I kind of wish that for every bit of hype of around HBO’s Girls and Lena Dunham, that, perhaps, every third mention could just be replaced with the great and definitely underrated (in ratings and/or real, gushy hype and/or thinkpieces) Enlightened, which will also be back on HBO in January, paired with Girls.
But Enlightened literally gets about a tenth of the hype. Where’s a lengthy look at Enlightened, New York Review of Books? You did one for Girls (and it was good). I think there’s a lot to unpack with Enlightened - particularly as a sort of answer/response to the Eat Pray Love/self-help-ish question of how do you exist in the world as a real, sensitive person when the world - and the corporation you work for - is set up to beat you down, and to beat it out of you? The struggle there is fascinating. I suspect this new season’s going to veer far away from that theme and more towards whistleblowing.
But I really liked that theme. The show felt very real, lived-in, and built up to quiet desperation and devastation each episode, while also being cringe-ingly funny. And it had direction by the likes of Jonathan Demme and Phil Morrison.
Another lesson of Enlightened: that sort of brightly colored, vintage granny Anthropologie look looks great on Laura Dern, tall and blonde. Only Laura Dern, I suspect.
PS. I am available to write about this show foreeeeeeever.
PPS. Even when I am staying in Long Island, with access to cable and HBO, Enlightened is never, ever available On Demand the way that Girls is, which seems strange.