I know nobody asked me to, I know there may well be legal implications, and I know another punch-up with the President of Lisa Kudrow’s official fan club is the last thing I need (especially during this heatwave!) but hear me out!!! I am writing the third season of The Comeback simply because it must be done before Phoebe Waller Bridge gets a chance to fuck it up.
Yes it is a great undertaking, yes it is a huge responsibility, and no I am not in anyway experienced or what you would call an “experienced, competent TV writer”, but you know who else thought big and acted bold? Arnold Schwarzenegger. And look how he went from oiled-up hunk to serious political force simply with the power of positive thinking. If Arnie can run California (and as a Republican no less) I’m sure I can squeeze a few lols out of the old laugh box and jot it down for Valerie Cherish and Co, right?
So what’s my angle? I’m glad you asked. Well, I see Valerie (post-Emmy) relocated to New York City, treading the boards in an off-Broadway drama, whilst juggling an open relationship with her husband, Mark, and helping her step-child Franceso navigate life as a transman in the cut throat world of soft furnishings. Obviously since the blessed, beloved Robert Michael Morris is no longer with us, the character of Mickey will not be returning, and instead Valerie will be escorted through her hilarious high-jinks by a college intern (played by Gucci Mane). So far so good right? Well, wait for it because beyond being simply a third season, The Comeback³ is also going to be something of a gritty reboot.
As events progress, we start to realise that Val is maybe not who we think she is, that maybe her career on the B-list is a cover for something much darker, a sort of “hiding in plain sight” if you will. The off-Broadway play she is starring in is running at the theatre directly opposite from the Italian Embassy, and on opening night a sniper in the rafters takes a shot at the Prime Minister who is visiting for a UN conference. The only person not onstage during the shooting is Val, so naturally suspicion falls on her and she is arrested! But, from her reaction to the FBI team crashing into her dressing room (and the fact that Val’s love of Italian food is well known!) we the audience immediately understand that she has been framed.
Still, Valerie goes to trial - I’m seeing so big Kramer v Kramer moments here if Kudrow can stretch to it (if not we’ll do a montage with pantsuits and pointing fingers and all that). It will all get very tense and in spite of a wave of global protest the suggestion is that Valerie will be found guilty of the assassination of the Italian Prime Minister and sentenced to death!
However, at the last minute Val will be saved by the revelation that she has been wearing a wire (for dietary reasons) for the past six months and so is able to play the court the tape of a coded conversation she recorded from inside the Saks Fight Avenue cigar humidor, between a crooked CIA agent and the real assassin - Sharon from HBO casting! In the court room we see Sharon leap at Val and try to bludgeon her with a copy of “Different Every Night” (dramatic irony, right???) but then Kevin Kostner (playing the role of Val’s bodyguard) steps in between them and saves her life. The final scene is Kostner’s funeral, Valerie all in white sitting at an electric piano, singing “Candle in The Wind” as an American flag flutters against the setting sun.
I know the whole sitcom-political thriller hybrid has kinda been done with shows like Downtown Abbey, but I believe there’s mileage in the genre, and besides I really do think there’s something really dark to the character of Valerie Cherish that we haven’t yet seen. For myself, I think this treatment has all the thrills and spills a modern audience needs, plus a few good old fashioned laughs too, plus I can see great opportunities for A-list cameos, Nicole Kidman as the Broadway director, Morgan Freeman and the head of the FBI, Gérard Depardieu as the Prime Minster of Italy etc etc but that’s jumping the gun. Still have another 19 episodes to storyboard! These killer plots don’t write themselves yo know! JK JK.
Would love to know what you guys think about this! Drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org