Growing up, Rachel Bloom watched every single episode of “Mad About You” with her parents.
“The series finale was one of the most brilliant of all time,” she said.
Decades later, the actress and comedian is now starring in “Reboot” on Hulu, alongside one of her childhood favorites: Paul Reiser, who played the main character on “Mad About You.”
“I was so excited to work with Paul,” Bloom said. “He was a really great scene partner.”
In “Reboot,” which premiered September 20, Bloom plays a showrunner who wants to bring back a cheesy ‘90s show called “Step Right Up.” However, she has to face off with Reiser, the original showrunner. At the end of the first episode, there is a major plot twist, and it’s revealed that Bloom and Reiser are closer than the cast members of “Step Right Up” could have predicted. The two star alongside Keegan-Michael Key, Johnny Knoxville and Judy Greer.
“It was a wonderful show to work on,” said Bloom. “The actors were just wonderful.”
“Reboot” is Bloom’s first major television project since “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend,” a show she created and starred in from 2015 to 2019. It followed Rebecca Bunch, a mentally unstable woman who has a nervous breakdown, leaves her impressive career as a lawyer in a big New York City law firm just as she makes partner and moves to West Covina, California. There, she pursues Josh Chan, whom she dated at summer camp when she was a teenager.
The comedy musical included a number of songs about Judaism, like “JAP Battle” and “Remember That We Suffered.” Tovah Feldshuh, who played Bloom’s mom on the series, sang her magnum opus, “Where’s the Bathroom?” a klezmer-style tune that’s full of Jewish mom guilt.
“Until I was about 9-years-old, I went to Hebrew school on the weekends,” Bloom said. “My husband (Dan Gregor) was raised much more Jewish. I’ve learned much more about Judaism being with him for 14 years. I feel a connection to the culture.”
Bloom is a Manhattan Beach native. While she was in close proximity to Hollywood, and some of her classmates had agents, what she always wanted to do was go into musical theater.
She performed theater on the weekends and ended up attending New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts and got a BFA in Drama. In 2013, she started releasing musical comedies including “Chanukah Honey,” a Jewish parody of “Santa Baby.” “Crazy-Ex Girlfriend” was her breakout work, and since it went off the air, Bloom has been keeping busy. In 2020, she and Gregor had their first child together, a daughter.
“When I’m working, my brain is in that mode, and when I’m with my daughter, I’m in that mode,” she said. “There are two different parts of my brain. My relationship with my daughter feels very different and separate from my relationship with work.”
Even though Bloom and Gregor are both in show business, they aren’t pushing their daughter into it, unless she wants to give it a try as well.
“I was so driven to be a performer from such a young age.”
“Someone told me that when it comes to kids, you can’t change the hardware, only the software,” she said. “I was so driven to be a performer from such a young age. My grandfather was an amateur performer and standup comedian. I was really the one driving that aspiration, and I want her to pursue what makes her happy.”
The married couple is showing their daughter a positive example of what it’s like to work in showbiz, though. They are both successful – Gregor was a writer on “How I Met Your Mother” and “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend” – and they’re collaborating on movie projects together.
“We have our daughter, which is the ultimate collaboration,” said Bloom.
During her time in the industry, Bloom, who is outspoken about women’s issues, has seen how it’s gotten better for women.
“A lot has changed over the past 15 years, when I started,” she said. “Suddenly, having a female perspective or an alternate perspective that’s not from a straight white guy has become cool and profitable for big companies. There’s an encouragement of saying what you want and your point of view and not having to necessarily funnel it through the male gaze. There is less of that pressure now.”
Along with starring in “Reboot” and being a mother, Bloom is doing live shows again and recording her upcoming special in Los Angeles, where she lives with her family. Having a musical TV show was her ultimate dream, but now she’s looking towards even bigger things.
“I’m continuing to push myself,” she said. “Being on Broadway, starring in a show I wrote, is still a goal. I’m looking to TV and figuring out what I can do that I haven’t done before.”