TV Review: HBO's 'Enlightened'

HBO premieres its new comedy Enlightened, starring Laura Dern, on Monday at 9:30 p.m. ET. The following are reviews from TV critics around the Web, compiled by B&C.

“Despite writing from Mike White - who’s been involved in TV shows and movies as wide-ranging as Freaks and Geeks, School of Rock, Pasadena and Year of the Dog (among many others - it’s stifling, awkward and just plain not funny.” –Alan Sepinwall, HitFix

“Unlike other shows, Enlightened doesn’t give you obvious guidelines to when you’re supposed to laugh and when you’re supposed to feel something else. If Amy really was enlightened, there’d be no show, but the fact that she’s wearing her enlightenment like an ill-fitting coat gives the show both its comedic and plot trajectories.” — David Wiegand, San Francisco Chronicle

Enlightened…is to my mind the most interesting and ambitious series of the fall season. (And when I say ambitious, I mean emotionally ambitious, though it is beautiful to look upon as well.) You can’t really reckon it by anything else on television.” — Robert Lloyd,Los Angeles Times

“[T]he biggest downfall of Enlightened is doesn’t know what it wants to be. It’s in no-man’s land between a comedy, a drama and a satire. Perhaps if the producers looked deep into their souls, they’ll figure it out.” — David Eckstein, Zap2It

“It is certainly not the comedy that the network’s ads have touted it as being; nor is it a straight drama with a clearly defined protagonist or particularly gripping plot developments. Nothing about it will cheer you up…I happen to like Enlightened a lot and found it strangely fascinating.” — Hank Stuever, Washington Post