I’m recapping Reboot, a new show on Hulu about a group of writers and actors creating the reboot of Step Right Up, a popular sitcom. On this week’s episode, Baskets, Hannah and Gordon try to manage Bree’s ego in the writer’s room, Clay almost loses his mind during looping, and Reed joins Zack for a basketball game (according to IMDb)
The show opens with Hannah and Gordon having a catch-up after runthrough. They need to do some work in the writers room and record looping with Clay, so they decide to split up and each take on a different task. Fortunately, there was one task each of them really didn’t want to do that the other doesn’t know about. Bree is coming to the writer’s room and Hannah doesn’t want to be there; Clay sucks at recordings, so Gordon didn’t want to be there.
They walk their separate ways each feeling guilty about tricking the other into getting the bad task.
It doesn’t take long for them to each realize the error of their decision. Bree comes into the writing room in a storm of bad ideas and improv rules. “Yes And!” she exclaims, pitching an idea that Azmina (Kimia Behpoornia) accurately describes as something more likely to be on The Muppets. As the day continues, Josie (Bree’s character) is stuck in a chimney, she’s singing Santa Baby, she’s having an affair with Chris Pine, and she’s generally being the star of the show, all ideas pitched by Bree.
Janea (Korama Danquah) is rolling with it, and that makes Bree love her. When Azmina gets approval from Bree as well, Benny (Dean Leahy) jumps in. Gordon is appalled, but he just wants to be liked, y’all! I’ve never related to anything more in my life. If we have to do the chimney sweep dance for approval, then the chimney sweep dance is what we will do.
It turns out Clay is really bad at looping his lines. Everyone knew this except Hannah, hence the reason she’s forced to be there. Clay has never sworn quite so much in his life. He’s pissed! He needs a few lines of coke! Nothing is going right! Hannah is unfailingly supportive, hyping him up after each mistake until he finally gets two lines right in a row.
Unfortunately, the last line is basically a tongue twister. The realtor railroaded Clay’s character, but he’s also railroading his line looping. It takes so long that Timberly comes in for her line reading before Clay even finishes. She has a whole paragraph to read, and it’s her first time ever doing this, much to Hannah’s dismay. In a shocking twist, she NAILS the script. Then, she nails Clay’s as well.
Elsewhere on the set, it’s a great day for some dudes bonding. Zack is headed to a basketball game with his boys, and he invites Reed to join. It looks like Reed is going to be rather comically bad at basketball when he can’t even catch a pass Zack throws him, but the two are both excited to shoot some hoops. Reed pops some (product placement?) Advil, drinks some Gatorade, and does some warm up exercises before walking into the gym… to a group of children.
To be clear, they’re actually men given that they all had had their Bar Mitzvahs. Plus, Zack never had any friends growing up and all of these kids love him for the goy character he played in a movie. Reed is going to walk out, but the kids accuse him of being antisemitic and he feels forced to play.
He blocks a shot and apologizes, makes a pass over a kid’s head and apologizes, and then refuses to really play defense until someone makes a shot right over his head. The kids get bold, and they start to heckle him, primarily with Jewish references and jokes about old sitcoms that they’re far too young to have watched. Reed shifts into beast mode, blocking shots, draining threes, and generally being the best player on the court.
Things take a turn for the worse when Reed, exclaiming that “Goliath wins this time!” accidentally elbows the smallest kid on the court in the face. A girl on the side of the court catches it on video, and announces that Reed is anti-semitic. They’re ready to post it all on Twitter, but then Zack comes over to work things out. They’re HUGE Zack fans, and they’re ready to work something out.
It’s pretty funny seeing Zack in an environment where he’s actually beloved. On set, he’s the least serious actor among them, but out in the real world he’s the only one who gets any attention. Of all the main cast, I think we see Zack’s perspective the least, but it is interesting to wonder what this show would be like if we were viewing it through the eyes of a younger audience. There, Zack would be the star, because they don’t remember the Step Right Up! original series at all.
Gordon and Hannah finally get fed up with the shenanigans of their respective actors and storm out in search of each other. Gordon offers Hannah thousands of dollars to switch positions, but she’s willing to do it for free. Queue act 2!
Hannah gets the writers room rolling, primarily through ignoring Bree, and it looks like they’re actually onto something. Bree’s still on the idea of a Santa Baby Christmas episode, and finally Hannah snaps. Bree isn’t going to get anything she wants and she should just stop! Unfortunately Bree is a sulky child, and she slinks off out of the room. When Hannah goes to follow her, Selma steps up. It’s her time to comfort Bree.
Out on the sidewalk, Bree shares that she just wants to learn more skills. Everyone around her is a producer or director, and she doesn’t want to just be an actor anymore. It’s her time to take control over her life. Selma relates to not being wanted, but Bree needs to understand that the way to get around it is to be the funniest one in the room. It’s a cute little emotional moment, and Bree comes back in sufficiently reprimanded and ready to work.
In a shocking turn of events, she actually has a great pitch, and Benny writes it on the board! A win for Bree and the whole writer’s room!
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On the Clay-end of things, Gordon asks if Hannah was being too mean. When Clay says the exact opposite is true, Gordon flawlessly steps up into the position of yelling at Clay. He’s mean. Too mean. After a few dozen takes, Gordon starts screaming. All of these actors are wasting his fucking time!
On take 87, Gordon just wants to know why Clay has gotten worse. As we know, Clay is working hard to keep up his sobriety, and now that he can’t drink to record the lines he’s really struggling. Gordon steps in to give him a hug. It’s awkward at first, but they settle into a comfortable hold, and Clay actually gets his lines right. Clay asks if they can hug a little longer, and actually tears up. He’s just trying his best out here!
It’s getting dark now, and Gordon and Hannah reunite to brag about their wins. Gordon is headed back to his trailer to grab his phone, but Hannah thinks there’s something he should know– Bree is waiting for him there because she wants to direct.
Looks like he’s not calling anyone tonight!