“The Loop”

By Jae-Ha Kim
Amazon.com
March 6, 2007

Take a pair of bumbling brothers and mix in a couple of hot female roommates, and you’ve got The Loop, a sitcom that hopefully isn’t representative of how immature the average twentysomething is these days. The seven episodes from the comedy’s debut mini season–which aired from March to April 2006–focuses on the haphazard life of Sam (Bret Harrison), a brilliant, young airline executive referred to by his boss as “Thesis” because of his uncanny ability to remember everything there is to know about airplanes and the airline industry.

He shares a Chicago apartment with his secret crush Piper (Amanda Loncar), their bartender buddy Lizzy (Sarah Mason), and his inept, unemployed older brother Sully (Eric Christian Olsen). That Sully has a name better suited for a household pet than a grown man is fitting, since he probably should get smacked with a newspaper every now and again to keep him in line.

The supporting players are actually more likeable and enjoyable to watch than the four stars. As Sam’s overeducated personal assistant Darcy, Joy Osmanski delivers her lines with deadpan sarcasm similar to Janeane Garafalo’s speech pattern.

And Mimi Rogers is wonderful in her role as Meryl, a cougar continually on the prowl for Sam. The juicy part takes advantage of the former Mrs. Tom Cruise’s beauty, as well as her surprisingly spot-on comedic timing. But the viewer is left wondering why she’d ever be attracted to Sam, who’s a mere whelp of a boy, and a bumbling one at that. Still, she covers for him at work, advising him to “act like you’ve had uncontrollable diarrhea” when he returns from bailing out one of his friends.

Also, look for entertaining guest appearances by Adam Brody (The O.C.) as the gay son of Sam’s boss, and Masi Oka (Heroes) as a Chinese interpreter for a potential client.

Though Piper is supposed to be the smart one (she’s planning on going to medical school) who views an A-minus as a hideous failure, she is on Sully’s level when it comes to common sense. She continually takes back her scummy boyfriend and is completely clueless about Sam’s feelings for her, even though his longings would be obvious to Helen Keller.

It’s difficult to root for a couple when you don’t really like either one of them. The better coupling would be Sully and ditzy Lizzy. While neither character is particularly well thought out, they can at least be fun to watch.

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