The name Steven Levitan should be a familiar one. After all, he is the guy who co-created Modern Family. That was enough for me to tune into Reboot, a new comedy on Hulu (or Disney+ if you're outside of the US).
Starring Keegan Michael Key (Wendell & Wild), Johnny Knoxville and Judy Greer, the show is aptly named and follows the exploits of a network trying to reboot an old family sitcom.
What Is Reboot About?
The show starts when up-and-coming indie writer, Hannah Korman (Rachel Bloom) pitches a network show that is a reboot of an early 2000s hit sitcom, Step Right Up.
The execs love it, the original cast is all on board and the green light flashes brightly. That is until Gordon Gelman, who originally created Step Right Up and has the rights to it, shows up and decides to take over.
Because what Hannah failed to mention was that Gordon is her estranged father. And she pretty much wanted to reboot the show, sending it in a completely different direction, to get back at him.
The ante is upped when both bring their own people into the writer's room. But when the millennials and the older comedy writers can't ever agree on anything, the script for the reboot stalls.
In the meantime, each of the dysfunctional cast members has their own reasons for needing the show to go ahead. Most have not faired well since the original run of the show, and they all need the exposure and, more importantly, the payday!
So can they all get their act together and make Step Right Up work?
Reboot Official Trailer
Is Reboot Worth Watching?
As I said up above, Steve Levitan was one of the main draws in this show, and he knocks it out of the park again.
Reboot is a satirical look at the entertainment industry, the strings that get pulled behind the scenes and just what it takes to make an episode of a show.
The plot lines are funny, and the script is refreshingly non-PC, particularly in the writers room when the two generations of writers have to find a way to work together. Each character has their own idiosyncrasies that both help and hinder them to great effect.
But here's the thing about Reboot. Unlike most sitcoms or comedies on network tv that have 22 episodes, this only has 8 25-minute episodes. That's just not enough to get any real traction going.
No sooner have you warmed to everybody and the characters are really getting into their groove, and it's over.
I understand that networks don't want to commit to extended tv shows, but surely a comedy about a sitcom, written by Steven Levitan and starring this cast, is worthy of more??
Reboot Cast Members
Keegan-Michael Key as Reed Sterling, the actor who played “Lawrence”, the stepfather on Step Right Up.
Johnny Knoxville as Clay Barber, the stand-up comedian who played “Jake”, the ex-husband.
Rachel Bloom as Hannah Korman, an up-and-coming film screenwriter who lands a deal with Hulu to revive Step Right Up but is forced to work with the sitcom's creator, Gordon, her estranged father.
Calum Worthy as Zack Jackson, the former child actor who played “Cody”, the son on Step Right Up.
Krista Marie Yu as Elaine Kim, the inexperienced studio executive tasked with overseeing the revival of the show.
Judy Greer as Bree Marie Jensen, the actress who played “Josie”, the mother on Step Right Up, who has lost all of her money in a divorce.
Paul Reiser as Gordon Gelman, the ageing writer and the show's original creator.
Fred Melamed, Rose Abdoo and George Wyner as Alan, Selma and Bob, older and experienced comedy writers brought in by Gordon.
Kimia Behpoornia, Korama Danquah and Dan Leahy as Azmina, Janae and Benny, young and socially conscious writers brought in by Hannah.