The Comeback: “Valerie Saves the Show” Season 2 Episode 4 Review

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Now that Valerie is back on set, The Comeback seems to be confidently settling into its second season. Valerie Saves the Show was nothing compared to last week’s showstopper Valerie Is Brought to Her Knees, but it at least felt like The Comeback, something the first two episodes of the season failed to do.

When Seeing Red is faced with budget cuts, scenes involving Valerie’s character at home are about to be taken out of the script. But Valerie being Valerie, she’s not going to allow that. So she chooses to sacrifice her own home so that these scene can be filmed where they don’t have to build a set or even rent a space.

Mark isn’t happy, as the set interrupts his daily living in more ways than one. The conflict within Valerie was literally brought home this week, which played as a clever metaphor for Valerie’s current mindset. She wants so desperately for the set to be her home, or at least like one, but it interferes too much with her personal life. It’s only when the her home becomes the set for her new series that she’s no longer welcome in her own space. Maybe the point of The Comeback is that this is a terrible business to work in whether you’re on the A-list of the C-list.

Valerie and Mark go to stay at an apartment building they own, but a gunshot quickly prevents them getting any rest. Another tenant commits suicide, creating a major police situation. This bit felt a little tacked on, driving the point that show business doesn’t mix with Valerie’s personal life a little too well. For a show so based in realism, a suicide within earshot of the main character was very big. The Comeback has never really done big before, and based in this handling, I’d rather it stick to being small.

The awkward humor in Valerie Saves the Show was top-notch. Valerie’s improv class was a complete disaster after Mickey reveals he’s in the middle of a cancer scare. We could have guessed based on how much direction she needs on set that Val would be terrible at improv, but when everything she says involves cancer, the squirming and cringing has no end.

So aside from a botched ending, Valerie Saves the Show was a really strong entry for The Comeback. This episode felt the most like a traditional episode of the series, with the first two of the season being a weak setup and last week’s episode being a television masterpiece. But traditional is very good in this case. Grade: B+

By Matt Dougherty

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