Fans of Eastbound and Down will be Enlightened

Fans of Eastbound and Down will be Enlightened

Laura Dern stars as a mentally-unstable office worker who decides to share her newly discovered enlightened lifestyle with the world on HBO’s Enlightened.

Victor Dos Santos, Assistant A&E Editor

Eastbound and Down is a show on HBO about a delusional and retired professional baseball player named Kenny Powers (Danny McBride) who’s dream is to make his way back into the majors.

Kenny is a disgusting human being whose daily routine consists of snorting cocaine, riding on speedboats with prostitutes, and styling his mullet. Danny McBride stars as one of the most irritating, sympathetic, and entertaining losers on television whose arc is very similar to that of Amy Jellicoe  on HBO’s Enlightened.

Laura Dern plays Amy, a woman who has a spiritual awakening after having a mental breakdown in her office. She then feels determined to share her newfound enlightened lifestyle with her closest friends and family members. Amy is a very unlikable protagonist, much like Kenny Powers.

She’s also self-indulgent and has several fits of rage, also like Kenny. Both characters are trying to do great things with their lives and are delusional in doing so. They both have frequent violent outbursts, give ridiculous monologues and are ridiculously entertaining to watch. Enlightened tends to be a bit more serious than Eastbound and Down.

Amy’s character is a lot more upsetting to watch as her breakdowns aren’t played off for humor as often as they are for Kenny. Her sadness is genuinely discomforting and gives the show a bit of a darker tone.

At times her character can be a little bit irritating to watch. She frequently makes bad decisions in an attempt to make herself come across as a better person. In one episode, she goes to a friend’s baby shower to try and get others to join her in starting a “woman’s group” at work.

Other than that, the two are very similar. They both focus on delusional losers trying to make a comeback. It’s safe to say that if you like Eastbound and Down, you’ll probably like Enlightened.