Enlightened is the newest show HBO is offering up this fall, and it’s way off-kilter and strange – maybe one of the strangest shows I’ve seen.
Laura Dern is Amy, the center of the show, and a woman who has had some sort of breakdown post-scandalous affair with her boss. The first episode begins with her being switched to a different department against her will, and flipping the fuck out. She goes to a rehabilitation clinic in Hawaii (the kind where you have bonfires on the beach with other troubled souls) and when she gets home, has decided to live her life in a healthier, happier, more “enlightened” way. This show isn’t really a comedy so much as a dramedy, although I haven’t really laughed. Amy is the kind of psycho-needy-horrifyingly annoying friend who requires so much from you, you have to cut her loose, so I alternate between thinking she’s just downright nuts, to feeling bad for her. Her addict ex-husband is played by Luke Wilson (I don’t have words for how much I adore him), and he’s rumpled, cute, and clearly harboring a difficult past that he and Amy shared. The show has a dreamy vibe, with nice shots of turtles swimming in the ocean, a bonfire on a beach, palm trees and sunsets. That contrasts with Amy’s frenetic energy that she’s using to try to learn to be happy and help her loved ones achieve the same goal. It’s an odd show, one that’s not for everyone. Maybe a less zany Bored to Death, or a deeper, more angsty Hung. I’m glad it’s on HBO – a show like this would never survive on a network, and I hope it’s given a chance to grow. I really wanna see what happens to Amy.
This why I love HBO: They can offer niche, non-mainstream entertainment. Their movie selection can be a bit bland at times, but as a whole I don’t have a lot of problems with it. Between the advent of their hbogo streaming service that comes along with being a subscriber, (thanks, guys!) and the unparalleled quality and diversity of their shows, mini-series and documentaries, I cannot imagine my life without HBO. And oh yeah, they make AWESOME MONTAGE COMMERCIALS LIKE THIS ONE: