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Enlightened: The Complete First Season

Score: 70%
Rating: TV-MA
Publisher: HBO Home Entertainment
Region: A
Media: Blu-ray/2
Running Time: 300 Mins.
Genre: Drama/Comedy/TV Series
Audio: English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1,
           French DTS Digital Surround 5.1,
           Spanish DTS Digital Surround 2.0

Subtitles: English SDH, French, Latin


  • Audio Commentaries
  • Inside the Episodes

Enlightened: The Complete First Season is about the journey of self-discovery and awareness that Amy Jellicoe (Laura Dern) takes, following a complete breakdown at her job. As a corportate Health and Beauty buyer at Abaddonn, Amy thought she had it all, including the affections of her married boss, Damon (Charles Esten). But when she is busted down to Cleaning Supplies, she snaps, thinking Damon is behind the transfer and goes on a workplace rampage, losing all credibility at her job.

She then goes for treatment at a place called Open Air in Hawaii and makes a complete turnaround, having an epiphany of sorts about the work Abaddonn, and she by extension, has been doing to harm the environment. When she returns to Abaddonn, her old job has been filled, along with the one in Cleaning Supplies. To avoid a wrongful termination lawsuit, Amy is given a job in the basement working on a project called Cogentiva that tracks the stats of all of the Abaddonn employees. She soon realizes that this is the place the unwanted at Abaddonn are sent.

Despite the fact that Amy has a fresh outlook on life and wants to put the past behind her, others around her aren't so quick to forgive. Damon wants nothing to do with her, while her old assistant, Krista (Sarah Burns) has received a promotion and now resides in Amy's old office. Everywhere she goes, she hears whispers, yet she still keeps her upbeat outlook, determined to make a positive change around her.

She soon realizes that Abaddonn has no interest in curbing their polluting ways, so she turns to other outlets to make change. She tries to get a job at a local homeless shelter, but soon realizes she can't afford the small salary, especially since she lost her place and has had to move in with her mom, Helen (Laura's real life mom, Diane Ladd). She then focuses on an illegal immigrant mother who is being deported. Her ex, Levi (Luke Wilson), is a drug abuser and a partyer and she is also forever trying to save him, which he abhors. Amy seems pretty ADD when it comes to her cause of the moment, but Abaddonn is always in her sites.

Her boss at Cogentiva, Dougie (Timm Sharp), is a computer whiz who developed the program, but he's also a real sleazeball who always seems to be giving Amy a hard time. That may have something to do with the fact that she focuses on her various causes while at work and never really gets much done, though. Amy does have a kindred spirit in Tyler (Mike White), the quiet IT guy who sits next to her and has a crush on her. Throughout the season, she will discover who her real friends are and who was just phony, and she'll see the light when it comes to finding a way to bring Abaddonn down. Next season looks like it will be all about how she pulls it off - if she can.

Honestly, Laura Dern is so damn cheerful in this role, at least after her Open Air treatment, that it is painful sometimes. She seems a bit clueless as she goes through life, but she does bring about some of the change she so desperately wants to achieve. My favorite character in the show is Tyler played by co-creator Mike White. He's just a joy to watch.

Special features are slim and include audio commentaries and Inside the Episode featurettes for each episode. While interesting, the featurettes are pretty short. As far as how the series looks on Blu-ray, the scenes that take place in Hawaii are truly breathtaking. Aside from that, Amy's wardrobe is colorful and lends a nice pop to the screen, but the show would be fine on DVD as well.

Enlightened: The Complete First Season is off to a decent start, but it doesn't have as much pull as some HBO shows. Laura Dern is a good actress, though, and I am interested to see where the show goes.

-Psibabe, GameVortex Communications
AKA Ashley Perkins

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