Summer TV Preview: The Return of FOX’s ‘The Loop’

I was up late at night trying to get to sleep and stumbled upon something on my snowy antenna reception in my dorm room that caught my attention: much as I had, months earlier, stumbled upon an episode of The Office (US) that got me hooked on the show, this series became of interest. That show was ‘The Loop’, a comedy that debuted on FOX last year to, well, not so great numbers despite an American Idol lead-in for a brief period. After catching up with the series, I found it to be an entertaining little diversion with an incredibly engaging lead actor in Bret Harrison. However, when it was surprisingly renewed for a 2nd season, there was talk of changes, and a fair amount of people worried that the show would lost its integrity when it airs two episodes tonight at 8:30 EDT and 9:30 EDT on FOX.  I am not one of these people.

The reason I was unconcerned is that the reboot of the show maintains all of the elements I liked, and gets rid of elements to which I felt little to no connection. The show was designed as a young executive who, despite moving up in the corporate world, still exists in the world of his youthful friends. Thus, he was stuck between two worlds: it was a decent concept, let’s be honest, but the problem was that it was the corporate world that was the most entertaining. Philip Baker Hall was hysterical as his out of touch boss. Mimi Rogers was bitingly funny as his Milf co-worker, and most importantly his over-educated and resentful secretary was the source of the show’s most consistent comedy.

And thus, from a comedy perspective, the airline where Sam (Harrison) works was the better setup in pretty much every way. While there was certainly some moments of comedy out of his normal life, there was too much potential in that office to be constantly cutting away from it. As a result, when the show returns tonight, only part of the out-of-office cast remains, while Sam’s workplace remains intact. And, with it, I believe that the charming comedy I got hooked on last year has likely returned as well.Of course, it is all bittersweet: as all of the reviews of the show’s return point out, The Loop is done after this short run of episodes. Bret Harrison stars in The CW’s Reaper (Which is getting rave reviews for its pilot episode), and FOX is simply burning these episodes off. While I understand the principle behind this, I can’t help but be a little bit disappointed that the series never got a fair chance. It’s a great deal funnier than FOX’s other comedies, especially The War at Home, and FOX was never willing to rally behind it like they have ‘Til Death.

But, alas, this is the last we’ll get of this particular brand of comedy. The writing is quick, the sarcasm is biting, the performances are over the top, and it’s pretty hard to ignore the charms of the series as a whole. While there has been some changes since we last met up with Sam, I think that they might be for the best. If The Loop is going to go out this summer, it’s best that it goes out with its best foot forward. And, well, I think that this might just happen. Airing Sunday nights on FOX could be a worse gig for the series (And perhaps one it should have had last season), and we’ll go around the loop once more this summer.

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Filed under FOX, Reaper, Television, The Loop

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