Everyone wants to get rich. Especially in this era of economic inequality, when people are turning to GoFundMe to pay their health care costs, the fantasy of suddenly striking gold retains a tantalizing allure. Cue a life of hanging out on yachts, wearing silk pajamas, throwing $100 bills in the air, and otherwise acting like a participant in a DJ Khaled music video. AMC’s new comedic drama Loaded, however, presents a more cynical image of new money.
After selling their Angry Birds-like mobile game for a big payday, a group of one-time losers — Josh (Jim Howick), Leon (Samuel Anderson), Ewan (Jonny Sweet), and Watto (Nick Helm) — suddenly find themselves swimming in more money than they ever dreamed of. They immediately put that cash to use redressing petty grievances. In the very first scene of the show, in fact, the gang hires a barbershop quartet to sing a crude taunt at an old enemy. Not long after, Leon takes his new private helicopter straight to his old school just to shove his success in the face of a teacher who once denigrated him.
Though these boys are British (like Humans, Loaded is a co-production of AMC and Channel 4), they soon learn one of the great lessons of American art: More money does not mean fewer problems, just problems of a different kind. Enter Casey (Mary McCormack), a ruthless new boss who demands the crew’s ramshackle startup meet her rigorous corporate standards. Casey’s smiling authoritarian style stands in delightful contrast with the guys’ self-destructive tendencies.
With hearty doses of British self-flagellation, Loaded wrings brilliant cringe comedy out of its unqualified characters and the wealth they’ve stupidly acquired.
Loaded premieres Monday, July 17 at 10 p.m. ET on AMC.