It’s time to say bye to our favorite privileged vacationers because Sunday marked the last episode of The White Lotus season two. Year two of Mike White’s anthology series lived up to the excellence of the first, delivering a fresh round of flawed characters, razor-sharp writing and Jennifer Coolidge sighs. And, of course, there was a murder going on, alluded to in the premiere and fully revealed in last night’s finale as – spoiler alert – our beloved Tanya finally broke down, wiping out “gays trying to kill me” before falling overboard into his watery grave.
If you’ve been following the show all season, you’re probably preparing to have a hotel-sized hole in your heart until season three arrives (hopefully) next year. But while we may have to go a long time without more of White’s deliciously uncomfortable creation on our screens, other bits of White Lotus-esque pop culture are there to be consumed right away. We’re talking absorbing dramas about the rich, gripping slow-burn mysteries, and hilarious, acerbic comedies starring stars like Coolidge and F. Murray Abraham. Here are 13 movies and shows to check out now that the credits are over Lotus season two.
The White Lotus is a satirical comedy-drama about a group of very wealthy people in a remote seaside resort. triangle of sadness is a satirical comedy-drama about a group of very wealthy people on a lone boat. Although the film, directed by Ruben Östlund, received mixed reviews upon its October release, few can deny its thematic and visual similarities to the HBO drama, especially its unapologetic “eat the rich” mentality and gorgeous setting.
HBO loves its dramas about the dysfunctional rich! Although Succession follows a family and not a group of strangers on vacation, there’s still a lot of overlap, especially in biting dialogue, overspending, and intergenerational tension. Bert and Dominic’s arguments on Lotus about transmitting trauma and how to treat women, in particular, will ring true for anyone who has watched Logan and Kendall go on Succession.
Want something a little lighter? Go for Christopher Guest’s 2000 mockumentary Best of Show, featuring none other than Jennifer Coolidge. The wildly entertaining film features the actress as a trophy wife who showcases her poodle at a prestigious dog show and finds love with the dog handler (Jane Lynch). Alongside an all-star cast (Eugene Levy, Catherine O’Hara, Parker Posey, etc.), Coolidge steals the show. The movie, which came after–American pie but before-Revenge of a Blondehelped make Coolidge a real comedic powerhouse.
2019 by Rian Johnson blockbuster and it’s 2022 successor are both more eccentric and more eccentric than The White Lotus, but they do share some notable similarities, namely exotic locations, top-notch sets, and slow-burning murder mysteries. Consider the movies Lotus Switch on and have fun discovering their secrets before the characters.
Although the comedy-drama starring Salma Hayek Beatrice at dinner hadn’t been written by Mike White, it would be an ideal sequel to Lotus due to its love of putting its characters – and its viewers – into uncomfortable conversations about race, class and privilege. More Lotusfirst season (and maybe the third season) veterinarian Connie Britton co-stars.
As much as you might try to hate Lotusis Bert Di Grasso, a man who denies his own bravery and thinks every woman wants to be called “sweetheart”, it’s impossible – he’s just too charming, and that’s in large part thanks to the performance of F. Murray Abraham. If you’re unfamiliar with the star’s work, check out his Oscar-winning turn in 1984 Amedee. You’ll quickly see that Abraham’s full range of talents goes way beyond “grandpa about to be canceled.”
No, the White Lotus isn’t the only fictional resort with some mysteries up its sleeve. The titular station of The complexa black comedy Peacock which premiered in July, also offers plenty of intrigue for its guests, especially married couple WIlliam Jackson Harper (The right place) and Cristin Milioti (Palm Springs). With its endless twists and turns, the series is much more plot-driven than Lotus but equally entertaining.
If you knew Mike White beforeLotus like “that guy from Fantastic race” or ” this guy from school of rock“, you’re in for a real treat. From 2011 to 2013, he wrote, produced and directed Enlightened, a comedy-drama starring Laura Dern as a business executive trying to rebuild her life after a nervous breakdown. He won accolades in his all-too-short run for his complicated antihero, who like many Lotus characters, struggles with his personal demons.
While the youth of Lotus season two is much tamer than season one (looking at you, Sydney “I’m judging you” Sweeney), they still have their fair share of problems, especially when it comes to money. Consider: Body Body Bodyan excellent horror-comedy film from August that features a group of very privileged 20-somethings (and a European foreigner) who can’t help but cause drama at every opportunity – with disastrous consequences.
Speaking of attractive young people with way too much time and money, there’s also Elite, a widely acclaimed Spanish-language Netflix drama set in a high school where the wealth (or lack thereof) of the students makes all the difference. It has all the chaos of a typical teen show (sex, drugs, the occasional murder), but a smart, nuanced storyline helps it stand out from the rest.
Look, you’ve probably seen The Godfather Part II. But if you haven’t, or if it’s been a decade or two since you last watched it, give it a watch – think of it as the Sicilian origin story the Di Grasso family desperately seeks. Plus, it’s a father and son story at heart with two men balancing busy lives of business, crime, and painful family expectations.
Troubled strangers gather at a beautiful resort town in an effort to relax only to encounter disturbing events and seriously messed up staff members. Sound familiar? This is Nine perfect strangers for you, David E. Kelley’s 2018 miniseries based on Liane Moriarty’s bestseller. Come for the plot, stay for Nicole Kidman’s wacky Russian accent.
Because if Portia’s incredibly chaotic outfit choices don’t immediately conjure up images of iconic Disney Channel character Hilary Duff and make you want to rewatch the show, you’re lying to yourself.