Working on network television is not the easiest thing according to screenwriter Mike White (he previously created the Fox shows CRACKING UP and PASADENA), but it was HBO that has brought him back TV with ENLIGHTENED and now he finally feels he’s getting a chance to do it right.
The series stars Laura Dern as a woman who goes an a mission of self-discovery after tragedy has melted down her life. Luke Wilson and Dern’s real-life mother Diane Ladd also star.
“I have such respect for the shows HBO puts on,” says White at today’s TCA sessions for HBO in Beverly Hills. “In movies you have to come up with a canvas and move on. In TV, you can keep adding to the story and going deep and that is really satisfying especially when you learn more about actors and write to their voices. It’s something that always drew me to it. I didn’t know if it was worth it , but it feels like this is the right time, right network, right people.”
As for his prior experience, he goes into detail about how his experiences with those other series that made him want to try everything to get out of those situations.
“Doing TV shows is no cake walk,” says White. “I did show for Fox and [those shows] were ill-fated and the last one was a bust and it was one of those Fox shows where you do the show, you air twice and they dump you after you spent a year and half to do it. I felt like I had been let down led down the primrose path. I was hoping they would fire me and it got more stressful. It was a relationship to what happens to [the character of] Amy [in ENLIGHTENED]. The stress and mania of taking one of those high stressful job, you end up doing things going, ‘this is going to be something I regret later.’ The good part that came out of it, is I needed to mellow out. I was reading the cheesy self help books, learning to breathe deeply. As much as I could see the absurdity, I also got a lot out of it – the feeling of that is in the show.”
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Article: Mike White talks about his new HBO series ENLIGHTENED