Resurrected television shows and films go to great lengths to avoid being labeled with the odious term “reboot.” You’ll often hear the people behind this kind of content refer to them as “reimaginings” to soften the stigma—like if Hester Prynn insisted that the scarlet letter on her chest stood for “autonomous.” It’s a more appealing word, but at the end of the day, everyone still understands that we’re talking about a piece of media that has been exhumed from the grave, dusted off, and pitched up with some fresh spackle.
Reboot, just by its title alone, understands that stigma perfectly. That’s also how it knows that it’s rife for parody. Helmed by Modern Family co-creator Steven Levitan, the new Hulu comedy, out Tuesday, follows the on-set happenings of the cast of a fictional 2000s sitcom called Step Right Up once they’re tapped for a “reimagined” reboot of their show. Though Reboot exists to deftly skewer the contemporary television landscape, it does so with pleasant reverence. That Modern Family-ish combination of heart and hilarity can sometimes make Reboot feel uneven, though it’s always enjoyable.
From its opening scene, Reboot enjoys flexing the strength of its own meta privilege. Thirty-something, progressive writer Hannah (Crazy Ex-Girlfriend’s Rachel Bloom) takes a pitch meeting at Hulu, where execs sit around a table ready to hear her ideas. When she tells them that she wants to reboot Step Right Up with its original cast and an edgy new take, they’re interested. “You’re talking to the guy who greenlit the fifth season of Handmaid’s Tale!” one executive says, with verbal back-patting from his underlings.
Source: The Daily Beast
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