Written by Jenna Grunfeld
Weird Loners Plot Summary:
Caryn (Becki Newton), Stosh (Zachary Knighton), Zara (Meera Rohit Kumbhani), and Eric (Nate Torrence) are lost thirty-somethings who are brought together through an unlikely series of events. Though each has a unique set of problems leading them to “loner” status, they are able to find company with each other.
If someone had asked me which Happy Endings alum would be the first to actually find a worthy post-cancellation vehicle, Zachary Knighton (Dave on Happy Endings) would probably have been my last guess. But it’s not just the disappointing Marry Me and One Big Happy that give Fox’s newest comedy, Weird Loners, a chance at the title — the show’s actually got potential.
To be honest, I think it takes shows like this an episode or two to get off the ground, particularly when the pilot is all about establishing how the rag tag band of misfits ends up together- as it is in this case. Even so, I feel like the show did a great job of revealing its kooky brand of humor. True to the title, the laughs come more from the strangeness of the characters than from any canned, out-of-the-book jokes (which I appreciated). A particularly strange moment came during Eric’s puppet-led reenactment of Marilyn Monroe singing to JFK. It was the show’s funniest scene.
The cast is promising from the start, and they don’t disappoint. Nate Torrence, in particular, shines as man-child Eric Lewandoski- undoubtedly the weirdest loner of all. If you haven’t seen Torrence in Hello Ladies or Mr. Sunshine, you really should. His mix of earnest and bizarre are actually a perfect fit for this show, and he sets up the vibe for Weird Loners better than any of the others. Becky Newton (of Ugly Betty and How I Met Your Mother fame) does a good job as the dissatisfied Caryn, in spite of being the character tasked with moving the plot along throughout the pilot. Newcomer Meera Rohit Kumbhani is very funny as well as this disturbing and apathetic Zara.
I think the biggest problem is Zachary Knighton’s Stosh, who is a bit of a playboy/jerk archetype. It’s probably the stalest part of this show. It’s not even Knighton’s fault, but rather the fact that he comes off less like a weird loner and more like a cliché character we keep seeing pop up in comedies. I’m hopeful that his interactions with the others will reveal a little more of his “weird” and make him a more unique character as the show goes on.
This show has all the makings of a cult comedy “hit” like Happy Endings, which is certainly welcome, though not necessarily encouraging considering the fate such comedies usually meet. But I’ll certainly keep certainly keep watching in the hopes that it will find its stride and that the development of the group will only heighten the comedy.
Rating: 7 out of 10
Weird Loners airs Tuesdays at 9:30 on FOX