The White Lotus Misery Index is a weekly accounting of who and/or what is having the worst time in paradise in season two of the HBO series. The rankings are based on a number of factors, none of which can or will be quantified in any way. We are doing art here, not science.
UNRANKED: Lucia and Mia (going on a spending spree, singing beautiful songs at the piano bar, getting to shove it all in Valentina the Manager’s face, really very little to complain about); Cameron and Daphne (we’re going to find out something awful about them eventually but right now they’re just a pair of happy beautiful airheads, which is not the worst thing to be in life); Guiseppe the Piano Man (zero drinks whipped in his face this week, which represent a marked improvement); eating a big bowl of pasta with clams (slurp it up); Rocco the White Lotus staffer (I can’t decide if I want an entire episode just about Rocco or if I just want to see him get yelled at for 10 seconds every episode)
10. Ethan (Last week: Unranked)
Let’s check in on Ethan:
- Waking up super early to go run through Sicily by himself
- Cranking away on himself while his wife is at brunch and then showing no interest in finishing with her when she walks in on him mid-crank
- Said “I’m just pointing out a personality quick. You do it all the time” to his wife, which is something you only do if you are a sweet oblivious dope or boiling with secret white-hot rage
Nothing would surprise me about Ethan at this point. Next episode could open with him just like staring at a spoon for five straight minutes and I’d be like “Yeah, that makes enough sense.” Or he could kill a dog. That’s possible, too. I have zero read on this guy. He fascinates me.
9. Greg (Last week: Unranked)
Let’s see if I have this correct…
Greg wanted to give Tanya her beautiful Sicilian dream day — Vespas and pasta and all of it — before he ran back home to continue his secret relationship with whoever was on the phone at the end, and he made a big deal out of how he only needs to take these “work trips” because she made him sign a prenup, which raises the very real possibility that he is just trying to sweet-talk and guilt trip her into ripping it up so he can leave with half of her fortune and go back to this other woman, but he hates doing anything with Tanya so much that he can’t even hide his displeasure for 10 minutes while they’re cruising around the beautiful Italian countryside together.
Greg has a lot going on. He’s a grifter and a scumbag and a scam artist but he’s not that good at any of it. I hope he gets so fed up with everything by the end of this trip that he just tries to steal a sculpture out of the lobby.
8. Dominic (Last week: 2)
His wife hates him. His daughter hates him. His son mostly hates him but is too much of a sweetheart to say it to his big dumb face. Two teenage Sicilian prostitutes are charging thousands of dollars worth of food and designer outfits to his room. His dad won’t stop talking to him about his failing marriage and how to properly conduct an affair without making your wife furious. The aforementioned teenage prostitutes showed up drunk on cocktails he paid for and nudged him into a hot tub threesome he had been kind of trying to avoid in a half-hearted attempt at being a better man. He’s not sleeping great.
Could be better. Could be worse. I can’t wait to see his face when he gets the bill from the hotel.
7. Valentina the Manager (Last week: 5)
The bad news here is that she has to be nice-ish to Lucia and Mia now that they’re officially signed in as guests of Dom, which has to be tearing her up inside. And she didn’t seem too happy that the staff let Tanya rent a Vespa given… you know, everything about Tanya. I still maintain that she is the most interesting character on this show. I could watch her berate the staff and shoot suspicious eyeballs at hookers all day.
I kind of want to see her apply for a job to run one of the assassin hotels from John Wick. There’s still an opening at the Italian one after the second movie. I was joking when I started typing this paragraph but I’m getting more serious as I go. This happens to me sometimes.
6. Morning people, generally (Last week: Unranked)
I have never been a morning person nor have I ever understood them. I always showed up for high school right as the first bell rang, if not a little late. I’m usually awake past midnight and just hitting my creative groove. I am basically a zombie until I have enough coffee flowing through my system that you can see my pulse through my skin. People who wake up with a natural supply of energy terrify me. What are they up to? What’s so great about waking up that they bounce out of bed at sunrise and start doing activities? It’s suspicious to me. Someone should investigate this. Not me, though. I’ll still be asleep.
In conclusion, morning people are not to be trusted.
5. Tanya (Last week: 8)
ON ONE HAND: Massively insecure. Had a meltdown in public at a restaurant after (correctly) accusing her husband of being a loser and a scumbag. Swallowed a bug.
ON THE OTHER HAND: Got to ride a Vespa and slurp some pasta before it all went sideways.
I love her very much. I do not think I would enjoy knowing her in person. Both of these can things can be true.
4. Portia the Assistant (Last week: 1)
Spent a lovely-ish day touring Italian ruins with Albie and his weird family that was capped off with a romantic dinner where she told him how she just wants a little fun and adventure and a big dumb caveman who doesn’t even know what the word “discourse” means and then that poor sweet boy asked if he could kiss her and said thank you and turned around and retreated to his hotel room because he hates the philandering male authority figures in his life so much that it has cooked his entire brain into a soup of attempted chivalry.
3. Bert (Last week: Unranked)
Just wants his whole family together for a nice trip to Sicily to discover their roots. Which will never happen. In part, because of the poison he filled his son’s head with for the last 50 years. Which is… not great, in a lot of ways. I had him all over the top ten in the drafts of this post as I put it together. I settled on three because, while he seems really bummed out about it all and couldn’t even enjoy The Godfather in peace because he could hear his son’s pathetic jacuzzi threesome through the walls of their expensive hotel, he does seem to have a terrific collection of scarves, which has to count for something.
2. Harper (Last week: 3)
- Her husband seems to have no interest in her romantically
- She hates Cameron and Daphne so much and is spending a lot of time with them in part because of the first item on this list
- Can’t even swim in peace without Cameron grabbing her ankle underwater like a shark
The takeaways here are that Harper is not having fun and that Aubrey Plaza was perfectly cast in this role, which I say as a compliment of the highest order.
1. Albie (Last week: 6)
It is generally not great when your first date with a cute girl gets sidetracked by your perpetually horny grandfather talking about ancient gods sexually assaulting humans in hell and how whatever your mopey dad did to ruin your parents’ marriage couldn’t have been quite as bad as that.
This poor, sweet boy. I want this show to do a crossover with Succession just so he and my beloved Cousin Greg can, like, go to the zoo together. I think they would enjoy it.