What We Learned About the Characters So Far
It’s beginning to seem like all of our childhood favorites will be subjected to a reboot someday. Though we live in an era with more entertainment content than ever before, creatives are seemingly incapable of coming up with new ideas — or, alternatively, studios are reluctant to finance projects without a preexisting base of potential viewers. As such, every bit of cultural nostalgia is being brought back in some way or another, be it in the form of a direct remake, a twist on the format, or a continuation of the original story.
The recently released Hulu original series Reboot satirizes the entire business of remaking old television shows. It centers around a ’90s sitcom called Step Right Up, a Full House-style family comedy that told the story of a young boy’s relationship with both his father and stepfather. The show’s cast of eccentric actors, as well as its hard-headed staff of generationally disparate writers, are always threatening to send the series spiraling out of control. So far, it’s made for hilarious television.
There Is Common Ground Between the Old and New Guard of Comedy Writers
The Step Right Up reboot was initially pitched by Hannah Korman, a screenwriter who made her name in the indie space. Her idea for the reimagined version of the program was that the characters, who were morally righteous in the original show, would be more flawed in the reboot. However, the studio execs decide to partner her up with Gordon Gelman, the crass creator of the sitcom, who is reluctant to deviate from the writing formulas he has successfully utilized for years in the business. The two writer’s creative differences are further exacerbated by the fact that Gordon is Hannah’s estranged father.
Gordon hires a crew of aging, established comedy writers who immediately clash with Hannah’s diverse young team of creatives. However, the two groups are able to overcome their differences, and they both learn to see the benefits of the other side’s writing style. A reboot that bears no resemblance to the original product is heartless, but if a show is too similar to its predecessor, it is ultimately toothless.
Aside From the Step Right up Reboot, the Cast Has Little Going For Them
Step Right Up’s cast, since their sitcom went off the air, have all struggled to get their lives on track. Reed Sterling, who played the stepfather in the series, has tried unsuccessfully to start a career as a mainstream actor, while Clay Barber, who played the father, has grappled with drug abuse and committed a slew of petty crimes in the years since the sitcom was airing. Bree Marie Jenson, the mother, was formerly married to an Eastern European duke, but they split up when Bree discovered him cheating on her, which left her penniless.
The only character who seems to have had any consistent work since the sitcom’s original run is Zach Jackson, the former child actor who played Reed and Clay’s son. After he outgrew playing children (the other actors coyly note that he wasn’t quite so cute after the first few seasons), he appeared in several low-budget teen movies.
Essentially, the cast’s eggs are all in the basket of the Step Right Up reboot. This will undoubtedly make them put their best efforts into the series, but it also raises the stakes and could lead to a complete breakdown of the relationships between the performers.
Timberly Might Be the Most Interesting Character on the Show
The second episode of Reboot introduced audiences to Timberly, the star of the raunchy reality television series F*** Buddy Mountain. Initially, Timberly struggles to adapt her performing style from reality television to a serialized comedy, but with some help from Reed, she quickly improves and winds up being an excellent actor, much to Bree’s chagrin. However, Bree quickly changes her tune when she and Timberly go out for a night of partying and ultimately wind up sleeping together.
Timberly is Reboot’s caricature of how social media has thrust influencers into mainstream entertainment. However, the character is so much more complex than that. She is self-aware, but she doesn’t take herself too seriously. She will definitely be the breakout star of the reboot, and it will be interesting to see how that affects her dynamic with the rest of the cast.
Reboot hasn’t necessarily received the best reviews for its early run of episodes, but the bones are certainly all there for the series to evolve into something incredible. After only a few episodes, it has already established several intriguing characters, and it will be fun to watch the cast and crew of the Step Right Up reboot reacting to the popularity (or lack thereof) of their spinoff series.