Enlightened, HBO, Jan. 13, 9:30 p.m.
“I’m just tired of feeling small,” says Amy Jellicoe (Laura Dern), the wannabe whistle-blower at the heart of Enlightened. The second season of this acclaimed dramedy finds Amy still fighting to rally her fellow drones at the unethical cosmetics company where they work. The series will resonate with anyone who’s spent enough time in one workplace for disillusionment to set in, whether you rocked the corporate boat or just bobbed along dreaming of justice.
This hot-button film starring Matt Damon and Frances McDormand as oil company ambassadors on a land-grabbing mission in the heartland may or may not convince you that fracking is bad. But it will definitely unearth a host of emotions surrounding another complicated issue confronting so many of us: What legacy will we leave? And what is our children’s obligation to preserve it?
Les Miserables: Highlights from the Motion Picture Soundtrack
Pop star Adam Lambert recently bashed the actors’ vocals in the film version of the iconic musical, but his critique only served to underscore the reason the movie’s music is so intense — and affecting. As Russell Crowe tweeted in his response, “It could have been sweetened, Hooper wanted it raw and real and that’s how it is.” With 20 tracks, including Anne Hathaway’s heart-wrenching rendition of "I Dreamed a Dream," "Bring Him Home," "One Day More" and "On My Own," the soundtrack lets fans relive the unsweetened, emotional roller coaster ride.
Me Before You, Jojo Moyes
In this novel that The New York Times calls “an emotional typhoon,” emotionally paralyzed Louisa goes to work as a caregiver for physically paralyzed Will — a motorcycle accident left him a quadriplegic at age 33. As their love story unfolds, the couple is forced to confront what may be the most confounding question of all: Can love alone make life worth living? Read it and (truly) weep.
WORTH THE TRIP
Uncorked Key Largo and Islamorada Food and Wine Festival, Jan. 10-19
Foodies suffering from the January blahs just might find a miracle cure among the stone crabs, pink shrimp, Florida lobster and Key Lime mimosas sure to be on the menu at this epicurean extravaganza. Uncorked features 30 events, including cooking demonstrations, art shows, food and wine tastings and an oceanfront Grand Tasting Finale. If you’re one of the lucky ones eyeing Florida as a retirement destination, there’s no better excuse to dip down and check out the Keys.
Pamela Miller is a freelance writer who lives in Los Angeles.