Enlightened television

In our household we like a good TV series. In fact, we like to totally immerse ourselves . In the winter of 2010 it was The Wire that captured our lives. Jimmy, Omar, Kima, Lester and the city of Baltimore were beamed into our living room every night for weeks on end. We watched Season 1, 2, 3, and 4, we were addicted. We were drawn in by the complex storylines, well-developed characters and gritty social and political realism. It was a wonderful distraction during a difficult time.

We followed this with more series, a couple being Breaking Bad and Boardwalk Empire both compulsive and thrilling watches. More recently it has been Enlightened. This was recommended by a couple of colleagues, independent of each other. Librarians can be counted on for their recommendations.

DVDs at South LibraryDVDs at South Library

We watched the ten half-hour episodes in one night and were well satisfied with our viewing. I did say we immersed ourselves. We talked about Enlightened after watching it, we talked about it the next morning, and I continued talking about it when I got to work. It was enlightening.

The series begins with forty year old Amy, played by Laura Dern, returning home to live with her mother after spending the last couple of months at the Open Air Retreat following a self-destructive breakdown. Amy now intends to change herself, she is determined to make the world a better place, and begins each episode with some new age insight. Her good intentions are thwarted by her self obsessed personality and she goes on to create havoc at home and work. This sets the scene for some memorable interactions with her mother, ex-husband and co-workers.

Enlightened is full of irony, very funny and yet is an unsettling watch. In fact, it can be cringe making and compelling at the same time. It is an intriguing watch as Amy’s philosophical awakening gradually uncovers a dark side to corporate America. If you need a good thought provoking television series then look no further. You will not be disappointed.

What television series would you recommend for these last winter days?

Recent necrology, July 2013

cover of The discovery of the HobbitA list of well-known people who have died recently:

  • Eileen Brennan, 1932-2013
    Actress whose film role with Goldie Hawn earned her an Oscar nomination
  • J. J. Cale, 1938-2013
    Guitarist and songwriter who disdained the limelight but won the admiration of Eric Clapton
  • Mick Farren, 1943-2013
    Counterculture icon and frontman of The Deviants who also caught the mood of the 70s in print
  • Bill Gunston, 1927-2013
    Aviation historian who, as a boy, shook hands with the German fighter designer Willy Messerschmitt
  • Virginia Johnson, 1925-2013
    Researcher into sexual behaviour whose work made her controversial and rich in equal measure
  • Elaine Morgan, 1920-2013
    Award winning writer of television dramas whose feminist tract on evolution became an unlikely bestseller
  • Mike Morwood, 1930-2013
    Archaeologist whose discovery of ‘hobbits’ in Indonesia took the scientific world by storm
  • cover of Journey of a lifetimeWilliam Renwick, 1929-2013
    One of the greatest NZ educationalists of modern times
  • Ian Scott, 1945-2013
    NZ artist
  • Mel Smith, 1952-2013
    Comedian whose partnership with Griff Rhys Jones earned him laughs and a fortune of millions
  • Alan Whicker, 1925-2013
    Globetrotting television broadcaster who delighted in the colourful, the eccentric and the ridiculous