Not that Weird Loners
I can hardly find a more appropriate day to talk about TV comedies than Monday. [Almost] universally hated, Monday is not the day to add on drama in your life. Even if its soap. Perhaps, especially if it`s so.
Mondays beg for a late night comedy binge watching.
But here is the thing: whilst the world of TV/Netflix/Amazon-produced serious genre shows is booming,the world of comedy is on a verge of Armageddon.
My recent proneness to overdramatise is only a natural response to the flop of so many currently showing/recently premiered comedies. Among them is my personally much anticipated FOX`s Wierd Loners.
After a few promising trailers, showing off quite telling traits of characters of the weird bunch of four, I was more than thrilled to give this show a shot to become a next ‘quote-worthy’ tv sitcom. Or a half hour guilty pleasure kind of treat. Or simply put, ‘ a show I`d enjoy if I`m feeling like I`m brain dead’.
It looked witty and relatable, so I gave it a shot. And then another one. But decided to stop after episode 3, because, boy that writing deteriorated quickly. Let`s take it step by step though:
First of all, characters. Because, it is a character driven-show. (Should be).
We`ve got a blond, we`ve got a hottie, an artistic zen girl and an idiot with a huge heart. So much for stereotypes, but isn`t it all about how you spin it to make it work?! While the writers seemed to instantly grown found of the first two, which probably can explain much bigger emphasis on their stories, the team behind the show left both ‘the zen chick’ and ‘the other guy’ poorly defined. So much so, that you almost wish that non of them (Eric and Zara) were there in a first place. 3 episodes in, and I still struggle to find any reason why I should care about these two. Not that they lead uneventful lives ( Eric`s tragedy kick started show`s pilot, and Zara`s ability to channel his dead dad was an interesting attempt to build up the dynamics between the characters), BUT …
Secondly: DIALOGUES! Let me start with COME ON!
Comedy is a tough business, but certainly the amount of competition should somehow affect the quality of the shows. Unlike in drama, romance, action-packed shows, you just cannot get a way with bad dialogues in comedy. Here, again, it appears that Stosh and Caryn get the better lines than ‘the other two’. In fact, some of the Eric lines came out too rusty on trying out to sell his man-child persona. However, I`ve got a suspicion, that there is another reason for that, which is…
Something went terribly wrong because there is barely any chemistry between anybody but Stosh (Zachary Knighton) and Caryn (Becki Newton). Which is a bad thing, especially when you desperately need it to substitute for the poorly written dialogues.While I struggle to remember if I`ve ever seen ‘the other two’ anywhere else, and therefore I refrain from judging their professional abilities and potential both actors don`t seem to fit in with the weird foursome. Not that they don`t deliver performance-wise, as Zachary and Becki did on more than a few occasions, but plainly fail to keep you from other worldly distractions ( Instagram? Mail? Snapchat? Facebook, for old time sake?). While on the screen they get close enough to invisible, and that is not a good sign.
Finally, let`s talk about the concept. The plot.
According to IMBD, we`ve got ‘relationship-phobic’ people, ‘who form an unlikely bond” of friendship. After watching 3 episodes, I can say that the only thing that unites them is a spacial proximity,..and Stosh. And that it`s about how realistic it gets, in terms of logical composition of an overall narrative. Their ‘ bond’ is indeed unlikely, and can barely be called so. After the pilot, episodes 2 and 3 can better be described as ‘an ugly awkward deformity of a randomly thrown ideas’. Don`t take me wrong, some of them could`ve been ‘pretty cool’ at the time of the writers brainstorming session. But their execution is just too premature ( Stosh and Caryn`s grandma). And the only weirdness you actually get is the one that is in the title. Haven`t seen an aforementioned phobia-revealing twists so far either. Nada.
In short, Fox`s Weird Loners is a great showcase of a situation where ‘four people are living together’ doesn`t automatically make a good sitcom.
At this point, I would usually list cons of the show and the easy fixes for any of the possible annoyances. Weird Loners have too many of them for a half-hour show. So, here is some Good News for you: watch your old time fav comedy classic, or try out good ol` Coupling instead.
Overall, I`d give 0 out of 5 RITAS for the first 3 episodes of Fox`s Weird Loners.