The Good

A funny show that examines business in corporate America today.

The Bad

Not enough features.

Sam Sullivan (Bret Harrison) is an executive at an TransAlliance Airways, an airline that he loves. He knows everything about it and that's exactly why his boss Russ (Philip Baker Hall) keeps him around. However, Sam straddles another world with his older brother Sully (Eric Christian Olsen), in which they party down with friend (and secret love) Piper (Amanda Loncar) and their favorite bartender Lizzy (Sarah Mason). While only filled with 153 minutes of content The Loop: Season 1 certainly makes an impression in the time that it's on.

Seeing the interpersonal relationships between the characters on such episodes as "Tiger Express," in which Sam learns about the inner workings of dating and where specific date settings can take a relationship; "Year of the Dog" which sees Sam take yet another hit on the chin for Sully when a dog she is baby-sitting eats Sam's homework; and lastly, "Trouble In the Saddle" finds Sam having to make a deal for TransAlliance under much less than ideal conditions, this is one of those shows that goes down easy.

Features

Thesis: Work vs. Play Featurette

I pretty much knew that this featurette was going to be about the character dynamics on The Loop. What I hadn't expected was it to feature Philip Baker Hall so prominently. This guy is all over this thing talking his character, his relationship to Sam, his character's past, etc.. We also get to hear from some of the other actors and creators of this show. I am not 100% sure why The Loop works differently than other sitcoms. It might have something to do with it's fast pace, it's fresh writing and solid actors, but as we all know that is no guarantee of a show's success. At it's basest level, this show works because it seems like it is thrown together without time for the people involved to look back.

Video

Widescreen - 1.78:1. I hadn't ever really watched a sitcom in the widescreen format before so this was something different. Also, this show is cut at such a quick pace that it almost feels overly frenetic. Since it isn't constantly showing us the same shots, but using the editing to really advance the story, I think it works in this show's favor. First of all, The Loop: Season 1 is only 153 minutes, yet they have cut it so that it seems longer. Secondly, it juxtaposes exterior and interior shots so rapidly that we never have time to get settled. The compression on this release seemed solid but since this is a sitcom there isn't too much to say about the lighting scheme.

Audio

Dolby Digital. English 5.1 - Dolby Surround. Subtitled in English and Spanish. Close Captioned. The audio on this release was decent. I found that I had to turn the audio levels on my TV a little bit more than halfway up. Once I did that, everything played fine across this entire disc. In fact the only thing I noticed was that when the characters weren't talking, things sounded a little bit hollow on the soundtrack. It was if they decided not to put in an ambient track.

Package

The main cast of this show is presented on this front cover with our faithful Sam Sullivan standing tall (with his suit cut up) in front. The back features a decent sized picture from this show, however, based on the expressions of some of the characters faces it appears like they were photoshopped in. There is a brief description of what this show is about, a Special Features listing, some more pictures from this show and system specs.

Final Word

What made me really like this show was the way Bret Harrison played Sam Sullivan. All of the other characters are good, but Sam is imbued with an earnestness that we really don't see from many characters nowadays. He is funny, shy, awkward, and above all wants to do the right thing. Of course, being so earnest is what gets him into trouble, but no matter what happens this guy doesn't stop trying. Despite the fact that Sully often gets both of them in over their heads, or Russ makes very unrealistic demands on him, or Piper completely misses the point of Sam's intentions, nothing seems to faze this guy.

In a movie a character like Sam might not work as well. Over the course of a film we expect people like this to wise up. Yet, on The Loop: Season 1 there's something about Sam Sullivan, episode after episode, that is endearing.

The Loop was released .