If You Love Workplace Sitcoms, You Should Be Watching Season Two of Maya Rudolph's Eat-the-Rich Comedy 'Loot'

What happens when a billionaire decides to give away all of her money, and has a team to help? That's the premise of this Apple TV+ series.
Sarah Ward
Published on April 03, 2024

Across ten extremely amusing initial episodes in 2022, Loot had a message: billionaires shouldn't exist. So declared the show's resident cashed-up character, with Molly Wells (Maya Rudolph, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem) receiving $87 billion in her divorce from tech guru John Novak (Adam Scott, Madame Web), then spending most of the Apple TV+ sitcom's first season working out what to do with it (and also how to handle her newly single life in general). That she had a foundation to her name was virtually news to her. So was much about everything beyond the ultra-rich. And, she was hardly equipped for being on her own. But Loot's debut run came to an entertaining end with the big statement that it was always uttering not so quietly anyway. So what happens next, after one of the richest people in the world decides to give away all of her money? Cue season two of this ace workplace-set comedy from Wednesday, April 3.

Created by former Parks and Recreation writers Alan Yang and Matt Hubbard, in their second Rudolph-starring delight — 2018's Forever was the first — Loot splices together three popular on-screen realms as it loosely draws parallels with Amazon founder Jeff Bezos and his philanthropist ex-wife MacKenzie Scott. At her charity, as Molly's staff become the kind of friends that feel like family while doing their jobs, shows such as 30 Rock and Superstore (which Hubbard also has on his resume) score an obvious sibling. As its protagonist endeavours to do good, be better and discover what makes a meaningful life, The Good Place (which Yang also wrote for) and Forever get company. And in enjoying its eat-the-rich mode as well, it sits alongside Succession and The White Lotus, albeit while being far sillier.

Nothing was broken about this mix and setup in season one, so there's no fixing required the second time around — just leaning in further and letting Loot's talented cast make the most of it. Co-starring alongside Rudolph: Michaela Jaé Rodriguez (American Horror Story) as foundation head Sofia, Joel Kim Booster (Fire Island) as Molly's assistant Nicholas, Ron Funches (Good Burger 2) as her cousin Howard and Nat Faxon (Our Flag Means Death) as company accountant Arthur, plus Stephanie Styles (Curb Your Enthusiasm) and Meagen Fay (9-1-1) as the cheery Ainsley and hippie-ish Rhonda to round out the office gang. As motley crews dictate, everyone has a personality archetype. Sofia is dedicated and determined. Nicholas chases clout. Howard and Arthur both bring sweetness, the latter as a daggy dad who also becomes Molly's everyman love interest, for instance. Loot has a clear lead, but it also patently adores its ensemble; with this group, there's plenty to love.

After Molly's huge announcement, she has downsized mansions in season two, while also grappling with John's rekindled romantic interest and trying to make good on her word — and to get her homelessness-tackling project Space for Everyone off the ground. Loot knows that the path back from such an extravagant existence isn't straightforward, though. Plenty of its humour comes from Molly attempting to do what she thinks is right, but being the type of out-of-touch that money literally buys. Still, she has a caring heart and noble intentions, which Loot always sees. This is a series that's teeming with designer attire, jet-setting, lavish spiritual retreats and opulent dream homes, and watches them gleam, yet is keenly aware that nothing sparkles as brightly as truly being yourself, learning what makes you feel fulfilled, real connection and genuine benevolence, all of which are priceless.

It's hard to imagine anyone but Rudolph selling Loot as wholeheartedly, or ensuring that the concept hits its mark. It isn't a simple task, parodying the ridiculously affluent while humanising a lead character who can't remember anything but rolling in dosh — and also showing her well-to-do trappings without undercutting the show's eat-the-rich mantra by making her life, or even just the materialism, freedom and security of a an abundant bank balance, seem aspirational. By now, however, almost three decades since she made her screen debut and nearing a quarter century since her first Saturday Night Live days, it's been proven several times over that Rudolph can do everything. Playing Molly requires that flexibility, as honed so expertly in sketch comedy. It also hinges on Rudolph committing to being the joke again and again, while digging past satirising Molly to unearth the person beneath the billions.

Put Loot's lead in any show or movie and it's worth watching (see also: everything from Away We Go, Bridesmaids, The Way Way Back and Sisters to Up All Night and Maya & Marty). That said, also harking back to her SNL stint, she's a spectacular team player even when giving a star turn, which this recognises. Yang and Hubbard have filled Loot's cast perfectly with actors who bounce off of Rudolph flawlessly, including in guest roles in season two. When Ana Gasteyer (American Auto), Rudolph's SNL co-star, pops up as another obscenely well-off ex-wife, audiences can be forgiven for wanting a spinoff that pushes them both to the fore. And when Benjamin Bratt (Poker Face) joins the series briefly, it's a sublime inclusion.

For the show's regular ensemble, season two delivers more subplots and supporting-character arcs. Sofia gets a boyfriend (O-T Fagbenle, Secret Invasion), plus more time away from the job that she's devoted to. Nicholas dives into his cultural heritage, adopted upbringing and dating behaviour. Howard follows an opposing route to Molly, endeavouring to free himself from debt rather than giving away money, while also embracing a passion as a side hustle. Chemistry still lingers between Molly and Arnold, but no workplace sitcom lets romance come easily — and no series about a person bettering themselves, and also unearthing themselves in a midlife crisis, allows new love to blossom quickly, either.

From Molly doing Vogue's 73 Questions and Taylor Swift obsessions becoming a plot point to runway appearances and weaving in a hilarious nod to a movie masterpiece, Loot isn't short on other reasons to get giggling — or other ways to flesh out Molly and the gang. Another pivotal element that it boasts in abundance: the potential to keep growing, especially as Molly's bank balance dwindles. Skewering levels of wealth that no one should have, and that only the one percent of the one percent can grasp, will never stop proving rich and necessary comic material. Loot has bite, laughs, thematic capital to keep building upon and a roster of talent making it one of Apple TV+'s comedy standouts. It was true in its first season and remains the case in its second: this is a series to invest in.

Check out the trailer for Loot season two below:

Loot streams via Apple TV+, with season two starting on Wednesday, April 3, 2024.

Published on April 03, 2024 by Sarah Ward
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