• Network:
  • Series Premiere Date: Oct 10, 2011
  • Season #: 1 , 2
Enlightened Image
Metascore
95

Universal acclaim - based on 7 Critics What's this?

User Score
7.5

Generally favorable reviews- based on 88 Ratings

Your Score
0 out of 10
Rate this:
  • 10
  • 9
  • 8
  • 7
  • 6
  • 5
  • 4
  • 3
  • 2
  • 1
  • 0
  • 0
  • Summary: Amy and Tyler seek to take down the corporation. Molly Shannon as the executive assistant to the CEO of Abaddonn Industries and Dermot Mulroney as an investigative reporter join the cast.
  • Genre(s): Comedy
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 7 out of 7
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 7
  3. Negative: 0 out of 7
  1. Reviewed by: Daniel Goldberg
    Jan 8, 2013
    100
    That Enlightened's propagandist and activist message is tinged with irony only makes it more perfectly tooled to our times.
  2. Reviewed by: Maureen Ryan
    Jan 17, 2013
    100
    The show's must-see second season is one of the best stories I've experienced in a long time.
  3. Reviewed by: David Wiegand
    Jan 10, 2013
    100
    Self-delusion can grow fairly tiresome, in life and on TV, but what makes Amy sympathetic is that even though she almost convinces us at times that her personal fairy tale actually makes sense, we are always aware of her basic decency and, more important, her vulnerability.
  4. Reviewed by: Ken Tucker
    Jan 11, 2013
    100
    Laura Dern and Mike White continue their bold, hilarious, tremendously moving exploration of Amy Jellicoe's ongoing attempt to give meaning to her life. [18 Jan 2013, p.74]
  5. Reviewed by: Tom Gliatto
    Jan 17, 2013
    100
    The show is an absolute original. [28 Jan 2013, p.44]
  6. Reviewed by: Hank Stuever
    Jan 11, 2013
    90
    Enlightened comes through with a triumphant eight-episode arc that broadens its characters, quickens the pace and finishes strong.
  7. 80
    Contemporary TV is suddenly filled with shows starring charismatic yet ostentatiously flawed heroines: Homeland, The Mindy Project, Girls, Don't Trust the B---- in Apartment 23. Enlightened stands out because its vision is so much wider.
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 19 out of 22
  2. Negative: 2 out of 22
  1. Feb 10, 2013
    10
    HBO's enlightened is simply an outstanding show: the writing is subtle, clever and funny. I had not seen such a sophisticated and genuine show since In Treatment. Expand
  2. Apr 7, 2013
    10
    Bottom line: Go watch this show Now!

    I watch a lot of television, but nothing like "Enlightened." It is in a category of its own and the
    plot and characters, especially the female lead, take my imagination on a thrill ride of love and hate, which I absolutely love. There is an exploration here that is deep and really thought provoking that no other media platform could deliver.

    Amy Jelicoe, played by Laura Dern, is perhaps the most polarizing figure I have seen in a long time. People either love her or hate her and that extends to the viewer and not just limited to the other characters in the show. Watching Enlightenment I had a hard time determining if Amy is honest in her idealism or is using it as a crunch to hide a more insidious agenda against a company that she feels was responsible for her self-loathing. This narrative where I always question the motives of the lead, make this story worth telling because I never know what to expect out of Amy. I can never really gauge if I should believe in her cause, which makes the show so compelling because I feel like I am part of the show by tiptoeing the lines between Amy's idealism and selfishness. Many of the other characters question Amy's motives as well, so by having this internal conflict as the viewer regarding if I should put my trust in Amy's idealism I feel like I am a character in this show as well. Through Amy this show gives the viewer a lot to chew on about a variety of issues from self-worth, corruption, greed, facing demons, change, right, wrong etc.

    Amy Jelicoe though is not the only highlight of this show. Laura does share the spotlight with her supporting cast made of other other well-crafted characters ranging from an estranged mother to a lonely IT guy, who get their own episodes revealing their deeper narratives. More importantly these personalities adds depth to the over all narrative and story where Amy Jelicoe whistle blows about corruption happening at the highest levels of management at the company. By having these other characters we get to see how Amy's, if sometimes selfish, crusade for a better world is truly what is right and best for not only the world, but for the people that choose to be her co-conspirators.

    Enlightened's narrative is worth exploring and only cast of Enlightened able to provide this smart, sappy show without revealing a "holier than thou" viewpoint that I feel would quickly ruin the show, by becoming something that would sound like a Michael Moore fan fiction. Regardless, I hope to see this show get renewed for a third season as it would be nice to see what happens now that the whistle is full blown, despite having the second season ending on a relativity conclusive note.
    Expand
  3. May 18, 2013
    10
    9/10 but I'm giving it a ten to help cancel out Oinker and boredbychoice's semi-idiotic votes. As a man with basic needs I watch shows like The Office (10/10), Breaking Bad (10), Game of Thrones (10), Family Guy(9), Walking Dead (9), Elementary (8.5), The Americans (9) etc. I feel the need to write reviews only when a show is being discarded at first glance by men with extreme fear of the return of shows like Sex in the City, Desperate Housewives, Dharma and Greg etc. (all not really that bad). Shows that were forced on us by women. Mike white and Laura Dern have made a new piece of golden age television with Enlightened. This is a show for deep thinkers and twist lovers. Be prepared to second guess every turn and piece the enlightening puzzle together as the tale comes to light. Characters act according to a very specific timeline while the standard building process unfolds. Trust the season 2 metascore and understand this is a fast-paced and intriguing show for any viewer. Mike White and Luke Wilson keep you steady while Laura Dern goes off the rails in this epic narrative of the trials and tribulations of corporate, first-world America.

    Don't you dare write a review after seeing half an episode.
    Expand
  4. Jan 28, 2013
    10
    Laura Dern does an amazing job as Amy Jelicoe, a relatable and likeable lead of a cast full of misits. Enlightened is an amazing and endearing show written by the talented Mike White, who brings this story and the quirky characters to life and gives them distinct and nuanced voices. Expand
  5. BKM
    Jan 15, 2013
    9
    The new season of Enlightened picks up where the first season left off without missing a beat. Mike White and Laura Dern have created a richly entertaining, deeply cynical and ultimately moving series about one woman's quest to better herself and the world around her. Much of the show's bite comes from the fact that Amy, despite her best intentions, is frequenlty as selfish and thoughtless as those she is trying to be better than. Comedy this layered and involving is a rarity and should be treasured. Expand
  6. Apr 7, 2013
    8
    Even as a kid I disliked (I still do) characters on Cinema or TV who the audience was supposed to identify with you know the people next door. I’m the guy who loathes just about every sitcom. I do not have a malevolent view of the Universe but I’m unable to enjoy shows or films which aren’t dark (there is nothing even remotely dark in Enlightened). I remember I had to stop watching Pushing Daisies (a perfectly Ok show) after 1 episode because it had such a feel good vibe about it and the color pallet hurt my eyes literally. To hold my attention you had to be Walter White, a Tony Soprano, Dexter Morgan or a Tyrion Lannister perhaps. I never could get bring myself to like characters combating dilemmas of everyday life. My heroes had to be combating conflicts of Shakespearean proportions and dilemmas Kafkaesque in magnitude.
    Amy Jellicoe is the Heroin in Enlightened. I don’t think I’ve watched on screen anyone else portray someone like Amy the way Laura Dern has. She is such a miserable creature, you mostly hate her or just pity her. I don’t know how else to put it she is a person of such extraordinary mediocrity that it becomes fascinating! A woman so out of tune with the way others perceives her that she doesn’t even realize that her behavior is intrusive and annoying, people are usually trying to gently let her down, a fact she is oblivious to. A thoroughly unlikeable character, her enthusiasm and positivity is cringe inducing because it’s phony, the interesting bit is that I don’t think even Amy realizes how joyless she really is she goes through the motions of appearing positive, believing that is how she’ll get to a “higher self”. The show isn’t a comedy, I wouldn’t call it a Drama either really because there is no Drama sans conflict the show definitely is not a case study, truth is I’m not really sure what to make of it. I don’t think the creator Mike White is trying to say something, if he is I can’t discern the meaning I just see it as a portrait of a woman, and a remarkably ugly and magnificent one at that. For some reason I was thinking about Dostoevsky’s “Notes from Underground” while watching this and I remember telling myself this is what she would have sounded like had the narrator in that novel been a woman.
    In one scene Laura’s character tells another that she used to manipulate men with her sexuality earlier but doesn’t do that anymore. You wouldn’t believe me if I told you it was heart breaking to hear her say that, as an audience you realize how pitiful she really is and wish for her own sake it is true.
    Collapse
  7. Jun 8, 2013
    0
    I will never understand how this got this high in critic scores. I just saw it really likable at first, then it just became annoying. HBO, you did a great job at first, then it just disappeared. I just don't know what to say right now. Expand

See all 22 User Reviews

Related Articles

  1. 2013 Television Critic Top Ten Lists

    2013 Television Critic Top Ten Lists Image
    Published: December 10, 2013
    What were critics' favorite television shows of the year? Find their individual top 10 lists inside, as well as composite standings. (And check back for daily updates throughout the month).
  2. Fall 2011 TV Scorecard: The Best & Worst New Shows

    Fall 2011 TV Scorecard: The Best & Worst New Shows Image
    Published: December 1, 2011
    The fall season is over, so it's time for our annual rankings of the best and worst new shows of the season. Plus, compare the records of the five broadcast networks, and see how 2011 stacks up to the year before.