(CNN) — On paper, “Loot” appears to be a one-note joke — haha, a comedy for Apple TV+ that is obliquely inspired by the Bezos family drama — and the first episode of the show doesn’t add any depth to the character development. If you stick with it, however, this showcase for Maya Rudolph as a millionaire minted through divorce eventually becomes a pleasant, if pretty traditional, romantic comedy with a few unexpected twists.
Molly Novak, played by Maya Rudolph, is rudely jolted out of her luxurious life when she learns that her husband has been cheating on her. The couple’s mega-yacht serves as the setting for their initial encounter (Adam Scott). In less time than it takes to utter “Mackenzie Scott,” who was the previous wife of Jeff Bezos and is known as a significant philanthropist, she was left on her own with an estimated $87 billion to console her.
Following a round of boozy shenanigans, Molly receives a phone call from Sofia Salinas, played by Pose’s Michaela Jaé Rodriguez, who is the executive director of a benevolent organization that Molly has inherited but was completely unaware of. She is looking for something to do with both her money and her free time, so she takes an interest in the establishment and makes the fairly diverse members of staff into a type of extended family.
At first, it seems like the premise for a workplace sitcom, with a whole lot of “She’s so rich” jokes, tone-deaf comments about women’s shelters, and someone suggesting that she purchase one of the Hemsworth brothers, all while Molly receives constant reassurance from her doting assistant, who is played by “Fire Island’s” Joel Kim Booster.
However, after a few episodes have passed, the show truly unveils several further complicated twists. First of all, Molly starts to have some semi-normal moments with the organization’s shy and recently single accountant (Nat Faxon), right before she meets a dashing billionaire (“Unfaithful’s” Olivier Martinez) who seems to have been taken from the pages of a perfume ad.
Molly does not realize that she owns a theme park in the Philippines until something goes wrong there, prompting her to conduct an inventory of her assets, ranging from the ridiculous to the sublime. “Loot” was created by Alan Yang and Matt Hubbard, who previously collaborated with Rudolph on the 2018 comedy “Forever.”
The program even takes a turn toward the semi-serious, at least in terms of a system that enables a select few people to acquire these kinds of fortunes and the degree of philanthropy that should be expected from those who achieve such success. Rudolph has a similar amount of proficiency when playing at both speeds, but the more over-the-top flourishes that are indicative of her history on “Saturday Night Live” often pale in comparison to the more subtle parts.
The fact that the first season of “Loot” only lasted 10 episodes and didn’t wrap up much suggests that the show still has a good bit of potential to explore in the future. Even if it doesn’t turn out to be a blockbuster, Rudolph and the rest of the cast will make sure that it’s still rather fine company. They will set the stage for a series that has all of the possibilities that come with a protagonist who has plenty of time and money to waste.