Enlightened: S1

enlightenedWhat an absolute surprise this sleeper HBO series Enlightened has been to me. I heard no buzz on it. I can’t remember how I found it. All I remember is thinking, “new show with Laura Dern, I’ll give it a whirl.” So happy I did. Dern stars as Amy – fresh from rehab in Hawaii, divorced from her husband, and living with her Mom until she gets back on her feet. Mom’s played by Dern’s real-life mother, Diane Ladd. Ex-husband’s played remarkably well by normally clean-cut Luke Wilson. The reason Amy went to rehab stems from an inappropriate series of mistakes at the office. When she returns, they give her a job back, just not the one she left. Instead she’s relegated to the basement doing data entry with other misfits the company couldn’t afford to fire. And that is just the beginning. Half-hour episodes make this easy to digest. Created by Mike White (Chuck & Buck) and Dern, this is very smart, sophisticated comedy along the lines of United States of Tara, Nurse Jackie, and The Big C. White also produces, co-stars, and writes every episode. The directors for the first ten episodes reads like a who’s who of people you’d want to direct your own television series – Miguel Arteta, Nicole Holofcener, Jonathan Demme, and Todd Haynes. Enlightened is  a slow burn. You’re not sure where it’s headed and not sure if you’re really supposed to root for Dern’s Amy. That’s half the fun of this lovely show. 4.5 out of 5 for the first season with a kick-ass cliffhanger.

6/15/2018: Mike White is a genius. Watching Enlightened a second time makes me love it even more. It holds up, challenges your perception of what a half-hour comedy is supposed to be. Make you fall in love all over again with Laura Dern. Makes you happy to be a thinking, conscious, aware human being. Enlightened becomes a battle cry for privileged, white America. A wake-up call. Raising my rating to 5 out of 5.

Currently streaming on Amazon Prime.

2 Responses to “Enlightened: S1”

  1. Uncle Barb Says:

    This looks great! Thanks


  2. Reel Charlie’s Best of 2013 | Reel Charlie Says:

    […] of S3 was nearly the end for me, but S4 redeemed the series to great costume drama comfort food. Enlightened S1/2 – Laura Dern searches for the meaning of life and boy am I glad she invited us along for the ride. […]


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