HBO’s “The Comeback” will make a six-episode return this fall, starring Lisa Kudrow as actress Valerie Cherish, and she and fellow series creator Michael Patrick King addressed the show’s return at an event on Thursday.
“Lisa and I would meet over the years, socially, because I’ m no fool, and it’s fun to be around Lisa, and every now and then it would drift to an idea of, ‘I wonder what Valerie would be doing now?’, but it was too much of a thing to even say we would even come back,” Michael Patrick told reporters during HBO’s portion of the Television Critics Association Summer Tour in Beverly Hills.
“Too much of an emotional risk,” Lisa chimed in.
“To even say it,” Michael Patrick added, finishing Lisa’s sentence. “And then, we got a call from HBO and they asked [us to come] and talk about ‘The Comeback,’ and then, we started talking about it as it was no longer a risk emotionally, just creatively.”
The show will pick up this fall, feautring Valerie about a decade after the original series (which aired in 2005) ended.
“The DNA that we liked about Valerie is her in front of a camera. … What was happening last time on television seemed to be the birth of reality television and an actress’ need to be in front of a camera. And this time, we found a different way to get her in front of a camera because we wanted to evolve the character,” Michael Patrick said.
“Reality TV is not where we land,” he added. “It is where Valerie starts trying to land, and then she goes somewhere else when she gets cast on a show on HBO.”
When asked if she thinks more people will get the show now, than got it back then, Lisa said the show has developed new followers of a young age.
“My experience has been that younger audiences, younger people, already know about it and have already seen it and fully appreciate it and there’s no question mark for them, and they didn’t see it nine years ago,” Lisa said.
“When we did the first series, we thought, ‘Wouldn’t it be so great if Valerie went into therapy with reality cameras?’ and we went, ‘That’s too far! … Get a grip! We can’t do that!’” Michael Patrick said.
Michael Patrick said that audiences now no longer question why someone of means would put themselves in front of the cameras to document their life.
“One of the weird thoughts that came at us nine years ago is that they’ve never seen a female character doing this to herself in front of a camera. People were like, ‘What is happening?’ And since then, there’s been ‘The Real Housewives,’” he said.
“We will not have to explain a woman who doesn’t have financial problems, putting herself in front of a camera and putting herself in harm’s way. That’s already in the world,” Michael Patrick continued. “What we do with it from there is our sort of swing at storytelling to make it be a beginning, middle and end of Valerie and her life.”
-- Jolie Lash