Hulu’s Reboot: The Main Characters Ranked By Likability


Whether in film or television, the last few decades have provided the world with an endless supply of reboots, including recent additions like Law and Order and Frasier. Whenever a trend like this persists long enough, a parody will rise to judge it, and the parody intended for reboot culture is Hulu’s fittingly-named series, Reboot. Reboot follows the cast and crew of the invented classic sitcom Step Right Up as they attempt to bring the show back.

With a show like this, the bare minimum is critiquing the reboot industry, but a top-tier parody tells a successful story of its own. Reboot attempts to do that with the conflict between Hannah and Gordon, as well as the actors’ struggle to remain relevant in a world that left them behind. For this to work, the audience needs to actually care about the characters, but some are definitely more likable than others, making some arcs extremely impactful while others just fall flat.


10/10 Zack Jackson Is Intentionally Annoying

The show goes out of its way to make the audience dislike Zack, and it works. He’s extremely annoying, and his childish behaviors are not flattering on an adult. None of his co-workers like him, and it’s hard for the audience to blame them for that. His only redeeming quality is his budding relationship with Elaine, who will hopefully help him finally grow up.

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However, his character also feels like a punch down at child actors, many of whom either gracefully transitioned into adulthood like the cast of Harry Potter or ended up in self-destructive situations due to the immense pressure put on them as children. While the character is successfully unlikable, the decision to make the character that way is questionable.

9/10 Dennis Doesn’t Have Much Personality

Dennis is credited in 7 out of the 8 episodes in this season of Reboot, yet he doesn’t have much of a character. He runs around, telling people where they need to be and what changes the writers have pushed through, but he doesn’t have much personality beyond his job.

Each of the new writers has specific habits and quirks, but Dennis just serves a functional purpose. If the show had more episodes, it would be great to see a strong filler episode devoted to the zany things Dennis gets into during his time off. Since that’s unlikely, however, Dennis becomes a deeply forgettable character, which is unfortunate for one who is in nearly every episode.

8/10 Jerry Hasn’t Been Explored Outside Work

Jerry is the director of the rebooted Step Right Up, but his actual character is hard to pin down. He’s clearly part of the older crowd on the show, but he doesn’t seem tied down to tradition the same way Gordon and his cohort are. In many cases, he just seems to be there because he has to be.

Jerry sees the humor in Reed’s difficulties during intimate scenes, which helps the writers continue to lampoon the situation without leaving all the weight on Bree, but who he is beyond his job is just not expanded on enough for audiences to become attached.

7/10 Reed Sterling Is Snarky But Caring

Reed is incredibly pretentious, particularly when it comes to Bree, so it can be hard for audiences to connect with him. He and Hannah seem like the co-leads of the story, with him as the head of the cast side of things, but it’s hard to connect with him. While his advice was able to help Timberly shine, he has a tendency to offer feedback without being asked.

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Reed further becomes the butt of the joke as his former relationship with Bree comes up, and while he is easy to mock, he does show a genuine desire to help Bree. He seems like someone who really does want what’s best for the show and his fellow cast members, but his history of condescension makes it hard for the other actors (or the audience) to appreciate him for long.

6/10 Gordon Shows Signs Of Growth

Gordon is the original showrunner for Step Right Up, and he exists to offend people. He’s unwilling to put anything interesting or deep on the screen, but is incredibly critical of everyone and everything around him in real life, using insensitive terminology repeatedly. In addition, the audience automatically gets a bad taste in their mouth regarding him because of how he treated Hannah in her childhood.

With all that being said, Gordon has his redeeming moments, which tend to pull audiences in. Will his sincere apology (through script) be able to win over Hannah and the audience? Will he choose to learn from the people around him, or simply continue his old behaviors? While he is not likable now, he has the potential for a lot of growth, and audiences are likely to stick with him to see if he can pull it off.

5/10 Elaine Kim Is Awkward But Professional

Elaine Kim is the vice-president of comedy for Hulu, despite having an advanced computer science degree, and her discomfort with the whole situation is obvious. While she has a great beat in the second episode while talking to Hannah about the relationship between fathers and daughters, her most identifiable trait is awkward professionalism.

The running joke about her character is that she is repeatedly introducing herself, even to characters who already know her. This is likely due to insecurity, but the bit gets old after a few repetitions. Overall, she’s an enjoyable character for what she is, but until she gets more of a personal focus, she remains a mostly neutral character.

4/10 Clay Barber Largely Avoids The Drama

Clay hasn’t had much backstory given yet, which has allowed the show to stage him as a bit of a sleazeball, but in a fun way. He doesn’t tolerate Zack’s immaturity well and ends up sleeping with his mom because of it. This, of course, leads to further shenanigans involving lying about HR.

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Clay may not be a central character yet, but he does his job well enough, keeping the audience entertained as the other characters deal with more serious issues. He’s likable precisely because of this detachment from the drama, but only time will tell how quickly that gets stale as the show continues.

3/10 Hannah Needs To Come Into Her Own

Hannah has the audience’s sympathy on her side, given her past with Gordon, but aside from that, her foremost personality trait seems to be exasperation. She and Gordon are in a constant stalemate, and while that comes from both sides, Hannah seems to be stuck in a self-fulfilling prophecy. Ironically, while the character is concerned with the show passing the Bechdel Test, Hannah is not a very empowering female character herself.

Her entire career is molded around her issues with her father, and fans have yet to see a social life that expands beyond it. Audiences need to learn more about Hannah as a human, rather than just seeing her as the jilted daughter. If the character can be developed further, she has the potential to be an incredibly likable character, but she needs to start by getting out of her own way.

2/10 Bree Marie Jensen Shows Relatable Vulnerability

Bree’s self-consciousness can go too far at times, but it’s one of the more relatable plot lines on the show. The entertainment industry is well-known for being harsh on older women, and that environment would make it incredibly difficult to feel powerful. Seeing her try to reclaim her identity, especially after her comically terrible marriage, is a storyline worth sticking around for.

Bree gets to be at the center of a lot of the comedy, and she generally adds to it with her reactions. She has her villainous streaks, but they come from a place of vulnerability, and that allows for the kind of character growth audiences love to see.

1/10 Timberly Seems Selfless And Caring

While Timberly was forced on the show by the executives, she’s actually one of the most likable characters thus far. Though she is a caricature of Gen Z, she somehow feels more human than many of the other characters. She just wants to succeed in the entertainment industry and fit in with her co-stars, and it’s hard to fault her for that.

She also appears to be the most compassionate character, truly wanting Bree to feel better about herself. It would be easy to have her seek revenge against Bree, but instead, she goes out of her way to help. She seems to genuinely care about the people around her, which is refreshing on a show where so many characters are purely self-involved.

NEXT: 10 Best TV Shows Like Hulu’s Reboot


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