Weird Loners Is Friends, But With Diagnosable Neuroses (SPRING PREVIEW)

Weird Loners
Weird Loners

Imagine Friends with diagnosable neuroses, and you have Weird Loners, the quirky new comedy about four pals who, according to show creator Michael J. Weithorn (creator of King of Queens and a consulting producer on The Goldbergs), “are fundamentally broken in a way that makes it difficult or impossible for them to succeed in relationships.”

Inspired by a period of alienation following his own divorce, Weithorn jokes that he ­divided his psyche into four parts to come up with Loners‘ central oddballs: intimacy-­challenged man-child Stosh (Happy Endings‘ Zachary Knighton), gold-­medal clinger Caryn (Becki Newton of Ugly Betty), Stosh’s naïve and alarmingly optimistic cousin Eric (Super Fun Night‘s Nate Torrance), and Zara (newcomer Meera Rohit Kumbhani), Caryn’s artsy, pathological roommate. You might think, “Two guys, two girls, instant ­couples!” but echoing the off-kilter characters, this is not your conventional comedy.

“In every other ensemble singles comedy by the second episode, they meet the [right] person, fall in love, and that would be the arc for a season,” Weithorn says. “Here we’re saying right up front that this is not going to happen–­nobody is on the verge of happily ever after.”

Instead of romances of the week, Weithorn says the focus will be on “the entire spectrum of the characters’ lives,” including their various dealings with pushy parents, unhappy exes, and (thank God) therapy. In the opener, the foursome comes together after a tragedy in Stosh and Eric’s family that happens to coincide with the death of Caryn’s engagement. Not exactly the happiest of origin stories, but Weithorn feels that it’s odd enough to actually work. “It [may] take viewers a certain amount of time to get the tone and the sensibility,” he admits. “It is different. Hopefully, the characters are so relatable that you don’t feel like you’re watching a freak show!”

Weird Loners, Series premiere, 9:30/8:30c, Fox