Rude Awakening (1998)

Run Time - 30 min.  |   Countries - USA  |  
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This TV comedy series, an attempt to find humor in 1990s self-help, rehab and recovery programs, focuses on hard-drinking, former actress Billie Frank (Sherilyn Fenn), once the teen queen of primetime soaps, who now works for lowlife "B"-movie producer Harve Schwartz (Richard Lewis). Johnny (Michael Rapaport) is only one of an unending parade of predatory males standing in line to hit on Billie, and viewing the world through an alcoholic haze, she often has to check on the identity of the man next to her when she awakens. Matching Billie, drink for drink, is her mother Trudy (Lynn Redgrave). Sitcom segments are separated by onscreen titles, such as "Mother's Milk -- 80 Proof" and "Going Down -- This Time in the Elevator." Friends intervene to show Billie where she's headed, but their efforts go nowhere. Finally, the "rude awakening" happens when Billie drinks and drives -- and then collides with a fire hydrant. The next step is the first of 12, as she attends an Addictions Anonymous meeting, where Dave (Jonathan Penner) tries to score with her, and she encounters a wild lesbian, Jackie (Rain Pryor). Episodes titled "Lucky for Me Her Breast Exploded," "Three Dykes and You're Out," and "Vagina" followed the August 1, 1998 premiere on Showtime.