Kaftans, ironic slogan T-shirts, and withering stares at the ready: The White Lotus is returning to screens with its splashy second installment—and Jennifer Coolidge’s delightfully spacey heiress Tanya McQuoid will be center stage.
On August 3, Variety revealed that Mike White’s razor-sharp satire about ridiculously privileged guests at an impossibly luxurious resort would be back, presumably with more dissatisfied CEOs, terrifying twentysomethings, and raging general managers, this October. The announcement was accompanied by the first still from the new season, which sets the tone for the hilarity that is sure to ensue: an image of Coolidge’s Tanya pouting serenely while wearing bug-eye sunglasses and a sugary pink dress, her blonde curls wrapped up in a matching chiffon scarf.
The acting legend is the only series regular to be reprising her role as the show shifts from the fictional White Lotus group’s property in Hawaii to an equally spectacular one in Sicily, where a new set of insufferable visitors will feud with its beleaguered staff members. The ensemble cast for the series’s first season was a formidable combination of established names and rising stars—Connie Britton, Sydney Sweeney, Murray Bartlett, Alexandra Daddario, Natasha Rothwell, Brittany O’Grady—but, this time around, it’s somehow even more impressive. Due to make an appearance? Comedy stalwart Aubrey Plaza as Harper, a woman on vacation with her husband and his friends; Oscar-winning screen veteran F. Murray Abraham as Bert Di Grasso, an elderly man holidaying with his son and grandson; The Night Manager’s Tom Hollander as Quentin, a British expat; Support the Girls’s Haley Lu Richardson as Portia, a young woman traveling with her boss; and The Bold Type’s Meghann Fahy and Sanditon’s Theo James as husband-and-wife pair Daphne and Cameron Babcock.
As for the locals forced to massage their egos, three Italian actors have also been cast in significant parts: Sabrina Impacciatore as Valentina, the manager of the White Lotus Sicily; and Beatrice Grannó and Simona Tabasco as Mia and Lucia, two young Sicilians who have a habit of hanging around the hotel. Could a holiday romance be on the cards for one of them, as it was for Kekoa Kekumano’s Hawaiian hotel staffer Kai with Brittany O’Grady’s Paula in Season 1?
While we do know that the upcoming seven-part series will focus on the exploits of guests and employees over the span of a week, just as the first installment did, other questions also remain. Will Season 2 open with the mysterious death of a major character, as Season 1 did? And what state will we find the eccentric Tanya in this time? The latter was partially answered on July 18, when HBO debuted its first footage from the second installment in a preview of soon-to-be-released shows. It featured Impacciatore’s Valentina welcoming Plaza’s Harper, Fahy’s Daphne, and James’s Cameron to the resort, and Tanya speeding down a picturesque Sicilian hillside on the back of a Vespa. In the brief clip, she appears to have embraced la dolce vita, but how long will it be before her neuroses rise to the surface once again? We’ll find out soon enough.