A Lisa Kudrow Binge

Posted by julian On 5:00 PM
"I don't need to see that."
This week I accidentally binged on Lisa Kudrow.

I've usually enjoyed her comic movie roles (especially in the Don Roos films The Opposite of Sex and Happy Endings) though I was a little unnerved by what seemed to be an encroaching bitterness in her comic persona the last time couple of times we visited (Kabluey and Easy A). I was starting to miss "Phoebe"'s sunniness on early seasons of Friends.

But I had somehow never seen The Comeback (2005) which I watched this week (two episodes left... maybe I should save them). Its very brilliance probably doomed it as it's an exceedingly uncomfortable showbiz comedy. Its comic impulses have satiric bite... one might call it comedy with real fangs. I was squirming even while laughing loudly. Immediately after watching those I tried a few episodes of Web Therapy, which I am also super late to -- hey, I'm too busy with the movies-- and now I'm fully back on Team Kudrow which I had somehow slipped away from. I got so nostalgic for past Kudrow glory that I even ended up looking up what Jennifer Aniston & Courtney Cox were up to, which I assure you I have never purposefully done before, though I do watch and enjoy Cougar Town on occasion.

Kurdow laughing at Streep's guest
role antics on Web Therapy
It's fascinating that Kudrow's big fame began with such a naive neo-Bohemian persona as Phoebe Buffay and now she so eagerly conquers these self-lacerating or unlikeable characters... It's almost like she's been morphing over the year's from Phoebe to Phoebe's misanthropic twin Ursula. Remember her?

My point is this: Lisa Kudrow is talented and underappreciated, even if she's not exactly underrewarded - hello gazillion$ in Friends residuals. She's probably only less of a mainstream presence now because her preferred style of comedy is of the take-no-prisoners variety.

Here's the first of the three most recent episodes of Web Therapy (episode #46) which starred Meryl Streep (as "therapist" Camilla Bowner) who is doing reparative therapy on Fiona Wallice's (Lisa Kudrow's) gay husband. Wickedly subtle humor courses under the less subtle verbal gags ... it's all in their nuanced line deliveries, reactive beats and funny expressions.



Are you now or have you ever been on Team Kudrow?

Related Reading:
Signatures: Lisa Kudrow
Monologue: "Michelle's Miracle Glue"

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