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Enlightened Is Trying to Be More Like Homeland

Enlightened is one of the most distinctive, voice-driven shows in recent memory — a source of joy and surprise to its dozens of fans. Creator and co-star Mike White says this season owes its slight style shift to an unexpected source, though. "I was hoping that people would be down for a more meditative type of show," he tells HuffPo. "And then we came out the same time as Homeland and it was a little bit like the way Girls is doing now. [Laughs.] It’s like, there's always something that’s sucking the air up from your moment." Plus, it's not as if Enlightened's Amy (Laura Dern) is so much wackier than Homeland's Carrie. "In a way, there are many parallels," White says. "But [Homeland]'s hung on this very juicy plot that really motors that show. And so I was like, 'You know, well we could do [that].'" And in some ways, the show has, devoting more time to Amy's whistle-blowing campaign. But the two standout episodes this season, "The Ghost Is Seen" (focused on Tyler) and "Higher Power" (focused on Levi), seem not to be part of that trajectory, which White acknowledges. "As much as there is this plot, you can tell that the real inspirations are the digressions." Oh, Enlightened, you are perhaps too tender for this harsh world.

Photo: LACEY TERRELL/HBO