28 November 2011 | monicaduncan
Quirky, Raw, Human
I'm hoping I'm not the only one out here who loves HBO's Enlightened. While still a bit uneven script to script, Laura Dern and Mike White's show is quirky, funny, irritating, raw, and human - bringing to mind Michael Tolkin's 1994 film, The New Age, minus the corrosive cynicism.
Dern portrays 'seeker' Amy Jellicoe straight up, with all her foibles: unvarnished, selfish, pretentious and trying hard to change. I'm pretty sure most of us get Amy's brand of supercilious self-righteousness, the kind we get when we want so much to change others, while avoiding the change that begins with ourselves. Co-creator Mike White is heartbreakingly sympathetic, hilarious and a great foil for Dern.
Unfortunately Enlightened brings to mind a few other wonderful shows where our imaginary friends disappeared within a season or so: My So Called Life, Beggars and Choosers, Canada's Intelligence, among them. Sometimes the grit is just a little too real, the subject a little too off-beat for mass consumption, with broadcasters not giving a show enough time to find its feet, and audiences robbed of the chance to bond with character.
With apologies to Jimi Hendrix, a toast to Enlightened, 'Let your freak flag fly.'