By “The White Lotus” Season 2 Episode 5, Tanya is so distraught with her relationship with Greg that she tells Portia she reached out to a divorce lawyer to get the marriage annulled — but even the HBO series’ biggest fans might not know how this subtle name drop connects to creator Mike White.
“You know, I talked to Billy Offer last night about getting the marriage annulled,” Tanya said at breakfast with Portia before the pair sail off to Palermo with Quentin and his nephew, Jack, lamenting “how did I not see the signs, Portia ?”
As it turns out, in real life Billy Offer works in the Indie Film Group at United Talent Agency (UTA) — and his father, Robert Offer, is Mike White’s entertainment lawyer.
“Robert Offer has been my lawyer for over 25 years and I have known Billy since he was a toddler,” White told TheWrap over email. “A perk of writing a TV series is giving shout outs to people I love and respect!”
“[Mike is a] good friend and a long, long-time client, and we’re huge fans of the show,” Robert Offer told TheWrap in a separate statement. “We all had a nice smile in our house watching the show, which we do religiously every weekend… It was fun to hear our son’s name mentioned in the episode because we love the show and we love Mike.”
As it turns out, these kinds of meta-nods are a specialty of White’s in “The White Lotus.” The series made another sneaky Hollywood cameo in its premiere when Laura Dern (who starred in White’s previous HBO series “Enlightened”) was heard on the phone as Dominic’s (Michael Imperioli) estranged wife, Abby, and the Season 2 opener also featured a cameo from White’s fellow “survivor” colleagues.
White also planted several references to classic Italian cinema in the season’s early episodes, including spoken tributes to “The Godfather” and Italian actress Monica Vitti, as well as a more subtle visual reference to 1960 Italian drama “L’avventura.”
As Harper and Daphne walk along the streets of Noto during their girls-only excursion, Daphne runs an errand and Harper soon gains the attention of dozens of men who circle her and gaze intently. While filming “The White Lotus” scene, White stayed true to a scene in “L’avventura,” in which Italian men stare at Vitti in the same courtyard.
New episodes of “The White Lotus” Season 2 air on Sundays on HBO and stream on HBO Max.