RECAP: Laura Dern Helms HBO's 'Enlightened'
HBO's new Enlightened is getting a lot of attention, but not all of it suggests that the show practices what it preaches. In fact, it's been criticized as a knockoff of Showtime's The Big C, which pits a woman in crisis (Laura Linney) against the world when she discovers that her Stage 4 cancer requires her to take a fresh look at her life. Laura Dern's character, Amy Jellicoe, is a health & beauty exec who has a very public and embarrassing breakdown when her affair with her married boss (Charlies Eston) blows up in her face when the series premiere opens.
Amy goes to a new-agey rehab center in Hawaii for three months to deal with her issues, where she sees something that is reminiscent of God, even "better than God," and she decides to return to her old life to be an "agent of change." Enter Enlightenment's supporting characters, who include her drug-addicted ex-husband (Luke Wilson) and her meddling mother, played by Diane Ladd, Dern's mother in real life.
Enlightenment is being called a dramedy that intends to showcase Dern's talents as a tenderhearted neurotic while looking at the absurdity of everyday life and the dubious power of revolutionary change. You can catch it at 9:30 p.m. Monday nights on HBO.
Watch a trailer for the first season here: