A 2005 HBO
comedy from Lisa Kudrow and Sex and the City
producer Michael Patrick King.
It stars Kudrow as has-been sitcom actress Valerie Cherish who is poised to make a comeback by starring in not one but two new shows. She is given the chance to star in her own reality show that would document her every day life including her new job as a lead in a new sitcom called "Room and Bored". However, things don't go as planned on either show. The writers of "Room and Bored" rewrite Valerie's character and change her from a sexy business woman and turn her into the frumpy aunt of one of the show's sexier young cast members. Meanwhile, Valerie complicates the jobs of her reality show crew by misunderstanding how documentary film-making works and constantly asking for cuts and retakes.
The show is presented in Mockumentary
style, similar to the The Office
, however what sets The Comeback
apart is that the footage is shown in "raw" form. Meaning that the viewer is seeing the footage as it is being filmed, untouched and uncut, before it is edited and polished into a series. The actual reality series that the footage is being shot for isn't shown until the final episode when Valerie is shown watching the series premiere.The Comeback
only lasted one season that consisted of 13 episodes. It was cancelled due to low ratings and a lukewarm reception by critics. However the show did garner three Emmy nominations including one for Kudrow's performance. Retrospective reviews of the show have been much warmer, with EW calling it one of the best shows of the 2000's.
HBO ordered a second season of eight episodes nearly nine years after the show was canceled.
The show provides examples of:
- Blondes Are Evil: Averted. As the breakout star of "Room and Bored," Juna has every reason to be the stereotypical Alpha Bitch but instead she's genuinely sweet and naive.
- Butt Monkey: Valerie, though most of the time she brings her suffering upon herself.
- Catch Phrase: Aunt Sassy's "I don't want to see that!"
- Confession Cam: Valerie uses this a few times.
- Cringe Comedy
- Determinator: No matter how much humiliation she is put through, Valerie is surprisingly resilient and determined to achieve her comeback at seemingly any cost.
- The Fundamentalist: Shayne objects to Valerie's reality show because of her religious views but has no problem starring in a sitcom about promiscuous singles in skimpy bathing suits.
- Genre Savvy: Valerie frequently attempts to use her status as a sitcom veteran to alter the events of "Room and Bored" in Aunt Sassy's favor, completely unaware that Paulie G. and others do not receive her suggestions well.
- It's All About Me: Even when Valerie is doing a good thing for someone else, it's usually because it also directly benefits her image.
- Jerkass: Paulie G. Valerie at times as well.
- Manipulative Editing: The show's final episode had Valerie throw a viewing party for the premiere of her reality show. She's heartbroken when she realizes that the show was heavily edited to humiliate her, her friends, and coworkers. What's worse is that the show made her cruel tormentor, producer Pauly G, look like the victim in their ongoing feud.
- Roommate Com: Parodied with a Show Within a Show — a ghastly sitcom called "Room and Bored". It's about four young horny singles, but a washed-up older actress was brought into the show against the will of the screenwriters. They cast her as the disapproving "Aunt Sassy". (Typical lines: "Aunt Sassy, can we keep these puppies?" — "Where you see puppies, I see Korean barbecue.")
- Stepford Smiler: Valerie.
- Uncanceled: After the show achieved cult status, HBO ordered six new episodes set to air in late 2014...nine years after the show was cancelled!
- Vomit Indiscretion Shot: A spectacular double-headed example: sick of Paulie G.'s bullying, Valerie finally loses it and punches him in the stomach just after he's had lunch. Unfortunately he sets her off too, but the resulting clip goes viral and revives her career overnight.
- White-Dwarf Starlet: Valerie.