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What If HBO Revived Under-appreciated Laura Dern Dramedy Enlightened?

Creator Mike White weighs in on the possibility

Liam Mathews

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.