HBO Season 1 – 2005, Season 2 – 2014


Now I don’t want to speculate as to why this HBO show has not done as well as other HBOs, but I’m just going to mention that I do not want any part of this revisionist conspiracy to replace Friends with Seinfeld as the iconic sitcom of the 90s.

You can love Friends and Seinfeld at the same time it’s OK

I missed the first series of The Comeback, which aired in 2005 and watched it after Season 2, which was commissioned by HBO almost 10years later. Disregarding the jealous car-sick losers who hate on Jennifer Aniston and hoped that single cam might just be a passing fad, it’s easy to see how this show got lost in the shuffle of the US Office series and the peaking popularity of Curb Your Enthusiasm.

The Comeback is a mockumentary reality show which follows the comeback of ageing sitcom star, Valerie Cherish, played by Lisa Kudrow.

TC shares a lot of it’s satirical DNA with Curb, following the humiliations of another shallow, vain protagonist with less than noble goals and I’ll admit, I did take a couple of episodes to get used to Valerie’s maniacal gurning and shrill affirmations. I’m always a little slow on the uptake and I needed the scene where Valerie visits her former producer at her normal alt person’s home – the pot-smoking, lesbian ‘spider-eyed’ Jane who uses her Oscar as a doorstop –  to beg her to work for her again, to understand that this was actually going to be a lot more ambitious – and funnier – as a critique of the film industry than it first appeared.

Perfectly cast and featuring an immaculately timed Seth Rogen cameo as an easy-going hero bro, the meta plot line of the blow-job episode ‘Valerie is Brought to her Knees” is about a thousand times more well-observed as a parody of contemporary celebrity than the approximate units of narcissistic high capitalism that he and James Franco represent in The Interview.

Must be weird being Seth Rogen. He seems super nice. He’s in heaps of indie stuff. Opens himself up like a flower. Nice guy.

Quote: “No it’s not TV… they don’t do that any more, do they?”