The Comeback

Watch The Comeback

  • TV-MA
  • 2005
  • 2 Seasons
  • 8.1  (7,780)

The Comeback is an American television series starring Lisa Kudrow, which originally aired on HBO from 2005 to 2006, and was renewed for a second and final season in 2014. The show is a mockumentary-style comedy that follows the life of Valerie Cherish, a fading television sitcom actress who is attempting to revive her career with a role on a new series, while also seeking validation and respect from her colleagues.

The show is created and written by Kudrow and Michael Patrick King, who also served as showrunner. The series is notable for its unconventional format, which blends traditional scripted narrative with a more documentary-style approach, utilizing handheld cameras and faux behind-the-scenes footage.

Valerie Cherish (played by Kudrow) is introduced as a former sitcom star from the 1990s who is attempting to make a comeback by accepting a supporting role on a new series called Room and Bored. The show, which is similar to Friends, depicts the lives of a group of attractive young people living in an apartment building together in Los Angeles.

Throughout the series, Valerie struggles with the indignities and frustrations of being a middle-aged actress in a youth-obsessed industry. She is forced to work with a group of younger and less experienced actors who snub her on set, and her former (and much more successful) co-star has become an award-winning film actor who is dismissive of her.

Valerie's time on the set of Room and Bored is fraught with tension and conflict, with the production team constantly belittling her and undermining her contributions. They frequently attempt to make her look foolish on camera, and she is subjected to numerous embarrassing scenarios in order to satisfy their demands.

At home, Valerie is married to Mark, a beleaguered hairstylist who is frequently undermined and dismissive of her career ambitions. She is also surrounded by a group of loyal friends and family members who offer her support and encouragement throughout her ups and downs.

The show also explores themes of feminism and the exploitation of women in Hollywood. In one notable scene, Valerie is asked to film a nude scene for the show, despite feeling uncomfortable and objectified. She is coerced into doing so by the show's producers, who promise her increased exposure and screen time in exchange for performing the scene.

The Comeback is also notable for its use of improvised scenes and dialogue, with Kudrow frequently ad-libbing her lines in order to make them feel more natural and authentic. The show's use of handheld cameras and documentary-style footage also helps to create a more intimate and immersive viewing experience, allowing the audience to feel like they are actually behind the scenes with the characters.

Overall, The Comeback is a unique and innovative comedy series that offers a biting critique of the entertainment industry and its treatment of aging actresses. Its success lies in Kudrow's performance as Valerie Cherish, who is simultaneously vulnerable and resilient, and who refuses to be defined by the industry's preconceptions and prejudices. The show's blend of scripted and improvised content, as well as its innovative approach to storytelling, make it a standout example of contemporary television comedy.

The Comeback is a series that is currently running and has 2 seasons (21 episodes). The series first aired on June 5, 2005.

The Comeback
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Valerie Gets What She Really Wants
8. Valerie Gets What She Really Wants
December 28, 2014
It's the weekend of the Emmys, and Valerie is elated thanks to her success in "Seeing Red," and even gets noticed by a former "Room and Bored" costar at Juna's party.
Valerie Faces the Critics
7. Valerie Faces the Critics
December 21, 2014
"Seeing Red" premieres and Valerie receives a barrage of reviews, but the cruelest criticism comes not from the ladies on "The Talk" or the media but from her husband, Mark.
Valerie Cooks in the Desert
6. Valerie Cooks in the Desert
December 14, 2014
Valerie puts together a special date for her and Mark, but a re-shoot threatens to disrupt her plans.
Valerie Is Taken Seriously
5. Valerie Is Taken Seriously
December 7, 2014
The network's PR department sets up a exclusive interview for Valerie. Valerie also visits Paulie G.
Valerie Saves the Show
4. Valerie Saves the Show
November 30, 2014
Valerie makes an impulsive decision and works on her improv skills.
Valerie Is Brought to Her Knees
3. Valerie Is Brought to Her Knees
November 23, 2014
Valerie is stoked at the thought of meeting her co-stars during the first day on set of 'Seeing Red'.
Valerie Tries to Get Yesterday Back
2. Valerie Tries to Get Yesterday Back
November 16, 2014
Preferring she use a professional crew for behind-the-scenes footage of 'Seeing Red,' HBO asks Valerie to bring back Jane, the producer who followed her on 'Room and Bored.' Meanwhile, Val's publicist Billy gets her an appointment with celebrity stylist Brad Goreski for the Golden Globes.
Valerie Makes a Pilot
1. Valerie Makes a Pilot
November 9, 2014
Valerie creates her own pilot for a reality show she's hoping will get picked up by one of the cable networks.
Where to Watch The Comeback
The Comeback is available for streaming on the HBO website, both individual episodes and full seasons. You can also watch The Comeback on demand at Amazon Prime, Amazon, HBO NOW, Vudu, Microsoft Movies & TV, Google Play and Apple TV.
  • Premiere Date
    June 5, 2005
  • IMDB Rating
    8.1  (7,780)