Trouble in Paradise! ‘Fantasy Island’ & More of TV’s Drama-Filled Summer Escapes
Looking for a TV getaway this summer? Plenty of new programs are taking viewers to paradise — though we’d rather watch these vacationers than join them. Scroll down for the dramatic warm weather fun below.
The White Lotus
The setting: An exclusive Hawaiian resort, run by fussy manager Armond (Murray Bartlett). The six-episode satire follows workers and vacationers as their lives collide over the course of one week.
The guests: The well-to-do Mossbachers (Connie Britton and Steve Zahn) and their kids, lonely singleton Tanya McQuoid (Jennifer Coolidge), and newlyweds Shane and Rachel Patton (Jake Lacy and Alexandra Daddario) check in on the premiere.
The problems: For starters, the Pattons may be second-guessing marriage, and Britton’s type-A mom is driving her family away. As the days pass, “a darker complexity emerges in these picture-perfect travelers,” hints creator Mike White (Enlightened).
The White Lotus, Season Premiere, Sunday, July 11, 9/8c, HBO
The setting: The same tropical getaway central to ABC’s iconic 1977–84 Aaron Spelling series, now run by Elena Roarke (Roselyn Sanchez), a descendant of original purveyor Mr. Roarke (Ricardo Montalbán). The coordinates have always been top secret, so the only way to get there is by “de plane.”
The guests: Because this reboot is sticking to the classic’s anthology vibe, expect weekly turnover. Bellamy Young (Prodigal Son) books passage in the pilot as a morning-show host looking to seriously cheat on her diet.
The problems: Getting what you ask for! As in the original (and its darker, short-lived 1998 iteration), Elena’s clients all want to fulfill some sort of wish. But that pesky magical island often has other intentions.
Fantasy Island, Season Premiere, Tuesday, August 10, Time TBD, Fox
Nine Perfect Strangers
The setting: The chichi wellness spa Tranquillum House, where enigmatic director Masha (Nicole Kidman) tells visitors, “You want to heal? Surrender yourself to me.”
The guests: Like Big Little Lies, the other bestseller turned drama series from writer Liane Moriarty, Strangers features an A-list ensemble cast, this one including Melissa McCarthy (also an exec producer) as struggling romance novelist Frances, Luke Evans as gay divorce lawyer Lars, and Regina Hall as single mom Carmel.
The problems: Grief, guilt, heartache, and faded youth are just some of the emotional ills Masha’s uncertain subjects are looking to battle over eight episodes.
Nine Perfect Strangers, Series Premiere, Wednesday, August 18, Hulu