Lisa Kudrow Is a Comic Genius

Posted by Prince Gomolvilas
ON Thursday, July 17, 2008
As follow-up to a previous post, I just finished all 13 episodes of The Comeback. Sure, it got low ratings and mixed reviews when in ran on HBO three years ago, but it's so damn smart, fiercely funny, and delightfully complex that I don't understand why HBO just didn't say, "Fuck the numbers, and fuck the critics," and keep it on the air. It was canceled after just one season. (To be fair, there were a number of critics who hailed the show, and Entertainment Weekly, People, and the Boston Globe all named it one of the top ten shows of the year.)

I must use this forum to express my deep appreciation for the show's star and co-creator, Lisa Kudrow, for inventing Valerie Cherish, a relentlessly (and most of the time unintentionally) hilarious character who is filled with pathos and self-delusion, sure, but also with an admirable sense of ambition, a recognizable desire for success, and the will not to give up. She wears her vulnerability on her sleeve, and it's perhaps hard to watch because she, at her core, is a lot like most of us. And it's exhilarating to see Valerie transform during the course of a single season from being overly (and sometimes painfully) ingratiating into being a woman able to scratch and claw for whatever sense of dignity someone like her can get.

I never really watched Friends, but, man, I now believe in the cult of Lisa Kudrow. Don't deny yourself joy. Rent or buy the show now on DVD, and stay up late watching all of them. All of them:

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  1. Cheryl Said,

    This clip is awesome. I loved Lisa Kudrow in Romy & Michelle, The Opposite of Sex and Happy Endings too.


  2. OMG, I've watched this clip like 7 times, and I laugh every time. When you see it in the context of the show, it's also strangely moving. And, yes, yes, I loved Romy & Michelle and The Opposite of Sex. Still need to check out Happy Endings.


  3. LAP Said,

    "Angry hurts my throat!" that's just stellar. Lisa Kudrow completely inhabits her characters. Which is bizarre at times because sometimes they appear to be an even higher level of caricature than characters in a Christopher Guest movie. But she makes it work and they end up human. It's as if she pushes it so far into surreal it's ends up only real.


  4. Valerie Cherish has remnants of one Ms. Regina Filangi, Lisa's made-up character, in FRIENDS.

    Kudro is brilliant! Wish she were in more films these days.


  5. You're right--Lisa Kudrow just disappears into this role. It's amazing!


  6. Tacky Said,

    I agree. I watched the first and only season on DVD a few months ago and thought it was superb - its cancellation defies logic. Lisa Kudrow is a queen.


  7. Jesse, another thing we can bond over!


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