Culture / TV

15 TV shows that will fill ‘The White Lotus’ shaped hole in your heart

TV shows the white lotus

By now, you've probably tuned into the deeply dissatisfying season finale of The White Lotus. For those who haven't, I'll refrain from any spoilers. But for those among us yearning for the Sicilian coastline, Pool Club and general chaos that comes with the far off shores of our favourite resort, I offer you this list. So as Monday night rolls around, with the gaping hole we once filled with our weekly ration of The White Lotus, why not replace it with any one of these shows instead? Here you'll find a cocktail of social commentary, murder mystery and a good dollop of humour.

Read on for our list of TV shows like The White Lotus. 

Fleishman is in Trouble

Step out of the unhinged world of The White Lotus and plummet into the often nauseating world of Toby Fleishman. FX and Hulu has turned Taffy Brodesser-Akner's bestselling novel into a series starring Jesse Eisenberg, Claire Danes and Caplan. Toby's best friend Libby charts Fleishman's divorce from his wife, his success on dating apps and all the juicy details of a single 40-something doctor navigating dating in New York City. That is until she's struck by a grand realisation half way through the narrative. Expect sharp observations on misogyny, masculinity and the way they're wielded to relegate women to the background. What fun!

 

Only Murders in the Building

If you hitched a wagon to The White Lotus less so for the social satire and more for the whodunit aspect, take a dive onto this cart instead. Only Murders in the Building is the master of true crime, because at its heart is three neighbours – Steve Martin, Martin Short and Selena Gomez – who are obsessed with true crime podcasts and put their knowledge to the test when a murder happens in their own Upper West Side building. Like The White Lotus, it's second season somehow surpasses its first.

 

Industry

 

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HBO are masters at capturing the fragile dynamic of modern dwelling. Industry is the perfect example of this. Set in the aftermath of the 2008 global financial crisis, it follows young finance graduates as they transition into the cut-throat world of The City, London’s version of Wall Street. Myha'la Herrold shines.

 

The Bold Type

 

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If you can't put yourself through the drought of Meghann Fahy AKA Daphne, then the simple answer is don't. Launch yourself into another universe where Fahy plays a gunslinging wannabe stylist, who eventually snags the man with piles of cash. Sounds kind of familiar actually...

 

Veep

 

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Want to see politicians at their most craven, corrupt, incompetent, or as some would argue at their most realistic? Enter Veep. With seven seasons and a cast that includes Julia Louis-Dreyfus and Anna Chlumsky, there's plenty to chow down on.

 

The Sopranos

 

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Now, we can understand the fact that some people might miss Daphne popping up on the telly delivering lines like "he looked like Timothée Chalamet but with muscles". But if you're thinking wistfully about Michael Imperioli's Dominic Di Grasso, then you need to get that checked out. In the meantime, instead of lusting after a man with a "achilles cock", we suggest putting your time and mind to better use by finally watching The Sopranos. As a reward you get another Michael Imperioli cameo. You're welcome.

 

The Great

 

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The Great shares too many parallels with The White Lotus. It's a show where everyone is naughty, scheming and bad-mannered. There's also lots of sex, adultery and murder plots which slides in nicely with the second season. And anyway, when would we ever pass up a chance to see Nicholas Hoult on screen?

 

Nine Perfect Strangers

From the coast of Hawai'i to Taormina to the Byron Hinterland, it seems no place is safe from the tension that builds when you summon rich strangers together. Once again, we see Nicole Kidman in another compelling TV role. This time around she plays the poised wellness guru, Masha, who gives off strong Cate Blanchett/Galadriel vibes. Masha invites nine strangers to participate in her wellness program at Tranquillum house. While it's hard not to snigger at her misplaced Eastern Bloc accent, you'll soon fall silent at Kidman's power as a cult-y leader.

 

Better Things

 

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Unlike a lot of others on this list, the Fox family make for truly charming TV. Pamela Adlon plays, Sam, a single mum to three daughters, mirroring her own real-life circumstances. Positioned in LA, where Sam works as an actor, the family, along with their nutty grandmother, navigate the narcissistic, navel-gazing hubbub around them. What ensues is a hilarious, moving and chaotic sketch of motherhood, devoid of clichéd storylines.

 

Little Fires Everywhere

If you winced at Jennifer Coolidge's character arc in season one of The White Lotus, prepare for the full body cringe that Reese Witherspoon's character will no doubt elicit. Witherspoon plays a white, middle-class, meddling mother that becomes obsessed by a guarded Black artist (played by Kerry Washington) and her daughter. Throughout the series, Witherspoon tries to orchestrate proximity between herself and Washington, at one point offering her a role as 'House Manager'. Cringe – there it is! As you can imagine, drama ensues.

 

Succession

 

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What do you get when you're rich and you mix family and business? Succession, obviously. There's a lot to love and a lot to hate watch. But isn't that the reason we tuned into The White Lotus anyway?

 

Big Little Lies

 

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Another Liane Moriarty book-turned-TV-series. Big Little Lies is immediately a hit, thanks to its star-studded cast that features Meryl Streep, Nicole Kidman, Laura Dern, Zoe Kravitz, Reese Witherspoon and Shailene Woodley. It's rich person drama with a West Coast edge. Add on a side of murder-mystery and you've got our attention.

 

The Undoing

 

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Another whodunit series, this time zeroing in on a mega-wealthy Upper East Side family played by Hugh Grant and Nicole Kidman. Hugh Grant's endearing Englishness is weaponised to mask something far more odious than the two-timing sexcapades of Daniel Cleaver. Gripping, sickening, it's a tale of how the powerful and privileged are shielded by their streams of gold and silver. And just when you think you've made your mind up, new evidence surfaces to cast doubt on everything you thought to be true.

 

Schitt's Creek

 

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Take a break from dramas centering awful rich people and opt for this comedy blatantly poking fun at them instead. Watch on as the recently bankrupt Rose family are forced to uproot to a motel in the middle of Schitts Creek – a town Johnny Rose, the dad, bought years ago as a joke. As it turns out, the joke is solely on them as they try to adjust to their new way of life.

 

Olive Kitteridge

 

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Frances McDormand brings the severe and painstakingly pragmatic character of Olive Kitteridge to life. Based off Elizabeth Strout's novel of the same name, the four-part miniseries is a story of womanhood and class told from below. We follow school teacher Olive as she steers her husband and son in their seaside town of Crosby, Maine. Bleak and stony scenes are broken up with Richard Jenkins warmth and Bill Murray's wit.

 

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