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5 Things That Make Enlightened Just About The Best Show On TV

The HBO show getting scores of attention on Sunday nights is Girls, but following it in airtime and gaining ground in terms of critical attention is Enlightened. This strange and strangely beautiful comedy brought to us by Laura Dern and writer Mike White, most famous for writing School of Rock. Like many others, I arrived at the show late, not picking up on it until the first season had completed. I think I was bitter that HBO cut Hung and How to Make It in America and, most of all, Bored to Death before its two new Sunday night shows began. I'm sure this is why I resented Enlightened in particular, since it received little attention initially.

[h2]1) Amy Jellicoe must remind you of someone[/h2]

The show’s protagonist, played by Laura Dern, is yet another female lead on television that is much needed and also kind of crazy, but so very compelling. Her thing is that she was fired from her corporate job, went on a (non-violent) rampage in the office, was sent to this rehabilitation retreat place where she had an epiphany, and came back all new-age spiritual hippie-dippie. She gets to work for her old company again, but in the basement doing data-processing, so she’s determined to try to get her old life back again. It doesn’t prove to be as easy as she deludes herself into thinking it will be.

Her narcissistic delusions make her unbearable and strangely familiar. We see most of the show exclusively from her perspective, but get glimpses of how other people see her. There are some cringeworthy moments when she tries to reconnect with her old work friends and, while she can’t, you can read from their body language that they want nothing to do with her. You know that friend who you wish wasn’t your friend but they just won’t leave you alone? This is a show about that person. However, she’s also strangely sympathetic. You hear in her (overly poetic, because she takes herself seriously) voiceover just how sincere and earnest she is about wanting to make her company and the world better. If the show was exclusively about her character it would be pretty remarkable.

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About the author

Darren Ruecker