Reboot (2022) is a comedy series about a sitcom that has been rebooted with a modern take and brings the original cast back together after 15 years. The episodes are now streaming on Hulu.
Episode 1 recap: Step Right Up
Hannah Korman is a writer who’s gained some indie popularity because of her edgy work. She meets with an executive of Hulu to pitch a reboot of an old sitcom called ‘Step Right Up!’ and she wants to do it with the original cast.
The executive learns that the original sitcom performs well on the platform and is keen to hear what Hannah wants to do with her version. She says that it will be more grounded in reality and not just focus on the comedy aspect.
A quick rundown of the former cast reveals that they are available after going through varying paths in their careers. Reed Sterling quit pursuing a career in Hollywood which is why the original series was cancelled. However, he didn’t have much luck on the big stage.
Bree Marie Jensen did work a little before marrying the Duke of a small nordic country named Fjordstad. She hasn’t booked any roles since then. Clay Barber has alternated between stints in rehab and a less than stellar stand-up career.
Finally, Zack Jackson has starred in a spate of straight-to-video teen movies with corny names. When the executive asks if reboots are still popular, the others reveal an expansive list of reboots that have made their way to the screen with varying degrees of success.
Reed has lunch with his girlfriend Nora and talks about wanting to do the reboot. She brings up the fact that he and Bree dated for 3 years and it would be complicated sharing a set with her again but Reed assures her that it won’t be a problem.
He arrives on the set in Los Angeles and immediately runs into Clay as the two catch up. A grown-up Zack shows up and Clay and Reed barely recognize him. Zack still appears to be a bit immature in the way he carries himself.
Reed visits Bree’s trailer and finds her struggling to get her sweater off and has to undo her bra and help her out. He wanted to cut out the awkwardness of meeting for the first time on set in over 15 years but he ended up making it even worse.
Bree reminds him of how condescending and full of himself he was back then while he tries to defend himself. Reed and Clay meet Hannah on the main stage and she talks about how she was a fan of the show and even followed their careers after that.
She gets a call from Elaine Kim, an executive from Hulu, who tells her that there is a major issue to deal with. Bree meets up with the rest of the guys so that they can recreate the original series poster for promotional material and Reed is being a diva.
They’re called into the showrunner’s office and when they reach there, Hannah walks out in a huff. They walk in to find Gordon Gelman, the original writer and showrunner, who says that he’s there to fix the original script which he didn’t find funny.
The actors are not happy with Gordon’s proposed changes and they threaten to walk out unless Hannah is brought back. They leave his office but they all agree that they need this to work because they’ve been down in the dumps lately.
They visit Hannah and plead with her to come back and ensure that she has their full support. They tell her that she just needs to get to know Gordon a little better but she says that she already knows him quite well before revealing that he is her father.
Gordon ran out on Hannah and her mother and moved in with his new family, and then made that story into a sitcom called ‘Step Right Up!’. The twist that Hannah adds to the story is that Lawrence, the lead character, has a daughter who enters his life all of a sudden.
Episode 2 recap: New Girl
Hannah and the actors gather in Gordon’s room to discuss the future of the show. Gordon wants to make it a slapstick comedy with his outdated humour but Hannah insists that she wants to do it in her original image and the cast agrees.
Elaine meets with Reed and Bree at the first table read and explains how she went from simple analyst to vice-president of comedy at Hulu thanks to a bunch of company acquisitions. Zack’s mother is on set and Clay tells him that it’s a bit weird that his mother still accompanies him everywhere.
A young beautiful woman walks in and Reed and Bree are immediately worried that she’s there to play Reed’s daughter but Hannah assures them that she picked someone who looked like a real person.
However, Gordon reveals that she is the new addition and her name is Timberly Fox. Timberly is a reality TV star and was picked because she polled well with their target demographic. However, she doesn’t have any acting ability and Hannah is annoyed with this development.
She confronts Gordon about the change and some silly scenes that he added and he tells her that his hands are tied about the casting but that his rewrites are guaranteed to be funny.
Zack’s mother, Susan makes things awkward for him on set and Clay tells him to cut her off but he’s too scared to say anything to her. He asks Clay to talk to her instead and he agrees.
Hannah is approached about a scene where popcorn shoots out of a dryer which was Gordon’s idea but she cuts it out. The first rehearsal goes horribly for Timberly and Reed cannot bear to work with her.
Clay goes into Zack’s trailer to talk to Susan but she ends up seducing him and gives him a blowjob. Gordon tries to make a case for his popcorn scene but Hannah is having none of it. He also gives her a list of public domain songs to choose from because the rights to her original choice cost 80 thousand dollars.
Reed shows up at their office and Gordon tells Hannah that the actors need to be treated just like children. They just need a suitable distraction to keep them occupied and forget about their complaints.
He complains about Timberly but Gordon flips the situation and convinces Reed that the only option is for him to teach her how to act. With his ego massaged, Reed forgets that he had a problem and leaves satisfied.
Clay tells Reed what happened with Susan and Reed tells him that it’s a weird situation that must not happen again. He tries to break it off with her later but they end up sleeping together.
Timberly is improving with Reed’s guidance and Bree feels threatened by this. She gives TImberly some destructive advice so that she messes up her rehearsal. Gordon rewrites the big emotional scene at the end to bypass Timberly’s performance while adding his jokes.
Hannah confronts Gordon once again and tells him that he cannot change her story by making it a happy story that portrays him as a hero. In turn, he doesn’t want his image to be skewered because she resents him for leaving.
Reed asks Bree why she got in Timberly’s head and she says that it’s how Hollywood works and relates stories of how she was treated when she was younger. She realises that she’s now on the other end and should have known better.
She talks to Timberly and tells her to forget the advice she gave and only stick to what Reed told her. Meanwhile, Gordon has a change of heart and rewrites the scene yet again to show Lawrence and his daughter have an honest heart to heart
Episode 3 recap: Growing Pains
Zack finds out about Clay and his mom and he faces up with him about it. He tells Clay that he cares about his mother and that she doesn’t take it well when someone just casually sleeps with her and then cuts things off.
Hannah is sitting in the writer’s room with Azmina, Janae and Benny. They’re a group of talented up-and-coming writers who just happen to be diverse and Gordon has a difficult time winning them over with his brand of humour.
Reed and Bree discuss an upcoming love scene in the script and Reed wants to check with Bree if she’ll be okay doing the scene, especially since she’s going through a divorce and has been quite lonely lately. Bree says that she won’t have any issues whatsoever.
She goes to Lana in the costume department and questions, why a bunch of Spanx were dropped off at her trailer and she’s told that it’s simply a consequence of getting to her age. Timberly overhears the conversation and suggests they go out together so that Bree can have fun and get laid again.
Gordon pitches a hot, clumsy delivery boy tripping over a big box as a gag and Hannah tells him that in the real world people do not trip right when you need them to.
Bree and Reed rehearse the love scene and Reed gets an erection. This makes Bree laugh and when Clay realizes it, he announces it to everyone else there and the director, Jerry, tells them to take a five-minute break.
Gordon returns with a couple of writers closer to his generation, Alan, Bob and Selma so that he can get across some of his ideas and count on their support. Hannah tries to tell Gordon that television has evolved since they first worked on something and those writers will be out of touch.
Jerry tells Reed and Bree that the incident with his erection caused an issue with HR and there are some protocols to be followed. All this embarrasses Reed while Bree finds it hysterical.
Zack hears about the HR situation with Reed and tries to make up an issue that forces him to break up with Susan. Zack is disappointed to hear about this.
The two sets of writers are not able to get on the same page or agree on anything. While all of the younger suggestions go over the head of the older writers, the older suggestions appear corny and sometimes downright offensive.
Reed and Bree give the love scene another go and this time Reed controls himself but Bree starts crying and rushes off set with Timberly going after her.
Susan meets Clay and tells him that she knows he faked the HR issue. She hears what Zack said about her and assures Clay that it’s not the truth. In reality, she’s all for casual flings but she can’t be that way in front of Zack.
Zack assumes that Clay broke up with his mom and is thankful that he was nice about it. Clay feels sorry for Zack and asks him if he wants to hang out with him later.
Timberly takes Bree to a bar and talks her up to build up her self-confidence. Bree says that the love scene reminded her of a time in the past when she felt loved and she hasn’t felt that in a long time. Timberly suggests going home with someone from the bar for some unadulterated fun.
Things are heating up in the writer’s room with them not making any progress. Everyone airs out their opinions before Hannah and Gordon get into an argument. Hannah gives a big speech before announcing that she’s quitting but as she turns to walk out, she trips on a trash can.
Everyone in the room bursts into laughter including Hannah and they finally agree on how the scene needs to be written before the writers exhibit some newfound camaraderie.
Reed calls Bree at night to check in with her and says that he has some unresolved feelings for her as well and hoped that would make her feel better. She thanks him for showing that he cares before assuring him that she’s in a good place.
It is then revealed that she’s spending the night with Timberly and the two of them slept with each other.
- ‘Reboot’ offers up a meta-commentary on the current landscape of streaming television works and how it fares when held up against the customs of old-school network television. It’s not an original idea but it is still hugely popular and this series does it well.
- The cast of the series is a brilliant ensemble of performers who all sparkle on screen and play off each other wonderfully. The contrasts between the old and the new are hilarious while the different dynamics between them are fun to watch.
- A series set in Hollywood leaves a lot of scope for celebrity cameos and references and that sort of content is perfect for a modern comedy series.
- The personal relationships between several characters also appear to be a key focus and it will be intriguing to see how they grow in the coming episodes.
Director: Steven Levitan, Carrie Brownstein, Jaffar Mahmoud
Date Created: 2022-09-20 07:30