'The Comeback,' we hardly knew ye!

153759__comeback_lDear HBO,

If this letter were an instant message, I’m not certain which emoticon I’d be flashing right now: "tearful" or "hoppin mad." I heard about what you did yesterday, pulling the plug on Lisa Kudrow’s brilliant sitcom The Comeback because you didn’t think you could ”give the show the support it needed.” That’s rich, coming from the people who gave seven seasons to Arli$$, and two to The Mind of the Married Man.

Yeah, I know the early reviews were harsh, and ratings were never terrific, but somewhere around Episode 8 ("Valerie Relaxes in Palm Springs"), a lot of critics and viewers began to take a second look at what Kudrow and co-creator Michael Patrick King were trying to do. Many of us formed an almost unnatural attachment to Kudrow’s heartbreakingly deluded Valerie Cherish. We began guffawing at those laugh track-free punch lines ("Maybe I could jump on a landmine!"). And we learned to revel in the subtle, Emmy-worthy work from Kudrow, Lance Barber (Paulie G), and Damian Young (Mark).

Thanks to your boneheaded decision, though, none of us will get to see all those good things for a second season. And there’s only so much comfort I can derive from visiting the official Comeback site and watching meager clips of the 13 episodes that have already aired. It’s enough to make me want to put on a cupcake suit and punch you till we both blow chunks.

Dejectedly (and ragefully) yours,

Michael Slezak

P.S. Rome is totally confusing. I don’t get it. Hail Cherish!


Comments (40 total) Add your comment
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  • Kim

    I totally agree. Great show. The relationship between Paulie G and Valerie was hilarious. Maybe HBO will change its mind

  • Todd

    The show might not have failed if it weren’t for awful reviews the show got, in among other places, the pages of EW.
    If you don’t like that it got cancelled, blame yourself, not HBO.

  • Mitch

    Hey Todd, that was kinda harsh bro…this show rocked and there was nothing like it, even by HBO standards.. total bummer “I didn’t need to SEE that!” HBO! Bring it back, I gotta know if Aunt Sassy gets a boyfriend!

  • Dave

    i am destroyed. i am heartbroken. this is worse than when brad and jen broke up. hbo. seriously. what are you thinking? the comeback was hysterical. my favorite show of last season. i have never seen anything like it in my life – never felt such complex emotions towards a character. i love her, i hate her, i want to smack her in the face, i want to hold her in my arms and tell her everything is going to be okay. please EW – beg hbo to change their minds. ask for other networks to pick up the show. do something! because that “we can’t give the show the support it needs” is a load of bull. if they can air scooby doo II and the terminal and rome ten times a day, they can certainly make room for 13 episodes of valerie cherish. wait… wait… jane… cut that… jane? micky?

  • MaryAnn

    This show really did grow on me, and towards the end, I couldn’t miss an episode. The final show was brilliant, and completely on the mark. Based on that episode alone, I can’t believe HBO is not continuing this series.

  • A2K

    I didn’t care for the Comeback, so I’m not sorry to see it go. It was just that noise in the background after Entourage was over.
    Sorry Mr. Slezak – I’m afraid you and I are at opposite ends of the universe. I think Rome is a great series. You, on the other hand, choose to do your write ups on shows like “So You Think You Can Dance.” Different strokes for different folks!

  • Laura

    The Comeback was dead on in its satire. It was also incredibly painful to watch. So, sorry, I’m with A2K on this one – I am not sorry to see The Comeback go.
    And I also love Rome – I think it’s a fantastic series with incredible depth of character, story, acting, etc. Confusing? Well, not to me and all the people I know who watch and love this show. Sorry Mr. Slezak, but I definitely disagree with you on this one.

  • Sam

    best show ever. i’ll miss it. here’s hoping for a kudrow emmy/golden globe!

  • Michael

    I was a supporter for the Comeback since its first episode…I love that it was orignal, innovative and many ways groundbreaking…shame on people for not “getting it”…just because a sitcom has no laugh track doesn’t mean it can’t be wickedly funny…and the comeback was indeed that…I’m very disappointed that we won’t get a second season…hbo should know better than that

  • Marcus

    After having free HBO for a week, I caught the first 5 episodes ondemand. It grew on me fast and I even contemplated subscribing to catch season 2. There goes that, HBO.
    This bummed me out more than it should have.

  • Bob Reilly

    Note to self: Cancel my subscription to HBO. I don’t need to see that! The Comeback was hands down the best show this summer.

  • djm

    It took me a while to get on board, but I am/was a fan of the show. I actually watched all of the episodes on HBO on demand – however they don’t offer 2 of the episodes. Hopefully they’ll make them available so that I can see all of them. I’m bummed, however I wasn’t really sure where they were going to go with it.

  • jeff

    i loved this show from the getgo..VERY DISAPPOINTED by HBO’s didn’t think it could ”give the show the support it needed.”
    there is an hbo number you can call where you get an actual person who will register your complaint about the cancellation. that number is 212-512-1208. PLEASE CALL..THANK YOU.

  • Todd

    I’m not ripping the viewers of this show who are now diasppointed, I’m ripping the reviewers who told readers not to bother at the beginning, and then, much later, reversed their opinions and began praising the show.
    I’m telling EW to blame themselves for the show’s cancellation. They’re the ones who told me not to bother getting involved in this program, so I didn’t. Now, they’re lamenting its cancellation.
    Maybe the original reviewer should get canned, or muzzled….

  • Winn

    “Rome” is a terrifically-acted series with complex story-lines, intrigue, three-dimensional characters and terrific historical detail. I fail to see what is confusing about it; but then, I had no trouble following along in history class either. As for “The Comeback”, I find it ridiculous that HBO would say it “couldn’t give the show the support it needed”. “Carnivale”, a show I enjoyed, was low-rated and unappreciated by critics, but it lasted a couple of seasons. As Mr. Slezak mentioned, “Arliss” held on for an inexplicable seven seasons! As others have noted, I can’t help but think that the initial critical derision condemned this show before it had a chance to find its audience. EW, you and other tv reviewers must share the blame for that. You always grouse about shows not being given room to grow or find their groove, yet you also play a role in driving a premature stake through their hearts.

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