Enlightened is an American comedy-drama television series that premiered on HBO on October 10, 2011. The series was created by Mike White, who writes every episode, and Laura Dern, who plays the lead role of Amy Jellicoe.

In 2012, Laura Dern won a Golden Globe Award for Best Actress – Television Series Musical or Comedy for her role in the series. The show was nominated for the Golden Globe Award for Best Television Series – Musical or Comedy.

After the completion of two seasons, HBO canceled the show in March 2013 due to low ratings, despite critical acclaim.

Plot[edit source | editbeta]Edit

As signaled by its tagline "About a Woman on the Verge of a Nervous Breakthrough", Enlightened follows the story of Amy Jellicoe (Laura Dern), a self-destructive executive, who, after the implosion of her professional life and a subsequent philosophical awakening in rehabilitation, tries to get her life back together.

Jellicoe is a 40-year-old woman who returns home to California after a month's stay at a holistic treatment facility, a result of having a mental breakdown at work triggered by her self-destructive ways. Amy returns to her old life with a new cultivated approach and perspective, which includes daily meditation and exhorting the power of self-help and inner healing. Though Amy wants to be an "agent of change" in the world, the people who know her best are skeptical of her latest intentions. She moves in temporarily with her somewhat-estranged mother, Helen (Diane Ladd, Dern's real-life mom), and reconnects with her ex-husband Levi (Luke Wilson), who is struggling with his own demons and addictions.

While trying to heal Levi and mend her relationship with Helen, Amy also re-enters work at Abaddonn Industries. Once a buyer in the company's Health and Beauty department, Amy is rehired, but assigned to a demeaning position in data processing, a department run by the flaky Dougie (Timm Sharp). Amy views the transfer as an attempt to hasten her departure and keep her away from her former co-workers, including former assistant Krista (Sarah Burns), now in line for Amy's old job, and Damon (Charles Esten), her former boss and ex-lover. However, while in this new position, Amy uncovers a range of corporate abuse and corruption occurring at Abaddonn, which ultimately fuels her quest to make a change in the lives of others, as well as validating her own change.

Cast[edit source | editbeta]Edit

Main cast[edit source | editbeta]Edit

  • Laura Dern as Amy Jellicoe, an ambitious and idealistic yet socially awkward executive at Abbadon Industries. After a humiliating nervous breakdown at her workplace, she goes to rehab and returns to her company with a new mindset but also a much less significant job. She contemplates becoming a whistleblower against Abaddon.
  • Luke Wilson as Levi Callow, Amy's ex-husband. Though the two still share feelings for each other, their relationship struggles due to Levi's problems with substance abuse.
  • Diane Ladd as Helen Jellicoe, Amy's quiet yet protective mother. Amy lives at her house after returning from rehab.
  • Timm Sharp as Dougie Daniels, the obnoxious, socially oblivious VP of Cogentiva.
  • Sarah Burns as Krista Jacobs, Amy's former assistant. Though Amy considers her a friend, Krista tries to keep their relationship at a distance.
  • Mike White as Tyler, a shy, lonely coworker and friend of Amy at her new job.

Recurring cast[edit source | editbeta]Edit

  • Amy Hill as Judy Harvey, an HR representative at Abaddon who encounters Amy when she returns to work from rehab.
  • Charles Esten as Damon Manning, Amy's brash former boss and ex-lover.
  • Bayne Gibby as Connie, a deeply religious, conservative coworker at Cogentiva.
  • Jason Mantzoukas as Omar, a brusk coworker of Amy and Tyler who is a close associate of Dougie.
  • Michaela Watkins as Janice, Krista's best friend. She feels competitive, condescending, and resentful toward Amy.
  • Riki Lindhome as Harper, Krista's friend and Amy's former coworker.
  • Robin Wright as Sandy (Season 1), Amy's best friend from rehab in Hawaii.
  • Molly Shannon as Eileen (Season 2), the shy assistant to the CEO of Abaddon Industries. She eventually dates Tyler.
  • Dermot Mulroney as Jeff Flender (Season 2), a confident reporter from the Los Angeles Times who develops a casual relationship with Amy.
  • James Rebhorn as Charles Szidon (Season 2), the mysterious CEO of Abaddon Industries.
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