Enlightened: Season 1 (2011)

SEASON:

Season 1
Enlightened

Critics Consensus

Enlightened is an outstanding and brave show, exemplifying how a television series can successfully present different elements of the human psyche.

79%

TOMATOMETER

Critic Ratings: 29

87%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 100

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Episodes

1
Air date: Oct 10, 2011
2
Air date: Oct 17, 2011
3
Air date: Oct 24, 2011
4
Air date: Oct 31, 2011
5
Air date: Nov 7, 2011
6
Air date: Nov 14, 2011
7
Air date: Nov 21, 2011
8
Air date: Nov 28, 2011
9
Air date: Dec 5, 2011
10
Air date: Dec 12, 2011

Enlightened: Season 1 Photos

Tv Season Info

Following a very public breakdown at her job, executive Amy Jellicoe (Laura Dern) escapes to a month long holistic treatment program and returns to her old life with a never-before-seen New Age perspective, though the friends and colleagues who know the old Amy are skeptical about her new outlook to say the least, especially her ex-husband Levi (Luke Wilson).

News & Interviews for Enlightened: Season 1

Critic Reviews for Enlightened Season 1

All Critics (29) | Top Critics (20)

A rare HBO misfire - but I do hope Amy finds peace.

Oct 10, 2011 | Rating: C+ | Full Review…
Top Critic

A black comedy working many shades of gray, Enlightened is about dark mornings of the soul and the fool's-golden glow of the new convert, and it measures the weight of the world with an eccentric scale.

Oct 10, 2011 | Full Review…
Top Critic

Dern is fantastic as Amy - you cringe as her histrionics drive people away, and cringe again as she tries to suppress her feelings behind a veneer of New Age peacefulness.

Oct 10, 2011 | Rating: A- | Full Review…

The wonderful new HBO series Enlightened is a heartbreaker/dreammaker.

Oct 10, 2011 | Rating: A | Full Review…
Top Critic

The character of Amy Jellicoe, an executive ground down to bones and nerve after a mental breakdown, could have been a sort of spiritual successor to Tony Soprano. It is a critical text in Dern studies.

May 8, 2020 | Full Review…

I prefer White when he's working a little broader, but Enlightened comes close to hitting the sweet spot between maudlin dramedy and cutting satire.

Oct 10, 2011 | Rating: B- | Full Review…
Top Critic

The show definitely grows on you.

Oct 10, 2011 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…

The underlying black humor is what keeps Enlightened interesting.

Oct 10, 2011 | Rating: 7/10 | Full Review…

Look, I'm all for darkness and imperfection in characters, but after an hour and a half with this woman, I don't feel the slightest bit invested in her.

Oct 10, 2011 | Full Review…

Enlightened feels too lightweight to work as a short drama, and too clumsy in its attempts at humor to work that way.

Oct 10, 2011 | Rating: C | Full Review…

I find myself restless to change the channel to something that's actually entertaining or, yes, enlightening.

Oct 10, 2011 | Full Review…

But the biggest downfall of Enlightened is doesn't know what it wants to be.

Oct 10, 2011 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Enlightened: Season 1

  • Oct 25, 2018
    The dark humor can be a bit much at times but the show just draws you in. It is ambitious and I think a home run. Too bad HBO didn't think so.
  • Jan 12, 2018
    The best! Love this series! Laura Dern is amazing as always and the storyline is compelling, thought provoking, and incredibly authentic.
  • Jan 07, 2018
    An examination of the cycles of abuse and self-degradation that are far too easy to get into while living the American dream. Laura Dern plays the role of the modern liberal degenerate to perfection and Mike White continues to show hat he is an incredibly underrated talent when it comes to writing.
  • Oct 29, 2017
    Poignantly significant. Laura Dern plays her hopeful AND disappointed role so, so well.
  • Aug 31, 2017
    Right? Right? Right? At least 20x per episode.
  • Jun 23, 2016
    For a needlessly precise numerical rating: 75/100, or a B+ Enlightened slowly ramps up in quality per episode as the show finds its voice, so the season rating of B+ (I'm a slightly harsh grader) is indicative of overall quality. I expect a higher grade for the highly acclaimed second season, but this is a very good score in my eyes. Anyway, this is a fascinating character study of a purposefully unlikable character, Amy Jellicoe (portrayed by Laura Dern in what might be her very best performance, and that's saying a lot), who claims she has a new worldview after rehab and thusly attempts to do the right thing, mostly out of inflated self-worth and arrogance. The show expands a bit beyond her after the first couple of episodes, but Amy is nearly always at the center. That is, except for "Consider Helen", which might be one of the top contenders for best television episode of 2011, a look at the show if it was from the point of view of Amy's mother, Helen (Diane Ladd, Dern's real-life mother, and nearly as excellent here), a quiet, emotionally removed woman who keeps a stolid routine that masks dark ghosts in her past.
  • Jan 06, 2016
    One of the greatest shows ever made, honestly. Laura Dern is brilliant, and Mike White's writing is touching, hilarious, smart, and relatable.
  • Dec 01, 2015
    This was excellent. A great display of keeping your chin up in the face of adversity. Amy is tenacity and ruthless but at the same time had integrity, she is not manipulative. She reacted to bad news with such GRACE. Such a a wonderful example for me in my life.
  • Sep 04, 2014
    While the show is funny, insightful, and even inspiring at times, there's not much of a plot direction after midway through the season, leaving the few moments of raw characterization too little to elevate the rest. Still very entertaining to watch.
  • Jul 04, 2014
    This series is really hard to classify. There are comedic elements spliced into the life of a really flawed woman who we get annoyed with but cannot help but to root for. The moments in the series where the lead Amy reflects on life are wonderful. This show was hard to get into, but I am glad I stuck with it. Particularly great episodes: 1.4 & 1.9

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