If you blinked between June 5 and September 4, 2005, you might have missed one of the funniest TV shows to ever grace premium cable. Though it aired in a primo time slot right after Entourage, HBO’s meta-reality series The Comeback never garnered the numbers to save itself from cancellation doom, and so after 13 riotous episodes, the first season of the Lisa Kudrow comedy also became its last.
“In the beginning, my joke was that The Comeback fans were like the early Christians — they were small groups hidden in caves who knew there was a message but they were afraid to get it out,” says Michael Patrick King (of Sex and the City fame), who co-created the series with the show’s star Kudrow, in her first major TV role since Friends ended in 2004.
Kudrow starred as Valerie Cherish, a washed-up actress who allowed her quest for fame to be filmed for a reality show called The Comeback. Valerie’s reluctant acceptance of the invasive cameras in her home spelled out her sheer desperation to be back in the spotlight again (her network show I’m It! was a three-year hit before it, too, was canceled). Throughout the season, viewers began to see the horribly depressing but somehow hilarious struggle of a woman who faced Hollywood through a gritted smile as she desperately tried to stave off the inevitability that she was becoming a joke (she earns pseudo-redemption when she’s cast on a sitcom about four sexy singles… as frumpy supporting cast member Aunt Sassy). READ FULL STORY