Rude Awakening (TV Series 1998–2001) Poster

(1998–2001)

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HILARIOUS, STYLISH, EPITOME OF ARTFUL ENTERTAINMENT
earla6622 November 2003
This series is an "ORIGINAL SERIES" in every sense of the word. I must agree with David Lynch's quote "Sherilyn Fenn is five feet of heaven in a ponytail". Sherilyn is a captivating actress, no one else could have embodied Billie Frank's Character. Redgrave & Fenn are electrifying! Their chemistry creates a hilarious comedy of great proportions. These three seasons of "Rude Awakening" need to be released on on DVD! It's a must!
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Keeping it real
HaN-hAn25 January 2002
This show is so refreshing and funny, I couldn't believe it could survive the prevailing tastes of American TV executives. Trawling the channels late at night, I stumbled upon Sherilyn Fenn's gorgeous face looking at me and found that she could make me laugh as well! This show doesn't look polished, it does not have contrived plots or even high production values, but what it does have, is great laughs, realistic situations, and just all around funny stuff. It is crass, rude and sexy, and it doesn't apologize for it. And it shouldn't, in this time of over political correctness and subsequent fear of offending anyone, this show doesn't care, and in the process, provides great entertainment.
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8/10
Daring and Unusual Comedy
Before this show aired in Finland, the channel aired these commercials, like, "Billie Frank drinks.. and has casual sex!" The voice of the presenter suggested that this was portrayed as something admirable. I thought I wouldn't watch such crap. But I happened to see one episode and was instantly hooked. The show just seemed real to me - the characters were rude, imperfect and at times completely selfish; there was no laugh track and the dialogue was more natural than on other shows; the humour was somehow very original, it stemmed from the characters' personalities in a natural way. Sexuality was dealt with in a daring way. Sherilyn Fenn was great as the imperfect Billie, Dave and Jackie were also brilliant characters, and of course Trudy who was really the second star of the show.

The topic and the way it was handled seemed realistic to me. I don't have much knowledge about the AA or alcoholism, but it just rang true to me how Billie's lifelong addiction and relapse was portrayed as an ongoing problem she needs to work against her whole life. On so many shows, you have this token alcoholic character (soap operas in particular) who goes on a drinking binge in one episode and recovers in the next. This show dared to show a more accurate portrayal: the long-term effects, the desperation for a fix and the ugliness of it all wasn't glossed over. It's a daring topic especially for a comedy, but they pulled it off. I felt like I could see life through the eyes of an alcoholic - and be entertained at the same time. Kudos.

When the show stopped being about the AA and decided to "move on" into Dave's bar, it got blah for me. Some of the edge was lost when it was no longer about addiction. It turned into a relationship comedy instead, and that is the end of many fine shows. Haley was cute, but essentially just a babbling, bumbling character who didn't add much to the mix. Tim Curry as Trudy's new boyfriend was good, but not good enough to keep the show funny. And what was all that crap about Marcus and his marriage crisis? Hey, let's add a new character who looks good without a shirt. Oh look, his wife's a bitch! Don't you wish we made an episode all about him? The last season was full of "emotional" moments that just seemed sappy to me. The whole marriage plot was the worst. The irony is that when the show dealt with genuine difficult things and touching themes, it was never sappy. When it started to deal with "touching" imaginary situations and love triangles, it lost its edge and became a sappy regular comedy. The only interesting theme in the last season was that Trudy was facing the truth about her addiction - but would she be funny anymore if she quit drinking? I doubt it. Characters like her don't need a "serious" side; they're tragic in themselves, that's why they're funny.

But the last season can't wipe away what this show did in the first ones. One of the most daring and genuine comedies I've ever seen. Highly recommended.
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10/10
It was a rude awakening how fast this show went off the air!!
Rogue-3211 April 2002
I was a huge fan of this show, saw every episode, and then all of a sudden it went off the air! What the #$@#@ happened?!!! Talk about a rude awakening!! I had to get drunk just to deal with the shock of this!! I think I need a meeting now, just writing about it! And when Tim Curry came aboard, fuggedaboudit it! He and Lynn Redgrave were PRICELESS together, I mean absolutely PRICEless, dahling! Truly the best 'sitcom' I have ever seen. Bring it back, bring it back now!
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The season premiere was brutally honest look at how far someone will go to score drugs.
amythest8524 July 2000
I saw the season premiere and I couldn't stop laughing. Sure the show had it's serious moments, but it was funnier more than it was dramatic. I liked Billie's (Sherilyn Fenn's) friend, Maureen (a guest appearance by off and on actress/singer Taylor Dayne). Taylor was great as Billie's druggie friend. I just hope that her role is a recurring one. If you who loved "Seinfeld" and adore "Veronica's Closet" then this show is definitely for you. Of course, you have to get Showtime before you can watch it.
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Dark comedy at its finest
$TEVE McD24 March 2000
I haven't seen this show for ages now and must admit I stumbled upon it by accident when I was watching wrestling on TV and was too lazy to get up and turn it off,so I kept watching.Before it began,the consumer advice stated it contained coarse language,nudity and adult themes.That's what convinced me to watch it no matter what.But it wasn't the nudity that made it good,it was the wickedly funny and almost surreal way the show is set out.But my favorite thing about it was the first thing you noticeas soon as it starts-no audience.I thought this allowed the viewer to laugh when THEY found something funny,instead of being told when to laugh by the constantly annoying laugh lines.The themes of the show were also very daring,with things like homosexuality,sex toys women talking very openly about their bodies and so on.A great comedy show,one of the best ever made.
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Fenn shines!
BrokenQuill2 December 2001
Rude Awakening is the best program on Showtime. Unfortunately, the powers that be didn't realize that and canceled the show after last season. Still, it's a witty, honest and not-watered down look at life. Sherilyn Fenn is not only stunningly gorgeous, but she also carries the show and her role with star quality.
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One of, If not THE best show on Showtime.
Lebanese21 January 2001
This is, in my opinion, Showtime's best show. Its not fake and completely unreal like so many other television shows. The topic they are dealing with is real and they are showing what alcoholism is really like and, that you can overcome your addiction.

They also show the other side of alcoholism; the addiction and dependency on the alcohol which is wonderfully played by Lynn Redgrave. Trudy Frank (Lynn) is a hilarious drunk who loves young men and sex. Lynn alone adds a bit of class to this wonderfully frank show, even though her character is anything but the perfect mother.

Jonathon Penner is also excellent as Dave, who owns a coffee shop and is a recovering alcoholic himself. Mario VanPeebles is also featured.
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A funny, intense half-hour of entertainment.
roger-1166 March 2000
Perhaps one of the most "difficult" television series to ever make it into production, Showtime's "Rude Awakening" is worth the effort it takes to warm up to a cast of flawed, occasionally unlikable, and all-too-human characters.

The material is a look at addiction, sex, and dysfunctional families, filtered through a sitcom sensibility. Sherilyn Fenn's Billie Frank is habitually self-destructive, with a gift for making the wrong choice at every given opportunity, and most of the addiction, sex, and dysfunction revolves around her.

What makes Billie a watchable, sympathetic creation is her ability to spot her own culpability in her failures, and her sputtering, stuttering romance with Jonathan Penner's Dave. Penner gets a lot of mileage out of the show's thinnest major character, the owner of a coffee shop and the person who helped guide Billie into a 12-step program, but his function is mostly just to stand around and trade hyper-sexual barbs with Fenn.

Lynn Redgrave, on the other hand, is in full diva mode with Trudy, Bille's mother. And it is indeed a sight to behold; intensely, bitingly funny, cruel, and relentlessly self-involved, Trudy is a work of art. Unlike her daughter, Redgrave's character has no saving grace, but somehow remains the most compelling thing on the screen at any given moment.

Without question, RA's run has been uneven. When it wanders away from its central themes, the show can easily begin to look like the most painful sort of cable comedy, with little more than explicit language but like its main character, when "Rude Awakening" finds its feet and takes a clear-eyed look at where it is and where it hopes to go, it can make for a funny, intense half-hour of entertainment.
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Great real life experience show
ellie072848 January 2006
this was a great show... I think of it with relation to REAL life experiences. Hope to see it on air again. VERY good show. It could even be thought of as a session in therapy for anyone who actually has some of the issues addressed in the episodes. Or it can be seen as a way to understand friends with these same problems. Love, life, family, drinking,drugs... real life problems. The last episode did get to my senses... and I cried. The acting was superb... the writing was original... Why did the producers take this show off the air. I wonder if the censors disapproved. It's heart-warming to see real life reenacted through TV. I like not having to go to live theater to have this experience. In fact, shows like "Rent" are allowing more audiences to see another 'real life' experience by showing the story in a film.
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This show is perfect...
Joshua Bozeman1 October 2000
From the storylines to the characters, Rude Awakening is awesome. I love this show, and to the first comment on the page, it's awful? No way. The characters, almost all of them alcoholics, well...former alcoholics sort of...they have something to them that just makes you wanna watch every week. I think this is definitely one of Showtime's best series, and I hope it stays on for some time to come. I must say, I hate this season's version of the theme song at the start of the show--AWFUL...it sounds like a drunk sang it! Other than that, Billie cracks me up every episode, and Dave...Dave is the man. I haven't seen him outside of Rude Awakening very often, but I think he is a great, funny actor, who keeps me watching week after week. I sometimes find myself wishing to be in Dave's shows...what a great life he has. Run the coffee bar, get into the sack with Billie, run the coffee bar.....
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Hysterical
PPG-221 April 2003
I live in Holland and the show gets aired after 12.00 p.m. At first I thought it was a cheap rip-off the english comedyshow 'Absolutely fabulous'. But I've been watching it for a while now (it's broadcasted 3 times a week) and I have to say, I find myself staying up late for it. It's really hysterical!
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VOTE TO Buy on DVD
mia-579 January 2007
This site allows you to vote for shows you want to buy on DVD, and how you'd want to buy them: So please vote to have this show released by SONY!!!! www.tvshowsondvd.com I love this show ---it's crazy that they have not released this show on DVD, when so many want to buy it. someone should email Sony and start a petition to have this show released.

This site allows you to vote for shows you'd buy on DVD, and how you'd want to buy them. All you need to do is become a registered member (it's free, don't worry) and then search our database of TV shows, clicking on checkboxes that correspond to how you'd like to see them released (Season sets, "Best of" releases, or individual episodes).
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Bloody good show!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
fountea124 October 2005
I came across the show by accident. A Greek TV channel was actually showing it after 2 o'clock at night. Sherilyn Fenn caught my eye at first. She is so stunning and I could never have imagined she had such a comic flair. The show is simply brilliant. It is very funny, perhaps not hilarious funny, but extremely witty funny. It actually feels very real. It's good storytelling, a rare thing for a sitcom. Great actors, Lynn Redgrave is a hoot and a half. Thank god, it has no audience laughter. Too bad it has ended and there's no hope I can catch a re-run here in Greece. For it to come out in DVD is a very long shot, since it is not actually famous. Well, for those of you that are fans of the show, go and vote for its release!!!!!!!!
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Good Show
kd8ayk21 April 2005
Warning: Spoilers
DOES CONTAIN SPOILERS: I for one like this show. I have followed it almost from the beginning. I love Sherilyn Fenn and Jonathan Penner are great actors. And do have good chemistry. I miss this show. It has a great plot and good storyline. Not for the faint of heart. It does have some nudity. Which is good. Unlike a lot of those other shows. It is nice to show all sides of life. Alcoholism, using drugs, money problems, job problems amongst other things. And I like the humor in it. It is my kind of humor. I recommend this to anyone. Well of course the exception being minors. But for all of you adults, kick back and enjoy a Rude Awakening.
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Okay, it's bad, but I like the message.
pkeets11 October 1999
Okay, it's bad, but I like the message. The show is heavy parody but not quite farce about "recovering" alcoholics who really need to recover. Some of it is actually funny, too, like the tricks Trudy plays on Antonia.

The guest stars are a nice treat. I especially love the episodes with Roger Daltrey.
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