Jennifer Coolidge White Lotus Deserves Awards

If you’re on The White Lotus bandwagon, you’ve had your heart stolen then smacked around a bunch by Tanya McQuoid, played with absolute brilliance by Jennifer Coolidge.

This is definitely not her first rodeo, but people are trumpeting mad accolades in her direction with a renewed zest.

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Jennifer Coolidge deserves all of that as well as all the awards.

🚨Warning: MAJOR spoilers ahead for The White Lotus!🚨

Viewers really ~resonate~ with Tanya.

Jennifer Coolidge as Tanya on #TheWhiteLotus breaks my heart a little more every time she steals another scene. And the show music is like another character. So good!

Twitter: @LisaTant

So let’s dive into some specific reasons why Jennifer knocked her role of Tanya out of the park.


She captured every nuance of a complicated mother-daughter relationship.

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Viewers couldn’t help but laugh at the ridiculousness of Tanya carrying those ashes around (and sometimes misplacing them), but when she got into the brass tacks of her relationship with her mom, the blend of veneration, horror, scars, and uncertainty was ultimately relatable. 


Her “core of the onion” speech was heartbreaking, hysterical, and so REAL all at once.


Jennifer dances the line between hilarity and heartbreak like no one else. Tanya bares her whole soul to potential suitor Greg in a tumbling word-waterfall of insecurities, honesty, and vulnerability, expecting that anyone would be scared away by her messiness. In the end she still gets laid! I gotta say, Greg made a good call. 


Jennifer dragged herself out of a year of “self-destructing” in lockdown to deliver one of the most memorable performances of the year.


She’s been playing iconic characters for decades without the recognition she deserves.

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She basically originated the concept of MILF as Stifler’s Mom in American Pie, and has had us belly-laughing with star turns in Christopher Guest movies like Best in Show and A Mighty Wind, as well as Legally Blonde. Apparently HBO passed on a different series Mike White wrote for her, and well, the comeuppance has arrived. (Fingers crossed that show gets made!)


Her delivery. Just the way she says things… Even her sighs contain layers and layers of emotional depth.

HBO / Via

Fraught with hesitation, insecurity, the tenuous power of being a rich, white woman, her turns of phrase speak volumes. Lines like, “Hmm, that’s a lot of sugar,” followed shortly by, “Okay,” are inane but perfect — even something as ridiculous as, “Death is the ultimate immersive experience,” sounds right from her.


She has just the right level of kook… almost over the top, just grounded enough.


Tanya is a character who could have easily gone flying into the ethers with excessive quirkiness, but Coolidge anchors her with heart and a true genuineness behind her often wild words and behaviors.


Her interactions with Paula and Olivia.


She was the spot-on embodiment of an out-of-touch Boomer-type trying and failing to relate to the resort “cool girls” (though yes, they were also on ketamine). She did end up being their hero after sharing that she found and turned in their backpack, so Tanya saw some redemption. All of their interactions were total *chef’s kiss*. 


The way she makes even the zaniest wardrobe look perfect.


I would love to take a couple tours of Tanya’s closet. Whether she’s decked out in a full-length metallic gown, funereal garb, or tropical fabulous, Coolidge manages to look put together while semi falling apart at the seams. 


Even when you hate what she’s doing, she plays Tanya with such humanity within her flaws, it’s hard to totally hate her.


Tanya playing Belinda was the absolute worst, but she coupled it with a twinkling of insight toward her penchant for “transactional relationships.” Misguided as her revelations may be, Coolidge plays her as almost drowning in her flaws (nearly literally with the alcohol) and that evokes at least a touch of understanding from the viewer. 


And yet somehow, she’s never been nominated for an Emmy or other major award!

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She did snag a 2005 Teen Choice Award for “Best Movie Sleazebag” in A Cinderella Story, but she’s been an unsung hero for too long and it’s high time she gets something shiny for her great work (and that brings more nuanced and plentiful roles to come!).

What do you think about Jennifer’s moment in the sun? Let us know in the comments!

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