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: