As a TV critic, I often feel that good shows don’t have a big effect on me. Obviously, the great ones do. But I also find that the ones that I initially dislike are also the ones that I end up thinking about the most, long after they’re over, wondering why they touched a nerve for me in the first place. How can something that inspires such a strong opinion possibly be all that bad?
I thought about that question a lot while watching the new episodes of The Comeback.
When it first premiered in 2005, I didn’t love The Comeback, which was co-created by Michael Patrick King (Sex and the City) and Lisa Kudrow. The show follows Valerie Cherish (Kudrow), a D-list actress who’s clawing her way back into the spotlight with a reality TV show and a new role on a terrible sitcom called Room and Bored. The show was hard to watch from the start. Shot in a brightly lit, fake-documentary style, like something you’d see on Lifetime, it felt like an all-too-easy joke about how shallow reality TV stars could be, and that punchline already felt dated at a time when reality TV had already reached its apex. Valerie was so desperate to be famous, she was willing to humiliate herself again and again on camera, whether that meant drunk-dialing Room and Bored’s douchebag showrunner, Paulie G (Lance Barber), or vomiting on set while dressed as a cupcake. Her catchphrase on Room and Bored—“I don’t want to see that!”—was exactly what viewers like me felt about watching Kudrow play this role. It was a little uncomfortable to see the beloved star of Friends acting like a desperate has-been. READ FULL STORY