If you’ve been following me on twitter (hint hint!) you’ll notice I’ve been doing a lot of re-tweeting lately about HBO’s show Enlightened. Mostly because I believe in the power of social media and really hope that @HBO listens to me and connects with me as a consumer one-on-one style and brings it back just for me, and the really smart TV critics who agree with me. Also Patton Oswalt. He agrees with me. Other people, too.
However, Enlightened is still under-watched and under-appreciated, so EVERYONE SHOULD TUNE IN. In fact, you should cancel all your plans, binge on the first two seasons all weekend, and then tune in for the finale on Sunday night so that HBO renews it immediately. If you have a life and need to skip some episodes, this is what Mike White (creator / writer / director / genius) says you should watch:
And here’s why you should watch them:
1. It’s beautiful.
Not Laura Dern. I mean, some people think she’s beautiful. If you think she’s beautiful and it makes you tune in, then yeah! Laura Dern!
I’m talking about beautiful like Mike White in his underwear. I’m also talking about the cinematography. BEAUTIFUL. It has just the right amount of that nice high-budget HBO gloss that takes a TV show from just-your-average-multi-cam to am-I-watching-a-movie?
Also, it’s set in sunny Southern California. So it’s light and bright and always fades to white instead of black, which creates this weird Heaven-y feeling when you’re watching. Like you’re Enlightened! Get it?
2. Don’t let the white light fool you. It’s dark and hilarious.
Enlightened is not a LOL comedy. If you want to watch a LOL comedy, then go back to CBS where you belong. Also, get better taste in TV. Also:
Because LOL comedies don’t have amazing original scores and slow, long shots that make your skin crawl with their beauty. Of course, all of this beauty is made funny by the fact that it’s a template for the delusional voice-over monologues of a woman determined to change the world… as soon as she moves out of her mom’s house.
She’s like: “This kingdom; this amazing kingdom we have made. This monstrous kingdom; its castles are magic. They are beautiful. They are built on dreams and iron and greed. They are inorganic and cannot sustain. No kingdom lasts forever. Even this will end, and life and earth will reign again.”
But really she’s like:
Basicamente, Amy Jellicoe (Laura Dern) is downright cray cray. Having slept with her boss (It was an affair. It ended at the beginning of season 1 episode 1. This is not a spoiler.) and been sent away to a rehab-ish place to “fix herself”, she comes back super duper Enlightened, and determined to change the world with all of her well-intentioned love and brilliance.
The only problem is, she’s not so brilliant. She’s mostly desperate and living at home with her Mom and her Mom’s dog. So, she finds herself making friends in weird places – like the basement of Abaddon, where she has been demoted to work in data-entry after returning to work – and teams up with Tyler (Mike White) to… well, she’s not really sure, actually. Take over the world? Whatever it is, she’s totally earnest about it.
3. Luke Wilson
In general, the show is incredibly well-cast. But Luke Wilson. is. incredible. He plays Amy’s husband. And they have serious issues. Mostly about drugs / her inability to see outside of herself / his unwillingness to grow up / general stubbornness all around.
His dialogue ranges from serious call-a-bitch-out real talk to lines like “I’m a grown ass fuckin’ man. I want a new iPod!” But all are delivered with the same “grown ass fuckin’ man” attitude.
So, in the words of Amy Jellicoe:
“Blessed are the moments in life when the decision is clear, when Doubt shrugs and slinks away, ashamed of itself, and Resolve embraces you like a long-lost lover. Sweet certainty, where have you been? No matter. No longing. No looking back. Welcome to consequences. When your heart is alert and lucid, what bad can come?”
The decision is clear: watch #Enlightened. Sundays after #Girls on @HBO. Please RT.