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Tuesday, March 31, 2015

PILOT REVIEW: Weird Loners


Starring: Becki Newton, Zachary Knighton, Meera Rohit Kumbhani, Nate Torrence

Created by Michael J. Weithorn
Written by Michael J. Weithorn, Directed by Jake Kasdan

THE PREMISE: Weird Loners is a new ensemble sitcom about a group of people in their mid-30s who can't seem to grow up and settle down for various reasons. Caryn (Becki Newton) is a type A dental hygenist stuck in a relationship with someone she doesn't want to be with. Stosh (Zachary Knighton) is a recently fired playboy and Caryn's neighbor. Eric (Nate Torrence) is Stosh's brother who has never lived on his own until now. Zara (Meera Rohit Kumbhani) is a free spirit who recently left her live-in boyfriend.

THE GOOD: This show was definitely going for a New Girl vibe and it may well succeed in getting there thanks to its likable cast. All four leads are playing "types" at the moment, but they seem to be enjoying each other and there's decent chemistry between the four of them. The final wedding scene where they were lipsynching the vows was one of the funniest things I've seen in a comedy pilot in awhile. I could see this becoming a quirky but funny ensemble comedy focusing more on relational observations that major plots.

THE BAD: I think Weird Loners was a very bad title for this show and it doesn't really capture what it is all about. Yes, it's focused on people who haven't settled down, but they're not particularly "weird" or "lonely." I think it gives an impression that it might be closer to The Big Bang Theory than New Girl. After a solid start and before a very funny ending, the middle of the episode dragged a lot as they got bogged down in the story line with Caryn's boyfriend. That's why I hope they will be less plot-driven and more relationship-driven in their writing.

BOTTOM LINE: I liked this show more than I thought it would. The title and promos were off-putting but it ended up being a pretty decent show. I'm definitely willing to give it a couple more episodes to see if it can find the funny ensemble vibe New Girl has. I think it's already closer to that than New Girl was during its own pilot.

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