Reboot season 1, episode 2 recap – “New Girl”

By Adam Lock
Published: September 20, 2022 (Last updated: January 27, 2024)
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“New Girl” builds on the premiere, delivering hilarious running gags and an emotional ending. There’s some great casting on display, too, with Keegan-Michael Key and Paul Reiser in particular feeling rather at home in this world.

This recap of the Hulu series Reboot season 1, episode 2, “New Girl,” contains spoilers.

As a homage to the sitcoms that they are satirizing, Reboot names each episode after a different TV series. Episode two is titled, “New Girl”, referring to the show of the same name and the addition of a new cast member to the fictitious series. The second instalment cements the show’s ingenious humor and premise, with the cast and crew preparing for the opening night of Step Right Up’s reboot.

Reboot season 1, episode 2 recap

The original cast promised to have Hannah’s back and this is evident in the opening scene. They tell Gordon that they want Hannah to return as the main writer. Gordon argues with his daughter, stating that the script just isn’t that funny. Hannah emotionally fights back, saying that she wants to tell the truth, to do the script that she wrote. Gordon compromises, allowing them to do the read through as a test run. Yet as the episode develops, the father and daughter feud continues to wage on.

The table read gathers the whole gang together for the first time, with Elaine introducing herself to the cast. She is the VP of comedy at Hulu and yet is terribly unfunny herself. Zack’s mother sits in the audience and then a new cast member arrives on set. Timberly Fox will be playing Whitney, Reed’s estranged daughter. She is a reality TV star, who instantly makes Bree feel incredibly jealous, with her youthful, good looks. Timberly then astounds with her over-the-top, amateurish acting, although the staff seem to still adore her. Gordon approves of the stunt casting, whilst Reed and Hannah are appalled.

Zack’s mom ruins her son’s mojo on set as he tries to chat up a staff runner. He asks Clay to have a quiet word with her and the obnoxious comedian jumps at the chance. Clay pays the mother a visit, but ends up starting a sexual relationship with the woman. He leaves the trailer in a daze and tells Reed of the awkward rendezvous. Most of the subplots in Reboot are downright amusing, but there’s something extra special about this situation that only worsens from here on out.

At the run through, Hannah cuts one of Gordon’s lazy jokes and Timberly accidentally reads her stage directions out loud. Hannah practically begs to replace her, but Gordon is adamant she stays. Reeds barges in to vocalize similar concerns and Gordon cleverly manipulates the thespian. He tells the egotistical actor to take Timberly under his wing and to teach her how to act. It’s a hilarious gag, playing into Reed’s pretentious ways. Keegan-Michael Key is clearly having a lot of fun with this role and it feels like the perfect character for the comedian to portray.

Reed somehow gets through to Timberly and her acting starts to improve. Bree is still jealous though and plans to sabotage all of Timberly’s progression. Reed told her to think internally and focus on the emotions of her role, whilst Bree tells the reality TV star to make big, sweeping hand gestures and to think of the external.

The ending

Its show night and Gordon has purposefully changed the emotive final scene at the last minute. He doesn’t think Timberly is up to it and has also re-added the popcorn scene that Hannah had cut earlier. The father and daughter writing team bicker some more and Hannah demands that Gordon stops rewriting her story. Meanwhile, Clay sleeps with Zack’s mother and Reed lets Bree know how she has ruined his big moment. Bree retorts that this is Hollywood, it is dog eat dog, but she may have gone too far this time.

Bree finds Timberly crying in the bathroom before her debut performance. She’s confused by Reed and Bree’s polar opposites advice and is having fresh doubts. Bree tells her to forget what she said and to listen to Reed. She boosts her co-star’s confidence with lots of compliments and then watches as Timberly perfectly executes her scene. Gordon had secretly rewritten the scene once again and uses it to finally apologize to Hannah via the script. It’s a moving moment, Gordon speaking to Hannah through his actors, saying what he could never say aloud.

After the show, Hannah chases after Gordon to thank him for the apology. Gordon admits that it worked well, but he didn’t want to overshoot it. He held back a little on purpose. Hannah is genuinely touched by the sentiment, but then apologizes herself. She has filled his car with popcorn as a prank, bringing a stellar end to the episode.

What do you think of Reboot season 1, episode 2? Comment below.

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