12:42 AM EDT 10/17/2013

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Mike White (Actor)

Credit: Lacey Terrell
Why HBO's Enlightened Will Be Missed

TV News

Why HBO's Enlightened Will Be Missed

Originally posted 03/20/2013 03:00PM

HBO has canceled Enlightened after only two seasons – a rational decision, judging by the low ratings, but not necessarily an enlightened one.

The comedy, created and written by Mike White and starring Laura Dern, was the only TV comedy I can think of that you could call beautiful. It was also deadpan, disturbing, ironic, moving and – even rarer – full of a kind of zen stillness: Everyone always seemed paused in their places, as if sensing that their daily reality was only a blink removed from empty dreaming.

Given all that, I think "beautiful" is the right word. But as Mr. White and Ms. Dern have learned, that's not really what people are looking for in a comedy.

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