To restart continues to be the funniest series of the moment. It’s a hilarious comedy that subverts and exploits sitcom clichés while addressing deeper messages in meaningful ways.
This recap of the Hulu Reboot season 1, episode 3 series, “Growing Pains”, contains spoilers.
In the previous episode, Clay and Zack’s mother, Susan, started a rather sassy affair. “Growing Pains” quickly addresses the aftermath of this connection, with Zack confronting Clay on set the next day. He asks to speak with Clay about this blossoming relationship and the comedian quickly flees his troubles. This simple but effective subplot is explored in more detail in the third chapter, as the writer’s room faces off against new members in a battle between old school comics and the new postmodern breed.
To restart summary of season 1, episode 3
Clay comes to terms with his misdeeds and offers Zack the chance to punch him in the face. Zack isn’t upset by this affair and asks if Clay really loves him. He wants his mother to be happy and fears that Clay will use him. Zack warns Clay, stating that those who used her in the past soon felt her mother’s wrath. Looks like Clay got himself into trouble, involved with a real psychopath and the messy narrative is about to get worse for him too.
Gordon throws old-fashioned and inappropriate jokes at his daughter Hannah, who decides to bring in some new blood in response to this stale atmosphere. She hires three new, hip writers to Gordon’s despair. They try to explain to him what the Bechdel test is and talk about NFTs. Gordon thinks these new comics aren’t funny at all, but Hannah insists the comedy has come a long way since the show last aired.
In retaliation, Gordon brings his own old comics to even out the writer’s room. It’s hilarious to have these wildly different teams debating each other. Older writers want to use offensive and clichéd jokes, while younger writers talk meta and much more subtle modern observations. They have nothing in common and after a lot of stress, Hannah decides to quit again. As she leaves, she trips over a trash can and the whole room bursts into laughter. It’s a great moment, the two opposing teams finally bond, come together on this hilarious situation. Hannah sits back as the writers quickly brainstorm new ideas, deciding to mix the old and the new to create something unique.
Reed and Bree have a sex scene together and Reed fears it will stir up old emotions. Bree is going through a divorce and Reed thinks she’s in a fragile state. Bree finds the whole conversation very condescending and ends up getting revenge. During the scene, Reed has an unfortunate erection that stabs Bree’s side. He refuses to get out of bed and Clay quickly broadcasts the inconvenient truth to the entire team.
Reed’s unfortunate erection causes quite an HR scandal and he is given protective clothing so it doesn’t happen again. Bree finds this hysterically funny and continues to poke fun at Reed’s predicament. Then it’s Bree’s turn to be embarrassed, when they start kissing at the next rehearsal she starts crying and runs away. This intimate sequence has rekindled old memories for Bree and she longs to be loved once again.
Clay has his own personal issues, every time he tries to end things with Zack’s mom she seduces him more. He hires an actor to play a human resources representative and informs the mother that they cannot continue their relationship because it is against company policies. Clay must choose between work and pleasure. Susan sees through this false configuration and admits that she only wanted an affair, nothing serious. They decide to end the affair on the spot.
Timberly takes Bree out for a drink to try and rekindle his co-star’s waning love life. She tells Bree to engage in hot, meaningless sex with a stranger and explains how everyone on set wants her. In another ironic twist, Reed phones Bree to see how she’s doing. He says the sex scene also sparked old feelings for him. He tries to get Bree to discuss his feelings, but she admits she’s in a good place right now. As the camera pans, it is revealed that she is currently in bed with Timberly.
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