‘The White Lotus’ returns for Season 2, slowed down and sexed up
The only way to describe Bong Joon Ho’s “The White Lotus,” the Korean directorial debut of the writer/director who made “Snowpiercer” and “The Host” for Netflix, is to say it’s like one of those post-holocaust stories about a group of survivors all wearing white or white-and-orange uniforms, in which something happens that changes the world forever.
This version of the legend — not the original — has its origins in a story about a legendary woman who made it into Korea without ever leaving her village of Namwon. The legend goes, one day, when the woman was riding on a horse, her horse veering from where it was going to gallop down the steep slope of a hill, she fell to her death. She must’ve gotten a little too close to the edge of the cliff, though, because to this day, there’s no sign of her corpse, and the hillside is in a state of perpetual mourning. (Korean legend.)
In the “White Lotus” version, the woman’s horse dies, and her ghost is reborn into the modern era as a woman who is an expert at making waffles. But she’s not exactly human (and she’s got a penchant for using waffles as weapons) and she can’t cook because she doesn’t even know how! The waffles-as-weapon thing is an especially interesting idea, as waffles are typically considered a healthy, light appetizer. If that’s the case, why do the ghosts of all the women who ever died in childbirth look like waffles?
Anyway, a group of Korean kids have been taking it upon themselves to remake the legendary woman, who’s now in their village, and when they do, they come up with a recipe for waffles, which they all agree to sell for the money they’re expecting to make in their new business venture.
But first, they have to find the right woman. And they do, not by her ghostly appearance, but by her name. She’s got a “White Lotus” on her license plate, and her car is a classic white or orange car — or more specifically, a classic VW Beetle convertible with white top —