There was a tangible shift with The White Lotus season 2: Whereas the discourse for season 1 happened on Twitter, the new season saw a little more chatter on TikTok, which offers a visual template for fan theories and analysis.
That’s not necessarily a good thing: TV and film criticism on TikTok can be very obvious and oversimplified, as if not fully paying attention is just the normal mode of viewing. TikTok just doesn’t allow for very deep analysis or nuance.
And yet, the White Lotus finale, which was viewed by more than 1 million households, became a trending topic on TikTok. One that asked: “Do you know these gays?”
As soon as I saw the interaction between Tanya (Jennifer Coolidge) and the yacht’s captain, I knew a meme template had been born, and creator Mike White likely did too. Sure enough, the part where she tries to warn him, “These gays, they’re trying to murder me,” was memed. A clip posted by H. Alan Scott has more than 445,000 views.
A TikTok remix from creator Candy Moore has more than 436,000 views, and others did their own versions.
@candymoore.mp3 Please, these gays are trying to murder me 🌈 😨 #remix #whitelotus #jennifercoolidge ♬ original sound – Candy Moore
@seriouslychris #whitelotus #jennifercoolidge #whitelotusseason2finale #thewhitelotusseason2 #thewhitelotus #thewhitelotusedit #thewhitelotushbo #comedymusic #funnysong #gaycomedian🌈 ♬ original sound – Chris Chianesi
Where’s it from?
While that audio is from the finale, the whole season was dissected on TikTok, from Portia’s (Haley Lu Richardson) clothing to White’s possible inspiration for The White Lotus to the Sabrina Impacciatore’s improvised Peppa Pig line.
And then there’s the theme song, which nobody skipped.
@katbathbravo Skip intro?! No I’m good thanks 💃 #greenscreenvideo #whitelotus #hbo #rhobh #realhousewivesoftiktok #fypシ ♬ Renaissance (Main Title Theme) [from “The White Lotus: Season 2”] – Cristobal Tapia De Veer
Dad? 👁 👄 👁♬ original sound – Ryan Scott
The White Lotus was renewed for season 3, of course. A location hasn’t been announced yet, but there are theories that Daphne (Meghann Fahy) might return, especially after that finale monologue.
Why were we all so drawn to this season? Possibly the familiarity. As Louis Virtel recently tweeted, “White Lotus has Mad Men energy: Maybe something horrible will happen or maybe two people will have a weird lunch.”
But there was also some criticism of the kind of analysis happening on TikTok. As Kady Ruth Ashcraft wrote for Jezebel: “The White Lotus has given way to the wackiest, Easter-egg-pilled, low-level TikTok analyses I’ve ever seen.” But that might have more to do with the YouTube-assisted need to “solve” TV and films.