In Mike White’s modern take on Upstairs/Downstairs (or Downton Abbey), HBO’s The White Lotus, the uber-wealthy and ultra clueless arrive at a Hawaiian luxury resort but unfortunately they pack themselves along for the journey.
Seattle-based creative studio Plains of Yonder teamed with HBO on the series main-title sequence, which tells subtle stories through images of the type of wallpaper the guests might see at the resort.
Initially, the scenes reflect the luxury suites at the hotel where the guests are staying: Palm, Hibiscus, Pineapple and Tradewinds. But as the sequence moves along, the viewer can see that the depicted scenes aren’t as pleasant as they initially seem. Highly endangered Hawaiian Honeycreepers flit through the scenes while phallic-looking fruit rots on the vine. A team of outrigger rowers struggle to overcome insurmountable waves, while a fish finds its end in a tangle of venomous tentacles.
The images are metaphors for many of the show’s stories in which the guests trample—whether intentionally, in the case of at least one, or not, in the case of others—all over those who are paid to serve them.
The limited series, which was just renewed for season two, is currently airing Sunday nights on HBO and streaming on HBO Max.
Series Created, Directed, Written By: Mike White
Series Executive Producers: Mike White, David Bernad, Nick Hall
Series Co-Executive Producer: Mark Kamine
Series Co-Producer: Tim Stormer
Creative Studio: Plains of Yonder
Main Title Directors: Katrina Crawford, Mark Bashore
Main Title Concept and Art Direction: Katrina Crawford, Mark Bashore
Illustrator: Lezio Lopes
Visual Effects and Animation: Simon Mowbray, Where The Buffalo Roam
Editors: Mark Bashore & Katrina Crawford
Music: Cristobal Tapia de Veer
Executive Producer, Plains Of Yonder: Jennifer Senkler