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The Comeback - (S02E06)


Valerie plans a special date for her and Mark, but a re-shoot threatens to change her plans. Paulie feels anxious over early reviews.

Episode Title: Valerie Cooks in the Desert
Airs: 2014-12-14 at 10:00 pm
  • Tom Shales

    The show truly teeters on wonderful. This is probably TV's most poignant half-hour comedy in years, a masterfully modulated combination of shrewd satire and a tender, even tearful, central story. [5 June 2005, p.N01]

    Washington Post Full Review
  • David Zurawik

    The Comeback has its flaws. But this is a moment well beyond the depth of most television comedies. This is the stuff of which plays by David Mamet and Arthur Miller have been writ. This is a sitcom to which some attention should be paid. [4 June 2005, p.1D]

    Baltimore Sun Full Review
  • Diane Werts

    Sly as "The Larry Sanders Show," keener than "Fat Actress," more sympathetic than "Curb Your Enthusiasm," this new half-hour comedy hits the bull's-eye in every direction. It's funny, sad, smart and immensely appealing. [5 June 2005, p.11]

    Newsday Full Review
  • Terry Kelleher

    The Comeback is funny, especially when it skewers the tasteless and false in reality TV.

    People Weekly Full Review
  • Manuel Mendoza

    The Comeback is closest in tone to Curb Your Enthusiasm, HBO's vehicle for Mr. David, the creator of Seinfeld. Valerie is not quite as grating, but like Larry she perseveres. Ms. Kudrow makes you sympathize with Valerie, despite her blindness to the costs of fame. Not bad for a former sitcom star in her comeback role. [5 June 2005, p.8G]

    Dallas Morning News Full Review
  • Matthew Gilbert

    It's funny, but painfully funny, as it skewers the world of banal sitcoms and youth-market mania. It's mean, but touching, too, as Kudrow's Valerie undergoes the humiliations of being a Nixed Big Thing. [3 June 2005, p.D1]

    Boston Globe Full Review
  • Sid Smith

    She's self-flagellating, but in a nuanced, funny-sad and heartbreaking way, mixing slapstick and pathos with intelligence and the sharpest of comic instincts. [4 June 2005, p.C25]

    Chicago Tribune Full Review
  • Karla Peterson

    Sharply funny without being painful to watch. [3 June 2005, p.E-1]

    San Diego Union-Tribune Full Review
  • Joanne Ostrow

    A worthy new configuration - the side-splittingly sad sitcom. [2 June 2005, p.F-01]

    Denver Post Full Review
  • Paige Wiser

    There's still time for The Comeback to hit its stride. I hope it does. A little less "reality" and a lot more comedy, and Kudrow might deserve another long run. [3 June 2005, p.55]

    Chicago Sun-Times Full Review
  • Adam Buckman

    It doesn’t feel like a comedy - because it’s not funny. [3 June 2005, p.3]

    New York Post Full Review
  • Brian Lowry

    Clever, if familiar. [2 June 2005, p.8]

    Variety Full Review
  • Robert Bianco

    HBO is asking you to spend a half-hour a week with a deluded loser, watch her be degraded by reality and sitcom hacks, and pay for the privilege. Doesn't sound like a good way to make a comeback.

    USA Today Full Review
  • Paul Brownfield

    The comedy equivalent of low-hanging fruit. [3 June 2005, p.E1]

    Los Angeles Times Full Review
  • Bill Goodykoontz

    Good for Kudrow for taking on something so different. You can't accuse her of trading on her Friends familiarity. You can, however, wish that The Comeback, for all the merits of its premise, was more enjoyable to watch. [3 June 2005, p.10]

    Arizona Republic Full Review
  • Gillian Flynn

    The indignities suffered by Valerie are cringy but not very funny — the show strives for the precision awkwardness of The Office but settles for general peevishness.

    Entertainment Weekly Full Review
  • Mike McDaniel

    Kudrow says she isn't a reality-TV fan and the humiliation of its participants, yet she plays her part as victim. So when she gets sucker-punched, we get sucker-punched. What's so funny about that? [4 June 2005, p.10]

    Houston Chronicle Full Review
  • Rob Owen

    It's one thing to laugh at characters on TV shows who behave foolishly, who deserve to be mocked. Valerie's crimes for the sake of comedy are nothing more than aging with an undiminished Hollywood ego. It's a little funny at first, but it quickly turns sad, something you want to look away from, not laugh about. [2 June 2005, p.WE-37]

    Pittsburgh Post-Gazette Full Review
  • The mock documentary has funny moments -- small, keenly observed sendups of the entertainment industry -- but for the most part The Comeback is the saddest comedy on television.

    The New York Times Full Review
  • Melanie McFarland

    A reality/sitcom hybrid. How revolutionary. [3 June 2005, p.E1]

    Seattle Post-Intelligencer Full Review
  • Chuck Barney

    1) It's not all that funny, which could be a problem considering it's supposed to be a comedy, and 2) It continues a rather arrogant presumption on the part of show-biz types that we're all ceaselessly interested in the inner workings of their industry. [4 June 2005, p.C01]

    San Jose Mercury News/Contra Costa Times Full Review
  • David Bianculli

    Kudrow must shoulder much of the blame. Her performance - her character - never becomes real, so you spend the time looking at Kudrow acting, rather than watching Valerie suffering.

    New York Daily News Full Review
  • Scott D. Pierce

    A "comedy" that's not funny, original or in the least bit interesting.[3 June 2005]

    Deseret News Full Review
  • Tim Goodman

    Seems a gigantic miss for HBO. Although King has tried to write a B-story for Cherish -- her home life -- it doesn't ring true.

    San Francisco Chronicle Full Review
  • Mark A. Perigard

    Kudrow seems to be aiming for ``The Larry Sanders Show'' or ``Curb Your Enthusiasm'' territory but only gets as far as ``Reba'' with the f-word. [2 June 2005, p.47]

    Boston Herald Full Review

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