The Mary Tyler Moore Show and The West Wing top my long list, which of course also includes The Office. But recently I’ve become fascinated with two HBO gems, Getting On and Enlightened, partly because they dare to portray stuff most of us would never dare do at work.
Getting On debuted last year, and I’m glad that it’s been renewed for another season. Rather than try to explain why I like it so much, just watch this scene. It’s a perfect example:
In addition to being a surprising mix of inappropriate humor and shocking moments, there’s also genuine feeling and recognizable struggles. I also love it because it gives two wonderful comic actresses – Alex Borstein (brilliant so long ago on Mad TV) and Niecy Nash (great on Reno 911) – some great opportunities to display their talents.
And then there’s Enlightened. I’m REALLY bummed that this series was cancelled after its second season. I love it for many of the same reasons. Here’s the season 1 trailer:
Brilliant writing and so many cringe-worthy moments. What more could you want from a TV show that focuses on a coworker you would never want, yet you can’t help sometimes rooting for her? This show may offer fewer belly laughs, but it does make you think. What does it mean to be an “agent of change” at work? How engaged are you as an employee in the big-picture mission of your employer?
Great work from Laura Dern, Mike White, and Diane Ladd (nothing like her turn as Flo on Alice!). #BringEnlightenedBack
Even though I already watch too much TV, I would welcome more shows with this level of quality.