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

Generally favorable reviews - based on 22 Critics What's this?

User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 95 Ratings

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  • Summary: Amy Jellicoe (Laura Dern), a corporate executive who suffered a breakdown, comes out of her Hawaiian mental-heath treatment center with a new outlook on life.
  • Genre(s): Comedy
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 16 out of 22
  2. Negative: 0 out of 22
  1. Reviewed by: Linda Stasi
    Oct 10, 2011
    This engagingly uncomfortable series is not like anything you've seen before.
  2. Reviewed by: Matthew Gilbert
    Sep 21, 2011
    Dern is fantastic as Amy--you cringe as her histrionics drive people away, and cringe again as she tries to suppress her feelings behind a veneer of New Age peacefulness.
  3. Reviewed by: Phillip Maciak
    Oct 10, 2011
    [The] disappointment, and the full-hearted yet misguided ways Amy imagines she might transcend it, are the real subjects of the series, and Dern and White have both seemingly spent long careers in preparation for a project exactly as ambivalent, humane, and beautifully contradictory as this.
  4. Reviewed by: Tim Goodman
    Oct 5, 2011
    Dern, Wilson, Ladd, White and Sharp are excellent in this strange little vehicle.
  5. Reviewed by: Troy Patterson
    Oct 19, 2011
    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.
  6. Although the show features strong performances and is piercing in its emotional honesty, it also get bogged down in its own existential angst.
  7. Reviewed by: Alan Sepinwall
    Oct 10, 2011
    As set up by White (and Dern, who's a producer and a contributor on the pilot script), Enlightened feels too lightweight to work as a short drama, and too clumsy in its attempts at humor to work that way.

See all 22 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 22 out of 35
  2. Negative: 8 out of 35
  1. Jan 27, 2013
    What a great concept. What great writing. What terrific acting. And along the way, some really great directing. Thank heavens Mike White (the writer) and Laura Dern (the out of this world lead and co-creator) put their heads together (I think they are neighbors), took it to HBO, and HBO had the great sense to develop it. Will it make it beyond Season 2? I have my doubts. It is genuinely quirky and well acted, not the ironic self-conscious quirk of Girls, and it has not been as promoted by HBO. So, it's a show you discover by yourself and then become addicted to, in a less fevered way than some others, but addicted nevertheless. How can one love Homeland and love Enlightened, too? I will leave that to greater minds than mine. BTW: one user reviewer seemed upset that the show is classified (is it?) as a comedy. Certainly for awards purposes, it has been. But it is painfully funny in the way life is. Good luck Enlightened. Expand
  2. Dec 15, 2011
    This show is amazing. With the first few episodes I wasn't sure what to make of it, and at that point my boyfriend stopped watching it with me because he "can't handle Amy." Not many people can. The main character is deeply flawed and often annoying. She makes painful social missteps, is completely self-absorbed, either overly friendly or mad as hell, and prone to new-ageisms. So yeah, we all know this woman. Which is one of the most amazing things about this show: that they dared to make a realistically flawed middle aged female. Also, the writing is superb, and the show just gets better as the season progresses. Occupy Abbadon! Expand
  3. Oct 13, 2011
    This series is a call for those who are tense and trying to keep up with a good life with success but ruining it at the same time...and that's it! What can be more identifiable nowadays in a world full of rational power? This approach to the spiritual subject in the edge between a life lesson and a parody makes it special for me. The humor and the characters are a lot like those of a Todd Solondz film. I love the ending. Watching the last scene in the elevator made me think of a spiritual enlightened direction of the authors. Dern and White should stay as a team for a long time. This is the most comfortable fiction show I've ever seen. Expand
  4. Jan 5, 2014
    This a seriously great show: brilliant writing and acting that slowly works on you. At first I found almost everything about it excruciatingly embarrassing, until I realised I'd fallen into an elegant trap. The main character is brilliantly played and written on the edge(s) of pathos and comedy, repulsion and attraction, self absorption and idealism. And she grows in an unbelievable believable way. An awesome show that rewards you sticking through some uncomfortably cringe worthy moments. Cringing not because the show is bad, but because it's about you, us, in ways that are both embarrassing and uplifting. Expand
  5. Oct 10, 2011
    This was okay. Laura Dern is fantastic, and her character has a lot of depth, but everything else is flat. The first episode started out very good, but as it went on, it became relatively annoying and not as entertaining. Hopefully it finds itself quickly, because I'm not quite sure what it can do to grow. Expand
  6. Jun 22, 2013
    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.
  7. Oct 11, 2011
    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. Expand

See all 35 User Reviews

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