TRAFFIC LIGHT Pilot Advance Review


Tonight, February 8, 2011, at 9:30 p.m. ET/8:30 p.m. CT, FOX debuts its latest comedy ensemble, TRAFFIC LIGHT. I had the opportunity to review the pilot episode in advance and was pleasantly surprised.

Traffic Light is about three men who have been friends since their college days (along with a fourth friend who is not in the picture). The men are now in their 30s and are trying to navigate through life and the different paths that it takes you on. Each one of the guys is at a different stage in his life, but they still manage to stick together to support each other and to blow off steam. Mike (played by David Denman who you may know as Roy from The Office) is the married lawyer. Adam (Nelson Franklin) is the somewhat nerdy magazine writer who has recently decided to move in with his girlfriend. Finally, there is Ethan (Kris Marshall) the British EMS guy who still stumbles in his relationships, never holding one for longer than three weeks. Rounding out the cast are Mike’s wife, Lisa (Lisa Lapria), and Adam’s girlfriend, Callie (Aya Cash).

Currently in TV land, it is the time of the three couple in different stages of their lives comedy show. First there was Better With You on ABC. Next came Perfect Couples on NBS. Now there is Traffic Light on FOX. These are so similar in fact that they all start off with opening montages that show each main character reacting to the same scenario in different ways. However, no two shows are alike. Nor can each show sustain the interest and success of a viewing audience. If I had to rate Traffic Light against the other two, I would say it is definitely better than Perfect Couples and right up there with Better With You, of which I am a fan. Traffic Light seems to be the opposite of Better With You which focuses on the main women characters. Here, Traffic Light focuses on the main male characters with the wife and the girlfriend as almost incidentals.

What draws viewers into group shows typically is the cast. That is what keeps me around for Better With You as I happen to like at least four of the actors on the show. Similarly, I am not as enthused about Perfect Couples as I only am familiar with one and, frankly, she cannot carry the entire show. On Traffic Light, I also was only familiar with one actor, David Denman. However, I found that I became a fan of Liza Lapira who plays Lisa in just this one episode. Her comedic timing was perfect and I loved the way she played off of David Denman. Those two will keep me coming back. Traffic Light is good for some laughs. I found myself actually laughing out loud at a couple of scenes, one of which involved someone falling and the other which involved a traffic cop. Sometimes the thinking and planning of the men seemed a bit cliche, but just when I thought that, they would get caught or their plan would backfire.

Overall, Traffic Light was better than I expected. It is hard to say if it will be around for the long haul, but at least the entire episode was consistent. There were no lulls or dragging. The viewer received all of the background information needed, sometimes in a rather touching way. In fact, I even liked the explanation of the name of the show, which at first struck me as odd. Is it the name of a bar? Where they all met? Is someone a cop? You will have to watch to find out. I would definitely recommend you tune in to Traffic Light tonight at 9:30 p.m. on FOX and check it out then come back here and tell me what you thought in the comment section below.

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