The short-lived dramedy Forever on Prime Video brought together actress Maya Rudolph with creators Alan Yang and Matt Hubbard. Though the series received mostly positive reviews, it only lasted one season. Now the team has come back together for a new show entitled Loot that premieres later this week.
The story follows a billionaire named Molly Novak (Rudolph), who goes through a very messy and public divorce with her influential tech CEO husband, John Novak (Adam Scott). As she tries to pick up the pieces of her shattered life, Molly turns to her philanthropic foundation to find more meaning. The employees at her charity have worked independently for years and the arrival of their place of work’s namesake looks to shake things up. Little do they know that they all will have an impact on each other’s lives.
As a work place comedy, Loot has a stellar cast beginning with Rudolph. It could be easy to play off the humor of an out of touch filthy rich person trying to relate to and help benefit those less fortunate. But the combination of her portrayal and the sincere writing from Yang and Hubbard make Molly a very endearing character. She’s willing to put in the work and make the effort to help ensure she doesn’t mess things up.
It’s no surprise that Rudolph can stick the jokes and does great in both physical and self-deprecating gross out humor. However, she also nails more of the candid and vulnerable moments. Molly is a woman who grew complacent with her lifestyle and devoted herself to her husband, but she never pondered what she wanted. She is far from perfect on her path of self-discovery and she goes to some darkly profound places of reflection and self-doubt. In addition to the fun and games, the actress can bring pain and regret to her character creating a more serious tone at times.
Although, Molly has a fantastic support system to lift her back up. Sofia Salinas (Michaela Jaé Rodriguez) is the head of the foundation. Howard (Ron Funches) is the IT guy and Molly’s cousin and his desk neighbor, Arthur (Nat Faxon), is the accountant. Throw in Nicholas (Joel Kim Booster) as Molly’s assistant, and you have a ragtag, yet likeable, group.
Despite on the surface the main cast fitting a particular stereotype – no nonsense boss, laid-back teddy bear, dorky white guy, self-absorbed millennial – over the course of the season each character is given intriguing material that provides more substance and complexity to round them out. It’s fun to watch the entire group dynamic develop into a found family atmosphere, though it takes a couple of episodes to find its footing. Like any relationship, there can be conflicts, but a lot of the heart of Loot comes out as they resolve their differences.
Funches and Booster specifically have great chemistry as their unlikely friendship grows. There is so much love and support between their characters and they play well off of each other whether on their own or in their commenting on their colleagues’ life choices. Sofia and Molly are another great pairing in their odd couple kind of way. Like any compelling duo, there is tension and disagreements, but in the end, they have one another’s back. The progress and growth of all the main people drive the narrative as much as the episodic plots.
One thing that never gets old throughout the entire season of Loot is watching the excess in Molly’s life. It can lead to amusing cameos in how she throws her money around, and you never know if the scenes are drawn from real billionaires or entirely made up. That is part of the outlandishness of it all.
The soundtrack also has a good mix of classic hits and even some European songs but the heavy use of hip hop music from the ’00s really sets the mood. Not only are they great bangers, but they conjure the feelings of an era of indulgence. A time when MTV cribs showed the extravagance of celebrities and when rappers boasted about their bling and material possessions. Very fitting tunes for the show.
Loot entertains with its comedy and over-the-top look at luxury, but the talented cast and group dynamic push this tale of self-discovery to another level.
Loot premieres on Friday, June 24, with its first three episodes on Apple TV+.
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