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Review: ‘Loaded’ and the Amusing Pitfalls of Sudden Wealth


From left, Nick Helm, Samuel Anderson and Jonny Sweet in “Loaded,” on AMC.

Hal Shinnie/Ch4, via AMC

Don’t think of “Loaded,” a funny series that starts Monday night on AMC, as “Silicon Valley” with British accents, though the pocket description might suggest that.

Four British guys with a hot tech product find themselves in the big time and struggle to hold their own against high-rolling sharks while fumbling their personal lives — yeah, there are similarities. But the tone here is different from the acclaimed HBO series — more caustic, a bit more crude — and so is the emphasis. In many ways money is the main character.

As the series opens, Josh (Jim Howick), Leon (Samuel Anderson), Ewan (Jonny Sweet) and Watto (Nick Helm) have just gone from borderline poverty to extreme wealth because they’ve sold their tech start-up and its popular video game to a large company. Whether it’s lottery winners or athletes who land huge contracts or geeks with the next big tech thing, this is a story line of our age: people coming into vast amounts of money who aren’t prepared for it.

The first thing wealth triggers in these four is a hilariously juvenile revenge response — they hire a barbershop quartet to go around and sing a vulgar suggestion to everyone who ever insulted their abilities or ideas. “Smug-bombing,” they call this stunt, which seems to have been mostly Leon’s idea. But by Episode 2 he finds out that rubbing an enemy’s nose in his success doesn’t always produce the desired reaction.

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