Enlightened

Discuss TV shows old and new.
Post Reply
Message
Author
User avatar
mfunk9786
Posts: 11805
Joined: Fri May 16, 2008 4:43 pm
Location: Philadelphia, PA

Enlightened

#1 Post by mfunk9786 » Tue Feb 19, 2013 3:21 pm

Enlightened is the best show that no one's watching - having watched the first two episodes, it seems to hit all the right notes, and is exactly the sort of low-key fare that gets filmmakers like Jason Reitman raves at the box office but apparently isn't lighting up TV. I think the initial promotion for the show and the title were a bit misleading - I'd avoided it for a while because I'd heard/interpreted what I'd heard that the show was about a woman finding Christianity and trying to force herself to live a Christian life - but it's far more ambiguous and in the wacky magic rocks and spiritual retreat neck of the woods. Despite my disdain for it, Christianity is something that's been skewered far too many times and often too weakly/obviously - but the attempts that Laura Dern's character makes to try to improve her life are far more interesting and ambiguous. Being paired with Girls has done nothing to improve this show's viewership (and quite frankly, a well-observed comedy about adults and for adults has no business being paired with an adolescent navel gaze-a-thon), but hopefully HBO has the foresight to keep it going. I'm looking forward to catching up over the coming days.

User avatar
Roger Ryan
Posts: 1893
Joined: Wed Apr 28, 2010 12:04 pm
Location: A Midland town spread and darkened into a city

Re: TV of 2013

#2 Post by Roger Ryan » Wed Feb 20, 2013 12:57 pm

If I understand your post correctly, you've only watched the first two episodes of the first season of ENLIGHTENED, right? In that case, you may be happy to hear the second season episodes take the show to another level of excellence.

As for GIRLS, I think it has a lot going for it. This past week's episode had a very tight script with a lot of big laughs, especially when Adam Driver and Alex Karpovsky were on-screen. That Lena Dunham did not write or co-write the episode nor direct it could be telling, although there have been plenty of highlights this season that must be attributed to Ms. Dunham.

User avatar
mfunk9786
Posts: 11805
Joined: Fri May 16, 2008 4:43 pm
Location: Philadelphia, PA

Re: TV of 2013

#3 Post by mfunk9786 » Wed Feb 20, 2013 1:08 pm

We're so wrapped up with House of Cards that Enlightened is taking a backseat until we're finished with seeing Kate Mara on her cell phone for an hour an episode. All joking aside though - what an addictive show that is. Holy shit, it's great

User avatar
Joshuadel
Posts: 25
Joined: Fri Dec 10, 2010 11:54 am

Re: TV of 2013

#4 Post by Joshuadel » Wed Feb 20, 2013 2:24 pm

Roger Ryan wrote:If I understand your post correctly, you've only watched the first two episodes of the first season of ENLIGHTENED, right? In that case, you may be happy to hear the second season episodes take the show to another level of excellence.
I'll throw in my praise for Enlightened, too, if only because I want to be loved and accepted by all. My wife and I thought the first season was hysterical, a perfect counterweight to the madcap stonerisms of Bored to Death (we watched both programs on demand, but if I'm not mistaken they aired in a single block early last year). Mfunk's Jason Reitman comparison is apt, but to me the show evokes the best of Alexander Payne. Granted, I tend to find Payne's work as cloying and self-serving as the characters it focused on (Election aside, because goddamn what a great movie), but I think I'm seeing in Enlightened what everyone else seems to see in a film like Sideways: that is, that sometimes the distance between action and self-awareness is the funniest punchline.

Still haven't tried Girls. I made it halfway through a blind-buy of Tiny Furniture before selling the disc back to Amazon, but a Louis CK endorsement of Dunham's show (not to mention praise on these boards) is enough to pique my curiosity. And I'm certain House of Cards is on the docket, too, though with imminent returns of Mad Men and Arrested Development on the horizon, not to mention an ever-growing pile of shame, I'm not sure when we'll finally find the time.

User avatar
Professor Wagstaff
Posts: 942
Joined: Tue Aug 24, 2010 11:27 pm

Re: TV of 2013

#5 Post by Professor Wagstaff » Wed Feb 20, 2013 6:13 pm

Interesting to see the Enlightened discussion pop up, having sampled the pilot episode on Monday and looking to try more. Tonally it was quite radical from what I've come to expect from a half hour comedy (even with the freedom HBO supplies) that one episode wouldn't do to ease into the shows rhythms. You guys threw around the names Alexander Payne and Jason Reitman as comparisons and the show has elements of their work, but after the opening blow-up I felt like I'd clearly entered a Mike White universe, dealing with a more white collar version of people from The Good Girl. I'll hopefully have more to say once I watch the first season in its entirety.
Roger Ryan wrote:As for GIRLS, I think it has a lot going for it. This past week's episode had a very tight script with a lot of big laughs, especially when Adam Driver and Alex Karpovsky were on-screen. That Lena Dunham did not write or co-write the episode nor direct it could be telling, although there have been plenty of highlights this season that must be attributed to Ms. Dunham.
Girls overcame the sophomore slump and its own hype, having produced (so far) a terrific season, and one that's taken a more critical approach to the characters and how their indulgent lifestyles (particularly Dunham's Hannah) seem to be killing their humanity. I agree with you, Roger, about the work of Driver and Karpovsky. The boys are ironically the most compellingly-written characters on the show.

JabbaTheSlut
Posts: 193
Joined: Thu Sep 07, 2006 10:37 am
Location: Down there

Re: Enlightened

#6 Post by JabbaTheSlut » Tue Mar 19, 2013 3:38 pm

Having watched the first season, the comparison to the best of Payne is apt. But there is so much good in this that I do not think Payne has ever achieved as much. Both quantitively and qualitatively. But the tone is close. It's not just a mere comedy, or a satire, it's also truthful drama with the most psychologically complex and real main character in TV that I can think of. Next to Louie and Mad Men, the most original series at the moment.
Last edited by JabbaTheSlut on Wed Mar 20, 2013 4:29 am, edited 1 time in total.

lefeufollet
Posts: 91
Joined: Thu Nov 01, 2012 9:54 am
Location: Philadelphia

Re: Enlightened

#7 Post by lefeufollet » Tue Mar 19, 2013 8:07 pm

Regrettably, Enlightened has been cancelled.

User avatar
mfunk9786
Posts: 11805
Joined: Fri May 16, 2008 4:43 pm
Location: Philadelphia, PA

Re: Enlightened

#8 Post by mfunk9786 » Tue Mar 19, 2013 10:06 pm

Just... sigh.

Noiradelic
Posts: 908
Joined: Sun Jul 19, 2009 12:45 am

Re: Enlightened

#9 Post by Noiradelic » Wed Mar 20, 2013 1:32 am

It barely got renewed for a second season, so no surprise. But at least White had a chance to resolve the show's main arc.

User avatar
Roger Ryan
Posts: 1893
Joined: Wed Apr 28, 2010 12:04 pm
Location: A Midland town spread and darkened into a city

Re: Enlightened

#10 Post by Roger Ryan » Wed Mar 20, 2013 8:17 am

Yeah, but the show really could have used one more brief season to conclude things in an efficient manner. I was happy that HBO gave Dave Simon an abbreviated fourth season of TREME to tidy things up; doing that kind of thing seems like one of the advantages subscriber-based cable has over the broadcast networks.

User avatar
mfunk9786
Posts: 11805
Joined: Fri May 16, 2008 4:43 pm
Location: Philadelphia, PA

Re: Enlightened

#11 Post by mfunk9786 » Wed Mar 20, 2013 9:25 am

I think HBO already considered season two to be a gift to White and Dern, and weren't feeling unrealistically generous. Still, this show was just getting buzz and just finding an audience - isn't that sort of slow burn what HBO is all about? The Wire wouldn't be the social tour de force it is now if it'd been cancelled after two seasons.

User avatar
Murdoch
Posts: 3225
Joined: Sun Apr 20, 2008 11:59 pm
Location: Upstate NY

Re: Enlightened

#12 Post by Murdoch » Mon Apr 01, 2013 11:00 pm

As much as I would have loved to see the fallout from the second season, I think the show wrapped up nicely. I know we're always wringing our hands when a good show gets cancelled, but this had a solid run with not a single bad or even mediocre episode to its name and went out on a great note. I can think of few other shows that did so much with only 18 episodes.

User avatar
domino harvey
Dot Com Dom
Posts: 28751
Joined: Wed Jan 11, 2006 2:42 pm

Re: Enlightened

#13 Post by domino harvey » Fri May 10, 2013 10:33 pm

As one final indignity, HBO is releasing the second season on DVD only

User avatar
mfunk9786
Posts: 11805
Joined: Fri May 16, 2008 4:43 pm
Location: Philadelphia, PA

Re: Enlightened

#14 Post by mfunk9786 » Fri May 10, 2013 11:30 pm

Thank goodness for HBOGO... until they pull it, Carnivale style, as if it never existed

JabbaTheSlut
Posts: 193
Joined: Thu Sep 07, 2006 10:37 am
Location: Down there

Re: Enlightened

#15 Post by JabbaTheSlut » Sat Sep 28, 2013 5:59 pm

Murdoch wrote:As much as I would have loved to see the fallout from the second season, I think the show wrapped up nicely. I know we're always wringing our hands when a good show gets cancelled, but this had a solid run with not a single bad or even mediocre episode to its name and went out on a great note. I can think of few other shows that did so much with only 18 episodes.
I agree with you. Maybe it was a blessing the show was as unpopular as it was. A brilliant series, was more like a long movie split into several chapters. In the same league as The Wire, Game of Thrones and Mad Men.

User avatar
domino harvey
Dot Com Dom
Posts: 28751
Joined: Wed Jan 11, 2006 2:42 pm

Re: Enlightened

#16 Post by domino harvey » Fri Dec 20, 2013 9:09 am

AV Club names it the best show of 2013, kind of a surprise given their constant Breaking Bad-fawning

User avatar
The Narrator Returns
Posts: 1450
Joined: Tue Nov 15, 2011 6:35 pm

Re: Enlightened

#17 Post by The Narrator Returns » Fri Dec 20, 2013 2:17 pm

domino harvey wrote:AV Club names it the best show of 2013, kind of a surprise given their constant Breaking Bad-fawning
Whatever you do, don't read the comments, featuring an almost-endless parade of moronic Breaking Bad fans reeling at this injustice (god forbid it's only the second-best show that's aired this year).

User avatar
Murdoch
Posts: 3225
Joined: Sun Apr 20, 2008 11:59 pm
Location: Upstate NY

Re: Enlightened

#18 Post by Murdoch » Fri Dec 20, 2013 2:34 pm

While I think there were better series this year, Breaking Bad's fifth season wasn't one of them.

Post Reply