Reboot

Reboot s1

Credits

Cast

Network

Reviewer

Emily Clark

TV Series Review

Never heard of Step Right Up? Don’t tell that to its star, Reed Sterling.

It’s been nearly two decades since the popular sitcom about a blended family was cancelled. Sterling (who played the new stepdad), actually caused the cancellation himself when he quit the show to pursue a career in film instead.

But Reed hasn’t been in any movies or TV shows recently. In fact, the last paying job he had was over a year ago—as the voice of a hemorrhoid in a commercial.

So when he learns that Step Right Up is getting rebooted with the original cast, he, ahem, steps right up to return.

Old Cast, New Challenges

Of course, getting back together with the old cast brings some new challenges.

For starters, he hasn’t spoken to Bree Marie Jensen—his on-screen wife—in 15 years. They had an on-again, off-again romance offscreen during the run of the show, but when her career plummeted after Reed quit, she ran off to marry the Duke of the small Nordic country of Fjordstad.

But Bree isn’t in a position to complain. She might despise Reed, but she needs this show. Her husband cheated on her, and when it came time to split their assets in the ensuing divorce, Fjordstad’s Kettle Law only allowed her to carry away whatever she could fit in a kettle.

Clay Barber and Zack Jackson, the show’s other leads, need the reboot too. Between stand-up gigs, Clay’s been in and out of prison for drug charges and disorderly conduct. And after starring in a string of straight-to-video teen movies, Zack finally got too old to market his “cuteness” to tween fans.

Then again, the show has a new writer, Hannah, who entices the cast with her edgy plot twists and complex characters. She won’t make fun of the fact that Reed is now bald and Zack is no longer “cute.” And she certainly won’t cast a kid to play Zack’s son, turning Bree and Clay’s characters into grandparents.

Only problem is, Hannah doesn’t want to work with Gordon, Step Right Up’s previous showrunner who still owns the rights to the story.

It’s not Gordon’s cheap and offensive humor, his lack of nuance or even his condescending tone that puts Hannah off. It’s the fact that he’s her dad. And when he based Step Right Up on his own story of marrying into a new family, he completely forgot to mention the fact that he abandoned a 7-year-old Hannah and her mother to do so.

Step Back Down

Step Right Up might have been a sweet family comedy series back in its heyday. But it seems the reboot might be darker. And so is Reboot itself.

First off, don’t be fooled by the TV-14 rating. I’ve never seen a show with nudity or multiple uses of f-word (not to mention the c-word) that has gotten this rating. But Reboot has both.

Clay gets angry when he learns there might be a “swear jar” on set of the reboot since he lost a lot of money that way during the show’s original airing. And it’s not hard to see (or rather, hear) why. True to Hollywood form, Clay and the others curse up a storm (up to and including, as mentioned, the f-word, s-word and c-word).

Nudity and infidelity aren’t off-limits either. When Reed reunites with Bree, he (and we, as the audience) sees her breasts. And while Reed insists he’s in a committed relationship now, Bree nearly tricks him into kissing her.

Reboot plays fun at shows like Fuller House and Girl Meets World. The content you’ll find here is much, much worse than anything you’ll find in those shows or in their originals.

Episode Reviews

Sept. 20, 2022 – S1, Ep1: “Step Right Up”

When an old TV show gets rebooted by Hulu, the cast and showrunners must find a way to get along.

We see a woman’s breasts. A man is caught cheating on his wife with his pants off (his shirt covers his critical bits). A woman tries to trick a man into cheating on his girlfriend (before he can commit the offense, she stops him since she just wanted to know if she could do it). We hear a man abandoned his wife and 7-year-old daughter to marry another woman. The show Step Right Up is about a man who marries a divorcee (and whose ex-husband is still very much in the picture). Someone describes a man’s genitals. One man grabs another man’s behind as a joke. Two men are uncomfortable when a former child actor talks about sex. Some women wear revealing outfits. A couple smooches.

A man purposely jumps in front of a car and allows himself to be hit (he’s OK) to scare the driver. We hear a man once died for six minutes.

We hear a man was arrested twice—once on a drug charge and once for disorderly conduct. Later we also hear he has Hepatitis C, which is often caused by sharing drug needles. People drink wine. There are some jokes about prescription medications for anxiety.

People are generally rude and condescending. A man is told it’s impressive he hasn’t been “cancelled” since his comedy is so offensive. Someone admits to theft.

We hear more than 20 uses of the f-word, as well as the s-word, c-word, a crude profanity reference oral sex, “a–,” “d–mit” and “h—.” A woman is called a “whore.” God’s name is also abused a dozen times, once paired with “d–mit.”

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Emily Clark

Emily studied film and writing when she was in college. And when she isn’t being way too competitive while playing board games, she enjoys food, sleep, and geeking out with her fiancé indulging in their “nerdoms,” which is the collective fan cultures of everything they love, such as Star Wars, Star Trek, Stargate and Lord of the Rings.

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