tek's rating: ¾

The Comeback, on HBO
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This aired for one 13-episode season in 2005. It was cancelled, but then returned for a second 8-episode season in 2014. But I first saw the first season on DVD in 2017, and I'm not sure if or when I'll see the second season. The show is a very sort of awkward comedy, which is something I rarely like. It's kind of like "The Office," of which I think I only watched one episode before I decided it was too cringe-worthy for my sensibilities. I'd say it's also kind of like The Larry Sanders Show, which I liked well enough. Though I think of that more as a dramedy and this more as a comedy. But I dunno.

Anyway, it stars Lisa Kudrow as actress Valerie Cherish, who had starred in a sitcom called "I'm It!" over a decade ago, and hadn't found work since. Now she gets a role in a new sitcom called "Room and Bored," as well as being the subject of a reality show called "The Comeback." The latter series is produced by Jane Benson (Laura Silverman, whom I previously knew for voice work on Dr. Katz, Professional Therapist). Valerie is married to a guy named Mark, who's clearly not happy about the intrusiveness of the reality show, though he tries to be supportive of his wife. He also has a daughter from a previous marriage, named Francesca (Vanessa Marano, whom I know from Gilmore Girls, which she did after this). And Valerie's closest friend is her longtime hairdresser, Mickey, who follows her everywhere. And while Valerie was originally supposed to have a main role on "Room and Bored," her character gets changed considerably before the show starts shooting, so she's secondary to a younger cast. This mainly includes a woman named Juna (Malin Akerman), who plays the niece of Valerie's character, "Aunt Sassy." There are a few other actors on that show, whom I don't think were as important as Juna. Anyway, Valerie and Juna develop a fairly close relationship. And Valerie also comes to feel close to Jane, though I think Jane mostly tries to keep a professional distance. Also, "Room and Bored" has a couple of head writers, Tom Peterman and Paulie G. While Tom seems like a fairly nice guy, who mostly wants to avoid any sort of confrontation, Paulie clearly hates Valerie. (I kept hoping this would eventually be explained, but it never was.)

Well... when the series started, I kind of didn't really like Valerie. I didn't hate her, or anything, but... I dunno. She seems like someone who's genuinely trying to be nice to everyone, yet at the same time, somehow not entirely sincere. But also understandably nervous, while trying to appear confident. And, well, she's just complicated. And it doesn't take long to start sympathizing with her. Which still doesn't necessarily mean liking her. And... I really don't know what else to say. The show could definitely be amusing at times, but still mostly cringey.


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