The Comeback

Dear 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!