Pick Your Pop Culture

So, I've like written about music for 25 years, and like I've got a lot to say and not enough people to pay me for it, and like I like to write about TV, and books, and movies, and stuff like that.

Monday, June 13, 2005

The Comeback Brings Back Memories

Watching Lisa Kudrow absorb every disappointment possible on her new series “The Comeback” is becoming the most wince-inducing pleasure of the year. I’m laughing, but my stomach is churning just thinking about this show. Last night’s episode was full of pain and brought back bad memories.

When I was a junior in high school, I remember not having any friends with whom to sit at lunch. So, the first couple of days, I sat alone, enjoying my deviled ham sandwich, bag of chips, and Ding Dong. Or maybe I bought a slice of pizza. I don’t remember exactly, but I know it was something healthy like that.

On the third or fourth day of the week, some boys I knew, but didn’t know well, invited me to join them at the next table. So, I gathered my lunch up, walked over, and pulled out a chair. Mike Pappert said, “Pick, I wouldn’t sit there if I were you.” Not understanding that he was actually trying to give me good advice, I assumed it was some sort of ribbing. I was used to people making fun of me, you see, even though I’d never had any of these guys do it.

“Pappert,” I said excitedly. “I’ll sit anywhere I please. This chair looks good to me, so I’m sitting here.”

Then I looked down, and saw that, for whatever reason, the chair was full of water.

Oh, boy, did that ever hurt. Sheepish, I pulled out the next chair, and sat with that group in awkward silence.

On “The Comeback” last night, Kudrow’s character is flown to New York for the upfronts – and thank you, Entertainment Weekly, for reporting a couple weeks ago on this phenomenon, so I could appreciate what was happening. This is where the networks preview their new shows to affiliates and sponsors. It’s a big deal, of course.

“The Comeback,” you may or may not recall, is a sitcom about a reality show being filmed about a sitcom star. It’s shown entirely from the point of view of raw footage for the reality show. Kudrow’s co-stars on the new show are introduced, but she is not. So, she is hurt, and begins lashing out at the stage manager. During her tantrum, we here the announcement regarding her reality series, and we realize that they intentionally didn’t mention her for the sitcom, waiting to give her a bigger introduction on her own.

Ouch! It’s funny, I knew that moment on the show hit me hard, but I didn’t realize why until I started writing this. It’s probably one of the worst types of embarrassments, when we attack at the time of being helped.


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