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Why I was wrong about 'The Comeback'

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

'The Comeback': First look, plus details on who's returning for season 2 -- EXCLUSIVE

HBO’s The Comeback is coming back, and we’ve got details that we need to know are being heard, Jane. What will our favorite former sitcom star Valerie Cherish be up to when the series returns after nine years off the air?

“Valerie does get in the spotlight, which is what she always reached for, but we found a unique way of telling the story about what can happen when you get something you want,” says co-creator Michael Patrick King. Earlier this year, HBO invited him and Comeback co-creator/star Lisa Kudrow to revive their canceled reality satire, which followed a faded D-lister desperate for attention. King and Kudrow contemplated the offer — to do either a one-shot movie or a limited series — and opted to stick with the original show’s DNA, bringing Valerie back for a six-episode second season set to air this fall. READ FULL STORY

'The Comeback' officially coming back to HBO this fall

Well, she finally got it.

After months of rumors and speculation, HBO officially announced Monday that The Comeback will be returning to the network for a six-episode limited series this fall. The 2005 series followed Lisa Kudrow as D-list TV star Valerie Cherish trying desperately to make a career comeback while filming a reality show. Production will begin later this month in Los Angeles with Michael Patrick King (Sex in the City), Dan Bucatinsky (Scandal), and Kudrow all reprising their roles as executive producers. READ FULL STORY

Michael Patrick King talks the future of 'The Comeback' -- EXCLUSIVE

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

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