Why ‘The Comeback’ Was the Best Show Ever (And It’s Coming Back!)

When you mention The Comeback to someone, one of two things happens: 1) they stare back at you with an eerily blank expression on their face or 2) their face lights up with recognition and joy and as you both exclaim, “I don’t want to see that!” you both realize you’ve found a new best friend for life.

For those of you who unfortunate enough to have missed The Comeback the first time around, the show starred the magnificent Lisa Kudrow as Valerie Cherish, an actress who was once the toast of Hollywood’s ’80s/’90s sitcom scene. The Comeback was shot as a mockumentary, following her attempt at a TV comeback in the present-day. The Comeback ran for one season before its tragic cancellation in 2005, so I couldn’t be more thrilled that this gem is being resurrected for a 6-episode second season on HBO. By the way, when does that ever happen? Obviously, it was ahead of its time.

If you adored the show and need a refresher of what made it so amazing, or want some reasons to start watching now, listen up.

1. Lisa Kudrow

As usual, she gives the audience a brilliant and hilarious performance.

Her delivery of the writing, her physicality, and her very facial expressions. So signature Kudrow, so perfect.

2. Mickey, her hairdresser

3. It was co-created by Michael Patrick King

You know, just that dude who created Sex and the City. No big whoop.

4. That scene where she’s dressed as a cupcake and punches a complete jerk in the gut

And he barfs. Then she barfs. Magic.

5. Lisa’s dancing

I know I already mentioned Lisa as reason number one, but come on. She obviously deserves more than one spot on reasons why the show ruled.

6. It makes fun of our culture’s obsession with fame

And our obsessions with appearance and health, youth-culture, aging, terrible sitcoms, and reality TV.

7. This wasn’t just a show about a desperate actress willing to do anything and everything no matter how ridiculous to get back on top.

Valerie was a complicated woman trying to navigate the weird showbiz world all while trying to maintain her self-confidence and stay true to herself when she’s being told she isn’t “sexy” and is being treated like a prop. Valerie may be a bit self-obsessed and deluded, but there are moments when you can’t help but love her—and understand exactly where her frustration is coming from. Yes to nuanced characters!

And what have we to look forward to in season 2? Plenty!

1. Malin Ackerman (who portrayed Juna, the young hot it-girl who played Valerie’s sitcom co-star) returns!

Ten years later, is she starting to deal with the sexism and agism Valerie has to contend with? Has Juna found success after her break-out role on a terrible yet hugely popular sitcom?

2. Kellan Lutz, who rose to Twilight fame quickly after his turn on The Comeback, is also returning to the show.

Perhaps we’ll get a peak at the difficulties of being an aging male heart-throb? Or maybe a sadly hysterical take on how much easier it is for men to stay in their “sexy” phase for basically ever in showbiz?

3. The return of Valerie’s nemesis, Paulie G. will definitely spice things up.

Will he get revenge for Val’s punch to his gut? Will Paulie G. have seen the error of his turdish, dismissive treatment of Ms. Cherish?

4. Valerie has grown. . . and yet is so much the same.

“What I like about where we start this [season] is she thinks she’s spiritually evolved,” King described. Note King’s use of the phrase “she thinks.” Oh, Valerie. Never change. 

5. Valerie may be moving up the Hollywood food chain.

In season 2, the format of the show is maintained by a crew that follows her behind-the-scenes as she works on an HBO dramedy. Classy!

6. Mickey’s back!

Her hair stylist and confidant, Mickey Deane, is back and maybe we’ll get a closer look at his personal life now that he came out of the closet in season one’s finale.

7. Valerie hits up acting classes.  

Yes. Please. Already loving it.

(Images via here, here, here, here, here, here)

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