The Lonely Crowd is a half-hour drama about a group of friends and artists looking for success and love in the city of stars and the super wealthy.
It is about navigating the labyrinth of "love at first swipe" of modern dating apps.
These are artists, journalists, filmmakers and writers. They wear nice clothes. They eat good food. They are always invited to the best parties. They live in a bizarre in-between of constantly being broke, barely able to pay for their basic living needs, while simultaneously being offered access to insane luxuries from their many benefactors, friends, and successful colleagues.
The Lonely Crowd is really about finding love, friendships and the deep connections with the people who really matter.
It is about sex and desire. And the deep need to connect
They are characters from all over the country in constant conflict with their families over their warring ideologies, practices and beliefs. But inside and beyond all that, they’re friends, they’ve got each other’s backs and, whatever happens, they’re going to survive it together.
To the characters in The Lonely crowd, their problems are eternal; life, love and poverty in a landscape that has been vastly changed by the emergence of social media.
The five hundred square miles of the city of angels is home to dozens of little towns, neighborhoods and enclaves that have spread up and sprawled out. A transient city that forms not only the backdrop but is the beating heart of The Lonely Crowd.
This is a city that is always on the move, always growing changing and flying in the face of its past and tucked into this environment of change, growth and history our group of friends find each other and hold on tight because they’re all they’ve really got in this world.
JESS- Intellectual. A successful journalist for a Vice-like online publication. The daughter of Cuban dissidents, she faces internal conflict from her right-wing Roman Catholic upbringing set against the progressive values she picked up in college and perfected as a member of Liam’s peer group. Jess went to College with Liam at USC and they fell deeply in love. But she’s got major anxiety and depression issues stemming from a college rape that also ruined her relationship with Liam. As Jess struggles to keep her PTSD from dragging her down she hides the secret that her attacker is still a member of their group.
Jess will continue to struggle with her intimacy issues until it becomes clear that she can’t keep running back to Liam every time things go wrong. After realizing that home is not always something you can go back to, Jess will have to figure out a way to face her fears and become strong again and regain what was taken from her.
LIAM- Born and raised in Los Angeles. A writer and director who grew up poor on the streets of Venice; which all changed when his dad made it big in the real estate and moved their family from their rough neighborhood to the shining shores of Malibu. Liam never forgot his roots and despises the arrested development of his younger siblings, back in Venice now. He is often in conflict with his rich, bratty family. He’s the core of our group, the messenger and the caretaker. Liam is a lover who treats dating like a game where everyone knows the rules and nobody gets hurt. The only exception is a college relationship with Jess that Liam can’t seem to get over.
In season one, the dating game will get a little more cloudy for Liam as he finds himself getting increasingly serious about a girl he has fallen hard for named Taylor. As his feelings intensify, Liam puts himself in the vulnerable position of getting his heartbroken for first time since he broke up with Jess.
NOLA- Half-Black. Young and beautiful. She is very street smart and will survive by any means necessary. Distrusts authority and people in general. Conservative views about the world. She is a genuine Trump supporter. In the pilot episode, she drops out of high school and moves to Los Angeles with the plan to extort the mother she has never met before, Colton for, money. She is obsessed with Reality TV, The Kardashians, and becoming famous. When she shows up, it is a terrible mystery, she does not tell everyone who she really is and slowly inches her way into the group.
As season 1 progresses, Nola will be the catalyst for Colton’s artistic resurrection and her downfall. Indeed, Nola’s role will always be to start fires and foster chaos. No matter how much she tries to run from that reality, that’s what she’s built for. She leaves behind a trail of wreckage wherever she goes.
COLTON- A high-level lesbian fashion photographer on the verge of breaking into the world of mainstream art. An abusive Childhood, raised mostly by her hillbilly grandmother, Colton was married at the age of 16 when she got pregnant with the first boy she ever had sex with. After being forced to keep the kid and get married, Colton, abandoned her child and husband and took off for Los Angeles with the help of one of her old high school art teachers. She is now walking the razor edge between success and failure as she prepares for a make or break art show. For now, though, she’s got the huge studio and the beautiful girlfriend, where every photo shoot turns into a party.
Over the course of season one, Colton will be forced to face change after the critical and commercial failure of her big art show and her golden image as a progressive liberal activist starts to fall apart after the shocking truth about Nola is revealed.
JOSHUA- Not just spiritual but actually religious, Joshua brings a sense of peace to the group. Talented, aspiring movie producer and actor. He struggles with being from two worlds. A good ol' southern boy from Arkansas living amongst LBGT bohemians. He’s in a long-term relationship with a woman he loves who desperately wants to get married; which he does believe he is ready for. Joshua is guided by his beliefs and his loyalty to his friends. He’s always there with quick wit and good advice for anyone who needs it… and some who don’t. A hypochondriac with high anxiety, he always adds some comedic relief to any situation.
During Season 1, Joshua will find himself sliding into turmoil as he begins to question his relationship and wonders if he will ever achieve the professional success he believes he needs to gain his families respect and have the financial stability to get married and start a family . Meanwhile, when an important movie deal falls apart, his financial stability becomes even more shaky.
AND THE REST: From top left to right, Matt, the bitter right-wing intellectual roommate of Liam, Brianna the flighty movie star that lives upstairs with her her secretly broke assistant and club promoter Ally to Anne the not-quite-lesbian… Taylor, Alondra, Sam, David and a plethora of others. There are always friends and girlfriends on the scene to fill out the crowd and keep things lively. This show will be bolstered by a broadly diverse and universally appealing cast of secondary characters. (full bio's available upon request)
Episode 1: “Pilot”
Nola drops out of high school, abandoning her life in Ohio to move to L.A. That photographer is Colton who is working on a Mapplethorop-esque series with transgender models for an upcoming show. Jess goes on a date with a nice guy named Sam, tries to have sex with him but has a panic attack. She calls Liam. Liam comes to the rescue and agrees to let her stay there. Liam, Matt, Brianna and Matt go out to a bar. Liam meets a charming girl named Taylor, he is immediately smitten with. Liam returns that night and sleeps in same bed. That morning Jess flirts with Liam while naked in the shower. David shows up to take Liam and Matt to lunch. Liam assumes Jess is mad at him because of the sexual encounter they had and his casual reaction to it. Joshua, Matt, and Liam visit Colton’s and tell her what they really think of her new photo series for an upcoming show. She is upset by their response and storms out. Nola shows up outside Colton’s warehouse with unspecified plans and runs into Colton. Colton doesn’t recognize Nola. Nola is left sad in L.A but determined to make it in L.A on her own.
Episode 3: “The Kruetzer Sonata”
After a fiery sermon about celibacy, Joshua and his new girlfriend decide to spice up their sex life by not having sex. Hearing Josh talk about it at dinner has a profound effect on the entire group of friends. Liam and Taylor’s date goes amazingly and, in order to keep it special, Liam also decides to keep sex out of it. Matt, on the other hand, has regrettable sex and tries to forget it. After a couple of days, the lack of sex starts to frustrate Joshua but his girlfriend doesn’t want to let the experiment go, she now sees it as leverage for getting Joshua to commit to marriage. Matt meets Nola while spiraling into depression. She tries to cheer him up with sex but he can’t get erect and they sleep side-by-side instead.
Episode 2: “”
The first season of The Lonely Crowd traces the early days of this group of friends as they struggle with finding love and commitment in the big city. We’ll see each one look for their own form of fulfillment in another person. Whether it’s Liam pinning his hopes on something special with Taylor or Nola seeking the family she always dreamed about on the glossy pages of a magazine, season one is about the search for love and the loneliness that accompanies it.
Episode 4: “No more Facebook for you”
Nola can’t stand living in poverty, especially once she gets a look at how the rich of LA are living. She decides to upgrade her lifestyle by any means necessary. She meets a man at a party and, after sleeping with him, rifles his wallet for cash. Tired of the failed dates, right wing diatribes and endless virtual drama, Liam locks Matt out of Facebook. The two friends go to war over it. Changing each other’s passwords and playing other pranks. In the end, they have a meaningful discussion on the value of information and how important it is to keep people’s real personas and internet personas separate. Liam still isn’t ready to meet Taylor’s parents. He knows how huge her father’s help could be foe his career and wants to make sure the relationship is the most important thing. Meanwhile, when a man she robbed comes looking for her, Nola pulls a gun on him and the whole group begins to understand that they might have a loose cannon in their midst.
Episode #5: “I want you to meet my dad”
Liam and Taylor’s relationship continues to intensify but his refusal to meet her father starts to feel like a roadblock. Liam doesn’t notice that Taylor seems partied out when he first picks her up. After a lovely hike, they get the relationship back on track. Joshua struggles with his ongoing celibacy and wonders whether his girlfriend is the one and wither or not he is ready for marriage. Jess finally tells Sam about her history as a rape victim. He is understanding and agrees to take things slow.
Episode #6: “The end of the world will not be televised”
Colton and Anne keep fighting even as Nola finds an increasing depth of friendship with Anne. Anne and Nola take a class together and a kind, funny guy from the class asks Nola out. Anne and Colton go to therapy and the source of Colton’s stress becomes clear. The up and coming artist is in serious money trouble and the fortune she expected with her fame is slow to materialize. After Anne storms out of the session, the therapist adds her voice to the increasing number of people who don’t think Anne is a lesbian. Liam realizes that he’s falling in love with Taylor. Joshua begins to doubt his own relationship after his fiancée takes the death of his beloved dog too lightly. Nola’s date with the guy from acting class is a disaster. He’s sweet, gentle and kind and that’s a major turn off. When Nola goes to Colton’s looking for someone to talk to, she spots Anne sleeping with a man. Nola doesn’t tell anyone, choosing loyalty to Anne over Colton.
SEASON 1 - continues into the holidays and every member of the group begins to come unraveled. One by one, their relationships fall apart due to neglect or self-destructiveness. Colton’s art show is a disaster but a one-off nude photo of Anne and Nola together becomes a sensation and the fame she was waiting for comes knocking. Underneath that fame, though, is a waiting disaster. Word gets out that Nola is underage and a firestorm unfolds. Colton is ruined and, at the absolute nadir of her misery finds out the truth about Nola. Long ago, before she knew who she was and before she chased her destiny to Los Angeles, Colton had a baby. Nola is that mistake all grown up. Liam falls deeper in love with Taylor only to find that she never took the relationship with him as seriously. He’s publicly embarrassed to find her walking red carpets with other men. A string of close calls and near misses leave Matt more bitter than ever. A trip home reminds Jess that you can’t change people who don’t want to be changed, all you can do is hope to escape the ugliness of your past. In the end, every one of our characters winds up alone and swiping impotently at their dating apps looking for some kind of connection and finding nothing.
Future seasons of The Lonely Crowd will continue to explore similar themes as the characters grow and develop. Colton and Nola must reach an accord and eventual understanding as they try to figure out what it means to be family under such impossible conditions. Liam goes on a self-destructive rampage after getting his heart broken by Taylor. He winds up with a wonderful girl who everyone likes but him. Liam’s efforts to force the romance eventually wind up heartbreaking everyone. Matt falls in love, moves out of Liam’s house and starts to change back into a mellow and loveable guy. Jess moves into Liam’s house and the strange traumatic sex thing between them grows. They try to have sex and Jess begs Liam to finish it, to get her through it no matter what. He does and they both end up traumatized by reliving her rape. Fame and fortune come and go for these characters but they’ll always have each other. In the end, it will never be quite enough and they’ll always find themselves in the lonely crowd.
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The boom and bust of the "renters economy."
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