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White Lotus (second series).

There is always the clear risk that the second series of a successful programme will be greeted with more criticism than enthusiasm.

To overcome this you need something that is fresh but adheres to the qualities that made the series one of the most popular broadcast on Sky Atlantic.

The obvious move in every sense was the change of location so that the White Lotus luxury resort was in Sicily, not Hawaii.

One of the characters – Tanya (Jennifer Cooledge), the obese sad woman now married – was retained but it was a essentially an Italian cast with sumptuous shots of scenic Sicily.

There were new characters too but equally awful.

A rich young financier invited his college friend and tense prim lawyer wife to join his vacuous wife for a week.

There was a subtext that the financier Cameron (Thei James) and his pleasure-loving wife Daphne (Meghann Fahy) might be swingers.

There was a 80 year old man (Murray Abraham), with son (Michael Imperioli) and grandson Adam di Marco, hitting on the female staff.

Two young  prostitutes tried to infiltrate the hotel.

The gay hotel manager, one of the successes of the previous series, was replaced by a vicious Italian manageress always obliging to guests but contemptuously critical of staff.

As ever the humour, both in the dialogue and set pieces, was top notch.

There is a plot when the programme opens with dead bodies in the sea and then it flashes back a week to the group’s arrival.

However it is essentially a satire on the American super rich supposedly at play but actually not really enjoying themselves.

It really works.

I am not a  binge watcher and it’s best enjoyed on a big TV screen every Monday at 9 o’clock on Sky Atlantic.

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About Bernadette Angell

After cutting her journalistic teeth in Boston USA, Bernadette met and married an Englishman, whom she followed back to London. Two decades and three children later, they divorced. She now occupies herself as a freelance writer (credits include television soaps and radio plays) and occasional amateur gardener. More Posts