TV: Enlightened 1.8 “Comrades Unite!” Review (**1/2)

Posted: November 29, 2011 in Reviews, Television
Tags: , ,

Enlightened is a really peculiar show that’s unlike any other on television. While it markets itself as a comedy, I’m not sure I laugh out loud more than once or twice each episode. If anything, it’s a character study one of the most crazed-out, annoying anti-heroes in television history.

Amy Jellicoe (played by the splendid Laura Dern) is one hell of woman, and I don’t mean that in a good way. She reminds me of someone we’ve all met or someone we’ve all been, the over-exuberant new world happy-go-lucky woman who preaches togetherness, but beyond the superficial, her character is a selfish one, throwing a childish temper tantrum at the slightest of obstacles. From Amy’s mom to her coworkers, she looks at everyone with condescension when she’s clearly the one who needs the most help. And yet, thanks to Laura Dern’s unique portrayal, we’re still rooting for her to turn the corner, to be “enlightened” to her own screwed-up mentality.

“Comrades Unite!” saw the little wrinkles begin to show. Not only do the people of her past begin to dislike her, but tension with her friends of the present are beginning to rise as well. For one thing, Amy doesn’t even know what she does at her new job. Called out for being consistently late and putting in unsatisfactory work, Amy finally asks for help. But was she enlightened? Certainly not, as she wiggled her way out of a firing by insinuating improper actions from her boss Dougie.

Enlightened doesn’t have the speed and overall story arc to muster more than a second season (if even that), but it’s had a pleasant run for the fall. I’m just not really sure where they’re really trying to go with the show, what we want for Amy. I don’t think Amy even knows what she wants for herself. And without a goal for a character’s progression, Enlightened is stuck in mediocrity while the show’s ratings continue to nosedive.


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