shane never hides who he is, which makes one wonder, how did Rachel realize that she “made a big mistake”?

People with privilege are often unaware of the impact of their unintentional actions on others, and Tanya is a typical example.

When she was most confused, depressed and lonely, Belinda appeared, and she encouraged Belinda to have her own business and proposed that she could invest.

Belinda, who was unmoved at first, slowly began to believe that the rich white lady in front of her could really change her life.

"The White Lotus Season 1" Review: How much trouble can the rich have?

But after Tanya’s whim, he didn’t care how much disappointment Belinda would be left with.

“The White Lotus Season 1” is clearly meant to ridicule the 1%, but the precise way in which this group has been exposed to the hypocrisy is truly unique.

Unlike other works about rich people, in most works, whether it is the character itself or the audience’s perspective, it will clearly state that “this is not a group of good people”.

Or at least, this is a group of “obvious and multi-faceted people”.

Everyone in this story feels like a good person.

The Mossbacher family felt that they were very woke, but talking about Nicole, they couldn’t help but feel sorry for their son as a “white straight man”, thinking that this group of people has suffered enough in recent years.

Olivia was able to speak up for her friend Paula, and understood Paula’s unhappy reaction to watching Native Hawaiians perform.

But all her consciousness was only in words, without any action, even if she really had a good talk with Paula.

Shane feels that as a husband, it is considerate for his wife not to work hard and meaningless, “I’ve already raised you, what do you want?”

"The White Lotus Season 1" Review: How much trouble can the rich have?

Even Armond, the hotel manager who is the opposite of this group, is very tired of his job of dealing with troublesome guests all the time.

So he found his own way of fighting and venting, fighting against Shane, but unknowingly he also fell into a deep pit that he couldn’t climb out of.

In most stories with rich people as the main point of view, even if the protagonist is “bad”, the audience can’t help but side with the protagonist.

But “The White Lotus Season 1” is so special, it’s also told from the rich’s point of view.

“The White Lotus Season 1” neither justifies the “badness” of these characters, nor does it keep audiences from watching because most of the characters aren’t that good.

It does not have the ugly stereotype of the rich, nor does it mock the image of the rich in cartoons, but it does expose their hypocrisy.

So while “The White Lotus Season 1” feels real, it is also good enough as a literary work.

The main creator Mike White should have a very deep understanding of this “high-class” circle, otherwise he really can’t write such a thing.

"The White Lotus Season 1" Review: How much trouble can the rich have?

Leaving aside the mockery of the wealthy, the entire story of this film is unique in itself.

Although the first episode has a big mystery of “someone died”, but unlike “Big Little Lies”, the more you watch it, the less the audience cares about the answer.

In all these 6 episodes, the stories experienced by all the characters seem to be small waves that are calm, but it is these small waves that slowly gather and finally usher in a big wave.

The viewing experience of the audience is that it is impossible to say what results they expect, but they just want to watch it and see what these people will experience step by step.

So looking at the first 5 episodes, this seems to be a story that doesn’t exaggerate a big drama but can keep the audience watching.

But in the finale, “The White Lotus Season 1” gave the audience a very unexpected climax.

Not all stories are useless, and all the little details that seem inadvertent end up breaking out.

The answer to this “who died” is a very dark humor and a very reasonable way to gather all the story lines, which is quite unexpected and quite exciting.

And what’s even more rare is that in this last episode, many characters have become more three-dimensional and more real.

For example, Rachel, who was originally very sympathetic to the audience, was really hard to have any sympathy when she cried to Belinda, who was rejected by Tanya, about her life plight.

Think about it, a young beauty who can become the focus at a glance in the crowd, her biggest dilemma is that her rich husband wants to support herself, but she doesn’t want to be an arm candy for life.

What about Belinda, who is sitting across from her?

Doing an ordinary job with no future, dealing with these rich people who don’t eat meat all day long.

Belinda just thought that meeting a noble person would usher in a turning point in his life, but it turned out to be a small episode of his journey, and he had to continue running for life.

If an ordinary employee who works overtime every day is crying to a rich child, “I want to work hard, but my family is too rich and I can only feel wronged to spend money everywhere”, Belinda will stand up and leave with a face of despair. The reaction was probably quite restrained.

All season long it felt like Bitchy’s Olivia had a surprise in the finale as well.

She seemed to understand Paula’s accusation that she was as superior as her parents without knowing it, and instead of revealing Paula’s secret, she hugged her to comfort her.

Tanya too, can’t say she didn’t realize how disappointed she was with Belinda, she was obviously guilty.

It’s just that Olivia and Tanya’s guilt is within their existing framework, and they are indeed real emotional people.

But for what they already know, that is, something other than a life full of privilege, a stack of banknotes and a hug is probably the biggest apology effort made.

The show has now been renewed for a second season and will feature new casts, new stories and new locations.

This should be regarded as the new drama with the best reputation recently. There are only 6 seasons in total. I strongly recommend friends who haven’t watched it to watch it.

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