A show within a show. Meta much? “Reboot,” a Hulu original created by Steven Levitan, who gave us the amazing “Modern Family,” is here with this show, which talks about a new writer wanting to reboot an old show by including the current ethos of this generation. The show was released on the streaming platform on September 22nd, 2022. Season one has concluded with the last episode of the show aired on October 25th. Steve Levitan is known for delivering path-breaking stories, and “Reboot” is probably one of them, if not the very best. Let’s take you through the recap of this meta-satirical comedy drama.
Story Of Hannah, Gordon, And The Original Cast Of Step Right Up
The show begins with a bunch of Hulu executives gathered to hear writers pitch for new shows. The writers are hoping the network will pick up their shows, and the Hulu executives are hoping to come across a decent pitch for production. Hannah pitches an idea to reboot a sitcom from 20 years ago, Step Right Up, with the same cast, but the writing of the show will be realistic and will reflect the values of today’s generation, and the humor will be different too. The network head is initially skeptical of rebooting an old show, but the executives gather data that leans towards the audience wanting reboots of old shows. This is a satirical take on how networks would depend on the opinion of the executives and not be convinced by the writers of the show to greenlight the project. Hulu takes a shot at them by bringing in executives who have only marketing and tech backgrounds, but they seem to be the deciding factor on which pitch will score success for the network.
Soon, the original cast is contacted; they are beyond elated to be a part of the reboot since they haven’t had a great career after Step Right Up was canceled. Bree Marie Jensen is the lead actress who went through a series of flops after Step Right Up, only to be married to a Scandinavian duke and which marked her departure from the world of Hollywood. Meanwhile, Reed Sterling, a Yale Drama graduate, is also struggling with his career since the show ended abruptly. Clay Barber has become an alcoholic with little to no work in his kitty since Step Right Up ended; Zack Jackson, who was the child actor in the original series, went through a cycle of kiddie movies to cheesy films and is more than happy to rejoin Step Right Up in the reboot. All four of them have various reasons to come back and be a part of the resurrection of their show. Bree is going through a divorce, Reed finally thinks the show is getting better writers so he can showcase his real acting talent, Clay wants to get out of the rut, and Zack wants to bring his cuteness back. All four leads of Step Right Up have had a downward trajectory career-wise, which all of them feel can be reignited through this show, which has been scripted in a much better way.
Hannah, the creator of the rebooted Step Right Up, has a history attached to it. Growing up, she was addicted to this show. Now that she is a screenwriter, she manages to recreate the show in a realistic form, keeping the lovey-dovey happy storyline far away. The actors are very much pleased to see the changes Hannah has made. Along with them, the network, and directors go ahead with developing episodes. Soon, they are gatecrashed by the original writer and creator of the show, Gordon, who believes his show shouldn’t be meddled with. He makes it clear to the network that the show can be rebooted only as per his style or not be rebooted at all. Furious, Hannah decides to walk out of the show because she is not ready to deal with Gordon. The actors, whose livelihood depends on this show, go to Gordon to reconsider his stand. They also go to meet Hannah and convince her that they will walk out of the show with her. Hannah soon reveals that Gordon is her father, and the original Step Right Up is based on the life of Gordon with his second family after leaving Hannah and her mother. This shows the reason behind Hannan’s obsession with Step Right Up. She feels she was wronged by Gordon, who abandoned her and her mother, started a new family, and based an entire show on himself. All Hannah wants to do is to show the reality behind marriage and family, which is never a bed of roses.
‘Reboot’ Ending Explained – Will Gordon Apologize To The New Network Head To Save The Show?
Hannah and Gordon somehow come to a truce and decide to work with one another. They will both decide on making any changes to the screenplay, and they will consult each other before making any changes. Gordon casts an actress from a reality television show, Timberly, with no prior acting experience. Hannah is angry because he took the decision without consulting her. At the table, all of them realize she is a bad actor. Gordon leaves it up to Reed to help Timberly get better with lines and acting. Reed is a Yale drama graduate, and he concludes that his assistance to Timberly will boost his ego and help him brush up on his acting chops, along with being a good mentor to Timberly. Reed and Bree also have a past. They were in a long-term relationship, and they broke off in a rather bitter fashion. Seeing Reed and Bree together sends Reed’s girlfriend into panic mode. Bree, though, says she has no feelings whatsoever for Reed, but soon reveals she misses him, and one of the reasons she took up the role was to be closer to him. Bree herself has gone through her own phase of ups and downs, living off as a Duchess. She missed her profession too much and took up this opportunity as soon as it fell on her lap. Taking up this project is her way to reignite her love for acting and to keep her mind away from her divorce.
In the meantime, Hannah struggles to open up about her sexuality to her father. She is a lesbian, which is a known fact, but she hasn’t told her father about it. Bree and Timberly go out to find Bree a hot date but end up sleeping with one another, making Bree a confident woman. In the same episode, Hannah comes out to her father, and to her delight, he already knows of her sexuality through online articles he had read about her. Hannah was never close to her father growing up, and that is the one main reason she finds it difficult to convey her deepest secrets, thinking he might reject her and she would find it harder to work with him. Gordon’s knowledge of her sexuality helps both of them have an easy relationship on the set. Hannah also hires writers from different spectrums to get a diverse perspective on the screenplay. To counter Hannah, Gordon brings his old school buddies who wrote screenplays in the 1960s and 1970s. Both sets of writers initially clash over different mindsets and generation gaps but eventually find a middle ground and start working on the screenplay. Hannah and Gordon conclude that both of them require a mix of old-school writing and new sensibilities to make this show go forward.
Meanwhile, Clay has been dealing with alcoholism for years and finally heads to AA meetings. Clay finally starts showing results, but it is not like he must give up living life as a sober man. He moves to a better neighborhood and purchases a much bigger house, only to realize it will be empty as he has no one to share the home with. Reed is struggling to keep Nora strong, who keeps suspecting his relationship with Bree. During an interview, Bree, out of sheer jealousy, claims that she and Reed are back together, planning to have kids. This comes across as a rude shock to Reed, who no longer cares for Bree and her antics. He proposes to Nora, who agrees to marry him. Reed initially wonders if there are some feelings left between him and Bree and tries to understand their dynamics. He concludes that he loves Nora more and cannot sabotage his current relationship over a failed relationship from the past. He makes it clear to Bree that he is engaged to Nora. Bree confesses her feelings to Reed and tells him her husband was always jealous of Reed. One of the reasons she came to the show was to reconnect with him. Bree is going through a lot because of her divorce, and her need to reconnect with Reed is to bring back the spark they once shared as a couple.
The team comes across bad news from the executives. The current head of Hulu has been sacked and replaced by a new head, who is on a firing spree. The executive informs Gordon and Hannah that there is a chance the new head of Hulu will cancel the reboot show. To everyone’s horror, the new head was never on good terms with Gordon, as he was one of the reasons the show was canceled years ago. Gordon and Hannah head to his office to have a discussion with him to let the show keep going. The head decides to move Timberly to a new show, delaying the shooting of Step Right Up. Also, they will have to recast and reshoot the whole season. Hannah begs Gordon to apologize to him, but Gordon decides he loves the show as it is and knows he won’t get along with the new head of Hulu. Gordon quits the show, and Hannah is shocked to see the turn of events. Gordon concludes that he loves the writers, who are working day and night, and the actors, who are putting everything into it. Gordon is also aware he is too old to work on his ego and apologize, so he decides to quit to retain the show as it is. Hannah believes Gordon is abandoning her again, but Gordon pacifies her. Gordon truly believes his daughter can take it from here. He knows Hannah can deliver.
Bree, on the other hand, is upset to learn about Reed’s engagement. Clay is all alone in his brand-new home with no one to talk to. Bree reaches his place looking for company, and Clay is eager to welcome her. Bree is in love with Reed and is visibly upset over the news of his engagement. Hoping she would find comfort in Clay’s company, she heads over to his place to feel less lonely.
What To Expect In Season 2 Of “Reboot”?
Season 2 of “Reboot” will begin with Clay and Bree and find out whether they will share any kind of intimacy, just out of sheer desperation and loneliness. Reed’s engagement will be the talk of the town, and the audience will get to see if the engagement will last. It will be interesting to see how Bree will react or act around Reed, who is fully aware of her feelings toward him. The dynamics now in the writer’s room will be interesting to watch, minus Gordon. Will Gordon help the team from the outside, or will fate have him become part of the writer’s room all over again? Will Hannah be able to handle the writer’s room on her own? Will she be able to take the show forward without her father’s help?
This and more will be covered in season 2 of “Reboot.” Hopefully, the writing of the show will remain consistent, just like in its first season.
“Reboot” on the screenplay level had issues, but the humor is bang on. The meta jokes, the satirical tone of the show, the writers’ taking a dig at high-functioning film production houses, and the executives, who are the decision-makers and not the creative people, all of this land perfectly. The show does take a u-turn with Reed and Bree’s relationship, but it kind of stabilizes by the end of the season. Unfortunately, the writers did not shed much light on Clay’s past. I was hoping the writers would keep that in mind for the next season. The performances are bang on. Keegan-Michael Key, Rachel Bloom, Judy Greer, and Paul Reiser are fantastic in the show. The show scores aces in the fast screenplay, humor, and meta structure of the show. Watch “Reboot” if you are looking for some good humor. It is one of the most engaging shows to come out.
“Reboot,” a Hulu original, is now streaming on Hotstar with subtitles.