Weird City is the type of show that’s quick to explain what the whole deal is with its universe before the fun begins, because there is a lot going on within this universe. This new YouTube Premium series — a sci-fi comedy anthology series, at that — takes place in a “not-so-distant future” in a city called Weird, where the “haves” live Above the Line and the “have-nots” live Below the Line. And there’s a literal line right down the middle to keep the separation legit, as well as to highlight just how ridiculous this whole situation is in the first place.
Created and executive produced by Jordan Peele and former Key & Peele writer Charlie Sanders, Weird City tells a different wacky story in every episode (of which there are six in this first season), with a new guest cast each time, including Michael Cera, Laverne Cox, Rosario Dawson, and Steven Yeun, just to name a few, while LeVar Burton plays Dr. Negari, the mad scientist responsible for a fair share (if not all) of Weird City’s technical nightmares.
Additionally, each episode of Weird City highlights the marked differences between the Above the Line lifestyle and the Below the Line lifestyle. The series premiere and season finale, specifically, are all about the former, and the show comes in and goes out hot.
The pilot, “The One,” stars Dylan O’Brien as Stu and Ed O’Neill as Burt, and in what is perhaps one of the boldest choices to start an anthology series — in a much different way from Black Mirror’s “National Anthem” — it tells a genuinely touching love story between these two men, as they’re matched by a service as each other’s “the one.” While the episode follows the pretty step-by-step beats of a romcom — complete with meeting the parents, meeting the kids, and this world’s equivalent of running to the airport at the last minute — it also finds a way to make that funny while also earnestly telling this love story that shouldn’t work. Not because of the age difference, but because it’s a love story starring Ed O’Neill. But both actors commit, as does the show. That tells you the tone of the show, and that tells you there’s something about this that just works, against all odds.