Relative to a series that deals with “the old versus the new”, “Reboot” is not that innovative

The plot of the new sitcom of the streaming network Hulu “Reboot” is about a television renewal of a family sitcom from the 2000s. The sitcom is “Step Right Up”, which is presented in the “reboot” as a vintage series full of corny and predictable jokes, the bottom of the barrel of the end of the era of “laughter is glued in the edit”, while the remake is presented, at least at the beginning, as a modern and serious comedy series produced by an appreciated indie. “It’s simultaneously the funniest thing you’ve ever read, and you won’t laugh once,” says Reed Sterling, the lead actor of the sitcom played by Keegan Michael-Key (“Key and Phil,” “College Buddies”), about the new script. But is “Reboot” a comedy series of this new variety or rather of the old variety? The answer is somewhere in the middle.

The script for the first episode of “Reboot” is entrusted to Steven Levithan, who came to “Reboot” after creating classic sitcoms such as “Kill Me and That” and “Modern Family”, and John Enboom, the creator of the acclaimed and short-lived comedy “Party Down”. The first episode wants to make it clear to us that despite Leviathan’s past, this is not a series for the whole family. There are curses, partial nudity, references to drugs and prostitution. Friends, this is not your parents’ sitcom! But don’t worry: we’re still a sitcom. And that’s a good thing. With all the endless love for extreme comedies like “Barry” sometimes it’s also nice to see a showbiz satire that doesn’t make you have a nervous breakdown.

old vs new. Paul Reiser and Rachel Bloom, “Reboot”

The “reboot” is also helped by its cast: in addition to Key, we have the stunning Judy Greer (“Family in Trouble”) as the insecure actress Brie, Johnny Knoxville (“Jackass”) as Clay, a comedian who It’s a miracle that hasn’t been canceled yet” and my favorite addition, Callum Worthy as Zach, the child actor who grew up to be a 24-year-old-actor-who-still-acts-like-a-child-but-is-trying-to-show-how-much-older-he-is-now. Worthy really started his career as an actor in Disney series, but since then he has surprised with great comedic roles in series like “American Vandal”. Behind the scenes of the fictitious sitcom we have the original creator Gordon, played by Paul Reiser (“Crazy for Love”) and the new writer Hannah played by Rachel Bloom (“The Crazy Ex”) whose battle between old and new constitutes most of the conflict of the series.

In the first episodes of the series, the characters have to deal with being older than they were twenty years ago, romantic relationships on the set, family drama and of course: how to write jokes in 2022. Luckily, the series doesn’t dive deep into the question of “Woke or not-Woke?” and jokes “It’s impossible to say anything today!”, and in the meantime reaches a climax in an amusing third episode in which the millennial writers/the generation of the zeitgeist that Hanna brings collide with the old Jewish writers, among them the wonderful Fred Melamed (“Barry”), that Gordon brings.

As mentioned, “Reboot” is not a comedy series of the new breed of comedy series, in which the comedy is sometimes less important than the relationships between the characters or the message they are trying to convey. It is first and foremost a comedy, and not a bad one at all. It’s just that, ironically, “Reboot” feels a little dated. It’s not that she reminds of the old sitcoms she’s laughing at, but she does totally remind a series of comedies from the end of the first decade of the 2000s like “Party Down” or “The Comeback” (with Lisa Kudrow). Sitcoms broadcast on American cable networks received low ratings, were canceled and continued to live only with critics who praise them as series that broke out before their time. “Reboot” doesn’t quite reach the level of these series, and sometimes feels like a relic from a past comic era that’s not yet far enough away to be nostalgic – but it’s still a funny series with a cast of easy-to-love characters. And look, we went through a whole review about a series that takes place behind the scenes of a past sitcom that comes back to life and we didn’t mention “Bojack Horseman” even once.


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