“Enlightened”: An Overlooked Series

Its biggest crime back then, it seems, was to be born too soon. Now streaming in Australia on Binge, it’s stood the test of time. Brigid Delaney, The Guardian, regarding Enlightened in 2020

There’s been a new comedy/drama show on HBO this fall, Enlightened, that apparently hasn’t caught on so well, according to an article I read recently in Entertainment Weekly (EW) that calls it “the best show nobody’s watching.”

And New York Magazine’s “Approval Matrix” says Enlightened is “the rare cable show to perfect the sad-funny mix.”

How is this relevant to Minding Therapy? Well, as stated by writer Melissa Maerz in the EW article, the premise is that the lead character Amy (Laura Dern) has an emotional breakdown of sorts at work and is sent for some “New Age anger management rehab…Returning to the office feeling spiritually rejuvenated, she’s ready to change the world.”

Maerz cites some examples of the show’s dark humor:

Some of the best jokes come from Amy trying, and failing, and trying again to be a good person, one who really, truly connects with others. In one episode, she returns home to her mother (Diane Ladd), full of compassion. ‘It’s good to see you, Mom,’ she says. ‘Why?’ her mother asks, totally deadpan. In another episode, Amy visits her drug-addict ex-husband Levi (Luke Wilson), gushing about how great it is that they can reconnect in such a meaningful way without cocaine. ‘Yeah,’ he says, smiling. And then he leans over and snorts a massive line.

Diane Ladd, by the way, is Laura Dern’s mom in real life too.

For more info, including ways in which the series also elicits sadness, click here.

In the preview below, Amy, described as “a woman on the verge of a nervous breakthrough,” is first seen failing to cope—and then trying to use her newfound therapeutic insights to move forward:

Emily St. James, Vox: “Enlightened was one of my favorite TV shows of the 2010s, and Dern gave perhaps the best TV performance of the decade. Created by the genius writer Mike White, Enlightened offered a genuinely new take on the antihero series. It centered on the ways women might transgress the social code we are bound by in the same ways that Tony Soprano transgressed the social code men are bound by.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *