Going in circles

mmet Sullivan

When asked about his new television show The Loop, actor Bret Harrison (Orange County, The O.C.) has a skewed sense about the exact genre under which his show falls.

“I don’t feel it is a comedy,” Harrison says. “You get invested in characters. There are moments that have dramatic undertones.”

Harrison’s right in that the Fox mid-season replacement isn’t exactly a comedy, but it’s not the drama he’s hoping for, either. If anything, The Loop is a fantasy. How many people in today’s business world can find a job in which they can run around a meeting shirtless, hung over and with a bra drawn in Sharpie marker across their chests and not be fired?

It’s an understatement to say the jokes fall flat. There are times when I smiled briefly (the “group douche,” appropriately labeled onscreen, comes to say hi at the bar), but I cringed more than anything. It’s a little painful to see the actors stretch to make their lines funny.

The major conflict of the show revolves around Sam Sullivan (played by Harrison) struggling to manage his work life and his social life. More than that, each episode seems to have the same central concept: Will Sam be able to stop partying long enough to make it into work the next day?

The plot of the show makes no sense. Based on his college thesis about commercial flight, Sam is suddenly one of the top five executives of a major airline based in Chicago at the age of 24. Not only that, but he also has time to hang out with his friends every night, although he almost doesn’t make it into work in the second episode when he mysteriously ends up in Cabo after a night of partying.

At work, Sam is the new, young, hip executive. He’s hated by every other employee save three, but his boss, Russ, treats him like a second son (Russ’s first son is gay, a topic of all of Russ’s jokes). His coworker Meryl tries too hard to sleep with him. He also has an assistant, Darcy