“The Comeback” recap (2.4): Valerie Saves The Show

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Oh Valerie. God bless your heart.

It seems the long hours of filming have been going well on the set of Seeing Red. Val is leaving her trailer and is promptly informed by the producer that all of her character’s scenes at her home cannot be shot due to a lack of budget. As quickly as he drops the news, he flips around to leave. Valerie chases after him as he rolls away on his wheelchair. Horse hooves in a full canter can be heard ‘neath her desperate heels (thanks, genius foley artist.).

Val gets the news!

In bed, from her bedroom cam, she informs Mark that she has invited the entire production to use their home for all of Mallory’s at-home scenes. She is very passionate about the fact that the show would not make sense without these scenes. Mark is finally swayed by the fact that Seth Rogen will be IN THEIR HOUSE.

The next morning, their house is overflowing with film crew. They have taped every cabinet closed and are moving all of their furniture around. Mark cannot find his coffee maker, which it driving him nuts. I’m like, I totally feel you, Marky Mark. Val can’t be bothered with this as she is about to have a class at The Groundings. She has realized that she needs to up her improv game if she is going to keep up with Rogen. (FUN FACT: Lisa Kudrow created Valerie Cherish when she was studying at The Groundlings. She also met co-writer Michael Patrick King there, while Val was in creation.)

Mark Needs Coffee

Val’s class at The Groundlings is one of the more painful things I have watched in many moons. I have taken improv classes and, let me just say, those classes are awkward to begin with. Just add Valerie Cherish who can’t listen to save her life, and is constantly trying to manipulate and calculate every move in a scene, and you get spine tingling cringey discomfort for everyone involved! What Val experiences in this class is exactly what you would expect from a ’90s TV star who is being followed around by a bunch of cameras doing “BTS” for an HBO show in which she stars. But also, Valerie is desperate to do things right. Despite her best efforts, she cannot get through a scene.  

Val Lasso

On a 15 minute break from the improv class, Val finds Mickey on the phone in the lobby. He tells her that his doctors might have found some form of cancer. Valerie’s face drops. It is so easy for her to lose track of what is important, but she really cares about Mickey. He is her best friend, and she is genuinely concerned. He assures her it is nothing. He says, “I’ve had so many skin cancers removed, I count it as major weight loss.” Back in the class, she cannot stop improvising scenes all about cancer. You can see Jane processing the very real pain that both Mickey and Valerie are going through.

Jane at The Groundlings

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