Those that know me, know I don’t watch TV. I am uber picky. It’s mostly all the same stuff, different station: Sex, violence, betrayal. For a lot of people, this is their entertainment thing, but for me, I want none of that. I want STORYTELLING–Storytelling and writing that’s layered, so interesting and poignant, it doesn’t need schtick. These ploys are cheap, predictable and easy. But, give me a breath-taking portrait….
I stumbled across “Enlightened.” It’s only two seasons, came out years ago, and honestly, the story slayed me. I’ve seen it twice. People are either pro Laura Dern or anti-Laura Dern. If you are not a Laura fan, it’s been suggested to me by a few others who have seen it that this did get in the way of liking Amy Jellico, and this story. Dern plays a VERY strong, very conflicted, very boundriless, very naive, very honest character. I thought she was fantastic. Wow… She knocked it out of the park. Interestingly, her mother in real life, Diane Ladd, plays her mother in this series. They were powerful together. I’m sure they were very proud of each other for their artistic contributions to this effort.
The scripts were written by Mike White, who stars in “Enlightened” as Tyler, Amy Jellico’s co worker, and there is not a single word that was out of place or unnecessary. The most powerful messages came from the fewest words. But, the words were a bulls eye, of time, place, context and impact. He did justice to the meek, kind loyal character of Tyler.
If I had to pick a theme, I’d say Mike White has beautifully nailed portraying the thin, fragile line between feeling hopeful and helpless. That as humans, every single one of us, experiences this irrational, elusive juxtaposition on a daily and often momentary basis. I really thought a lot about the dialog, the many subtle themes that were everywhere if you pay close enough attention. It inspired me. I hope to write as touchingly about the idea of how crazy, brave and flawed we are in our quests for enlightenment.