Enlightened : Season 1

  • Network:
  • Series Premiere Date: Oct 10, 2011
Season #: 1, 2
Enlightened Image
Metascore
74

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

User Score
6.9

Generally favorable reviews- based on 107 Ratings

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  • Starring: , ,
  • 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

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Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 16 out of 22
  2. Negative: 0 out of 22
  1. Reviewed by: Linda Stasi
    Oct 10, 2011
    100
    This engagingly uncomfortable series is not like anything you've seen before.
  2. Reviewed by: Matthew Gilbert
    Sep 21, 2011
    91
    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
    88
    [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
    80
    Dern, Wilson, Ladd, White and Sharp are excellent in this strange little vehicle.
  5. 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.
  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
    50
    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: 21 out of 39
  2. Negative: 9 out of 39
  1. Oct 23, 2013
    10
    It doesn't surprise me that some people don't find this show funny. I don't find Tosh.0 or Two and a Half Men Funny. People have differentIt doesn't surprise me that some people don't find this show funny. I don't find Tosh.0 or Two and a Half Men Funny. People have different tastes.
    I think Enlightened is kind of brilliant. It's a perfect blend of dark comedy, satire, and drama with a socially conscientious flair that is desperately needed in this age. It's a show for the hopeful cynics and idealists with the ability to laugh at themselves and the absurdity they see in the world around them. Nate Fisher was annoying in his struggle for meaning and hope too, but at least Amy Jelicoe does something about it and perseveres. Turn Six Feet Under into a half hour comedy about hope in place of death, and you'll come up with something pretty close to Enlightened.
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  2. Dec 15, 2011
    10
    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 meThis 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! Collapse
  3. Oct 13, 2011
    10
    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'sThis 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. Jun 23, 2016
    8
    For a needlessly precise numerical rating: 75/100, or a B+
    Enlightened slowly ramps up in quality per episode as the show finds its voice, so
    For a needlessly precise numerical rating: 75/100, or a B+
    Enlightened slowly ramps up in quality per episode as the show finds its voice, so the season rating of B+ (I'm a slightly harsh grader) is indicative of overall quality. I expect a higher grade for the highly acclaimed second season, but this is a very good score in my eyes.
    Anyway, this is a fascinating character study of a purposefully unlikable character, Amy Jellicoe (portrayed by Laura Dern in what might be her very best performance, and that's saying a lot), who claims she has a new worldview after rehab and thusly attempts to do the right thing, mostly out of inflated self-worth and arrogance. The show expands a bit beyond her after the first couple of episodes, but Amy is nearly always at the center. That is, except for "Consider Helen", which might be one of the top contenders for best television episode of 2011, a look at the show if it was from the point of view of Amy's mother, Helen (Diane Ladd, Dern's real-life mother, and nearly as excellent here), a quiet, emotionally removed woman who keeps a stolid routine that masks dark ghosts in her past.
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  5. Feb 14, 2012
    6
    I applaud this show for being very moral and mature and praise HBO for being a cable network that finally has a show like this. The show isI applaud this show for being very moral and mature and praise HBO for being a cable network that finally has a show like this. The show is great at intorducing moral issues such a environmentalism & human rights through a woman who tries a little too hard to get other people to help in such causes and usually fail in very comical & dramatic ways. The show has superb acting in its cast members Diane Ladd, Amy Hill, and especially Laura Dern. Although not everyone in the cast are good actors such as Timm Sharp, Sarah Burns, and most of their guest stars while Luke Wilson & Mike White are only decent actors. This show is good but tend to very standoffish that disconnects it from viewers due to its almost all its characters being very cruel, uncaring, and unlikable leaving only the lead character Amy Jellicoe to being the only good character on the show and if the very self centered, condescending, and manipulative Amy is the only good character on this show then it's gotta be very hard to watch this show unless someone do something to the characters to make them more likable and they also have to spruce up the stories/writing in this show too because these stories aren't that interesting they are near drop dead boring so if the writers make the stories better then that along with making the characters actually likable will make this show watchable if not then well kiss this show GOODBYE.â Expand
  6. Jul 25, 2013
    5
    I checked this show out because of the high score from meta users. I watched 5 episodes and found NO enjoyment in it. Plot surrounds a womanI checked this show out because of the high score from meta users. I watched 5 episodes and found NO enjoyment in it. Plot surrounds a woman who has emotionally imploded and goes to rehab herself. become enlighted, sort of speak. She returns to the community she lived in and struggles to keep herself whole. Good premise but lazily uninteresting. Always seems she is going to go off on people, but really doesn't. Waited and nothing. Self-doubt and constant re-assessment become a central idea to the show and after 5 episodes, i got the idea. Maybe this show is geared for women, but I didn't enjoy it at all. Expand
  7. 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 majorI 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 39 User Reviews

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