Apple TV Summary:
After divorcing her husband of 20 years, Molly Novak must figure out what to do with her $87 billion settlement. She decides to reengage with her charitable foundation and reconnect with the real world — finding herself along the way.
Molly Novak’s rough breakup is not like your rough breakup, because she’s now become the third richest woman in the United States. What’s a newly single billionaire to do with all this excessive wealth? After a brief party phase, Molly decides to take a more active role within her charitable foundation.
(I don’t know if it’s the intent, but this is basically a fictionalized take on MacKenzie Scott‘s situation.)
Maya Rudolph as Molly Novak
Maya Rudolph is, of course, a resplendent and multitalented goddess. If anyone could get me on board with a fictional billionaire, it’d obviously be her.
Molly is well-meaning and sincere, but still extremely out of touch. I do like how Molly is inherently kind, and she always tries to fix her fuckups and general putting-her-foot-in-her-mouth-ness. Plus, everyone who works for her actually likes her, and her wardrobe is divine.
The show briefly mentions that Molly is the wealthiest woman of colour in the U.S., which I think would be an interesting angle to explore, but that doesn’t get much focus in this first season.
Michaela Jaé Rodriguez as Sofia Salinas
The director of Molly’s foundation. In Parks and Recreation* terms, Sofia has Leslie Knope’s dedication to public service, Donna Meagle’s enigmatic personal life, Ron Swanson’s hard-ass vibe, and Ben Wyatt’s party pooper tendencies that keep everyone else grounded in reality. However, Michaela Jaé does get to do more than be the straightlaced character amidst the chaos, and it’s always fun when Sofia loosens up.
*If you’re unfamiliar with Parks and Rec, I bring it up a lot, so please enjoy being lost.** (The similarity is also not entirely coincidental, since Loot series co-creator/writer/director Alan Yang also worked on P&R.)
**To go on another tangent that requires pre-existing knowledge of a different show, the Rich Person Falls From Grace premise makes me think of Schitt’s Creek, even though Molly’s loss in status is reputational and not financial. She’s also MUCH MUCH MUCH wealthier than the Roses ever were, and less outlandish and cartoon-y.
Joel Kim Booster as Nicholas
Molly’s devoted assistant who loves the rich life, so he’s like if Tom Haverford was actually good at his job, with a dash of Gary from Veep. Joel had a great 2022 between this and the excellent Fire Island.
Nat Faxon as Arthur
The foundation’s accountant and a newly divorced dad who quickly bonds with Molly. I mostly associate Nat with the short-lived Ben and Kate with Dakota Johnson, but a scroll through his filmography reveals that omg he was on Grosse Pointe***!
***I once tried to buy the DVD set, but what arrived was an empty envelope lolcry and I can’t even find out if it’s streaming anywhere.
Ron Funches as Howard
Molly’s cousin, the foundation’s resident IT guru, and complete anime/genre nerd. Ron Funches is joy personified, and also KING SHARK.
Adam Scott as John Novak
Molly’s piece of shit ex-husband. Adam Scott continues to choose much more off-beat and decidedly Not Ben Wyatt roles after Parks and Recreation. He’s also become quite the Apple TV man, between this, Severance (also great, but VERY different), and those iPhone commercials with Cecily Strong.
There are also a couple of celeb cameos, with the most prominent one being a recurring fictionalized version of themselves with a bit of their own throughline. (I’m also counting the names of Molly’s dogs as celeb cameos.)
Couch-Sharing Capability: Medium
As is the case for workplace comedies, the show’s watchability hinges on cast chemistry, and these characters are definitely a fun hang. There are season-long plots and character arcs, but nothing’s too serialized to follow along if someone joins in on your binge. (Although it’s much shorter than a traditional network season, with only 10 half-hour episodes.)
Recommended Level of Inebriation: Low
None needed, other than maybe for vicarious cringe when Molly steps in it due to Rich Person Reasons.
Use of Your Streaming Subscription: Good
I’ll be honest: I actually went into Loot pretty skeptical, given how much I would like the rich to be eaten. Fortunately, the show’s pretty self-aware and knows how to read the proverbial room with regards to growing discontent towards the super duper wealthy. While Loot might not deliver huge belly laughs, it does manage to find humour in a timely topic, and the soundtrack is TOP-NOTCH NOSTALGIA. It also sets up a pretty intriguing second season, which it’ll thankfully have since it’s already been renewed.