Warning: Spoilers ahead for the ending of The White Lotus season 2!After a chaotic end to its second installment, The White Lotus has built great anticipation for The White Lotus season 3. Although it was initially announced as a limited series, the popularity and acclaim of the social dramedy turned The White Lotus into an anthology. Each season now takes place at a different White Lotus resort around the world. Season 1, set in Hawaii, was mostly about class division, bringing into sharp focus the economic disparities and exploitations that fuel the hospitality industry. The White Lotus season 2, set in Sicily, tilted its attention slightly, spotlighting the marital troubles and transactional relationships between its vacationers.
The White Lotus season 2 delivered on its twists, killing off one prominent character and a few supporting players. It also provided a conclusion to its major conflicts while leaving a few threads unresolved. The White Lotus ended up performing exceptionally well at this year’s Golden Globes, scooping up two awards. One was for Best Limited Series, and the other went to Jennifer Coolidge for Best Supporting Actress for her portrayal of the needy heiress Tanya McQuoid-Hunt. Here’s how the increased acclaim could factor into The White Lotus season 3, and what is known about its renewal status, cast, potential story, and when it might debut.
The White Lotus season 3 was confirmed by HBO in November, only weeks after the second season debut. The speedy renewal isn’t surprising, given the series has performed strongly in the ratings. Viewership for the ending episode of season 2 surpassed the anthology’s previous record, garnering 2.8 million viewers across HBO’s platforms.
The fact that The White Lotus season 3 was confirmed just three episodes into season 2 airing proves that the TV show is HBO’s hottest commodity outside of House of the Dragon. Reportedly, series creator Mike White is eager to get started on The White Lotus season 3, and with two Golden Globe wins it’s easy to see why. Head of drama and films at HBO Francesca Orsi said in a statement (via WarnerMedia) about White Lotus, “Reflecting on The White Lotus’s humble, run-and-gun origin as a contained pandemic production, it’s impossible not to be awestruck by how Mike orchestrated one of the buzziest and most critically acclaimed shows.”
Jennifer Coolidge’s character, Tanya McQuoid, served as a connective link between the first two White Lotus seasons, appearing prominently in both. However, at the end of The White Lotus season 2, Tanya died after an accidental drowning. The character managed to save herself from the men who were planning to kill her, but she still faced a grim demise. Although no cast members have been confirmed for The White Lotus season 3, it’s likely that another character already introduced in the series could return for the next installment, just as Tanya did in season 2. Or it could keep Coolidge involved by depicting one of Tanya’s earlier trips.
What time period The White Lotus season 3 takes place remains up for debate, as it very well could go into prequel territory if the series wants to keep Jennifer Coolidge involved. Mike White has made it explicitly clear that he’s interested in bringing Coolidge on for The White Lotus season 3, saying in an interview (via Deadline), “Jennifer is my friend and everybody loved her in the first season, and I was like, ‘I can’t go to Italy without Jennifer.’ And maybe that’s still the case.” That being said, there are other cast members from seasons 1 and 2 who could reappear for season 3.
No plot details have been confirmed, though the show’s creator, Mike White, has at least teased the location of The White Lotus season 3 along with other potential details. The writer-director mentioned that he would be interested in taking a closer look at death and spirituality in Eastern religion. White has also talked about the fact that the story could take place in Asia, and he’s shared an interest in something akin to the Bilderberg Meeting, which would bring global politics into the mix.
Whatever the case, The White Lotus season 3 will obviously take place at the luxury hotel chain. Places yet unvisited are in Asia, South America, and Africa. However, since White believes that since the first season focused on money, the second season focused on sex, the third installment should zero in on death and spirituality. It’s unquestionable that The White Lotus season 3 will start off with a death at the hotel, as is custom, but it’ll be interesting to see it as an overarching theme for the third run.
No release date has been confirmed for The White Lotus season 3, and filming has yet to begin. However, based on the show’s previous filming timeline, shooting can take around six months. It could be safe to expect that new episodes will arrive in late 2023 or early 2024, but that will depend on when production begins.
While there’s no concrete release date yet for The White Lotus season 3, some guesses can be made. There is exactly one year and three months between The White Lotus seasons 1 and 2, and if season 3 follows this same pattern, then the new season of White Lotus could air in late 2023 or early 2024. It looks like White and the rest of his production team are trying to tackle the new season, and things like the multiple Golden Globe wins will only push HBO to get the content out even faster.
A Golden Globe can do wonders for a television series, and since The White Lotus managed to pick up two, it can only mean good things going forward for Mike White. The White Lotus season 1 didn’t open to droves of viewers, in fact, the show was a bit more of a sleeper hit. The White Lotus season 2 is really what became cemented in viewers’ minds, and its quality then prompted audiences to go back and watch the first season.
A Golden Globe could mean a lot of good things for The White Lotus season 3, such as a larger budget. A bigger budget could also allow for bigger stars to be a part of the cast or cameo in the series, and the recognition from the Golden Globe wins will only bring in higher viewership. This means that The White Lotus season 3 could see the highest viewership numbers for the show thus far.
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