I’m recapping Reboot, a new show now on Hulu. I’ll be recapping episodes 1-5 between now and October 11th, at which point I’ll be right on track with the releases for the rest of the season.
We open episode 2 much the same way we started episode 1– with Hannah sweating way too much. This time, she’s nervous to see Gordon (who drives a Bentley and expects everyone to know exactly what that looks like) and tell him that she’s back on the show. The actors are there supporting her. Clay thinks everyone has a fucked up relationship with their parents. Zack’s mom is his best friend. Bree’s mom married her second cousin and then told her that her eyes were to close together. Family dynamics!
Hannah wants to tell the truth. If Lawrence (Reed’s character) is based on Gordon, then she wants the world to know about the daughter he left behind. It’s her life, and she’s going to get it on screen, even if she’d rather work at Sea World than work with her father. Bree, Clay, and Reed are on board and Zack jumps in with an awkward attempt at relieving tension that both fails and manages to get Gordon agree to a table read of the original script.
At the table read, Elaine introduces herself to Bree and Reed. She was working as a software engineer but her company was acquired four times, resulting in her ending up where she is now. She laughs, but Reed and Bree don’t know what to say so they awkwardly whisper to each other behind their hands and walk away.
I don’t really know how I feel about the fact that Elaine is being made out to be pretty much just an Asian stereotype! All we know about her was that she was a software engineer who works too much and doesn’t seem to know how to have fun. Granted, I think the show tries to make pretty much everyone a stereotype (kid actor who never grows up, problematic old white dude, alcoholic middle age white dude, dumb blonde actress) but it still feels wrong here!?
We also find out that Zack’s mom still comes to set with him every day because she “loves him”. Which is super weird, because Zack is 24. In other equally terrifying news, the actress which will play Reed’s daughter on the show, Timberly (Alyah Chanelle Scott), is drop dead gorgeous and Bree is highly intimidated.
The table read seems to be going well until it gets time for the big reveal at the end of the episode– Timberly’s big lines. She speaks in a falsetto with big fake tears that’s so comically bad it’s hard not to be embarrassed. Bree is LOVING it. Hannah and Reed want to die. Hulu loves Timberly because of her social media and hotness appeal, so they have no choice but to work with what they have.
Hannah’s confused why she wasn’t informed, but Gordon actually did send her an email. To email@example.com. Which, as Hannah points out, would in no world be her adult professional email address. Gordon is obsessed with physical comedy, and thinks that’s the best way to lighten the mood. It’s only Monday, and they have until Friday to figure it out. If worst comes to worst, they’ll just throw some popcorn in the dryer during the scene.
Back on set, Zack is successfully hitting on a girl by talking about his movies, but all that is ruined when his mother comes over to cut him off from the donuts. She has a crockpot at home, for christs sake! I know this was supposed to be funny in that it’s embarrassing what a mommy’s boy Zack is, but to be honest this made me really miss my mom’s home cooked crockpots. I need to be taken care of! This is the attitude that would probably put me in the exact position that Clay finds himself in.
He agrees to talk to Zack’s mom, Susan (Kerri Kenney) and ask her not to come to set, since Zack doesn’t want to break her heart. When he visits her in her trailer, he gets out what he’s supposed to say– getting corrected for saying “fuck”– before Susan launches into how she just wants to protect Zack. When she notices something on Clay’s face, she gets out a napkin and wipes it off. When he comes out of the trailer, he looks dazed. The reason? She blew him and told him that he was a good boy. Clay doesn’t know if he loved it or if it was entirely depraved.
The script is changing every minute, and Hannah isn’t able to keep up. There’s a new H scene that she wasn’t consulted on where popcorn comes out of the dryer. She cuts it out again with 30 minutes to go before run-through. Gordon isn’t pleased with this, but Hannah says she sent him an email he didn’t respond to. “Nice Callback” says Gordon. This starts one of the recurring motifs of the show, Hannah replying to Gordon with the exact words Gordon said to her only hours before.
It probably wouldn’t make a difference anyways, because Timberly is struggling. She’s reading her queues (“Timberly exits!”) as lines and gesturing way too wildly. The only reason she’s there, it turns out, is because Elaine’s research showed she was popular with the male demographic. Reed is pissed off about Timberly and goes to talk to Hannah about it. Gordon knows that all Reed really needs is a cookie. He tells Reed that he’s crucial to saving the show. Reed needs to teach Timberly how to act, just like he taught Bree back in the day. All of it is bullshit, but Yale School of Acting Reed eats it right up. He’s ready to go out there and teach Timberly everything he knows.
The acting lessons are going well. Too well, according to Bree. When her hair stylist asks her to come touch up her greys and she spots Timberly chatting with adoring fans on the way there, Bree has had enough. It’s time for her to steal back the show. She puts on the face of a confidant, and says that Reed’s notes on Bree’s first show actually caused her to flop. She flopped so badly, in fact, that her acting career was nearly ended.
As much as I cannot stand for women not supporting other women, there’s something so entertaining about the way that Bree tries to take Timberly down. She is trying to be confident and adult, but in reality she’s just insecure and scared that she’s not hot anymore. She used to be the hottest character on the show, and now she only plays well in the elderly demographic.
She manipulated Timberly excellently, though, because at run through Timberly is a mess, over-exaggerating each of her motions. It’s so bad that Gordon rewrites the final scene just 30 minutes before shooting time, much to Hannah’s (and Reed’s) horror. Not only is the dramatic final scene completely taken out, the popcorn scene is back in.
Hannah yells at Gordon, spiraling about him not wanting the character based off of him to be a villain. He never even apologized once for leaving! This gets Gordon just as angry, and he says that he won’t be the villain. The look on Hannah’s face during this scene is truly heartbreaking. It’s too late for him to not be the villain, because he already is. He was the villain since he walked out on her when she was seven years old.
It’s filming day! Clay fucked Zack’s mom and Timberly told Reed that it was Bree that sabotaged her. Bree has similar stories about every woman she’s ever worked with, because Hollywood forces women to compete against each other for no reason! Now, she’s done the same thing to Timberly that all of those women have done to her. It’s so hard to break the cycle of abuse the propels us to treat people younger than us the same way that we were treated by our elders.
In the bathroom partway through the show, Bree runs into Timberly who’s crying. Timberly doesn’t understand how to reconcile all of the plot changes, Reed’s notes, and Bree’s notes. She doesn’t want to let everyone down! This girl is truly so sweet I love her. Bree admits that she was trying to mess Timberly up and that she should just do her thing. She’s loved by more people than just me! Girl power!
As we prep for the final scene, we find out that Elaine’s dad forced her to get a masters in computer science from Stanford and were never home for her when she was a kid. She’s a huge fan of Step Right Up because the family seemed so much more functional than hers. She also admits to having had a huge crush on Cody– remember that for later!
The final scene plays after a last minute rewrite from Gordon. He makes Reed apologize for everything, and it’s clear from both his and Hannah’s faces that this is as close to an apology as Gordon’s going to be able to muster for now. He runs out of the building immediately, clearly not wanting a confrontation, but Hannah runs after him. She’s grateful for the scene, and she also wants to apologize– she filled his car with popcorn. I love this so much! It’s so petty and perfect.
And that’s the episode!