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: Portia (wanted an adventure and got one in the form of a rowdy English boy who makes unrelenting eye contact); Tanya (having a blast with Quentin and the boys); Bert (stumbled upon half-naked girls in his room and didn’t seem to mind); Matteo (just a terrific mustache on this guy, no notes); Cam (I don’t know why but I feel like he’s the one who ends up in that body bag we saw in the premiere); Jack the Naughty Nephew (there are worse things in life than traveling to beautiful resorts with your fun uncle and his friends and picking up cute American girls with your special underpants); Isabella at the Front Desk (we’ll get into this one more in a second); Rocco (I love him); the people who work at the jewelry store in town (between Dom and Valentina, they probably did real well on commissions this week).
10. (tie) Daphne (Last week: 10)
Has trouble making female friends because they all talk behind her back. Had a decent time with Harper doing edibles in a luxurious villa and then Harper went back to the hotel and… talked about her behind her back. Husband woke up next to two prostitutes who he couldn’t pay in full and will have to leave an envelope for after he goes to the bank. Knew a guy who dropped dead running a 5k. Really just a lot going on behind those massive sunglasses of hers.
And yet, despite all that, despite the cheating and the subterfuge and her targeted exploitation of her husband’s crippling FOMO, they ended the episode snuggled in bed and smooching like it was all fine. They either have the most healthy relationship on the show or the least, depending what prism you look at it through. They fascinate me very much and I do not want to spend a single minute with them in person.
10. (tie) Valentina the Manager (Last week: 9)
It is probably not the best thing for the manager of a hotel to start showering her cute front desk employees with jewelry and attention and longing looks that imply a borderline infatuation. I say probably only because I do not know if the rules are different in Italy. I suspect they are not. Valentina has been having a weird go of it so far between feeding local cats and chasing away various prostitutes and male suitors at coffee shops and yelling at poor Rocco, and now she needs to find a new piano player too, at least in the short term, which, in a way, still involves chasing away a prostitute.
She’s got a lot on her plate. I’m going to cut her some slack with the inappropriate gift-giving. For now. But this will get more weird before it gets anywhere near normal. Poor Isabella.
9. Mia (Last week: Unranked)
- Getting kind of into the idea of prostitution
- Sneaking into people’s rooms for a shower and then giggling a lot when they barge in on her in various states of undress
- Trying to have sex with creepy piano players in empty churches in a very sad attempt to further her singing career because, like, how many connections could Giuseppe have when his career has topped out at “playing a rotating list of standards in the restaurant of a hotel in Sicily while wealthy people ignore him between bites of pasta”?
- Just shoving pills into the guy’s face with little regard for what they are or do or interact with each other
- Immediately angling for the gig as the lounge singer as the man she basically poisoned was being hauled out by paramedics
This has been quite the ride for Mia. She might start strangling cats by the end of the season. I’m a little terrified of her.
8. Dominic (Last week: 7)
One of my favorite things so far this season has been just watching the faces Dom makes as everything around him goes sideways. The man might sigh more than anyone else on television right now. He has his reasons, too, I guess, between his dad constantly peppering him with terrible advice and his son having open contempt for him and everything he stands for. And then there’s the thing where his sweet son was making out with one of the prostitutes he hired, in the middle of the bar, in front of a lot of people who know she’s a prostitute, a few of whom she has slept with, without any knowledge that she has in the past slept with people for money.
I am already cringing about the reveal here, where Albie discovers that the nice Italian girl he just met and had a fun fling with had, as recently as a few days ago, participated in a jacuzzi threesome with his father. I am almost certain Bert is going to be the one who spills the beans. It’s going to be very awkward. I might look away.
7. Falling under the spell of a person with an English accent (Last week: Unranked)
This is a real thing that happens to Americans. We hear someone with an English accent and we just start melting into puddles on the floor. Any kind of English accent. Look at Tanya talking to Quentin and just adoring this lovely gay gentleman with the fancy way of speaking. Look at Portia get all sparkly in the eyes when Jack the Naughty Nephew starts chatting her up with his streetwise turns of phrase and diabolical sexy underpants. Neither of them ever stood a chance.
But yeah, we can’t deal with that. I don’t know why. It’s a thing. An attractive English woman could walk into my kitchen today and steal my oven and be like “I’ll just be off with this then, love” and I don’t think it would dawn on me to report it to the police for two or three days.
6. Lucia (Last week: Unranked)
Lucia and Mia are kind of like two lines on a graph crossing each other to make a big X, with Mia going from shy/sweet to kind of murdering piano players and Lucia going from streetwise call girl to meeting doe-eyed American boys and hooking up with them in bars in part to make other girls a little jealous. She just wants to open a store and settle down. It’s kind of like she’s having a midlife crisis, which is not super ideal considering she’s like 22 years old. We will continue to monitor this.
5. Giuseppe the Piano Man (Last week: Unranked)
We covered most of his day in the section about Mia — tried to have sex with a prostitute in a church, couldn’t perform, took a handful of unmarked pills she gave him, ended up getting hauled out of the hotel by EMTs after collapsing on the floor — but the biggest and funniest kick in the pants in all of it was all the guests looking at him as he dumped sweat off his entire head and butchered the song “L-O-V-E” and being like “ugh, he’s even worse than usual tonight.”
4. Albie (Last week: 6)
Quick run through Albie’s day:
- Got blown off by Portia for their little hangout date and watched her get all wobbly-kneed in front of Jack and his tattoos
- Was described by Portia as “so sweeeet” with the same tone of voice one would use to describe a cute little woodland creature
- Got openly pressured by his dad to fix his parents’ message
- Hooked up with a fun Italian girl who as recently as a few nights ago slept with his father
This poor goof. Even when he has a good day, it’s only a matter of time before the guillotine hanging over him falls. I hope he snaps and starts getting a bunch of aggressive tattoos. Maybe a leather jacket. Sunglasses. Starts walking around with a snake wrapped around his arm. Anything to mix it up a little.
3. That Swedish Lady Who Got Heaved Into the Ocean By the Mafia (Last week: Unranked)
Please do not throw me onto the rocks and steal my island. I do not think I would enjoy that. Yes, sure, technically I do not own an island right now, which makes that first sentence I typed kind of a moot point. But still. Maybe I will someday. Probably safe to get this one on the record now, just to be safe.
2. Ethan (Last week: 1)
The problem Ethan has here is twofold. The first part is that Harper found that condom wrapper in the couch and is now extremely suspicious that her shy/nice husband is falling under the spell of Cam and his wandering groin and the two of them are going to start having wild nights with champagne and women and all the things she despises in the world, even though in reality, Ethan did the right thing and turned down Mia’s advances and went to bed while Cam entertained both girls. Which is not ideal.
The second part of this problem is that he’s dealing with this first thing between bouts of hangover-induced nausea. This is also not ideal. He doesn’t even realize how much trouble he’s in yet. He will, though, as soon as he goes to puke again and see the wrapper on the sink. And then he’s going to have to try to sell “No, actually I didn’t do anything with either of the prostitutes but I still lied about it because Cam said ‘bro code’ even though both of us and Daphne know he cheats a lot.”
Ethan’s vacation is going to get a lot worse very soon.
1. Harper (Last week: 2)
That is not the face of a woman who is having fun in Sicily.