Reading NPR’ s app on my way to the office recently got me thinking about one of my favorite questions — whether people are really capable of change.
Terry Gross on WHYY’s Fresh Air did an interview about the new HBO series called “Enlightened,” and talked about that, among other things:
Can people really change? That’s the question Laura Dern and Mike White ask in their new HBO series, Enlightened, which premieres Monday night. The show features Dern as Amy Jellicoe, an ambitious executive who has a nervous breakdown at her workplace. She goes to a rehabilitation center in Hawaii, where she experiences an awakening.
White: “I think there are certain ways that people are always themselves, but I do think people change. I feel like that is the hopefulness I think the show tries to get at. … That’s a big question both Laura and I have discussed throughout the entire shooting and writing of the show, you know … how enlightened is Amy? If she’s just a fraud … and in the end …. hasn’t really grown, then I think it is a cynical show. I feel like we’re all human and nobody’s perfect, and we’re all sort of fumbling towards something better. But if we don’t believe that we can change or get over ourselves, it’s a pretty depressing resolution.”
Dern: “Mike so beautifully writes about incremental growth, and I think so many film writers want to tackle this enormous growth where this villain becomes a hero in the hour and half that we have with them. In the long form of this season, Mike has this opportunity of Amy having this longing for growth, and longing for some form of self-acceptance … So there’s this complicated and elusive journey toward growth that she takes.”