Of course they also could have gone beautifully. Enlightened's second season was even better than the first, so there was no indication that creator Mike White or his star Laura Dern were losing steam. But the chance was there, there were odds in play, so we did potentially dodge the bullet of a show sinking into muddled confusion or misguided diversions. It's probably a pessimistic way to look at TV, but too many once-good shows have been ruined by hobbling on too long for us to not accept that the potential is there. Even for something as good as Enlightened. So we should not be angry that it's gone. Sad, sure. Disappointed, of course. But the most productive way to work through those feelings is not to beat our chests and scream at HBO. Rather we should simply continue to evangelize about the Enlightened that exists. Not in the hopes of resurrecting it, but to spread the good word and clue more people in on what a wonderful thing it was.
I'm sure some people out there are far more passionate than I am. I know they are. When that Veronica Mars Kickstarter thing went supernova, I found it mind-boggling. I simply do not understand that level of fandom. So there are probably at least a few people right now drafting angry letters to HBO, or creating petitions, or thinking about starting their own fundraising campaign. And I suppose that's fine. But ultimately doesn't all that clatter distract from the thing that was? People seemed to forget about Veronica Mars's only so-so third season when throwing money at the movie. What if the new Arrested Development episodes are pale imitators of the originals? Remember the fight to keep Community alive? People aren't too happy with the new season, are they. Again it's probably pessimism to think this way, but it seems like people spend too much time wanting more of a thing instead of appreciating what they already have. Which isn't the Enlightened way! "You can try to escape the story of your life but you can’t," Amy Jellicoe says in one of the show's finest moments. "It happened, the baby died, the dog died, the heart broke." It did happen. And we need to move on.
Hopefully White and Dern aren't too burned by this experience to work with HBO again. Maybe they will come up with something else grand and wonderful! I'm sure they're disappointed too, and yeah I don't really think a third season of the show would have been anything but wonderful, but hopefully they too can accept the loss and grow from it and appreciate what they made. It was a wonderful thing! And now it's over. On to the next.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.