It’s time to say arrivederci to our favorite privileged vacationers because Sunday marked the last episode of The White Lotus season two. The second year of Mike White’s anthology series lived up to the excellence of the first, offering a new round of compellingly flawed characters, razor-shop writing, and Jennifer Coolidge whisper-sighs. And, of course, there was murder afoot, hinted at in the premiere and fully revealed in last night’s finale as — spoiler alert — our beloved Tanya finally unraveled, taking out the “gays trying to kill me” before falling overboard to her watery grave.
If you’ve followed along with the show all season, you’re probably readying to have a hotel-size hole in your heart until season three comes around (hopefully) next year. But while we may have to go a long while without more of White’s delightfully discomforting creation on our screens, other pieces of White Lotus–esque pop culture are out there to be consumed right away. We’re talking absorbing rich-people-problem dramas, gripping slow-burn mysteries, and hilariously acerbic comedies featuring stars such as Coolidge and F. Murray Abraham. Here are 13 movies and shows to check out now that the credits have rolled on Lotus season two.
Triangle of Sadness
The White Lotus is a satirical dramedy about a group of very wealthy people on an isolated resort. Triangle of Sadness is a satirical dramedy about a group of very wealthy people on an isolated boat. Although the film, directed by Ruben Östlund, received mixed reviews upon its release in October, few can deny its thematic and visual similarities to the HBO drama, especially its unabashed “eat the rich” mentality and gorgeous setting.
HBO sure does love its dramas about dysfunctional rich people! Although Succession follows a family and not a group of vacationing strangers, there’s still plenty of overlap, particularly in the biting dialogue, excessive spending, and intergenerational tensions. Bert and Dominic’s arguments on Lotus about passing down trauma and how to treat women, in particular, will ring true to anyone who’s seen Logan and Kendall go at it on Succession.
Best in Show
Want something a bit lighter? Opt for Christopher Guest’s 2000 mockumentary Best in Show, featuring none other than Jennifer Coolidge. The supremely entertaining film features the actress as a trophy wife who enters her poodle in a prestigious dog show and finds love with her dog’s handler (Jane Lynch). Alongside an all-star cast (Eugene Levy, Catherine O’Hara, Parker Posey, and so on), Coolidge steals the show. The movie, which came post–American Pie but pre–Legally Blonde, helped establish Coolidge as a true comedic powerhouse.
Knives Out and Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery
Rian Johnson’s 2019 blockbuster and its 2022 successor are both quirkier and quippier than The White Lotus, but they share some notable similarities, namely exotic locations, top-tier ensembles, and slow-burn murder mysteries. Consider the films Lotus Lite and enjoy attempting to figure out their secrets before the characters do.
Beatriz at Dinner
Even if the Salma Hayek–starring dramedy Beatriz at Dinner hadn’t been written by Mike White, it’d be an ideal follow-up to Lotus because of its love of putting its characters — and viewers — in uncomfortable conversations about race, class, and privilege. Plus Lotus season-one (and possibly season-three) vet Connie Britton co-stars.
As much as you might try to hate Lotus’s Bert Di Grasso, a man who denies his own philandering and thinks every woman wants to be called “sweetheart,” it’s impossible — he’s just too damn charming, and that’s thanks in large part to F. Murray Abraham’s performance. If you’re not familiar with the star’s work, check out his Oscar-winning turn in 1984’s Amadeus. You’ll quickly see that Abraham’s full range of talent goes well beyond “about-to-be-canceled grandpa.”
No, the White Lotus isn’t the only fictional resort to have a few mysteries up its sleeve. The titular resort in The Resort, a Peacock dark comedy that premiered in July, also offers plenty of intrigue to its guests, particularly married couple WIlliam Jackson Harper (The Good Place) and Cristin Milioti (Palm Springs). With its nonstop twists and turns, the series is far more plot-driven than Lotus but just as entertaining.
If you only knew Mike White pre-Lotus as “that guy from The Amazing Race” or “that guy from School of Rock,” you’re in for a real treat. From 2011 to 2013, he wrote, produced, and led Enlightened, a dramedy starring Laura Dern as a corporate exec attempting to rebuild her life after a nervous breakdown. It won raves during its too-short run for its complicated anti-hero, who, like many Lotus characters, struggles with her personal demons.
Bodies Bodies Bodies
While the youth of Lotus season two are a lot tamer than in season one (looking at you, Sydney “I Am Judging You” Sweeney), they still get up to their fair share of trouble, especially when money is involved. Consider: Bodies Bodies Bodies, an excellent comedy-horror film from August that features a group of highly privileged 20-somethings (and one European outsider) who can’t resist stirring up drama every chance they get — with dire consequences.
Speaking of attractive youngins with way too much time and cash on their hands, there’s also Elite, a widely acclaimed Spanish-language Netflix drama set in a high school where students’ wealth (or lack thereof) makes all the difference. It has all the chaos of a typical teen show (sex, drugs, the occasional murder), but a smart, nuanced script helps it stand above the rest.
The Godfather Part II
Look, you’ve probably already seen The Godfather Part II. But if you haven’t, or it’s been a decade or two since your last viewing, give it a watch — think of it as the Sicilian origin story that the Di Grasso family is desperately searching for. Plus it’s a father-and-son story at heart with two men balancing busy lives of business, crime, and painful familial expectations.
Nine Perfect Strangers
Troubled strangers gather at a beautiful resort with the goal of relaxation only to encounter disturbing occurrences and some seriously messed-up staffers. Sound familiar? That’s Nine Perfect Strangers for you, the 2018 miniseries from David E. Kelley based on Liane Moriarty’s best-selling book. Come for the intrigue, stay for Nicole Kidman’s unhinged Russian accent.
Because if Portia’s incredibly chaotic outfit choices don’t immediately evoke images of Hilary Duff’s iconic Disney Channel character and make you want to rewatch the series, you’re lying to yourself.