• Network: HBO
  • Series Premiere Date: Oct 10, 2011
  • Season #: 1 , 2
User Score
6.8

Generally favorable reviews- based on 98 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 69 out of 98
  2. Negative: 16 out of 98

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  1. Aug 14, 2014
    1
    I wanted to like this...But its a show about a neurotic woman who is trying to keep a semblance of control in her life...She just didn't resonate with me...I was embarrassed for her but didn't like her .... Much like watching someone throw a temper tantrum in public.....I just want to look away..and so I will..
  2. Jun 22, 2013
    4
    A show about a loser who becomes enlightened and keeps losing at life. Season 1 is great if you want to watch someone fail. And fail. And fail. And then fail.

    And fail.

    Season 2 is very good. Skip this one. Go watch that one instead.
  3. Mar 15, 2013
    2
    Oh, where do I begin? I have been asked to check the spoiler box if this review contains any spoilers. Given that nothing worth mentioning has happened in Enlightened, it'd be hard to write a spoiler. A woman has a nervous breakdown, and goes to some kind of rehab, and then comes back to her old workplace. She gets shafted and they give her a job in the hope that she moves out. Not bad, right? Yeah, well, that's all that's happened. She just sits around at her desk trying to convince people to support new age crap about meditation, as well as women's groups and other things. This show is so bland it hurts. And who ever called it a comedy-drama? There is more comedy in The Sopranos. There really is. I would have given this show 0, but I feel sorry for Mike White, who has to sit around looking sad all the time, and also because Luke Wilson made me laugh once. This show is crap. Steer well clear. Expand
  4. Mar 4, 2013
    2
    Where do I begin? I have watched every episode in fascination because I can't figure out what the creators are trying to put across. Amy has a severe personality disorder and has no redeeming qualities at all. She treats everyone horribly and has no self awareness. I could rant about the unbelievable situations, but of course many dramas have serious reality gaps. However this show abounds in unreality. To name a few....how did she get her original job in the first place, who in their right mind would have an office fling with her, what kind of company moves a mentally ill person into another job especially in IT! Who paid for Luke's character's rehab in Hawaii. Has there ever been a more isolated person?....without one friend in the world. No, Luke's character doesn't count. Why would Christa's family let Amy within 100 feet of her? What CEO offers a $100,000 job to a person who was kicked downstairs due to obvious and serious flaws? And on and on. But more confusing to me is this. It seems that Amy is the hero, and she's the most unlikable character. Somehow she gets people to do her bidding quite easily. So she's really quite powerful, all while striking the mouth agape pose which I guess signifies her naivete. She seems to lack social skills, but add to that a complete lack of compassion or sensitivity to anyone, her mother, Christa, Tyler, anyone really. So, she's a heartless dork, bumbling successfully through a successful takedown of the company. Her voiceovers about love and light ring so hollow because we never see her bringing love or light to any situation. Are we making fun of whistle blowers and New Age types? Are we supposed to be laughing at people with personality disorders? I am also amazed at how loved this show is. What am I not seeing? I know there is no accounting for tastes, but the only negative reviews I can find are from viewers. I can't find one professional reviewer with negative comments. They all gush. I feel like I'm watching a different show. I love HBO, but I give this show the absolute worst rating in terms of plot, message, character development, and entertainment value. Actually, it entertains me by its flaws as I try to figure out WTF. It's the show I love to hate. What am I missing?? Expand
  5. Jan 18, 2013
    1
    Its not funny. Someone tell the writers for this show that a good story requires a protagonist you can root for. This one thinks she is such a great person yet never ever tries to empathize with her co workers, etc.. I just keep thinking, that someone should end her misery.
  6. Jan 7, 2012
    3
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. Where do I start? I'm a few episodes into this, and tend to watch it after American Horror Story for something a bit more uplifting and some balance. Being a comedy/drama I don't see how this is unreasonable, I'd imagine the average viewer is probally trying to get something similar from this. This is where my issues with this series begin. Humour is incredibly sparse, even for an American production. The central string of the story slumps along at a snails pace, which isn't helped by the fact episodes are so short. With hindsight the reason for this is related to my next point. Enlightened is boring! I can't imagine having to sit through 45-60 minutes of this show. All the show seems to do is communicate these messages to us about self discovery and awakening but does so at the total expense of any decent plot or storyline action. Messages are cool but not like this. They just swirl around aimlessly without being bound to something tangible and thats my central problem here because it gives those messages no value. Watching this I assume it's been written by somebody experiencing a mid-life crisis, as a 25-30 year old this doesn't appeal to me at all. Maybe I'm the wrong audience for this, but I just find zero entertainment here. Laura Dern does a fairly good job, but thats to be expected from an actress of her calibre. She is perhaps wasted on this, I'm also not convinced shes totally perfect for the role. I want to be positivewhich is hard here, but underneath all of the bad stuff a real (albeit very slow) storyline does exist, which could be brilliant if it engaged with the viewer better. Perhaps Englightened has been 'over written', but it's hard to tell. Making this show a little more silly, with some light hearted jokes would be a good first step for improvement. Expand
  7. Oct 24, 2011
    1
    This is one of the worst shows I have seen on HBO. The Dern character is so unlikeable and pathetic I cringe at her every word. She is "Enlightened" and feels she is on a mission to change the world. The kind of person most people go out of their way to avoid. The supporting characters are one dimensional and annoying as well. I watched two episodes, the second to see if maybe I missed something but it only got worse. Expand
  8. Oct 17, 2011
    1
    this show is really not good, it tries to be something it isnt & doesnt work. Laura Dern does a fine job, but otherwise nothing up to par. I dont see this show last more than this year
  9. Oct 12, 2011
    1
    I watched this attempt at a series and was waiting for something to happen the entire show. I figured it out during the credits when I saw that Dern was writer and producer. It appears she wanted a star power series with all that Ben Harper money but she never was a star.

    A spiritual journey that you should take a pass on because it's a slow road to nowhere with Derns weird mouth and
    limited acting abilities fully evident. Expand
  10. Oct 11, 2011
    1
    I guess it was okay. Not very funny. Laura Dern is stepping down a level, and the writing doesn't support her character. Needs a major overhaul. I have no idea how this will be a continuous series, as the storyline isn't very broad.
  11. Oct 11, 2011
    4
    WOW. This was average. Not funny at all. Laura Dern is good, but everything else just didn't work. Hopefully it gets better. Because this won't last.
Metascore
75

Generally favorable reviews - based on 22 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 16 out of 22
  2. Negative: 0 out of 22
  1. Reviewed by: Ken Tucker
    Oct 24, 2011
    83
    By this third episode, the tone has become open, generous, and alert to every sort of character.
  2. Reviewed by: Troy Patterson
    Oct 19, 2011
    70
    A black comedy working many shades of gray, Enlightened is about dark mornings of the soul and the fool's-golden glow of the new convert, and it measures the weight of the world with an eccentric scale.
  3. Reviewed by: Alessandra Stanley
    Oct 10, 2011
    80
    The series embraces the absurdities of its subject with enough compassion to avoid outright parody.