A ranking: The White Lotus characters I would invite to my hotel room
There are brainier articles I could write about the new season of The White Lotus, set in beautiful Sicily. I have many clever thoughts about the show’s exploration of power dynamics, friendship, class and wealth. But instead, here is a ranking of the main characters in The White Lotus in the order that I would invite them back to my hotel room. If I could get them to leave the hotel restaurant.
Harper is a confrontational, sarcastic brunette in incredible outfits who loves to get drunk and make a scene. There was never any doubt she would end up first on my list. It was foreseen, it was written centuries ago. There has been no more obvious winning choice since Kelly Clarkson in season one of American Idol. I don’t know what it says about me, but I like my women with a bit of rage seething below the surface. I love the way Harper is confrontational, and doesn’t get intimidated by men. I would love nothing more than for her to angrily stomp around my hotel room for hours.
Aubrey Plaza as Harper.Credit:HBO
Based on anecdotal evidence in the form of texts from friends and seeing steam come out of people’s ears whenever she’s on screen, I think Lucia would be Numero Uno (Italian) on many other people’s lists. For good reason. She is clearly stunning in all the obvious ways, able to attract the attention of every oafish man in her vicinity, but she’s also incredibly charming and bright. She reads people, and quickly figures out how to use them for what she wants. I would invite her to my hotel room with full understanding that she would bamboozle me and convince me to give her all the money in my wallet and bank account – and I would smile as I handed it over.
Beatrice Granno as Mia and Simona Tabasco as Lucia.Credit:HBO/Binge
Ethan is clearly very attractive, but it wasn’t until episode five that he truly sealed his top place in my list when he stood up to Cameron – the most erotic thing a man can do. In that scene, Ethan also taught me about “mimetic desire”. Do you know how rare it is for a straight man to tell me about something that sounds interesting enough for me to Google after he leaves? He lost me again in episode six by being jealous (partly fuelled by Harper) and bad at communication (for god’s sake just have sex with your beautiful wife), but Ethan worked hard for the invitation upstairs, and he deserves it.
Ethan (Will Sharpe) and Cameron (Theo James).Credit:HBO / Binge
Tanya is dramatic, demanding, loud, damaged, glamorous and annoying. She shares her trauma and feelings with everyone, immediately. This is queer culture. The most realistic part of The White Lotus, and in fact any show ever put to air, is that a group of gay men would become obsessed with Tanya on sight. I, too, would become immediately obsessed. I would see her sobbing loudly at a table drinking wine and would want to know everything about her. She’s kooky and tall in heels and undoubtedly smells amazing. I have no idea how the night would go, but I know it would be memorable, and I would follow her insane whims to the ends of the earth.
Tanya McQuoid-Hunt (Jennifer Coolidge).Credit:HBO
Dominic should be someone that I have absolutely no interest in, besides encouraging him to start going to therapy six to seven times a week. He is a middle-aged sex-addicted philandering heterosexual man who makes his wife so furious that they needed to get iconic screamer Laura Dern to be the voice ranting down the phone at him. And yet, he lands here, in my top five. This is the greatest The White Lotus mystery of all. I cannot explain it. All I can say is that Michael Imperioli has something special. He’s got a little non so cosa, as the Italians say. Okay, admission: I don’t know if they say that, I just put je ne sais quoi into Google translate and swapped it from French to Italian. The point is, he has Italian je ne sais quoi, and I look forward to the regret-filled and awkward breakfast we share together.
Dominic (Michael Imperioli) and his father Bert (F. Murray Abraham).Credit:HBO / BINGE
It is extremely difficult for me to reveal that one of the few queer women on the show, Valentina, is not higher on my list. She is beautiful, she wears incredible lesbian suits, she feeds stray kittens, and she bosses men around all day. These traits would usually indicate the perfect woman. However, Valentina has been unsettling and inappropriate with her employee, Isabella, and I am not impressed. But she’d also give me a hotel upgrade, and we’d go back to an even nicer room – so she’s sixth. But alas, she’s also a beautiful and sad queer woman – who am I to deny the natural and right endpoint?
Valentina (Sabrina Impacciatore) in The White Lotus.Credit:HBO / Binge
You might be wondering why I haven’t put Daphne higher. She’s stunning, funny and, is one of those women you find most attractive when they are a bit mean to you, no idea why. Probably nothing to do with high school. I unfortunately bring an unfair personal issue into this. Daphne is played by brilliant actor Meghann Fahy. Fahy played the character Sutton in the tv show The Bold Type, and she was wonderful, and I felt loving platonic feelings toward her, which have transferred to Daphne. I also feel proud of Fahy for getting The White Lotus job and doing such a great job, as if we are real-life friends, which we are not, in any way. Still, I have too much respect to put her at the top or bottom of the list, so she is safely here in the middle.
Daphne (Meghann Fahy) and Harper (Aubrey Plaza).Credit:HBO / Binge
Don’t yell at me, I know this seems low. She is obviously very attractive but I don’t think she’s a charismatic performer at the piano. I thought it was genuinely lovely when she [REDACTED] with [REDACTED] in the hotel room in episode six, but I prefer not to invite someone to my hotel room when I don’t respect their art. Sorry!
Beatrice Grannò as Mia.
Jack was saved from his definite place very near to the bottom of the list by the [EROTIC SPOILER] we saw in episode five. Until then, I was NOT interested. I hate his vibe, his unearned confidence, his comically fake-looking tattoos. He just looks so English. He appeared on screen as though he’d wandered off the set of Love Island, and I would Love to live on an Island if it meant never having to interact with anyone like him. But, I’m tolerating him much easier now, and like him more after the [EROTIC SPOILER]. I’m easy to win over, you just need to engage in my specific interests.
Portia (Haley Lu Richardson) and Jack (Leo Woodall).
A lot of people find Portia annoying, and I totally understand that, but she is also annoying in such a realistic way that I feel a fondness towards her. She is young and wears ugly bucket hats that are cutting off the circulation to her brain, so she makes dumb decisions. It’s fine, she’s fine, we’ve all been there haven’t we babes? I would invite Portia back to my hotel room and she would drink all my booze and vomit and cry and I would hold her hair back and tuck her in and then she would sneak out to hook up with a gross guy from Tinder, and I would simply shake my head and smile.
Albie (Adam DiMarco) abd Portia (Haley Lu Richardson).Credit:HBO / Binge
Quentin is the only man remaining who I would actually enjoy spending time with*. I want him to perch on my hotel room couch, smoking a cigarette indoors and drinking expensive wine (that tastes the same to me as Aldi wine), while he pokes and prods my life. I want him to tell me verbose stories while I soak it all up like a sponge. Then we will have a bath together.
*unless my fear is confirmed and he rips off Tanya, in which case I will be paying a visit to the Italian mafia.
Quentin (Tom Hollander) and Tanya (Jennifer Coolidge).Credit:HBO / Binge
From here on we are really in the dregs, that yuck bit of grainy coffee you drink up because it at least has some caffeine in it. Bert is obviously a bad person, but I guess he has a bit of a spark about him. He can carry a conversation, loves a drink, and could possibly be a good hang if he could just be normal for a couple of hours (he can’t). Luckily, if he gets confused and tries to grab my butt thinking he’s on a business trip with his secretary in 1961, I’ll easily be able to physically destroy him.
F. Murray Abraham plays family patriarch Bert Di Grasso.
Vile, vile, vile man. Awful little goblin. I want him punished. I will take him to my hotel room and torture him for his crimes against Tanya (by making him listen to every episode of my podcast).
Tanya (Jennifer Coolidge) and Greg (Jon Gries).Credit:HBO/Binge
That’s right, it’s a historic tie for last place! For me, Albie and Cameron are two sides of the same disgusting coin, and I would rather invite a vampire into my room than either of them. It’s like Jason v Freddie, or Cuck v Jerk. Creator Mike White has done a great job of drawing two distinct portraits of modern masculinity and making them both equally unappealing. The actors are handsome, but the vibes are off. Cameron is arrogant, entitled, and dark. He makes my skin crawl. His odiousness is nearer the surface, but camouflaged with confidence and schmooze.
Theo James as Cameron.
On the flip side, Albie is quietly spoken, passive, and often says the “right” thing about social issues, aware of his privilege. He’s young and a bit naive, but he already gives the vibes of a classic self-proclaimed feminist, an ally. He’s a man who criticises other straight men for their behaviour towards women, while (I think) also secretly expecting sex as a reward for being nice and saying the right things. I’m not going to say I wish these two men dead, but I do hold out some hope I’ll soon have a reason not to invite them to my hotel room. Ever.
Adam DiMarco as Albie Di Grasso.
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