Wednesday, January 23, 2013
The New Republic recently talked to the writer, director, actor, and producer whose unique cable series, Enlightened, features a complicated and difficult heroine.
“The current cable television landscape is full of hit shows that are sexy and hip and fun: the urban adventuring of ‘Girls,’ the breakneck momentum of ‘Homeland,’ the slinky nostalgia of ‘Mad Men,’ the pageantry of ‘Game of Thrones.’ But HBO’s stunning, under-watched ‘Enlightened’—about a mid-level executive at a giant corporation who has a spiritual awakening after a workplace meltdown directed at her boss—is like nothing else on TV. It stands out for its stillness, its unglamorousness, but above all, for its conflicted attitude toward its characters and their world. Its protagonist, Amy Jellicoe, is easily the most complicated heroine on cable. Played by Laura Dern, she is terrible in her selfishness, in her social tone-deafness, and in the vanity of her idealism. But there is also a kernel of urgent nobility in her commitment to self-betterment. And this is what makes her so compelling …
“… Propelled partly by vengefulness and partly by a new spirit of do-gooderism, Amy starts to dig for dirt on her company, Abaddonn Industries, and uncovers a world of untold corruption with the help of one of those weirdo nerds: Tyler, played by the show’s creator, writer, and executive producer, Mike White. The show also happens to be loosely based on White’s own life. Like Amy, he had a breakdown that transformed his perspective on the meaning of work.”
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Image: Nikki Nelson/ WENN.
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