Tuesday, February 19, 2013

BE 'ENLIGHTENED!' by Pamela Powell

Reviewing a TV show isn't usually my thing.   I review movies.  I really don't have time to watch TV and what is available is just really such a waste of time.  HOWEVER, while running on the treadmill, not finding a movie I hadn't seen, I came across 'Enlightened,' a new (to me) HBO Series.  Laura Dern's face caught my eye.  I loved her in so many movies like "Wild At Heart" and "Novocaine" to name a couple of films.  Laura Dern and Mike White, among many other talented writers and producers, have joined forces to come up with a unique and creative show full of awkward adventures, relationship issues, and life questions. While on this entertaining journey of Amy's life, the story is  sprinkled with humor and laughter which hooked me from the first episode.  It continued to get better and better as I got to know each of the characters.  My cardio also improved as  I ended up running for an hour instead of 30 minutes just to catch the next installment!  Had I have known the show could be cancelled, I would have savored each 30 minute episode and not blown them all in a couple week's worth of runs!

'Enlightened' is about Amy who is an executive in the health and beauty department of a powerful California company who flips out on her boss with whom she had an affair.  After this breakdown,  she seeks treatment in Hawaii where she finds ways of dealing with her anger and resentment.  Upon her return to work, Amy thinks things should be back to normal.  Normal is not how you would describe any of the rest of the events.  Although Amy takes things to an extreme, her intentions are understandable and admirable...for the most part.  As she befriends her co-workers in her new department (because, shockingly, her previous department job is no longer available), Amy's goals in life change.  She wants to make a difference.

The cast of 'Enlightened' is remarkable!  Dern is a 40-something recently divorced woman, who lost her position in her company, and now lives at home with her mother, Helen, played by Diane Ladd.  Their relationship issues are so typical of the generations they are depicting that any daughter could relate to them.  Amy's ex-husband is Levi played by Luke Wilson.  Amy needs to be needed (Don't we all?) and wants to "save" Levi from himself.  Work, friend, and love relationships are still things Amy is working out.  Although Amy is our main character, the style of the show allows for each character to be the focal point.  This enables the viewer to really get to know the character.  Mike White plays Amy's co-worker in IT, Tyler.  What a talented actor.  You truly feel absolutely everything he is feeling.  Your heart breaks when you hear him describe his insignificance in this world.  That's what sets this TV series apart from anything else I have ever seen...you feel what each character is feeling.  You can relate to each character whether they are male or female or young or old; there is a part of each of us in each of those characters.  With the great writing that takes on a multitude of perspectives with believable characters and acting, you can't ask for more than this in any show.

So why would I write a review on a television show?  Because there is the distinct possibility that this show will be canceled.  I have finally found a decent, no, let me change that, wonderful television show that I feel is worth my time and HBO, due to numbers, isn't going to give it a chance to continue on!  When did the marketing for this start?  My friends who DO watch TV hadn't heard of it.  My husband who seems to know every show ever presented hadn't heard of it.  So what are the PR and Marketing departments doing?  They had a gift and tossed it in with the pile of socks under the Christmas tree.  What?  It wasn't wrapped in the Tiffany Blue paper so why bother?  Little did they know it was the Hope Diamond in just an ordinary cardboard box!

Take the time to see this show which is still available on demand on HBO.  You can also access it on your computer through their website, hbo.com/enlightened.  If you enjoy it and want to see more (and you will!),  LET HBO KNOW!  Twitter @HBO or @EnlightenedUp or hbo.com or find HBO or Enlightened on Facebook.  For direct links, you can find them on my facebook page as well...www.facebook.com/reelhonestreviews.

Amy thinks she can make a difference; let's be a little bit like Amy and make a difference in what we see on TV.  Let HBO know.

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