It may be that it sets up to be a “will they-won’t they” romantic sitcom or the comforting scenery, but there’s something that’s just distinctly nice about the premiere that doesn't try too hard to portray Queens in any goofy way. It’s just a fine backdrop for a pretty entertaining show.
The Weird pilot introduces four characters who are all in some sort of life/relationship trouble. There's Caryn, who isn’t ready to commit to Howard Blatt – played by the always wonderful to see in a cameo role David Wain – and is instead looking for some serious passion.
Stosh, recently fired from his job for sleeping with the boss’ wife plays the attractive, was-at-once successful but now without a job and a place to live due to his inconsideration for the relationships of others, hunk with the floppy side-part.
His cousin, Eric, who recently lost his Mets-fan father and is semi-tricked into taking in Stosh, has already been set-up to play the Sir John Falstaff role as the clown of the group.
And finally there’s Zara, a free-spirited artist who is first seen leaving her live-in boyfriend without any consciousness of consequence.
The show is light-hearted, whimsical, if not sometimes trying-too-hard for a laugh without a clear character motivation. It is, however refreshing to see the characters are slightly older than a classic romantic sitcom – Caryn says she’s 37 in the first episode.
The pilot serves as a fine scene-setter, but it’s clear from day-one there’s a pairing/coupling amongst the four and it seems a matter of when, not if.
At some point, the two off-kilter oddballs will find love in each other and Caryn will attempt to tame the seemingly wild Stosh, but it’s almost okay in this case. Weird Loners is a show you can drop in on at almost anytime.
The jokes have some caustic wit to them and Eric’s remarks and anti-humor can catch you off guard for a laugh-out-loud moment.
Most importantly: the characters don’t feel desperate in the first episode. There’s not some immediate urgency that makes them unrealistic and unlikable.
The show comes from King of Queens producer Michael J. Weithorn, so it’s no surprise the backdrop is set in the same borough.
Although a Queens-native should know better than to have the characters in Flushing Meadows-Corona Park shortly after leaving the Ridgewood townhouse - it's not really accessible quickly by foot or subway and the surprise of one character at being followed to the park leads us to believe that they were not all packed into the same bus.
What is very realistic is the churro that Eric has in his hand towards the end of the episode, as anyone that’s ever stopped at the Myrtle/Wyckoff train station in Ridgewood knows those two-for-$1 churros are too good to pass up.
Weird Loners began its six-episode run on Tuesday night. The next episode will air on April 7 at 9:30 p.m. on Fox.