Fool’s Paradise – The New York Times


I try to lead a pop-cultural life with no regrets, but a few Sundays ago, in an almost postprandial runaway after watching “The White Lotus,” I did something I wish I could take back.

I read every comment, every fan hypothesis, every impeccably researched theory about how the season went in the post-show thread on Reddit.

I had no intention of spoiling the show for myself. I just wanted to get together with (or hide among) fellow enthusiasts, to enjoy the glorious and increasingly rare experience of treating an episode of a show in real time, right after it airs, before the rest of the internet has caught on with it.

Instead, I came out of a mind-blowing hour (or was it three?) of reading certain that I knew exactly how the season would unfold, who would double-cross who, who would live, and who would meet a watery death. (That there is, indeed, a watery death in prospect was established in the season premiere episode.)

While I wish I hadn’t walked into Reddit’s Lotus sleuthing lair, I don’t regret the other mildly obsessive – but mostly plot-preserving – fan search I conducted.

I’m glad I listened to this week’s “Fresh Air” interview with show creator Mike White, in which he discussed how his love for “Fantasy Island”, “The Love Boat” and “Laverne & Shirley” informed this season. I’m also glad I tracked down White’s favorite books (he, like Torrey Peters, who spoke to The Morning earlier this year, loves Halldor Laxness’ ‘Independent People’) and saved many of them from the library. . I brilliantly read this interview with Simona Tabasco, who plays Lucia, and listened to this episode of “Las Culturistas” with Meghann Fahy, who plays Daphne. I watched Aubrey Plaza respond to fans on social media and saw Jennifer Coolidge’s charming Emmy acceptance speech again.

I’m happy to learn more about the people who make the show that I find so fascinating. I just wish I hadn’t let my fandom lead me into the neon-lit land of conspiracy spoliation.

And that’s how my excitement for tomorrow’s finale of “The White Lotus” is mixed with grief and relief. I’m sad to say ciao to the enchanting views of Sicily; to the characters I wondered about as if I knew them personally; to what has become, for me, date television. But I can’t wait to finally solve the mysteries of this season and, maybe even more, to watch next season spoiler-free.

  • “The White Lotus” is “positively haunted by the films and the fantasies they engender”, writes Carina Chocano in The Times.

  • F. Murray Abraham and Michael Imperioli caught Covid at the same time while filming in Sicily.

  • The series’ costume designer discusses dressing Gen Z characters.

  • “If, on a fine day, the unsuspecting visitor wanders up to the parapet to admire the view, cardiac arrest may be the reward.” From 1979, “The Scenic Overkill of Taormina”, the city where this season of “The White Lotus” was filmed.

🍿 “Avatar: the way of water” (Friday): Several weeks later than seemingly everyone else in my life, I finally saw “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever.” Many of the antagonists in this film are blue humanoids who live underwater, so I feel pretty ready for the “Avatar” sequel, which is partly about blue humanoids who live underwater. (If you haven’t already, please read this incredibly entertaining GQ profile of James Cameron, the director of the “Avatar” films.)

📺 “Kindred” (Tuesday): In this FX series, based on Octavia Butler’s classic novel, a black woman finds herself slipping through time between the present and a plantation in the pre-war South. The series was adapted for television by playwright Branden Jacobs-Jenkins, whose “An Octoroon” is one of the great American plays of recent decades. (Want to learn more about Butler, a true master of science fiction? Try our list of his essential books.)

Have you been planning on baking festive treats for your friends and neighbors? Geneviève Ko’s Chocolate Hazelnut Cookies would be a great choice. Her contribution to our Cookie Week epic, these elegant confections feature bittersweet buttery rounds filled with chocolate hazelnut spread and sprinkled with toasted hazelnuts. If you can, hand them out the day they are made, when the contrast between the silky filling and the crispy cookie base is most pronounced. But if that’s not practical, fear not: they’re still quite wonderful, albeit a little softer in texture, up to two days later. Note that this recipe makes a small batch, so if your cookie giveaway circle is large, consider doubling the yield. All extras will not be lost.

A selection of recipes from The New York Times is available for all readers. Please consider a kitchen subscription for full access.

Anti-stress tip: here’s how to really enjoy the holidays.

On the lookout: A profusion of symptoms and their sudden onset are signs of flu in children.

Stand-up out of competition: Watch the best comedy of the year.

The essential of the wardrobe: Find the perfect black pants.

Gift exchanges like Secret Santas and white elephant exchanges can be fun and festive, but also stressful. Nothing stifles holiday cheer like budget shopping for a stranger. But the tradition doesn’t have to feel overwhelming. Wirecutter has ideas both when you know the recipient and when it’s free-for-all. The key is to choose a gift that everyone might like – something useful and a little whimsical, like a fancy 3-pound bucket of sea salt or a box of pickle dressings. If you’re exchanging gifts with a more serious crew, try one-size-fits-all tech gadgets like touchscreen gloves or a wireless charger. —Hannah Morrill

Boston Celtics vs. Golden State Warriors, NBA: When these teams met in the Finals last year, the Celtics were a defensive force (but not strong enough to stop Stephen Curry). This year, the Celtics are even better, but instead of the best defense in the league, they have the best attack in history. Their young star Jayson Tatum is a favorite for MVP, and the team is on course to set a record three-pointer. The NBA is only about a quarter into its season, so the Celtics may not be able to maintain that pace, but for now, they are the team to beat. 8:30 p.m. Eastern Time tonight on ABC.



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