Yeah, the new Lisa Kudrow show about a formerlly star TV actress trying to get back into the business as a bit character in a new sitcom. Part of the agreement with the show is to participate in a reality show about “The Comeback” and we see it from the POV of the reality show.
I actually like it so far. It has promise. It doesn’t have the guffaws of other comedies but the more nervous, uncomfortable laughter of shows like The Office (British version… but that one does it better). It’s just an interesting show which explores how it feels to be a one time top of the world actress who is struggling with trying to become relevant again.
Lisa Kudrow does a pretty good job in it. It’s just really brutal to watch. I’m not sure I want feel that uncomfortable for a half-hour every week.
Kudrow is too sympathetic in it. Maybe a Ted Knight-like actor would make it funny because then you wouldn’t feel bad for laughing. But her character seems like a decent enough egg, so I just don’t really like seeing her get dissed again and again and again and again. I mean, how many “smiling-through-the-pain” close-ups can a person take in one episode??
Not sure I’m going to watch it again, which is a shame because I think it’s written well, and Kudrow shows some subtle range in it. So I guess on paper, it looks good. Something just doesn’t click.
I watched what I think was a rerun (“encore presentation”) last night after Six Feet Under. Like the other posters, I was squirming, liked her performance, but don’t know how many episodes I can sit through. I thought her antics on the plane bordered on slapstick, and didn’t buy it. But the moment when she’s in front of the mirror the morning of her big debut and the producers want her to use the sponsor’s hair product instead of her regular stuff…damn, that was some fine acting! That must have been 30 seconds of agonizing subtext, with no real dialogue to hide behind, and she made it beautiful and painful to watch.
I always think it’s more interesting to see someone *nearly *cry than to actually cry, and this show has a lot of that.
This show reminds me of Kirstie Alley’s “Fat Actress.” Both shows make me grimace more than laugh. I don’t find much entertainment in seeing the discomforts (even if they are imagined) of a performer for whom I have a certain amount of affection.
Kudrow is astounding in this show. I mean, I figure comedy is hard enough that most folks who do it well are better actors than they let on, but I had no idea she had these kinds of chops.
I’m really enjoying the show after two episodes. I agree that it’s primary goal is not the laugh but the squirm, but it has enough laughs as well. It’s not so over the top painful like Curb Your Entusiasm, which I admire from afar but can’t bring myself to watch. I’m in for the duration.
Maybe he was her friend before the reality show started, but I doubt it. He’s the same kind of flunky that created Michael Jackson and Prince - a “friend” who will never tell you that you’re becoming a freakazoid.
Now that she’s making this reality show, he can certainly not be her friend, because she will never stop acting. Her constant awareness of the cameras is astounding (and, frankly, strikes me as more realistic than many real “reality” shows. I’ve never understood how someone could have a knock-out dragdown fight with their husband while a cameramen is standing six feet away.)
She needs a friend who’s not in the business at all. A friend who’s livelihood doesn’t depend on her mood. Unfortunately, that’s just the kind of friend her character will find useless and mundane.
HBO definetly does seem to like the ‘squirmy’ comedies which aren’t full of huge laughs, but go in different directions. “Curb your Enthusiasm” isn’t depressing, but definetly squirmy. “The Comeback” can be very sad at times. Sometimes I wonder if a former network big star would be treated that way.
That’s probably true. Though it is only the first two episodes, so we don’t know if there is a friend out there yet.
I totally expected her to run over the puppy (accidentally, of course – not that it would have mattered to Valerie).
One thing I don’t get about this episode. I thought Valerie’s objection to the Korean barbecue line was because it was racist. Instead she complained that viewers would see her character as a big meanie – someone who doesn’t like puppies.
Was that just another example of Valerie’s narcissism? Or am I the only one who thought it was racist? Was I whooshed?
Just another example of the comedy of humiliation like Curb Your Enthusiasm, Fat Actress, The Office, Seinfeld, etc. etc. I can’t stop cringing long enough to laugh at any of these shows, and even if I could, they’re so incredibly predictable that you can tell within the first five minutes how the show will end.
I think it was an example of her narcissism. She wants to be viewed ON THE SITCOM as cool, sexy and smart.
That was the best episode so far. It was good enough to get me to go back and watch the first three last night on the “re-airing”. I REALLY like this show. Kudrow has been astounding, deftly and subtley portraying the many contradictions of her character.
The “discomfort” I felt (like others) seems to have gone a little. She’s certainly not making the character seem too sympathetic. . .but that’s part of the appeal. She is narcissistic, and an attention whore, and a diva so you can get down on her, but she snaps you back when you realize just how meaningful it is for her to get back into the limelight.
The hang-up over the hair product, the “non-introduction” at the up-fronts. She was in agony. What a great job she’s doing.
I think it’s just a great, great role. Real “Sunset Boulevard” type stuff.
And, no, it’s not real funny. It has had a few funny moments, but it hardly even seems like it’s supposed to be funny.
Also, great performances by the two writers, the director of “Room and Bored” and the director the “The Comeback”, and her husband.