Techies strike it rich, for better and for worse, on AMC’s ‘Loaded’

Invest. Pay off debt. Go on a nice, long trip. Tell the boss where to go.

We’ve all fantasized about what we’d do if we came into sudden wealth. A new dramedy from across the pond explores how four sudden tech millionaires handle their good fortune – for better and for worse.

In “Loaded,” premiering Monday, July 17, on AMC, the British 30-somethings in question are Josh (Jim Howick, “Broadchurch”), Leon (Samuel Anderson, “Doctor Who”), Ewan (Jonny Sweet, “Babylon”) and Watto (Nick Helm, the U.K. series “Uncle”), four college pals who sell their tech firm Idyl Hands and its hit mobile game “Cat Factory” to Casey (Mary McCormack, “In Plain Sight”) for millions.

(From left) Samuel Anderson, Jim Howick and Jonny Sweet star in “Loaded,” premiering Monday, July 17, on AMC.

Overnight, they’re faced with the awesome and/or terrifying realization that they have more money than they know what to do with. While the other guys go into celebration mode, Josh, the group’s neurotic creative conscience and moral compass, frets over suddenly having 14 million pounds in his chronically overdrawn checking account and doesn’t know how to handle it. One idea is to buy his parents an around-the-world trip but even they can’t enjoy it because they don’t enjoy being around each other.

And now the guys are under the thumb of Casey, their new no-nonsense boss, who expects them to come up with an equally successful follow-up to “Cat Factory.” But Josh, who hates sequels, resists and the two lock horns – which only serves to aggravate his already pronounced neuroses.

“We kind of go head to head because my character finds sequels creatively barren and just essentially a money-making (scheme) …,” Howick explains. “One thing about this show that comes across is the guys … are not particularly proud of this game. You know, in their minds they can make a better game. They want to be making kind of ‘Vice City’ or ‘GTA’ (‘Grand Theft Auto’) and they ended up making a game that mums play on the toilet on their phone. And that’s the thing, is that they’ve made their name with this game and they’re not particularly proud of the game itself.”

“They’re sort of forced into this world of sort of smartphone, low-fi kind of games, I guess, and what they really want to be doing is making the ‘Rockstar’ games.”

As the guys get used to not being their own boss, working for someone who can be difficult and how to handle all that money – and the drama that entails – they’re forced to grow up. But whether they can be happy, that’s another matter.

“I think that’s kind of what the show explores, really, is if you work hard and you’re doing something you love, eventually sometimes these things can go your way,” Howick says. “It’s whether or not you can enjoy it afterwards and that’s what the show explores, really. Kind of explores the guilt factor, I think. It deals with the fortune in a very British way, kind of an apologist’s way. Certainly my character anyway.”

The seriocomic series “Loaded” premieres Monday, July 17, on AMC.
George Dickie

George Dickie

George Dickie has been a features writer for Gracenote/Tribune Media Services since 1989, when “Hee-Haw” was still on the air and George “Goober” Lindsay was his first interview. His early interviews ranged from Jim Henson and Dick Van Dyke to Phil Collins and the Dixie Chicks.

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