Preview: Signs good for Ten’s Traffic Light

Coming to TEN later this year is FOX sitcom Traffic Light.

On the outset, the set-up seems awfully similar- two couples plus a charismatic womaniser seems awfully similar to every other romantic sitcom on TV at the moment. Have a look at these plot summaries from wikipedia and see if you can spot the difference.

Perfect Couples revolves around three unique couples at various stages in their relationships, yet who face similar problems.”

Better with You: “The series revolves around three different relationships that are tightly intertwined in one family”

Rules of Engagement: “Two couples and their single friend deal with the complications of dating, commitment and marriage. It looks at different relationships in various stages.”

Now let’s see if Traffic Light is any different…

“Mike, Adam and Ethan have been friends since college, and the trio has seen each other through highs and lows.

Wow, this seems interesting…

“Now in their 30s, these men find themselves at very different stages in their lives.

Oh, right…

“Mike is a married lawyer…

“Adam recently moved in with his girlfriend…

“Ethan is the perpetual bachelor.

Yup… sounds the same. However, the title lends it a kind of uniqueness, in the way that it’s like a metaphor for where they’re at in their lives… yeah?

The only problem is, this means we have to endure a very crappy title.

Originally titled Mixed Signals, critics have also criticised (who woulda thought?) its bland title. It is also the latest in a long line of comedies trying to re-emulate the success of ABC’s Modern Family, a show which, really, has reinvented The Office’s mockumentary style to make a more accessible, more sitcom-styled show. However, it has been said to be better than some other current sitcoms, with Eric Deggans from the St Petersburg Times saying

“NBC’sPerfect Couples and ABC’s Better With You are much, much worse.”

Paige Wiser from Chicago Sun Times goes further to say

“The first episode’s a little stiff as the guys mark their territory, but by the fourth the show feels sweatpants-comfortable. “Traffic Light” deals mainly with trivialities, so the stakes are low. It’s easy to watch.”

And there’s no shortage of familiar faces, with David Denman, best known from his role as Roy in The Office (Seasons 1-3, with a guest appearance in an upcoming episode of Season 7!); Nelson Franklin also stars, who also found mainstream fame on the Office as the short-lived character, IT guy, Nick. Interestingly, he also joins the ranks of actors who have played two different characters on the same show (he first appeared as “Graphic Design Guy” in Season 4’s Job Fair).

You would recognise Liza Lapira from NCIS, and Aya Cash is a relative newcomer on the scene.

Kris Marshall also stars, who starred in 2003’s Love Actually. He joins the ranks of Jane Leeves of Frasier fame among others as English actors playing English characters in American sitcoms.

In Australia, it will be a good fit for Channel Ten, with its style matching Modern Family. However, don’t expect any fast-tracking, unless it is a certified hit in the US.





Posted on February 6, 2011, in TV and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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