| Cult of Mac

Severance severed: Writers strike starts to affect Apple TV+ production


From left, Adam Scott, Zach Cherry, John Turturro and Britt Lower star in “Severance.”
"Severance" season 2 is on hold because of the writers strike.
Photo: Apple TV+

The Writers Guild of America is on strike, causing problems both immediate and long-term for TV and movie production. And Apple TV+ certainly is not immune.

Production on two Apple series already stopped because of picketing, including the bugle popular Severance. And that raises questions about other series and movies.

The 5 best comedies on Apple TV+


Best comedies on Apple TV+: Itching for a laugh?
Itchin' for a laugh? These Apple TV+ comedies deliver.
Photos: Apple TV+

Apple TV+ is known perhaps first and foremost for its international hit Ted Lasso. But that heartwarming show about a bumbling soccer coach with a positivity streak a mile wide only scratches the surface of the streamer’s burgeoning comedy roster.

Comedy veterans and unlikely newcomers alike staked out spots in the ever-growing Apple TV+ lineup, offering laughs for the cost of emotional engagement with some deeply wounded and weird characters.

Ultimately, the best comedies on Apple TV+ are the ones that hurt a little.

Loot finally gets to the point in season finale [Apple TV+ recap] ★★★☆☆


Loot recap season finale Apple TV+: Molly (played by Maya Rudolph) finally gets her head straight in the Loot season finale.★★★☆☆
Molly (played by Maya Rudolph) finally gets her head straight in the Loot season finale.
Photo: Apple TV+

Loot, the Apple TV+ sitcom about a rich woman discovering the meaning of life through charity work, finally hits the wall I’ve been waiting for after weeks of politesse and a too-overwhelming fear of the vulgar side of comedy.

In this week’s season finale, Molly and the crew head to Corsica for a billionaire energy summit where she must make an important choice. She must decide between her rich, debonair boyfriend and his million-dollar ideas about conservancy, and her friends who want to do real, on-the-ground work and fight the root causes of the problems facing their neighbors.

Loot puts friendships to the test, and shockingly, some will fail [Apple TV+ recap] ★★★☆☆


Loot recap: This week's episode is all about friends and making hard choices.★★★☆☆
This week's episode of Loot is all about friends and making hard choices.
Photo: Apple TV+

Loot, the Apple TV+ comedy about a woman with everything who learns from people who have nothing, has a play, a zoning board meeting and a summit to prepare for this week.

Howard and Nicholas must patch up their friendship. Sofia and Molly need to work out their differences of opinion and ambition. Molly comes face to face with the bad side of charity work. And in general, the characters needs to make some hard choices about the people they want in their lives.

Loot misses the mark when it comes to meaning of money [Apple TV+ recap] ★★★☆☆


Loot recap, Spades Night: Molly (played by Maya Rudolph, left) and her cousin Renee (Kym Whitley) get together for some family fun.★★★☆☆
Molly (played by Maya Rudolph, left) and her cousin Renee (Kym Whitley) get together for some family fun.
Photo: Apple TV+

Apple TV+ comedy Loot has family and romance on the brain this week. Molly wants to get in touch with her family again after years of distance — with Howard as go-between. Arthur and Nicholas eavesdrop on a stormy night of conflict for Sofia.

It’s all fine. Indeed, the drama and comedy are handled with equal deftness for the first time this season. But there’s something that nags about the mission of a show like Loot.

Once again, Loot proves too nice for its own good [Apple TV+ recap] ★★★☆☆


Loot recap: Loot needs to let Maya Rudolph rip.★★★☆☆
Loot really needs to let Maya Rudolph rip.
Photo: Apple TV+

Apple TV+ comedy Loot goes on two dates this week. Molly, the billionaire who’s discovering what it’s like to have a conscience, has a suitor. And Nicholas learns the meaning of friendship when he comes to Howard’s aid.

As usual, the show’s niceties undercut its comedy every step of the way. And that’s a problem when you’re writing a sitcom starring America’s funniest woman.

If Loot gets any nicer, it’s going to go full Ted Lasso [Apple TV+ recap] ★★☆☆


Loot recap: A gala turns into a team-building affair this week.★★☆☆
A gala turns into a team-building affair this week.
Photo: Apple TV+

The Loot crew dons black tie and tails for a humanitarian gala this week. Billionaire divorcee Molly is being honored, hit on and insulted all at once. Arthur is starstruck. Howard is in crisis. And Nicholas is just happy to be in a tuxedo surrounded by rich people again.

The Apple TV+ comedy swings hard for big moments of personal empowerment through kindness and self-respect. That’s all well and good, but I came to this show for something a little more caustic.

Loot needs a spark to elevate it beyond the common sitcom [Apple TV+ recap] ★★★☆☆


Loot recap: Someone needs a spa day!★★★☆☆
Someone needs a spa day!
Photo: Apple TV+

Apple TV+ comedy Loot takes a spa day today as Molly tries to relive her old lifestyle without her old life, and the rest of the office bonds over shared drinks and massages. Arthur and Molly think about each other more than friends do, but everywhere she goes reminds her of the life she lost to a younger model.

The show continues to make good inroads on character dynamics. However, Loot needs a little electricity in the writing to keep it from feeling like just another sitcom.

Loot gets stuck in a loop trying to build show worthy of its star [Apple TV+ recap] ★★★☆☆


Loot recap ★★★☆☆
An alpaca farm is just the start of this week's excitement.
Photo: Apple TV+

New Apple TV+ comedy  Loot goes into damage-control mode this week, as a theme park that Molly owns undergoes a public disaster and the billionaire must take stock of her post-divorce holdings.

Sofia goes to an important meeting, Nicholas goes to an important audition, and Arthur goes to a suddenly important soccer game. The show settles into a comfortable groove as it gives everyone an archetype to play with around dependable star Maya Rudolph.

After Loot debut, Apple calls dibs on new shows from Maya Rudolph’s company


Maya Rudolph stars in
Maya Rudolph stars in "Loot" on Apple TV+, and her production company now has a first-look deal with Cupertino.
Photo: Apple TV+

Apple TV+ struck a first-look deal with Maya Rudolph’s production company after last week’s premiere of her comedy series Loot.

That means Rudolph’s company, Animal Pictures, will show what it’s working on to Apple first, before shopping it around to other buyers.