Recommended: Reboot on Hulu
What's Reboot About?
When a cheesy family sitcom gets an edgy Hulu reboot, the cast has to deal with issues they never worked through the first time around.
The actors playing the actors include:
The actors playing the folks behind the scenes include:
Meanwhile, the real-life creator of Reboot is Steven Levitan, who also created Modern Family.
Why (and to whom) do we recommend it?
Reboot is the best-case scenario for a series created by A-list talent. From Levitan to the impossibly stacked cast to the murderer's row of directors that includes Carrie Brownstein (Portlandia) and Beth McCarthy-Miller (30 Rock, SNL), the new series arrives fully formed. We immediately understand the comic tone (cringey, with a chaser of genuine heart), and we instantly grasp the nuanced relationships among characters who have known each other for decades.
Because the show doesn't need time to figure itself out, we also jump right into stories that balance sharp, one-off gags with tour de force comic plots. In the second episode, for instance, there's a slow-burn bit about popcorn stuffed into a dryer that pays off so well you may want to stand up and applaud. Likewise, there's a season-long storyline about the writers' room, which is filled with a mix of hip young scribes and politically incorrect old-timers. Slowly but surely, they go from distrusting each other to becoming a cracked family, and by the final episodes, viewers will be yearning to hear more of their inane banter.
That's the secret of this show's success: It might seem like it's going to be a sarcastic battle between Boomers and Gen Z, or a knowing evisceration of our nostalgia-obsessed culture, but it's actually about how different generations can come together to make things, take care of each other, and make each other laugh.
The fundamental belief in cooperation drives the comedy and makes it surprising. Take Timberly: At her first rehearsal, she's as terrible as you'd expect a reality star to be on a sitcom, but then she stumbles into a method for being brilliant. This not only showcases Alyah Channelle Scott's impressive acting chops, but also makes us laugh while an underdog succeeds. It's a nifty trick to be this heartwarming without getting soppy or sentimental.
Meanwhile, every performer delivers, from Rachel Bloom serving flustered anxiety to Johnny Knoxville slowly revealing a jerk's softer side. They help make Reboot a series full of people we can love, even when (or maybe because) they behave like lunatics.
Pairs well with
TOPICS: Reboot, Hulu, Alyah Chanelle Scott, Beth McCarthy-Miller, Calum Worthy, Carrie Brownstein, Eliza Coupe, Fred Melamed, Johnny Knoxville, Judy Greer, Keegan-Michael Key, Krista Marie Yu, Paul Reiser, Rachel Bloom, Steven Levitan