I finished The White Lotus last night. I’m not a TV expert, but it’s the best show I’ve seen in a long time. I’ve read a lot about the themes and examples throughout about class, the served vs. the serving, tribalism, etc. and the show did an extremely good job with them all. With only six one hour episodes in season 1, you can fly through it and I found it riveting.
But instead of bore you with another take of what the show was about, I’m going to power rank the major characters because I don’t know what else to say about it. These are purely personal, but also accurate.
Is anyone surprised? Tanya’s dying love interest. He barely deserves to make the list. He has the body I expect to have when I’m 80. Tanya wasn’t a favorite of mine either during the second half of the series and Greg was part of the reason why. Maybe he’s supposed to be boring, but he was just boring.
The last three episodes are her making the exact same guilty / terrified face. She doesn’t say much and is just appalled by what’s happening on the island despite being part of it. Similar to Shane, they did a good job of making you not like her, but unlike Shane, she just wasn’t exciting to have on the screen. Her schtick wore.
Nicole’s lows aren’t too low, but her highs aren’t too high. She does a good job portraying the successful mom but she’s just not the most fun character. Her conversation with Mark though when she asks WHY he told the kids about him cheating was a great scene.
It feels wrong to rank Paula and Kai in the bottom four given the theme of the show, but he wasn’t in it enough, and him robbing the Mossbacher’s felt out of character. Paula made a good case for WHY to rob them, but I just didn’t believe that he would do it. The side plot of their land being stolen didn’t feel forced, but similar to it in real life, it felt secondary to everything else going on.
Honestly the worst part about Kitty was how unrealistic Shane was towards loving his mom. Regardless, she was a convincing rich snobby wife and her conversations with Rachel about her position as Shane’s wife were compelling. Those felt like real conversations between someone like Rachel who’s actually deciding what’s worth it.
Similar to Nicole, not too high not too low, but had more drama about her. They did a great job at making her and Paula’s relationship take a slow and painful turn to where by the end, they couldn’t even really talk to each other.
She came out HOT just being all over the place and unpredictable. Her chanting along with Belinda during the head massage set the tone beautifully. But as I said above, she went a little south when she ‘settled down’ and got involved with Greg. You’ll notice I say a lot of scenes were really good or compelling, but her telling Greg to get the fuck out was the least convincing of all of them.
I actually didn’t love Mark. This may sound stupid, but the main reason I’m having him this high is because of his conversation with Quinn in the pool about cheating on Nicole. I couldn’t look away. Great scene. Also the comedic factor of him blacking out the day before and just saying ridiculous shit was welcome.
One of the more unusual tracks for any of the characters but it just felt real. His mom making the case that it’s really tough for young white men at the moment was eye-rolling but believable when you looked at Quinn. One of the few that I was constantly rooting for, maybe because I see so much of myself in him. You join those rowers Quinn!
I want to rank her lower because she came crawling back to Shane, but her gradual mental decline throughout the honeymoon was perfect. I keep saying this, but the initial breakup conversation with Shane was so good. Couldn’t look away. I figured she wouldn’t come back, which would indicate that CLASS is more decisive, but since she did, and was now ‘one of them‘, I guess that indicates that race is more decisive?
You could see her trying not to get ahead of herself. She really tried. But these rich white folks are too enticing. And right when you think they might cross the aisle and help you out, it’s back to where you came from. Giving Rachel the card and saying to call, then reaching her breaking point, then Rachel calling was gold. Even though Rachel wasn’t necessarily ‘one of them‘ since she wasn’t rich, she still was because she’s being served and Belinda is serving. Belinda was done.
People might disagree with Shane being this high. I know. I get it. He wasn’t the most realistic character. But this show isn’t its full self without the unrelenting asshole that is Shane Patton. The ultimate prepster, always get his way, zero social awareness, never been told no, and he has the most punchable face I’ve ever seen. The feud with Armond was fantastic and him failing to see his marriage crumbling in front of him but STILL getting the girl was a bow on the theme of the rich staying rich.
Two white males atop the list! I can’t explain WHY Armond is my favorite. The drug benders certainly helped, but similar to his role on the island as a gentle comfort to every guest, he was a gentle comfort to almost every scene. The smile, the accent, the charm. He faked his way through thousands of interactions with these entitled pricks knowing deep down he absolutely despised every one of them. What a life to live. But again, that’s the point of the show. And he personifies the servant side better than any one else in the series, and the ending is the nail in the coffin to drive that point home.