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March 31st, 2006

The Loop’s Free Ride

Fox recently debuted a pair of mid-season comedies aimed at the 20-something set, The Loop and Free Ride. Both are essentially the same show with slight character variations. And both are actually pretty funny, at least for the moment.

In The Loop a college grad takes over a powerful position at an airline, but is committed to maintaining his college-like party life after hours. The characters are relatively funny, but a lot of the dialogue tries too hard to be quirky, like the writers are trying to build catchphrases. Everything’s pretty implausible here, but there’s one reason to tune in week-after-week: Philip Baker Hall, who you may remember as the library cop on Seinfeld.

Free Ride also focuses on a college grad, but in this show, he comes home to live with his parents for a short while only to find them having marriage issues. He’s forced to live in the garage. He makes best friends with a loser guy from his high school that looks like he’s straight out of an 80s hair metal band. Then, our protagonist finds out his high school crush is getting married (though she still has a little crush on him in return). Again, some pretty funny moments here and most of the characters are likeable enough, but you can sense that they’re trying to recreate Arrested Development magic here. Still, I’ve been enjoying it.

Six months from now, we’ll see if either show is still on and whether they’re still worth watching. I suspect Free Ride will outlast The Loop.

Posted in Television, Movies, and Music

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