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Reboot is a Comedy TV Series streaming on September 20 on Hulu.        

From left: Rachel Bloom, Judy Greer, Paul Reiser, Keegan-Michael Key, Johnny Knoxville, Krista Marie Yu and Calum Worthy
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When Hulu reboots an early 2000s family sitcom, its dysfunctional cast is forced back together and now must deal with their unresolved issues in today’s fast-changing world. The series deals with changing norms and increased inclusivity in front of the camera and behind the scenes. 

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Judy Greer will play Bree Marie Larson, a small-town pageant girl from rural Virginia turned sitcom star who left the country after the show to marry a prince,  she always dreamed of being an actress and a princess and both somehow came true.

Rachel Bloom plays Hannah, the young, hip sitcom writer with a fresh take on old sitcom Step Right Up.

Paul Reiser plays Gordon, the hacky, narcissistic creator of late 90’s sitcom Step Right Up.

Krista Marie Yu plays Elaine, a former tech executive turned television creative executive, but now finds herself out of her comfort zone with the reboot of Step Right Up.

Calum Worthy is Zack, the hyphenate movie star/hip-hop artist

Keegan-Michael Key plays Reed Sterling, a fussy actor on the fictitious family multi-cam sitcom, “Step Right Up,” who graduated from the Yale school of drama and resents the show for ruining his career

Johnny Knoxville is Clay Barber, a dark and filthy standup comedian who’s only real acting job was on the same bright and sunny sitcom.

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Reboot        September 20      Hulu       

Episodes 1-3     Titles and Descriptions

Spoiler

S01.E01: Step Right Up

When a young writer sells the pitch for the reboot of an early 2000’s sitcom, the show’s actors must come back together and face their unresolved issues.
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S01.E02: New Girl

Hannah and Gordon’s relationship is tested when he brings in a new cast member without her knowledge. This cast member also drives a wedge between Reed and Bree. Clay gets sucked into a new relationship with someone close to Zack.
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S01.E03: Growing Pains

As Bree and Reed struggle to get through an intimate scene on camera, Hannah and Gordon each hire their own writers, causing paralysis in the writers room. Meanwhile Clay tries to end an awkward relationship at work before it blows up in his face.
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I love the acting.

Judy Greer looks too young to be an adult 15  years ago, but she's a great actress, and make it work.

It's delightfully meta (they didn't even cover every reboot; I don't think they mentioned MST3K, but there's a point where a joke can go on for too long.)

I'm in for the season, at least.

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When all the critics mentioned a twist in the first episode, it became easy to figure it out because Steven Levitan did family related twists in the pilot of his last two major shows, like the main news anchors having a kid in Back To You and that three families in Modern Family actually being one big family.

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I watched this as well last night.  It was very well done and packed with jokes.  I didn't know much about it beyond some of the stars like Judy, KMK and Rachel Bloom.  I forgot Paul Reiser was also in it so I didn't predict the twist at the end of the first episode but I loved "Lawrence's dark secret is you."  Such a great line. 

I did, however, predict the Timberly/Bree twist.

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Watched the first 2 eps, and it's definitely not for me. It's not nearly as funny as it could be, and if anything, it needs to be raunchier. As it is, it's somewhere in between network and cable/streaming with the 4-letter words and such. Compared to other great shows about making shows (Episodes, The Comeback), this one doesn't even come close.

Also, Johnny Knoxville is a terrible actor. Not sure why he was cast in this. 

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(I am not cut out for a single catchall thread about a show that'll drop three episodes in one week.)

ep 1:
Nora's little rundown of LA stereotypes was pretty good. Weirdly, I didn't click that she's played by Eliza Coupe and I watched all of Happy Endings and Benched.

The tiny little pause, rushed followup, and wince on "OK, well, now we'll only be fighting because she's married... and you're the one I love," was incredible. Great writing elevated by really perfect comic timing.

Some of the jokes, like one of Zack's movie being titled "Minor Miner" and the whole thing where Bree was unhappy in whatever country that was (including being called "klovne hore"), followed by leaving her unfaithful husband, felt very 30 Rock. Which is fine, I loved 30 Rock.

This cast is outstanding. I'm not familiar with Calum Wort, but he's doing an incredible job as Zack.

minor quibble: I find it difficult to believe Gordon owns the rights to the show. Presumably the studio would own the rights, as with every other modern day reboot, and they can involve the original creator or not as they please. (It can be different for shows licensed from a book or other IP, sure, but I don't get the sense this is something like that.)

Bree's agent/lawyers were very irresponsible to let her merge assets with the duke, which I assume happened or else she shouldn't be broke.

It's so meta that the characters kept talking about the dark twist at the end of Hannah's pilot, and then the pilot had a dark twist and it was basically the real life version of what Hannah wrote into her pilot. And in retrospect it puts a different light on Hannah saying she was obsessed with the show.

ep 2:

Gordon's manipulation of Reed was terrific. And wow, Timberley really could act! (and Reed's coaching really was great!) But I feel like Gordon should have hired a dedicated acting coach for Timberley as soon as she was hired. (Also, wasn't Knoxville a reality star turned actor? This show has so many levels.)

Bree undermining Timberley reminds me of 30 Rock as well -- Jenna feeling threatened when TGS first added Tracy.

Huh, Gordon's last name is Gelman, but Hannah's is Korman. Which just means Gordon doesn't share a name with one of my favorite children's/YA authors from back in the day.

I laughed when the closing credits song was "She'll Be Coming Round The Mountain".

ep 3:

"Chicago Hope: Miami". Chef's kiss on that.

Did Hannah pratfall in the writers room on purpose? I feel like it's 55% chance it was an accident, but I could be convinced otherwise. That plot felt a little too neatly wrapped up but I still vibe with this show.

Aw yeah, the closing song is "Oh Shit" by the Pharcyde. Love them. (that song in particular is problematic tho so it's a good thing they kept it to the chorus.)

Edited by arc
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Just watched the first two eps and I really like it--but I was surprised at how unsatisfying I found the ending of that second ep. Yes, it was a compromise and nice of Gordon to give an apology to Hannah through the character but...he still made himself look good when her original ending was better.

In his first version, turned out he didn't know he had a daughter so hadn't done anything wrong and everyone welcomed her and was happy.

In her version he acted a lot more like the real Gordon, abandoned her and was unapologetic.

In his combined version he admits he knew he had a kid, with a speech about being too young and making excuses for himself and wishing he could change things but...bullshit! That cuts out the fact that he was Hannah's father for 7 years and then abandoned her and became a stepdad to somebody else's kid--and wrote a happy show about it where she didn't exist. That's what screwed her up so much and seemed to be the whole point of the show--this version just gave them a slightly bigger problem to solve with a sappy speech. That's a very different story than her first meeting the guy who signed the checks when she was an adult.

Maybe I was just doubly disappointed because I loved the end of the first ep so much. I'm still onboard!

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17 hours ago, arc said:

Did Hannah pratfall in the writers room on purpose? I feel like it's 55% chance it was an accident, but I could be convinced otherwise. That plot felt a little too neatly wrapped up but I still vibe with this show.

I had the same thought...  I was looking for a wink & a nod, but it wasn't there.  What I don't really like about it, though, is that Gordon ends up being "right" in most (all?) of these disputes with Hannah.  See, the falling over something was funny!  Told ya!

I don't mind Gordon being right some of the time, but as is, it makes Hannah seem a bit incompetent.  She's a mess, but I want her to be good at her job.  And it seems Gordon keeps showing that she's not.

Like, in this instance, I think it would have been better if Hannah's initial objection to Gordon's rewrite wasn't that "falling over things isn't funny", but something like "yeah, falling over things is funny, but it needs to be timed with a serious moment".  So then, she has her serious moment (the speech), and then falls over something, and everyone laughs and bonds and works together.  Doesn't make her look like such a doofus.

Overall, I do like the show.  It's a fun concept, I love the meta in it.  I loved the on and on listing of all the rebooted shows - I could have probably named 3, and when they kept on going, I was like, whoa!  that's a lotta shows!  The cast is excellent, and I'm particularly loving Keegan Michael Key in this role.

I like that just when you think you have a character pegged, they do a little reveal.  I loved the conversation between Zack's mom and Clay, and showing that she isn't the nutcase that she was initially made out to be.  (Still, a little bit of a nutcase, but in a different direction.) 

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On 9/22/2022 at 8:09 PM, arc said:

"Chicago Hope: Miami". Chef's kiss on that.

That was wonderful. 

On 9/23/2022 at 1:56 PM, chaifan said:

I don't mind Gordon being right some of the time, but as is, it makes Hannah seem a bit incompetent.  She's a mess, but I want her to be good at her job.  And it seems Gordon keeps showing that she's not.

I want them to be better matched. 

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I like that just when you think you have a character pegged, they do a little reveal.  I loved the conversation between Zack's mom and Clay, and showing that she isn't the nutcase that she was initially made out to be.  (Still, a little bit of a nutcase, but in a different direction.) 

This was a nice moment, and made up for the kind of predictable "surprise" reveal of Bree and Timberly hooking up. 

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On 9/21/2022 at 1:56 PM, quangtran said:

When all the critics mentioned a twist in the first episode, it became easy to figure it out because Steven Levitan did family related twists in the pilot of his last two major shows, like the main news anchors having a kid in Back To You and that three families in Modern Family actually being one big family.

Then there's "Just Shoot Me" which was about a daughter and her estranged father working together. They were both writers.

It seems like one of the aspects of this show is that while execs want "edgy" they end up doing the same things that make money. Hulu backed the Timberly casting because of audience demographics and they probably know that funny Step Right Up will do better than dark sarcastic Step Right Up.

Edited by ketose
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S01.E04: Girlfriends

Reed entangles himself in Bree’s personal life, as she awakens to the modern world. Hannah realizes Gordon doesn’t know she’s a lesbian. Zack and Elaine have an awkward business breakfast that turns into a meet-cute.

Premiere Date: September 27, 2022  
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I wondered if that throwaway line from the Hulu exec about "every time we cancel a show a junior exec gets her wings" was suggesting the show would be in trouble despite it not being shown yet. Seems like it would be a good way to go to even things out. Just because while the older writers kill it in the writers room, it really does look like the show Gordon's producing is a 90s/00s family sitcom that actually isn't what's on Hulu now. Seems like it might be time for the show to start leaning in to how the younger writers actually do have a point. 

Like, it actually would be funnier for the character to have lost his money on NFTs than some bizarre sitcom reason.

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It really is kind of crazy that they probably want a young demo to watch, but they are leaning into the patterns of past generations and a writing crew of retirement age folks.

I don't know if execs at Hulu have a sense of humor about their industry, or not. But having this approach backfire on them seems like a direction that could be amusing. I want to see Hannah vindicated.

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5 hours ago, possibilities said:

It really is kind of crazy that they probably want a young demo to watch, but they are leaning into the patterns of past generations and a writing crew of retirement age folks.

Yes - it's not even that older people can't be involved--look at Only Murders in the Building. But Gordon seems to be specifically about writers who know how to do things exactly the way they were being done in the 90s on network family shows and are completely ignorant of anything going on in comedy now. 

I really still can't believe Gordon ripped out the whole central conflict of the show with that sappy apology!

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9 hours ago, possibilities said:

It really is kind of crazy that they probably want a young demo to watch, but they are leaning into the patterns of past generations and a writing crew of retirement age folks.

But here's been no interference from the network/studio! Hulu is letting Gordon run wild! I said earlier that it's completely implausible that he owns the rights, but accepting that in the show's world he does, that would likely give him enough control to tell Hulu to back off. Not that Hulu cares. There is the VP of comedy hanging around, but she's made few decisions. Even with how Gordon got on the reboot, it felt more like that was something out of her control.

But I guess the show wanted to tell the story about Hannah vs Gordon and it would have muddied things up if it became Hannah and Gordon vs Hulu.

All that said, I mean, I love more modern comedies but multicams still do very well today, and old juggernauts like Friends are still streaming hits even today. I think it was one of Netflix's top shows until Warner pulled it to become an HBO Max exclusive.

going back to the pilot for a second, I know they must have thought about adding Mad About You to the list of reboots the junior execs rattled off. I'd assume they scratched it when the list was wrong enough and it avoids there being a Paul Reiser in this fictional universe who looks and talks just like Gordon Gelman.

Edited by arc
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I like that the episode titles are the names of other TV shows: New Girl, Growing Pains, Girlfriends. It would be really neat to predict the title of the upcoming episode based on the previous one. Maybe someone here is witty enough to name a show that goes with the implied threat of Step Right Up’s cancelation?

I really have no idea why Zack and Elaine were breakfasting to start with. There didn’t seem to be an in-episode reason given. Was it that she was going to cut him from the show to make room for another stunt cast (a la Timberly)?

The rapid-fire googling from Bree’s post-coital position was my favorite part of the ep (“what is ‘yous laid’”).

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1 hour ago, riprock said:

I like that the episode titles are the names of other TV shows: New Girl, Growing Pains, Girlfriends. It would be really neat to predict the title of the upcoming episode based on the previous one. Maybe someone here is witty enough to name a show that goes with the implied threat of Step Right Up’s cancelation?

Cheers. 

Other possible titles for other episodes I could see are Family Ties, Different Strokes, Facts of Life, One Day at a Time...  the list is endless.

I love the scenes with the older writers.  I think those are some of the funniest scenes in the show.  Yeah, it makes no sense for them to be there, but it works.  And I love the one younger writer who just withdraws into her hoodie. 

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I think the show has gotten less interesting since they pivoted to the deadbeat dad being less of an antagonist. They tried to redeem him by having that re-write where he apologizes, and they imported his buddies to the writing room. Ever since the Hannah tripped and the writers all laughed, they've been selling the idea that actually the elders were right and they can all just gat along now. I'm not against some understanding that experience isn't worthless and maybe they can actually work together after all. But Hannah's voice and the voices of the writers she hired have been mostly silenced by the noise made by her dad and his pals.

The way they've made it into "everybody gets along now" is actually much more of a sitcom trope than the edgy show they were saying she wanted to write and which this series started off suggesting it might be.

The show has become "wacky hijinks by the cast in their sex lives" and less about a show that's trying to be different than the thing it rebooted. It doesn't even use the reboot framing anymore, really. It's just a sitcom, any sitcom, really.

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On 9/20/2022 at 5:22 PM, Sarahsmile416 said:

Love Judy Greer so I wanted to check this out and loved it!

A blond Judy greer is just so odd!  But she is great in this role. 

I enjoy the show. It still hadn't blown me away and not as funny as I expected but only been four episodes.  

On 9/24/2022 at 10:50 PM, ketose said:

Then there's "Just Shoot Me" which was about a daughter and her estranged father working together. They were both writers.

It seems like one of the aspects of this show is that while execs want "edgy" they end up doing the same things that make money. Hulu backed the Timberly casting because of audience demographics and they probably know that funny Step Right Up will do better than dark sarcastic Step Right Up.

Yes this reminds me of just shoot me the most. And I loved that series. Even watched again a few years back still great. Except the donald trump references are dated. 

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10 hours ago, arc said:

All that said, I mean, I love more modern comedies but multicams still do very well today, and old juggernauts like Friends are still streaming hits even today. I think it was one of Netflix's top shows until Warner pulled it to become an HBO Max exclusive.

But then, it seems important that this show isn't Friends, which stood out from the pack at the time. It seemed to just be one of many "every problem is solved in 22 minutes and the family loves each other"  shows that appealed to lonely kids who were the right age at the right time and maaaybe people who thought Zach was cute? Not even one that broke out enough to become an important piece of pop culture like Full House--it doesn't even seem to be on Boy Meets World level for that age group. Timberly had never heard of it and neither had her fans.

Like, even when Gordon talks about it, it seems like it has no heart. He wanted to have a cute kid on the show simply because you're supposed to have a cute kid (despite that being a cliche bad thing). As laid out in the pilot, the biggest difference in Hannah and Gordon's views on the show was that Gordon saw the characters as props to tell jokes and do bits while Hannah saw them as real characters whose flaws and relationships drove the story--which led to her making the kind of 1/2 hour comedy that didn't exist back in the 90s, like Better Things or Reservation Dogs.

So it winds up seeming to me like Gordon already won the battle by making none of the characters people and the only time Hulu got involved it was to push that even further by insisting on hiring a pretty girl who wasn't an actress in the pivotal role. It's like they've revived a show that by definition was an empty also-ran that really only made sense as a revival if you did something different, and they didn't do anything different. It's more like those 80s TV movies like Return to Gilligan's Island or The Brady Girls Get Married whose only interest in seeing the characters again--only these characters aren't as broadly memorable as the castaways or unintentionlly deeply weird like The Bradys.

That said, that might be changing. I absolutely love those writers of Gordon's and if they let the young peoples' side shine too it would be a really interesting mix. We've seen how "Carrot Top" has started bringing out some bitchy humor under their influence--let's get the opposite as well. That's why I'd like it if somebody at Hulu basically did say that this wasn't the kind of show that they were sold/wanted. Gordon might have all the power to run the show, but Hulu doesn't have to run it. The VP of comedy's been established as somebody who doesn't get comedy, but there could be somebody there who does. Somebody's greenlighting better stuff there (along with the fifth season of The Handmaid's Tale).

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7 hours ago, riprock said:

I really have no idea why Zack and Elaine were breakfasting to start with. There didn’t seem to be an in-episode reason given. Was it that she was going to cut him from the show to make room for another stunt cast (a la Timberly)?

It was a business meeting. I mean, I think she just wanted to meet her old crush, but the putative reason was to see if Hulu should work with Zack to develop anything else he was working on. Considering his mild success in a string of straight to video teen movies vs his own clear disinterest in the hustle of show business, someone else must be driving his career. But that wouldn’t matter so much to Elaine if she didn’t really care about making more projects with Zack.

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I am really impressed by this last episode. The earlier ones were amusing, clever, and easy to watch, but they weren't "laugh out loud" funny as often as this one was. I've actually watched it twice, because I liked it so much, and it was even better on the rewatch. Possibly because I was close to passing out last night, and was half-way sober this morning, but still... 

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"She's a reality star...she didn't come here to make friends."

Seems like I'm the only person who found this line funny. 

Anyway, one thing I think that didn't ring true was the reveal the Fuckbuddy Mountain and all reality shows are completely scripted, which in reality isn't actually true. This matter made the news when the recappers from TelevisionWithoutPity (the precursor to PrimerTimer) revealed that that they were hired as scripters for America's Next Top Model, where they'd looked over existing footage and wrote full scripts around that as if it is an episode of Lost. So yeah, these shows do have writers, but the contestants aren't in on it.

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On 9/30/2022 at 2:41 PM, quangtran said:

So yeah, these shows do have writers, but the contestants aren't in on it.

My loose understanding was that producers do try to engineer situations. But that's not quite the same thing as what Timberly said happened on her show.

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I'm only finally getting around to this, so I won't repeat everyone's comments. The opening Hulu scene was crisp on the meta. They certainly got a ton of my favorite actors and it's my kind of bang-bang dialogue. 

On 9/21/2022 at 7:11 AM, ZuluQueenOfDwarves said:

Judy Greer is 47, she’s just fantastically youthful. 

I didn't know she was 47! I watched Cheryl blow up a bank last night and seeing her in person now cracks me up. 

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On 9/22/2022 at 6:09 PM, arc said:

Gordon's manipulation of Reed was terrific.

Hannah's voiceless reaction shot stuck the landing on the scene. She was horrified both at the manipulation and that it totally worked. 

I did like that Gordon rewrote the last scene and it really landed. I always like when people are actually good at their jobs. He can write; he just has an older pov. That's not necessarily good or bad. 

I liked that Bree was objecting to the grandma jokes being put in the script, but they're killing her with the old jokes on set. I enjoy the irony because Greer is positively gorgeous. 

For me, Greer & Key have the best timing. I do think once they got the old folks into the writers room that it popped too. I could have seen much more of that. Did anyone think Hannah huffed off and tripped over the garbage can on purpose?

We're never going to come together. Give me four dildoes and a metronome. 
That's seriously brilliant.

I like that Hannah always has a sweater on from the pit stains.

Edited by DoctorAtomic
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I love this whole cast, even Johnny Knoxville. Calum Worthy was on one of my daughter's terrible shows, and he was the epitome of weird-annoying sidekick kid. I love that he's playing a version of that and doing it so well. 

Everything about this show is so refreshing. The cast is all so good together. Rachel Bloom is so unbelievably talented. I love Paul Reiser being so hacky. Keegan Michael Key is perfect as the pretentious, striving ac-tor. I love Judy Greer although I do keep picturing Jane Krakowski in the role. 

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S01.E05: What We Do in the Shadows
98e0395a-d6b7-4afa-b77d-344747334539?bas

Gordon and Reed work through their past issues while Clay helps Bree out of a jam, and Hannah supports Zack as he tries to regain custody of a dog he shared with his ex-girlfriend. 

Premiere Date: October 4, 2022  

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48 minutes ago, AnimeMania said:

S01.E05: What We Do in the Shadows
98e0395a-d6b7-4afa-b77d-344747334539?bas

Gordon and Reed work through their past issues while Clay helps Bree out of a jam, and Hannah supports Zack as he tries to regain custody of a dog he shared with his ex-girlfriend. 

Premiere Date: October 4, 2022  

I don't know what I expected of Johnny Knoxville - particularly compared with KMK, Greer, Reiser and Bloom, all of whom I am familiar with - but I really am liking him so far and this episode in particular. He has a surprisingly sweet presence. And I howled with laughter when Greer's character came flying out of the tree to deck him.

Edited by TakomaSnark
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"Okay, you know what, Zack, buddy? I really do want to hear this. Let me just go grab a pen", Gordon says as he pats Zack's shoulder with a pen in his hand the whole time. Paul Reiser's great.

Despite her backstory with her dad, Hannah must have absolutely no cynicism at all to think that embarking on a completely extracurricular adventure with Zack was a good idea.

Y'know, I've never been to those old timey LA restaurants with the very old waiters (and the flambes and steaks and whatnot), but this show made the old waiters aspect seem a lot less appealing than the various writeups I've seen in the LA Times or whatever.

There's like no legit reason for Clay not to tell Bree what his stop was. The show was telegraphing it was AA the whole way, so I dunno who in the audience they thought this would surprise.

Edited by arc
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