Daphne Is the MVP of ‘The White Lotus’

Here’s an incomplete list of things Daphne Babcock wants me to do: stop watching the news, get a personal trainer, get something to eat in a baroque Italian square, build a marriage based on a balance of trust and maneuvering. She makes me want to move to Italy (or at least travel to Italy and wear cheap clothes by the pool). I must be learning all the wrong lessons White lotus.

In the show’s second season, Daphne (Megan Fahey) was introduced as the wife of Cameron (Theo James), who was on vacation with her college friend Ethan (Will Sharp) and his wife Harper (Aubrey Plaza). For reasons that will never be known, they decide to vacation together at the White Lotus Stadium in Sicily (a fictitious set of real-life filming locations for the Four Seasons). Is there anything in tech besides male co-working? Fortunately, show creator Mike White doesn’t seem too interested in industry analysis — the pair have little in common. Daphne and Cameron love all the bad things in life: not voting, true crime, cheating on each other. Harper and Ethan have a worldview (read: miserable).

It was easy to write off Daphne as an airhead when the season started Ted Lasso fan Harper is easier to find and more interesting. (Unfortunately, neither of these guys show up: Ethan is too eager, and Cameron is just plain gross.) Plaza closes her eyes to marvel at her role; He is disgusted by the world and even more disgusted by how the rich can drown these problems in nice hotels. This worldview has its limits and you sense that Daphne has long since abandoned such delusions. He must have never worked under them. Instead, Daphne sees the world White lotusAll its five-star trappings are what it is: a gorgeous, restrained, and downright fun ride.

There was a lot of talk about gear shifting White lotus Season 2. White’s focus shifts from privilege (of all kinds) to sexual politics, evident in three main events; The Central Four and their deceptions, the intergenerational drama of the Di Grasso family, and Tanya’s ongoing struggles with her husband. The second season is just as soapy, goofy, and sexy, but it doesn’t really read like a joke anymore. It’s even better: the first season would have said something about how the rich treat others (badly), but that joke quickly wore off.

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Daphne is the most compelling character in that updated range because she understands the game so well. Is Cameron going to party with the locals? He will rent a villa for the night. Are there unresolved sexual tensions in the group? Well, he flirts with a (muscular) masseuse like Timothee Chalamet and avoids their nonsense. It shouldn’t work, but it does. All of this must be exhausting, but Daphne and Cameron’s conversations about misbehavior, honesty, and white lies are inspiring.

There is definitely a dark side. Daphne’s obsession with true crime, her spiritual home The date, may be true to his contemporaries, but he takes it a step further. “Husbands kill their wives a lot on vacation,” he told the table before diving to his death. “He’s going to deoxygenate her while she’s underwater. More happens than you think.” It makes him even more of a joy to watch, and in a show that revels in awkwardness, he’s a character who takes things too far on purpose.

Her coping mechanisms may not be endorsed by the therapist, but they seem grounded in reality. In her character’s standout moment, Daphne advises Harper to get a trainer, which apparently translates to get someone nice and good-looking on the side to help her forget about her cheating husband. It’s a strangely poignant moment, a sign of its realism and malleability. He refuses to sympathize, and the wonderful thing is that you really admire him. None of this would be possible without Fahy, the best part of the teenage fashion magazine drama Bright typeInterrupted by a murderous man who elevates each scene with a sense of indifference.

The Sicilian adventure comes to an end next week as we learn the identity of the victim(s) and the killer(s). Daphne, who survives, is the only undead character; In the season opener, he finds bodies floating in the ocean. It warms my heart to know that out of all the hotel guests, the one who will enjoy watching this show the most is Daphne, a true crime fan. And multiple bodies? Even better: she likes to make pancakes.

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