White, who’s credited with every script in season one, is a superb writer, crafting scenes and dialogue that feel absolutely authentic. When Amy’s quest to get her old job back fails, she settles for a lowly data entry position at the same company, convincing herself she can make a trickle-up difference. Her coworkers could have been just another motley group of misfits, but White finds the humanity in these people, from Amy’s douchebag boss, Dougie (Timm Sharp), to shy seatmate Tyler (White himself).
Even better are the scenes between Amy and her mom, Helen, and ex, Levi. Unsurprisingly, Dern has great on-screen chemistry with her mother and Wilson, but White doesn’t just depend on the actors’ strengths to sell these moments, nor does he depend on heavy exposition to inform us of these characters’ past. Instantly, we understand there are complicated histories here, and White lets us naturally discover nuances, both earth-shattering and not, as the series moves along.
It also doesn’t hurt that Enlightened is gorgeously shot by a number of extremely talented directors (Jonathan Demme, Phil Morrison, Nicole Holofcener, and Miguel Arteta all contribute, along with White). The compositions often depend heavily on natural light, and the entire series looks great on the 1080p, 1.78:1 Blu-ray transfers. Clarity is extremely strong, colors are vibrant and fine detail is abundant. The 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack is fairly low-key, as one would expect from a dialogue-heavy show like this, but there are some nicely immersive moments, and Mark Mothersbaugh’s scores sound perfect.
Extras include brief interviews with White that accompany every episode and commentary tracks for four episodes featuring White, Dern and a couple additional guests.