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'Weird Loners' TV show review -- 3 stars

The stars of

The stars of "Weird Loners," from left: Becki Newton, Zachary Knighton, Meera Rohit Kumbhani and Nate Torrence. Credit: FOX/Ray Mickshaw

With "Weird Loners," the final star of the late, lamented "Happy Endings" gets a gig. Zachary Knighton headlines this new quirky Queens-based ensemble comedy as Stosh Lewandowski, a philandering salesman who has just lost his job for sleeping with the boss's wife. With the loss of his job comes the loss of his cushy Manhattan apartment.

So it's off to Queens where his kind, but simple, toll collector cousin Eric Lewandowski (Nate Torrence) lives. Eric's dad just died and now he's on his own for the first time, until cool cousin Stosh offers to keep him company.

Living next door is dental hygienist Caryn Goldfarb (Becki Newton), who can't commit to a guy. And her new roommate, Zara Sandhu (Meera Rohit Kumbhani), is a spacey artist that Eric meets while looking for something new to hang on the walls.

The motley crew of weirdos -- less so weird than just four zany single people -- is successful at bringing the laughs, at least in the first three episodes of the six-episode season.

"Weird Loners" is not as strong as "Happy Endings," but few shows are. It's a lot of fun though, and it feels like a modern absurdist comedy. And it has some really cool visual scenes, including one using the toll collectors' glow-in-the-dark uniforms that is, ahem, weirdly breathtaking.

"Weird Loners" will likely be a show with a cult following, and the tiny first season doesn't bode well for getting a lot of eyes -- or at least the right eyes -- on this show. But those of you who do tune in will be treated to a clever, modern sitcom.

Co-created by Michael J. Weithorn and Jake Kasdin, "Weird Loners" has a strong pedigree. Weithorn, originally from Queens, worked on lots of shows in his career, from "Family Ties" to "Cheers," and he co-created "The King of Queens." Kasdan, also a film director ("Bad Teacher"), directed two episodes.

As for the Queens setting? Well, I live in Queens, and this clearly isn't filmed in the borough. But it's still funny.

On TV: "Weird Loners" premieres Tuesday at 9:30 p.m. on Fox/5.


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