Matt Hubbard and Alan Yang team up for a pedestrian sitcom that repeatedly asks a difficult question of its audience. Not a fundamentally moral one about the nature of obscene wealth and the messianic tendencies of those who obtain it, but, simply, “Why should I care about these characters?”.
Maya Rudolph makes the best of a poor hand in a fairly effective comedic performance as Molly Novak. Early on in the show’s pilot episode, Molly divorces her tech billionaire husband of 20 years, John (Adam Scott), an uber-rich sleazebag of proportions that match his wealth. Nursing her grief with drunken parties around the globe, Molly finds a sense of purpose when Sofia (Michaela Jaé Rodriguez), the stern executive of Molly’s charitable foundation (the existence of which was hitherto unknown to her), beckons her to an early-morning meeting (“Couldn’t we make it 11? I’ll be sleeping at that time”) to discuss her behaviour’s impact on the foundation’s reputation. Molly then gradually descends from her lofty perch to ingratiate herself with the foundation’s workforce, finding independence from John in its charitable work.
Loot, in spite of its pretenses, doesn’t rise above the wealth voyeurism that is really at the heart (or swinging brick) of the show. As nice as the houses, the private jets, the outfits and the stunning locations are to gawp at, they don’t provide a reason to care about Molly’s crisis of meaning, or some of the intolerably shallow supporting characters. There is little to no visibility afforded to the victims of a system that allows individuals to accumulate such wealth, indicating where the show’s aesthetic and thematic priorities hypocritically lie.
Over the course of the ten half-hour episodes, only minor chuckles are coaxed by lazy popular culture quips. There is no danger of being poked by any of the razor-sharp wit or commentary expected of a show satirising the scandalously wealthy. But, as implied, Loot never shows an interest in penetrating its glossy surface.
Loot is released on Apple TV+ on 24th June 2022.
Watch the trailer for Loot here: