AppleTV+ and workplace comedy go hand in hand. While Mythic Quest has taken the traditional workplace comedy and expanded on it, the platform’s latest original series has blown the doors off workplace comedy. This gives the platform a trio of workplace delights, with Mythic Quest and Severance rounding out different explorations of work and capitalism. That said, Loot is a whole new beast with cultural commentary that looks in from the uber-rich to the foundations they run and have no idea what it’s actually doing.
Starring and executively produced by the hilarious Maya Rudolph, Loot is created by Alan Yang and Matt Hubbard, bringing together the very best of all three individuals’ comedy prowess. In addition to Rudolph, Loot also stars Michaela Jaé Rodriguez, Ron Funches, Nat Faxon, and Joel Kim Booster.
In Loot, billionaire Molly Novak (Rudolph) has a dream life, complete with private jets, a sprawling mansion, and a gigayacht. Married to a tech mogul, John (Adam Scott), for the past 20 years, her life is easy and relaxed. But when John cheats on her, leading to a divorce, Molly spirals. But she’s not just drinking her sorrows away and listening to depressing music in her home. No. She’s partying and living in excess across the globe and accosting waiters that look like Sting. And it’s all happening with tabloids’ watchful camera lenses making this descent to rock bottom public.
While she’s at her lowest, Molly learns, to her surprise, that she has a charity foundation run by the Sofia Salinas (Rodriguez), a dedicated leader whose main purpose in life is to help the marginalized people of Los Angeles. But her job is becoming increasingly challenging as Molly brings heaps of bad press down on the foundation. Focused on getting Molly to stop, Sofia pleads with Molly to think of something larger than herself.
But this plea has unintended consequences when Molly decides to take a larger role in the foundation with her devoted assistant Nicholas (Kim Booster) by her side. With the help of Sofia and team — including mild-mannered accountant Arthur (Faxon) and her optimistic, anime-loving cousin Howard (Funches) — Molly embarks on a journey of self-discovery and, well, a journey of not becoming a terrible person.
Loot is a blast. It’s hilarious, moving, and uses its diverse cast in a way that pushes beyond expectations. A workplace comedy with a twist, Loot manages to situate Rudolph in a typically masculine role as the out-of-touch and self-centered billionaire with a vision beyond where she’s flying next on her private jet. This cluelessness and selfishness is always played as an out-of-touch versus “evil rich person,” and it works, primarily in humanizing her and growing throughout the season. Additionally, each episode deals with Molly’s past ignorance, current bad decisions, or scandals in a way that always centers on her foundation and people, making her growth one that has weight through the realization of how she’s harmed others.
But Rudolph’s hilarious portrayal of Molly isn’t the only reason to tune in. Every member of the cast delivers their brand of comedy that all comes together for a balanced workplace series. While Molly’s space cadet nature is one level of comedy that taps into the things we hate about rich people, the rest of the cast comes together to be, well, relatable.
Arthur is mild-mannered and excessively boring with just the right level of out-of-touch to feel like someone who doesn’t know what Instagram is but can do his job well. His wholesome dynamic with Molly brings out elements of romance but, more importantly, empathy for what Molly had to deal with when she was married to John. Nicholas, on the other hand, is irreverent, selfish, and the perfect counterweight to the people working for Molly’s foundation. Her enabler, Nicholas, deeply cares about Molly even if he tries not to care about anything else. His interactions with the resident anime-shirt-wearing and Dragon Ball Z loving Howard are lovable.
Loot does a fantastic job of pairing characters who can’t see past themselves with wholesome ones that help them change without being preachy and allow growth to happen without sacrificing the core of the characters. While Howard just wants to have a Goku and Vegeta relationship with Nicholas, Nicholas wants nothing to do with him until it’s clear that work friends can be best friends.
All of that said, though, it’s Michaela Jaé Rodriguez who is the absolute star of Loot. Determined to make the world a better place and tackle capitalism head-on, Sofia makes no excuses. She’s tough, cold, and focused on putting up walls around herself at work to achieve the Foundation’s goals. This leads to a character that relentlessly judges Molly, her choices, and her past. Apprehensive at the mere idea of Molly taking up a close role in the Foundation, Sofia learns to open up throughout the season. She learns to trust and see that sometimes hard work really does deserve some slack off time.
But Sofia isn’t just one note. Instead, we get the chance to see behind her tough facade periodically through the season as her connection with the staff grows. She lets people in, stands up for them, and in the end, comes away with more of a family than colleagues. Rodriguez’s ability to be intimidating and soft at the same time, evoking all the strong Latinas I’ve grown up seeing and being inspired by. That said, seeing Rodriguez play a comedic role instead of just a dramatic one (even though her work in Pose is and was revolutionary) is the joy I needed in life, and I can’t wait for her to land more lead roles.
With a stellar cast, Loot is electrically hilarious. It’s fun, introspective, and hits all the right notes. The series manages to take the workplace comedy, twist it, and come out the other side with something unique, gut-busting, and just plain amazing. The real issue with the season is that its short length is a detriment for such a “what did Molly mess up this week” arrangement. At only 30 minutes a piece, there was more we could have seen, and while I hope we explore more of these characters with a Season 2, I wish we had gotten a longer Season 1.
LOOT is streaming exclusively on AppleTV+.
Loot Season 1
- Rating - 8.5/108.5/10
With a stellar cast, Loot is electrically hilarious. It’s fun, introspective, and hits all the right notes. The series manages to take the workplace comedy, twist it, and come out the other side with something unique, gut-busting, and just plain amazing.
Kate is co-founder, EIC, and CCO of BWT. She’s also a Certified Rotten Tomatoes Critic, host, and creator of our flagship podcast, But Why Tho? and Did You Have To?. She also manages all PR relationships for comics, manga, film, TV, and anime. She has an MA in Cultural Anthropology and Religious Studies focusing on how pop culture impacts society.