Inside TV Exclusive TV News and Scoop

Tag: Mike White (1-3 of 3)

Emmy Watch: Sarah Burns discusses that extremely awkward hospital visit in 'Enlightened'

Between now and June 28, the deadline for Emmy voters to submit nomination ballots, will feature interviews with some of the actors and actresses whose names we hope to hear when nominations are announced on July 18.

Krista was in an impossible position from the beginning. As Amy Jellicoe was burning out in a spectacular fashion at Abbadon, her assistant Krista was actually given an opportunity: with her old boss gone, she could rise in the corporate ranks. When Amy returns after an extended leave, she finds Krista thriving. She’s pregnant. She’s happy. She’s successful. And she’s occupying Amy’s old office. It was always going to be awkward.

Creator and writer Mike White allowed his show to luxuriate in complexity, and Krista is never reduced to just one thing. Actress Sarah Burns created an empathetic character who is fundamentally conflicted about her relationship with Amy. Even though we may have experienced most things in Enlightened through the vehicle of Amy, we’re never blinded by her, and can see the always earnest and sometimes tone-deaf strain that she manages to put on others. On one level, Krista is just kind of trying to lead her own life and deal with Amy’s intermittent, terribly self-centered, interruptions as they come.

EW spoke with Burns about her character, knowing what it feels like to outgrow a boss, and Enlightened’s bittersweet ending.


Luke Wilson and Mike White on the 'Enlightened' season finale: Is this the end of the show?

Photo: Laura Dern and Luke Wilson in ‘Enlightened.’ Credit: Lacey Terrell / HBO

Say it ain’t so! This Sunday, March 3, marks the season finale of Enlightened, one of the best (and most under-appreciated) comedies on television. And already, fans are starting to worry: Will this be the end of the show?

“Last season, I was like, we’ve got to end this with as big of a cliffhanger as we possibly can, just so that people will want to see how it all plays out,” the show’s creator, Mike White, told EW before the second season began. “And I wanted to do that again this year. But I did feel like, if we don’t build our audience and there is a chance that this show won’t come back, I wanted it to feel complete. I was hedging my bets, I guess.” (This season’s premiere earned only earned 609,000 viewers over three plays, though that’s slightly up from last season. HBO has not announced whether the series will live to see a third season.)

Without spoiling anything, let’s just say that this season finale is all kinds of heartbreaking, and not just because the episode is so good that you won’t want it to end. As Amy (Laura Dern) and Los Angeles Times scribe Jeff (Dermott Mulroney) prepare to publish their big exposé about Abbadonn, everyone’s starting to get nervous. Abbadonn’s shy programming drone Tyler (Mike White) knows that his relationship with Eileen (Molly Shannon), the boss’s secretary, will be over as soon as the story breaks, and he wants Amy to stop the story from running. Meanwhile, a new opportunity comes up that makes Amy question what’s really the best way to save the world: by working within the system or by burning everything down.


Emmy Watch: Mike White talks about the painfully funny comedy of 'Enlightened'

Photo: Mike White and Laura Dern on the set of ‘Enlightened.’ Credit: Nicola Goode.

Between now and June 28, the deadline for Emmy voters to return nomination ballots, is running a series called Emmy Watch, featuring highlight clips and interviews with actors, producers, and writers whom EW TV critic Ken Tucker has on his wish list for the nominations announcement on July 19.

Before it premiered last fall, many people knew Enlightened as “that HBO show starring Laura Dern and her smeared mascara.” Since then, this moving comedy—which follows corporate whistle-blower Amy Jellicoe (Dern) on her journey from scary, “I will DESTROY you!” meltdown toward Zen-attaining enlightenment—has collected a very devoted group of superfans, including EW’s own Ken Tucker, who put it on his year-end list of the Best TV Shows and called it “beautifully acted, with many stand-out scenes (like, every one in which Dern’s Amy interacted with the dead souls at her company).”

We asked Mike White, who created Enlightened (and also co-stars as Amy’s lonely coworker Tyler), to discuss one of his favorite stand-out scene: the ending of the fourth episode, “Sandy,” which guest stars Robin Wright. We’ll let him explain the background: “Amy has this friend, Sandy, who comes to visit her. Initially, she’s projecting this perfection onto her friend. As the episode goes on, her friend starts to disappoint her, because Amy feels like they’re not on the same page. Then Amy’s paranoid that Sandy is sleeping with Amy’s ex-husband. She’s spun out. Throughout the episode, she really wants to read Sandy’s journal, to see what Sandy thinks of her. At the end, we’re left alone with Sandy, and we look into her journal, and…”

Okay, we won’t spoil it. Watch the scene below, and read our interview with White.



Latest Videos in TV

From Our Partners

TV Recaps

Powered by VIP