7 January 2013 11:01 AM, PST | Indiewire Television | See recent Indiewire Television news »

"Enlightened" opens with Amy Jellicoe (Laura Dern) gag-sobbing in a bathroom stall, mascara streaking down her cheeks in mournful black rivulets. Like the rest of Season 1 of HBO's masterpiece, which returns for Season 2 on Sunday at 9:30, it isn't all that funny. But to call "Enlightened" simply a comedy is unjust: it's a symphony of regret. Amy's mad-as-hell moment, after she's been transferred from her department in a drugstore chain's corporate office following a failed affair with her boss, is only a prologue. But her volcanic rage — prying open the doors of an elevator, looking like Jack Nicholson in "The Shining" — consumes the series, eroding her quest for peace at every turn. With treatment, she finds the aphorisms for a new life, but she has to return to pick up the pieces of her old one; she knows the mantras of happiness, if not yet the thing itself. "You can be wise and almost whole, »


- Matt Brennan

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