TV: Loot (Season 1)

I’ve admired Alan Yang’s comedy writing on Parks and Recreation, Master of None, and Forever, so it’s always welcome to see new projects from him. Apple’s Loot (co-created with Forever co-creator Matt Hubbard) is the latest, and while it takes a while to ramp, it eventually builds a fun momentum. Loot is about Molly Wells (Maya Rudolph), the wife of a prominent tech billionaire (Adam Scott), whose perfect life is inverted when she learns he’s been cheating on her with a younger woman. Their divorce settlement makes her a billionaire in her own right, but the shock of separation leaves her scrambling to figure out what to do with her life. Eventually, she turns up at the charitable foundation she absent-mindedly created during her marriage, and commits herself to becoming more actively involved in philanthropy—much to consternation of the foundation’s director, Sofia Salinas (Michaela Jaé Rodriguez). Her blinkered, rich-person ideas quickly collide with the real world as she emerges from her bubble of privilege.

Loot is a fairly conventional fish-out-of-water sitcom, and it gets off to a rocky start, relying on the contrasting interplay of absurdly wealthy Molly and her erstwhile, too-cool-for-school assistant Nicholas (Joel Kim Booster) with the more modest hoi-polloi staffing the foundation. Occasionally, while poking fun at how out of touch Molly is with the problems of normal people, the show risks coming off as out of touch itself. But as Molly’s rapport with the staff grows, Loot builds steadily into workplace comedy territory, and its messaging improves. The cast chemistry is solid, with Nat Faxon (as Arthur, the accountant who develops a nerdy flirtation with Molly) and Ron Funches (as Molly’s cousin Howard, who quickly becomes the ensemble’s MVP) really standing out. It’s worth sticking around for the final episode, during which the show finally realizes its mission statement and points the way toward a more interesting agenda. It’s a light, fun show that looks like it could develop into something more.

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