Having White Lotus withdrawals? Here are 10 movies and shows to fill that void

Having White Lotus withdrawals? Here are 10 movies and shows to fill that void

From Lost to The Godfather to The Bold Type, these suggestions will help tide you over the until The White Lotus returns for season three

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From top: The Godfather (Paramount Pictures), Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery (Netflix), The Bold Type (Freeform)
From top: The Godfather (Paramount Pictures), Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery (Netflix), The Bold Type (Freeform)
Graphic: The A.V. Club

The second season of The White Lotus kept us enthralled with scenic Italian vistas, a simmering murder mystery, and intricate relationship dynamics between characters we loved, and loved to hate. Now that you have your Sunday nights back, you may be wondering what to move onto next. While there’s no shortage of content to stream (especially at this time of year), we have some specific suggestions for shows and movies that may remind you of the things you loved about The White Lotus. Whether you’re missing the Italian scenery, looking for another puzzle to solve, or just want to be transported on another island getaway, something on this list is bound to hit the spot. If you’re like Daphne and “love a binge,” read on for our picks.

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Enlightened

Enlightened

Enlightened: Season 1 - Trailer (HBO)

Find it on: HBO Max

Mike White’s first show for HBO, Enlightened, starred Laura Dern (who made a not-so-secret cameo in The White Lotus as the voice of Dominic’s angry wife on the other end of a phone call) as Amy Jellicoe, an executive at a multinational corporation who reaches rock bottom due to her own self-sabotaging ways. She takes some time to regroup at a mental health facility in Hawaii and returns with a new outlook on life, but the same old blind spots still cause her to get in her own way. The idea of privileged white people seeking serenity while still embracing the trappings of luxury in a tropical setting is more of a piece with the first season of The White Lotus, but Amy’s inability to see herself clearly fits with pretty much every guest we met in season two. [Cindy White]

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Lost

Lost

Lost Seasons 1-5 Recap in 8 Minutes 40 Seconds

Find it on: Hulu

Since Lost ended its six-season run in 2010 (with a controversial finale) the number of people who have never seen it has been rising, but even if you were a regular viewer back in the day, it’s always fun to go back and rewatch select episodes or even an entire season. Whichever group you fall into, watching Lost, with its ever-unfolding mysteries and reveals, may just scratch that White Lotus itch. Just don’t get too sucked in or you may feel like you’re trapped in a binge from which there’s no escape. [Cindy White]

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The Bold Type

The Bold Type

The Bold Type | Season 2 Finale: Sutton & Oliver Heart to Heart | Freeform

Find it on: Hulu

Meghann Fahy’s standout performance as Daphne caught the attention of critics and viewers alike, but fans of The Bold Type already knew she had the goods. If The White Lotus was your introduction to Fahy, you might enjoy seeing her in a different kind of role. The Bold Type follows three friends who work at a women’s magazine called Scarlet in New York City. Fahy plays Sutton Brady, an ambitious fashionista who starts out as an assistant and works her way up to the position of Fashion Stylist. For most of the show’s four and a half seasons she’s involved in an on-and-off relationship with a lawyer who works for the magazine’s publisher (we won’t spoil how that ends up going for her). [Cindy White]

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The Resort

The Resort

The Resort | Official Trailer | Peacock Original

Find it on: Peacock

This series is more overtly comedic than The White Lotus, but has enough in common with it to be a fair substitute. In The Resort, William Jackson Harper and Cristin Milioti play Noah and Emma, a married couple visiting a resort in Mexico for their 10th anniversary. Things start coming apart when they hear about some unfortunate tourists who went missing from a nearby resort 15 years ago. They start investigating the disappearances and get so wrapped up in the twists and turns that their own vacation becomes more about figuring out what happened than rekindling their fading romance. We can only imagine what would happen if the two of them took a trip to Sicily and found out about all the deaths in the finale. That could be a whole show by itself. [Cindy White]

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The Holiday

The Holiday

New drama on Channel 5 | The Holiday | Official Trailer

Find it on: Spectrum Originals

Not to be confused with the Nancy Myers rom-com of the same name (also a good watch this time of year for reasons that have nothing to do with The White Lotus), this four-part UK series centers around a holiday in the colloquial British sense—or what we Americans would call a vacation. When Kate (Jill Halfpenny) and her three best friends bring their families together for a dream getaway at a Mediterranean villa she discovers that her husband might be cheating on her. And just when she thinks things can’t get any worse, she begins to suspect that someone among them might be willing to kill to keep the secret from getting out. [Cindy White]

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The Godfather

The Godfather

The Godfather (5/9) Movie CLIP - Michael Loses Apollonia (1972) HD

Find it on: Peacock

This one is a no-brainer. While season two of The White Lotus is still fresh in your mind it might be a good time to go back and watch The Godfather, not that there’s ever a bad time to do that. You could revisit the scene in The Godfather that inspired the scene in The White Lotus where the characters visit the place where The Godfather was filmed. That’s the most direct connection between the two, but it’s not the only one. You may start to notice other references and Easter eggs too, like the dress Tanya wears in the finale. It’s the same dress Michael’s Sicilian wife Apollonia wore in the film, and considering what happens to her, that should have been a big clue as to Tanya’s eventual fate at the end of the episode. [Cindy White]

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My Brilliant Friend

My Brilliant Friend

My Brilliant Friend | Official Trailer | HBO

Find it on: HBO Max

My Brilliant Friend is perfect for fans of Lucia and Mia’s storyline. The Italian drama series focuses on two girls growing up in a poor part of Naples in the 1950s. Though the time period is different, there are some striking similarities between Elena and Lila and Lucia and Mia. My Brilliant Friend covers an entire lifetime of friendship, making it easy to imagine what the rest of Lucia and Mia’s lives will look like, too. [Jen Lennon]

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Murder In Paradise

Murder In Paradise

Murder in Paradise - All New Series - Investigation Discovery

Find it on: Discovery+

If you’re looking for a true crime series with a tropical bent, this six-part Investigation Discovery series has you covered. Each 45-minute episode of Murder In Paradise covers a different murder in a seemingly idyllic setting, including Greece, Brazil, The Bahamas, and Costa Rica. Sadly, though, none of the episodes are set in Italy. [Jen Lennon]

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Dateline

Dateline

Season 30, here we come... | Dateline NBC

Find it on: NBC (current season) and Peacock (older episodes)

Daphne mentions in the first episode of The White Lotus season two that she loves to watch Dateline. The staple TV news magazine has been going strong since 1992, though in recent years, it’s covered mostly true crime topics. Even when the cases lean toward the tawdry, the reporting is always solid and it’s presented with integrity. It’s no surprise it’s a favorite of Daphne, who turns out to be a lot more clever than she initially seems. [Jen Lennon]

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Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery

Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery

Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery | Official Teaser Trailer | Netflix

Find it on: Netflix (beginning Dec. 23)

Glass Onion, the follow-up to 2019’s Knives Out, hits Netflix on December 23 after a short theatrical run. Like The White Lotus, it’s a murder mystery set in a sunny locale. The plot is twistier and it’s more of a classic whodunit than Mike White’s TV show, but the characters are just as engaging and Daniel Craig remains a delight as Southern detective Benoit Blanc. [Jen Lennon]

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