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HBO Max’s ‘The White Lotus’ Is Back, So Let’s Talk About How Much Everyone Sucks

The team at White Lotus greeting guests

Oh the rich people we love to hate are back! White Lotus first took us to Hawaii with so many rich families and their petty issues that we couldn’t figure out who we actually enjoyed watching. Now, we’re heading to Sicily in the acclaimed Mike White HBO Max series about the fictional, fancy White Lotus hotel resort chain, and season 2 has brought us a more varied group of people. There are still plenty of people to hate, though.

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What’s great about the premiere episode, which hit HBO Max on October 30th, was that we got a brief look into the new guests (all of them being rich Americans) as they got to their Italian vacation. So far, the only person from Sicily that has made this list is Valentina because wow does she give Armond a run for his money. Going through our introductions to these characters, let’s rank them from characters I would (at current) protect and those I am going to love hate-watching each week.

Albie Di Grasso (Adam DiMarco)

Adam DiMarco as Albie in White Lotus

I would easily die for Albie. In Sicily on a trip with his family so that his grandfather can see where his family came from, Albie is just kind of a sweet kid who doesn’t want anyone around him to fight. We learn in a phone call from Albie’s dad Dominic to his mother that Albie is mad at his father for something he did but doesn’t want to fight him on it—but that’s all we really know about that situation.

He seems like a smart kid who is there for his grandfather and so right now, I love him very much because he doesn’t try to be overbearing or worrying, he’s just genuinely trying to enjoy his family trip.

Portia (Haley Lu Richardson)

Haley Lu Richardson as Portia in White Lotus

Poor Portia. The only reason she’s not number one is because I want her to stick up for herself a bit more. Portia is Tanya’s (Jennifer Coolidge is back, baby!) assistant. She goes to Sicily with her boss who is supposed to be on a vacation with her husband, and Portia gets to get there, get off the boat, and she’s instantly told she has to spend the trip in her room.

To Portia’s credit, she doesn’t do that and goes to dinner and goes to the pool and tries to enjoy herself what little bit she can. I hope she keeps talking to Albie and starts to stand up for herself more than just getting pushed around by Tanya and Greg.

Harper Spiller (Aubrey Plaza)

Aubrey Plaza as Harper in White Lotus

Okay, would I label Harper as a buzz kill on my own vacation? Yes. But she’s not wrong and, if anything, she’s just calling out the bad behavior of her husband’s white friends right to their faces so I have to respect her. Harper is a lawyer who works in employment law and calls out Cameron for saying that claims he’s been getting are “bogus” and pokes fun at both Daphne and Cameron for not voting or watching the news.

I don’t fully trust Harper because she did go on this vacation and while we know that it was for Ethan and that he barely wanted to go, I feel comfortable in putting her high up on my list of characters I currently really like. That being said, I’m watching her.

Ethan Spiller (Will Sharpe)

Will Sharpe as Ethan in White Lotus

You are not your friends but sometimes your friends can be telling and while Ethan is quiet and listens to Harper and seems to do whatever she says, he is friends with Cameron so … I am side-eying him. There’s a part of the premiere where Cameron makes a joke about Ethan being an incel and while Ethan says that he is not and never was that way, it still doesn’t inspire confidence given the lack of information we do have on Ethan right now.

He’s married to Harper so he at least votes and watches the news so we can trust him in that way. But until he starts sticking up for himself or talking back to Cameron a bit more, I don’t fully trust the kind of person he is.

Valentina (Sabrina Impacciatore)

Valentina in White Lotus

Oh, how those in charge of the White Lotus hotels are absolutely wild in their priorities. The first moment we meet Valentina is in the flash forward to when Daphne discovers a body while swimming and her first bit of thinking is to say that it is the ocean that they were found in so the hotel is safe. More than that, she also hates Mia and Lucia for just stepping foot in her hotel (Lucia is there for sex work but that is absolutely none of Valentina’s business).

With her priorities completely out of whack, she’s not the worst character we’ve met yet, but she’s also not great given … well, you know, not caring about a dead body other than what it will do to the reputation of her hotel.

Daphne Sullivan (Meghann Fahy)

Meghann Fahy as Daphne in White Lotus

Look on the surface, she seems nice. But then she admitted that she doesn’t like watching the news because it makes her sad so she ignores it and she maybe (probably) didn’t vote and so we cannot trust her at all. No matter how sweet Daphne seems in the beginning to the new guests at the White Lotus or how hard she’s trying with Harper, she’s still married to Cameron.

The two are so in their own bubble that they don’t care about the world at large, and with the implication their actions have, it’s going to be fascinating to see how her character changes throughout the season and whether or not she’s just going to be the kind of wife who lets her husband do whatever he wants without saying anything to the contrary.

Bert Di Grasso (F. Murray Abraham)

F. Murray Abraham as Bert in White Lotus

Bert, you’re old and I love you because you’re F. Murray Abraham but you’re also that old man I would never want to be left alone with. Bert is the kind of character who says whatever he wants to women and it comes across as him being predatory. It starts right from his first moment on the show and continues throughout the episode and yes, in theory, he’s just trying to be nice, maybe, but it is that creepy older man way of talking to women that just leaves us all feeling uneasy.

And even Albie, who is just there to sort of keep the peace, tells his grandpa that he harassed the woman helping them into the room. So where his storyline is going to go is … uhhhh … frightening to me.

Tanya McQuoid-Hunt (Jennifer Coolidge)

Jennifer coolidge as Tanya in White Lotus

Oh Tanya. She wasn’t great during the first season in the end. At first, we loved her because she was going through it but then the more she hurt those working at the White Lotus and ignored those who helped her because she finally found her own happiness. So in season 2, I was worried about more of the same and somehow it happened to be just as bad!

Tanya appears with Portia and Greg starts yelling about her bringing Portia and so instead of telling Portia to go home or to just go stay somewhere else and paying for it, she tells her she might need her so she should just stay in her room the entire trip. Yes, Greg sucks and is so incredibly rude to Tanya but that doesn’t instantly excuse Tanya’s behavior towards Portia.

Cameron Sullivan (Theo James)

Theo James as Cameron in White Lotus

Yikes yikes yikes. Cameron is Theo James so first of all, he’s hot. Second, he most definitely sucks. He’s so in love with his wife that it makes Harper question it, he just got naked in a room she was sort of standing in and didn’t say anything, and he definitely did something at work that is making his life hard and we don’t know yet. All of that alone makes me side-eye him.

But he’s also just that kind of guy that you cannot trust. Which is why I think I’m wary of Ethan still. Because there’s going to be something that we discover about Cameron that is going to have the “I KNEW IT” moment and so that’s why he’s almost at the top of my “they suck” list.

Dominic Di Grasso (Michael Imperioli)

Michael Imperioli in White Lotus

Well we know he sucks thanks to his screaming ex-wife and his kids who hate him which does hurt because I love Michael Imperioli. We don’t know what he did or what happened in his real life, but the fact that he reached out to Lucia (who is much younger than him anyway) to come have sex with him despite trying to call his ex-wife is suspect enough.

But he just currently gives me the ick and maybe it’s the way he talks to his father and son and that we don’t know what he did but that it was something bad enough for his daughter to hate him too. Until we know more though, I’ll continue to keep him at a distance.

Greg Hunt (Jon Gries)

Greg in White Lotus season 2

You know that meme from What We Do In the Shadows that is Nadja not speaking their name and Laszlo says “I don’t give a f**k, his name was Mike”? That’s me talking about how I hate Greg. A man who tried to make Tanya happy in season 1 and was a little suspect back then has only gotten worse in season 2. He yelled about Portia, left Tanya to travel alone, and just keeps commenting on her weight and what she’s eating.

When the two have sex in the first episode, she is telling him how she was picturing horrific things and he just responds by telling her he didn’t get to finish and then fat-shaming her. Greg sucks! He’s the worst and I don’t care if he ends up saving someone’s life, it’s going to take a lot for him to move from this slot because what the actual hell, Greg?

___________

The White Lotus airs on Sundays and god, can’t wait to spend my nights hating all these people.

(image: HBO)

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Rachel Leishman
Rachel Leishman (She/Her) is an Assistant Editor at the Mary Sue. She's been a writer professionally since 2016 but was always obsessed with movies and television and writing about them growing up. A lover of Spider-Man and Wanda Maximoff's biggest defender, she has interests in all things nerdy and a cat named Benjamin Wyatt the cat. If you want to talk classic rock music or all things Harrison Ford, she's your girl but her interests span far and wide. Yes, she knows she looks like Florence Pugh.

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