The Lisa Kudrow comedy series The Comeback reportedly will be returning to HBO.
HBO blundered when it canceled the hilarious yet heart-wrenching comedy series after its 13-episode run in 2005. The show — which earned three Emmy nominations — had enough content to go another season at least, and since then, it has developed a cult following.
In The Comeback, Kudrow (who created the show with Michael Patrick King) played Valerie Cherish, a semi-delusional former TV star trying to revive her career with a minor part in a mindless sitcom. The ahead-of-its-time twist was that Cherish was also being shadowed by a TV crew filming a so-called reality show about her career-comeback efforts. The plot revealed, however, that Cherish only got the part on the sitcom to provide fodder for the so-called reality series. The reality show producers in turn heartlessly sought to manipulate events to make the footage more provocative and heap further humiliation upon Cherish in the process. And the Cherish character made it very easy for them.
As expertly portrayed by the Friends star, Kudrow’s character was clearly her own worst enemy, but the storylines also revealed the inherent unreality or corruption of reality programming before it became common knowledge. The comedic and simultaneously sad events in the series practically make your skin crawl. Her efforts among other things to ingratiate herself with the sitcom cast and producers who tended to disrespect her, and to attract media attention to her new career aspirations, usually blew up in her face.
Said Michael Patrick King, “It was such a unique show, and remember there wasn’t a Real Housewife anywhere. There was no one who looked like Valerie — people were just sort of eating bugs on Survivor or, like, trapped in the jungle on I’m a Celebrity, Get Me Out of Here. Everything that’s really unique is ahead of its time. Anything that you can’t identify as something already runs the risk of being misunderstood because it’s never been seen yet. Even our weird camerawork — it was before The Office made that common.”
The Comeback is also notable for featuring Malin Akerman in one of her first acting roles, and the Trophy Wife star is slated to appear in at least some of the new episodes.
It remains to be seen if the show will still have the same creative energy in picking up nine years after it left off, however. Although there has yet to be official confirmation, HBO reportedly has green-lit The Comeback for six episodes according to E!Online, but “if they do well, the show could possibly be brought back to series.” Filming is scheduled to commence on May 19.
If you have not seen Lisa Kudrow in the original run of The Comeback, you are really missing out on some superb entertainment.
[Image via Bing]