The White Lotus: 4 Characters I'd Like To See Return Like Jennifer Coolidge

Jennifer Coolidge eating pasta in The White Lotus Season 2
(Image credit: HBO)

HBO has always been a hub for quality TV, and Mike White's acclaimed comedy The White Lotus is no exception. The anthology series recently returned for Season 2 (with a killer new opening credits) for those with an HBO Max subscription. The show features mostly a new cast, but brought back the truly iconic Jennifer Coolidge as Tanya McQuoid. She won an Emmy for her role in Season 1, but there are a few more White Lotus characters I'd like to see return in a similar fashion. Yes, I'm basically hoping for a White Lotus cinematic universe, can you blame me?

Since the White Lotus hotels are a 5-star franchise that are seemingly all over the world, there's a seemingly endless pool of talent and locations for Mike White (who is a Survivor alum) to pull from for future installments. And while I want Jennifer Coolidge to continue starring as Tonya (possibly alongside Jon Gries' Greg Hunt) I wouldn't hate seeing some other familiar faces in future seasons. Although full disclosure: I'm including some Season 2 characters in here without knowing who was killed in the ongoing mystery involving the cold open. Still, we're a number of episodes in and my favorite characters are rising to the top. 

Jolene Purdy as Lani in The White Lotus

(Image credit: HBO)

Lani (Jolene Purdy)

The very first episode of The White Lotus gave a ton of focus to Jolene Purdy's character Lani, who was a new employee working alongside Murray Barlett's Armond. Throughout that wild first adventure through the comedy series, we learn that Lani is hiding a pregnancy, taking the job at the hotel for the medical benefits. And the episode ends with her giving birth in Armond's office, in a truly iconic and bonkers set of events.

Unfortunately, we never got to find out what happened to Lani. The character never returned to The White Lotus during Season 1, which was a major bummer-- especially given the charming performance given by Jolene Purdy. But maybe we could see her return if Lani got transfered to another location? 

Michael Imperioli arguing in The White Lotus Season 2

(Image credit: HBO)

Dominic Di Grasso (Michael Imperioli)

Part of what makes The White Lotus such a great show is the stellar ensemble cast that Mike White has managed to assemble for both of its seasons so far. Season 2 definitely didn't drop the ball in that regard. Case in point: The Sopranos and Goodfellas icon Michael Imperioli as Hollywood producer Dominic Di Grasso. 

Since we're fairly early into Season 2 of The White Lotus, it remains to be seen how this character will play out (and if he even survives the season). Still, Imperioli is providing an intriguing performance of a troubled, complex man. And I personally would love to see him return in a future installment of the burgeoning anthology franchise. 

Molly Shannon smiling in The White Lotus

(Image credit: HBO)

Kitty Patton (Molly Shannon)

It's well known that Molly Shannon is a bit of a muse for Mike White. The two have collaborated on a number of projects over the years, including his directorial debut Year of the Dog. So it was no surprise when she ended up appearing in the first season of The White Lotus as Kitty Patton. 

Kitty wasn't in every episode of the first season, and we had to wait and earn the chance to meet her character. But the SNL icon arrived and lit up the screen, perfectly portraying the show's commentary on privilege in the process. And since we saw so little of her, and she was a fan of the White Lotus property, maybe Shannon's Kitty could return in a future season.

Sabrina Impacciatore at the desk in The White Lotus Season 2

(Image credit: HBO)

Valentina (Sabrina Impacciatore) 

Another character from The White Lotus Season 2 who is really tickling me is Valentina, played by Italian actress/comedian Sabrina Impacciatore. She continues the trend of surly managers of the hotel, picking up where Murray Barlett's Amond left off in Season 1. And since we already know that she's not a dead body on the beach, it seems like she could easily return in a future installment of the HBO comedy series.

Throughout the first two episodes we've seen Valentina admonish her coworkers, feud with guests and locals alike, and unintentionally offend the folks staying in the five-star hotel. And I'd love to see her back in another location of the hotel franchise, which could allow her to logically return. It remains to be seen if any of the other actors will get the Jennifer Coolidge treatment, but one can dream. Although I'd watch countless seasons of Tanya and her antics at resorts. 

The White Lotus airs new episodes Sundays on HBO. Be sure to check out the TV premiere list to plan your next binge watch. 

Corey Chichizola
Movies Editor

Corey was born and raised in New Jersey. Double majored in theater and literature during undergrad. After working in administrative theater for a year in New York, he started as the Weekend Editor at CinemaBlend. He's since been able to work himself up to reviews, phoners, and press junkets-- and is now able to appear on camera with some of his famous actors... just not as he would have predicted as a kid.