Adding another layer of meta to a show that probably didn’t need it, Seth Rogen has joined the comeback of The Comeback, playing both himself and a fictionalized version of already-fictional writer Paulie G., as first reported by Buzzfeed. That’s because the second, unexpected season of the series contains an HBO show within the HBO show—a drama called Seeing Red, which first-season nemesis Paulie G., played by Lance Barber, writes about his experiences as a heroin-addicted TV writer who’s tormented by Valerie Cherish, played by Lisa Kudrow. Cherish then joins the cast of that show-within-the-show as an exaggerated version of herself named “Mallory Church,” lured to participate in her own excoriation by the very HBO promise of acting opposite a bigger star than her—in this case, Seth Rogen.
So, to recap: Actual HBO show The Comeback will once again find actual TV star Lisa Kudrow playing fake TV star Valerie Cherish, as fake TV star Valerie Cherish stars in the fake HBO show Seeing Red, where she plays the exaggeratedly fake Mallory Church, a character created by fictional TV character Paulie G., who’s also being played by a fictionalized version of actual movie star Seth Rogen. Meanwhile, all of this is being documented for the show The Comeback, which is both a faux-reality show within the world of The Comeback, as well as the show you’re watching called The Comeback.
It’s all here in this handy chart: