Enlightened, Season 2
Is the world ready for Amy on Twitter?
Posted Sunday, Feb. 3, 2013, at 11:45 AM
Laura Dern as Amy Jellicoe.
Photo by Lacey Terrell
Every week in Slate’s Enlightened TV club, Jeffrey Bloomer will have an IM conversation with a different fan of the show. This week, he rehashes episode 2.4 with J. Bryan Lowder, Slate's editorial assistant for culture.
Jeff Bloomer: Welcome, Bryan! We got back to business this week, with Amy and Tyler's latest fumble bringing Dougie into their ragtag revolution and the Shirtless Reporter finally living up to his questionable romantic promise. But first let's begin with the week's greatest horror: Amy has discovered Twitter.
J. Bryan Lowder: Wait, Jeff. Did you follow me yet? I'm worried you’re not receiving my very important twits. But seriously, that sequence was simultaneously cute and ridiculous. Also, I realized how strange it is to discuss Twitter IRL as opposed to Facebook. I cringed every time she mentioned it out loud. But you know, at least Amy is finally, if haltingly, making steps that will get her involved in the social-justice scene she's so enamored of. When Jeff inevitably disappoints her, I don't want her to be totally disillusioned.
Jeff: Yeah, her first venture into social media was a mix of jokes sly and bizarrely dated. I love that the first three accounts she followed were Amnesty International, PETA, and ... Mia Farrow. Then her epic etiquette fail became grating. I guess that's Amy, though. But even if Jeff doesn't come through for her, do you really think Amy will find the audience she wants on Twitter? I thought part of the joke was that she was just as anonymous and grasping there as she is at work.
Bryan: Oh, she's definitely still "no one," as she said to Abaddon’s CEO, Charles Szidon. But tonight we saw baby steps—getting involved in CYBERSPACE, attending a real networky soiree, etc. Amy's still totally awkward and even a little horrible, in her naive way, but she's gradually approaching reality. I've no doubt that it will be a bumpy landing, though, especially that we've now got Dougie in on the plot.
Switching gears a bit, I wonder if you feel like the cringe moments directed at Amy are getting a little out of scale with her character. She's always been daft, of course, but tonight she seemed downright dumb at times. I don't think she's that—clearly, she's good at manipulating people and, though a little slow, is on the right track to take down the company through some kind of cyber attack. Wide-eyed, yes, but a total ditz? Those moments didn't ring true for me.
Jeff: I agree with you in the long run—I think the show can belabor her cluelessness in a way that borders on sadistic. Asking for Janice to follow her on Twitter over Krista's hospital bed was a good example. But if we're talking about her first venture out with the "intellectuals," it seemed fitting. She came off less ditzy to me than new-girl overeager with the headlining activist, whose wine-soaked "talk" she attends. And the same goes for her run-in with the CEO. It was interesting that those first-time meetings paralleled each other: In both cases Amy got idle smiles and polite half-interest before they were ushered away by their people.
Bryan: Hmm, yeah, that parallel is great. I've got to get to a drink thing now, though, but you're really important to me, Jeff. I KID. It's clear that people underestimate her to their peril, but I guess I'm just growing a touch tired of her literally wringing her hands all the time. By the way, speaking of that "talk," I found it funny how couched in the same empty language of Amy's internal monologue it was, and yet that woman is a "hero," and Amy is meant to be a bleeding heart.
Jeff: That’s true! Same goes with Jeff. I think we've been inclined to believe he is some kind of old-guard sage , but he seems to delight in the empty buzz of the scene. I especially loved when he told Amy he had "like 30,000 Twitter followers" and then we later see he clears only 11,600. Poser! We also can't let their shared kiss squeak by: That wasn't an accident. He likes Amy's excited-puppy act. I think that's going to happen.
Bryan: Oh, totally going to happen. He's drawn to her innocence and groupie mess, and it will confuse her and then remove her rose-colored glasses. But the thing that irritated me most about him was his excitement about being picked up by the Huffington Post. Isn't he at a serious paper? Why would he be excited about a minor reprint? His glee at traffic seemed to belie the gumshoe exterior, for sure.
Jeff: Ugh, yes. I thought the same thing. I know the LA Times isn't exactly what it used to be, but I can guarantee no celebrity reporter there hunches excitedly over his computer when he’s picked up by the Huffington Post. That’s ridiculous.
Let’s move on to something happier: Dougie is now part of the revolution! I'm willing to forgive the contrivance of him suddenly figuring out Amy’s scheme, and I’m relieved his goofy, faux-ominous stares at Amy and Tyler will now be ones of collusion. But will he just unravel the plan even more?
Bryan: Oh, I love it. I think there were some hints before that he was actually a talented programmer (even if he's also a douche), so having him involved will probably help. That said, he and Tyler will almost certainly get all peacocky, and we already know Dougie is impulsive, which isn't great for secret plans. Three people are now involved with very different motivations, so I expect troubles shortly.
A final thing: I have to say I was a touch moved by his embarrassment at the emails. He was clearly hurt. But that also makes me wonder what kind of crazy office Abaddon is—do you think emails are going around Slate about how my hair was busted the other day?
Jeff: We have to figure out who has the override password! In the meantime, I just checked: I follow you on Twitter, but someone does not follow me. I'm going to stare at my follower counter until it magically bumps up by one.
Bryan: Check it now. The revolution can continue, just after happy hour.
J. Bryan Lowder is the Slate editorial assistant for culture.