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Karla Peterson: From sly sitcoms to music-nerd podcasts, a big pop-culture thanks for a cornucopia of entertainment treats

Karla Peterson, The San Diego Union-Tribune on

Published in Entertainment News

In this season of eating, drinking and socializing, it is easy to give abundance a bad name. But when it comes to our entertainment, I am on Team Always Room for More.

In that spirit, allow me to share four juicy slices of pop culture that I have consumed with great relish over the last few months. Because when you're sharing the wealth, there is no such thing as too much.

'Reboot'

Like the perfect athleisure ensemble, Hulu's "Reboot" is well-made, yet comfy. Relaxed, but not sloppy. Perfect for your bleary post-Thanksgiving brain but ready and able to sustain and distract you through whatever the holidays bring.

Created by TV pro Steve Levitan ("Modern Family"), this super-meta sitcom stars the infallibly hilarious Paul Reiser ("Mad About You") and the always watchable Rachel Bloom ("Crazy Ex-Girlfriend") as the odd-couple team behind the reboot of "Step Right Up," a wacky fictional family sitcom from early 2000s that may or may not be ripe for a streaming-cable update. With a savvy cast that also includes Keegan-Michael Key ("Schmigadoon!"), Judy Greer ("Archer") and Johnny Knoxville ("Jackass"), the eight-episode series has a fine time skewering sitcom tropes and showbiz insanity while also being kind of a softie about matters of the heart. That means plenty of swearing and some sexual situations, but also surprisingly sweet messages about the importance of family, friendship and shared pet custody. Even when the pet is a menace.

It's an odd mix that "Reboot" pulls off by being perfectly comfortable with its eccentricities. It has the courage to be weird, and the chops to make you OK with that. Let it entertain you.

 

“Reboot” is streaming on Hulu.

'Object of Sound'

At the beginning of each "Object of Sound" podcast, host and creator Hanif Abdurraqib makes the same guarantee. Whether he is talking to Mavis Staples about the sweep of her legendary career or exploring the time-travel properties of our favorite songs with Death Cab for Cutie front-man Ben Gibbard, Abdurraqib promises to be your guide to "a deeper way of listening." And he always delivers.

A poet, author and pop-culture critic, Abdurraqib loves to burrow into the heart of what makes music move people and what moves musicians to create. His passion is palpable, and his subjects respond with thoughtful insights on their creative process, their music-business struggles, and the emotional and mental challenges of being an artist in our modern, media-saturated world. Abdurraqib also gets them to talk about the music and musicians they love, giving us the rare joy of hearing Staples rave about the Black Pumas and joining Gibbard as he relives a revelatory Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark concert.

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