Thursday, July 27, 2017

Pilot Review: Loaded

Loaded (AMC)
Premiered July 17

AMC is a network that, about a decade ago, established itself as more than just a movie channel, and one capable of producing terrific television. In those ten years, some of its hottest shows have come and gone, and now it’s time for a new generation. While its original programming is inarguably strong, it’s also worth noting that the scripted dramas the network has bothered to acquire have also been great. The first was “Humans,” from Channel 4 in the UK, and I’ve written at length about how good that show is. Now, another show from Channel 4 is joining the lineup, and it’s also worthy of praise. Friends making a lot of money is hardly a new concept, though at least it’s from something they did or made and not just winning the lottery. This isn’t “Silicon Valley,” where fortunes change by the minute and every episode is a rollercoaster of incomparable success and devastating failure. Instead, it’s about a few guys who made something and netted a whole lot of cash as a result, and now they’re trying to keep it all together. Aside from a generally entertaining vibe, I particularly liked the scene in which Leon was bold – or stupid – enough to actually use the lighter to show that he wasn’t bluffing, ending one major hiccup but leading instead to the impending arrival of Mary McCormack’s foul-mouthed, no-nonsense American head honcho, which seems as appealing as any a reason to stick around. I haven’t decided yet if I will, but I could definitely enjoy more of this show.

How will it work as a series? I think this format is a sure thing, since it’s full of comedy and very flawed characters who are guaranteed to make many missteps as they attempt to navigate this new world of success and financial fortune. Hopefully they won’t all be as severe as handing out thousands of pounds in bonuses to every employee just to make your name known to one person.
How long will it last? Reviews are decent, though not entirely favorable, and it looks like the ratings on Channel 4 were actually pretty poor. It didn’t make much of a splash in the ratings compared to other AMC shows in the past, so I think that this is probably all we’ll get unless some find it enjoyable enough to commission a second season either in the UK or here in the US.

Pilot grade: B+

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