HBO's tonally tricky dramedy Enlightened was ahead of its time. When it premiered in 2011, audiences weren't as used to the genre of "depressing half-hour semi-comedy" best typified by BoJack Horseman, which is now in its fifth acclaimed season. So despite critical adoration and a Golden Globe win for star Laura Dern, the show was canceled after two low-rated seasons.
But the sadcom is a defined genre now and shows like BoJack Horseman and Atlanta are almost as popular as they are critically acclaimed. The climate would be more hospitable to a show like Enlightened now; plus ratings erosion and audience fragmentation in the Peak TV era means it's not necessarily a failure if only 200,000 people watch it. Not a lot of people watched it, but the people who watched it loved it, which might be enough justification for a revival in this reboot-crazy TV epoch.
So Entertainment Weekly asked creator Mike White — who is perhaps most recognizable for his appearances as a contestant on The Amazing Race — if he would ever revive Enlightened. "I actually feel like we could do that maybe," he said. "But I don't know. There was a lot of pain with the ending. It's like going into an old relationship where you're like... let's do something new. I may do something and work with HBO again, but I don't know about another season of Enlightened."
So there you have it. He's as conflicted about doing more Enlightened as Enlightened was conflicted about whether Amy Jellicoe (Dern) was a good person. So maybe we don't need more Enlightened. But if HBO wanted to commission a new Mike White-Laura Dern sadcom, we wouldn't be opposed to that. Just sayin'.
Enlightened is available to stream on Amazon Prime.