Reboot: A Genius Hulu Satire From Steven Levitan

Pauk Reiser and Rachel Bloom in Reboot. Courtesy of Hulu.

Reboot, created by Emmy-winning comedy writer Steven Levitan, is a genius comedy satire that speaks to the differences in generations.

While reboots are all the rage, it was only a matter of time before we saw a satire of reboots on television. That’s not to say such a satire hasn’t been done on feature film before–see Jay and Silent Bob Reboot. Creator Steven Levitan takes a sitcom in the vein of Step by Step and reboots it for the modern day. Since Step Right Up, an early 2000s family sitcom, went off the air, the cast went their separate ways. Can they put their dysfunction and other issues aside in order to make the show a success? You’ll just have to tune in on September 20th to find out.

L-R: Hannah (Rachel Bloom), Bree (Judy Greer), Gordon (Paul Reiser), Reed (Keegan-Michael Key), Clay (Johnny Knoxville), Elaine (Krista Marie Yu), and Zach (Calum Worthy), shown. (Courtesy of Hulu)

The cast of Step Right Up consists of Reed (Keegan-Michael Key), Clay (Johnny Knoxville), Bree (Judy Greer), and the now-grown-up Zach (Calum Worthy). While the series had initially been created by Gordon (Paul Reiser), it’s Hannah (Rachel Bloom) that pitches the reboot to Hulu executives. Elaine (Krista Marie Yu) rounds out the cast as a Hulu executive working on the series.

One interesting fact about the series is that seven episodes are named after previously existing comedy series. The exception is the first episode, which is titled “Step Right Up.” Forthcoming episodes include named for the following comedies:

  • New Girl
  • Growing Pains
  • Girlfriends
  • What We Do In The Shadows
  • Bewitched
  • Baskets
  • Who’s The Boss?

Again, it’s a genius approach for Levitan. There’s also comments about the differences between broadcast/cable vs. streaming. Streaming also allows people to get away with language that you cannot use on network television. This doesn’t even begin to take the generational differences between Gordon (Paul Reiser) and Hannah (Rachel Bloom) into account. The generational differences between new school comedy writer and old-school comedy writer certainly make for awesome comedy. They have their own thoughts when it comes to what is funny. After Hannah brings in some comedy writers to work on the series, Gordon responds by bringing in some old-school writers. They don’t get along at first but little by little, they start meshing together.

Press were able to screen all eight episodes of Reboot in advance. It’s a half-hour comedy series so I quickly binged the episodes. In classic tradition, I ran out of episodes to watch and don’t know if or when we’ll be getting another season. Reboot should be able to attract a following with its star-studded comedy cast. There’s so much promise for this genius satire.

CREATOR: Steven Levitan
EXECUTIVE PRODUCERS: Steven Levitan, Danielle Stokdyk, Jeff Morton
CAST: Keegan-Michael Key, Johnny Knoxville, Rachel Bloom, Calum Worthy, Krista Marie Yu, with Judy Greer and Paul Reiser

Hulu will premiere the first the episodes of Reboot on September 20, 2022. New episodes will follow weekly. Grade: 4/5

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Danielle Solzman

Danielle Solzman is native of Louisville, KY, and holds a BA in Public Relations from Northern Kentucky University and a MA in Media Communications from Webster University. She roots for her beloved Kentucky Wildcats, St. Louis Cardinals, Indianapolis Colts, and Boston Celtics. Living less than a mile away from Wrigley Field in Chicago, she is an active reader (sports/entertainment/history/biographies/select fiction) and involved with the Chicago improv scene. She also sees many movies and reviews them. She has previously written for Redbird Rants, Wildcat Blue Nation, and Hidden Remote/Flicksided. From April 2016 through May 2017, her film reviews can be found on Creators.