I really love the show Enlightened. It’s on HBO, after Girls (or before-- I’m not sure actually), and apparently no one watches it. It seems like there won’t be a 3rd season. It’s sad because the show is amazing.
It took me a few episodes to “get” it. I wasn’t sure if I was into it or bored or what. I loved it. It’s kind of a lot to take – super emotional and honest and earnest. There’s not really any sex and if there are drugs they’re sad, not cool. Laura Dern, who I believe is a national treasure, is as usual, incredible. She’s so bad ass! Is that lame, to say bad ass? I think so. She’s the best actress ever and her character is both insufferable and loveable. I feel like every character on the show sort of forces you to recognize some uncomfortable elements of yourself. It’s like reading your horoscope or going to therapy.
Enlightened is based more on the limits of connection and relationships than actual connections. One time I was watching it alone while eating udon noodles and I actually covered my face and said,“Oh my god no," out loud. It was too sensitive. I was feeling too much. You (I) want to protect all of the characters even if they’re being really selfish or whatever. They’re fragile. Amy (Laura Dern) does a lot of voiceovers throughout the show. At first I felt like it was a really cheesy device until one of them made me cry. It’s effective and honest and about her being alone. Hey, guess what? We’re all alone all of the time.
I don’t really want to go into plot because I feel you should just watch it. But basically, the show is about Amy, who worked at a pharmaceutical company, had a mental breakdown and went to a spiritual rehab place in Hawaii. She’s meditated and "found" herself. She was on a journey and now she’s back. Amy is living at her mom's house and working at the same company, this time in the basement with all the freaks. She wants to change the world, connect with people and save the environment. It’s sort of all about the fall out of that way of thinking being confronted with reality. There's more to it than that.
In the first season there’s an episode from the point of view of Amy’s Mom (played by Diane Ladd, LD’s real mom obvs), that deals with the emotional aspect of grocery shopping! You will cry. I cried.
All of this and there probably isn’t going to be another season! Can you believe it? The creator of the show Mike White (who also stars in it as my fave character Tyler. Shout out to Tyler!! LYLAS) wrote for Freaks & Geeks. What a total bummer it would be if Enlightened ended up like Freaks & Geeks – something people binge-watch years later and say what a shame, there should have been more seasons! What would Amy Jellicoe do if her favorite TV show was in danger of ending? She’d probably go to the HBO offices, walk into a meeting, kneel down next to the CEO or whatever and demand Enlightened be renewed. What should we do? I think probably just like, tweet at HBO or something. We should do something.