Two Guys, a Girl and a TV Set

Three college friends out in the world, filling the void with television…and loving it.

Traffic Light: Premiere Review

Posted by CJ Cregg on February 8, 2011

The trailers for this show tell you absolutely nothing.  I have no idea what it’s about.  Other than some couples or something.

They’re all at different spots in their relationships.  Adam is about to move in with his girlfriend.  Mike has been married to Lisa for six years and has a kid.  Ethan is single-ish.

Our friends live in Chicagoland.  Adam is a journalist with emo kid glasses and an exploitative boss.  Mike is a lawyer who hides from his wife in his car.  Ethan is Australian with a fear of commitment.  These three friends seem to always be having problems with their women, or lack thereof.  There was a fourth friend, Ben, who seems to have just passed away.

For the most part, the characters just talk with each other while driving.  It is kind of cool that they all have cars that have phones in them, I guess.

One of the things that really bothers me about this show is a total battle of the sexes premise.  It’s always girls v. guys.  The characters seem passive aggressive and always scheming to get what they want instead of confronting their significant others like adults.  It’s a sad view of love, really.  In addition, the pilot doesn’t develop the characters of the women: Mike’s wife and Adam’s girlfriend.  They seem to exist just as one-dimensional counterparts to the men.  This could change, but it’s very disappointing in the pilot.

Moreover, the whole young group of friends dealing with love reminds me of How I Met Your Mother but without the charm and lightheartedness.  I didn’t watch much of Better with You which premiered this fall, but this show has exactly the same premise.  And frankly, Rules of Engagement, another show with the same premise is much funnier.  (But I should admit that I’m a closet David Spade megafan.)  I’d watch any of the better love/couple sitcoms over this one.

The show is well-acted.  I’ll give the stars that.  Also, I do love a show that features Chumbawumba’s “Tub Thumping” so prominently.

Why is the show called traffic light?  According to Adam, driving on the freeway is the boring part of the journey.  The fun stuff happens on the side streets where the traffic lights are.  (Basically, it boils down to this: Lisa and Mike are red because they are in a stable relationship and they’ve ‘stopped’ to be with each other.  Adam and his gf are yellow because they’re slowing down to figure out if their relationship is somewhere they want to stay.  Ethan is green, seeking adventure.)

Grade: C

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2 Responses to “Traffic Light: Premiere Review”

  1. Mr. Feeny said

    It’s really weird/cheap how so many comedies are just trying to do the same thing. You already identified BETTER WITH YOU and RULES OF ENGAGEMENT. But don’t forget NBC’s new Thursday night comedy, PERFECT COUPLES. Three friends and their wives/girlfriends, at different stages in their life.

    I never got into RULES OF ENGAGEMENT…I thought the acting was forced and the jokes too easy. I liked BETTER WITH YOU, but it dropped out of my rotation for being a little too typical. Nothing all that original (and that one character – the fiance – was horrific). I’m enjoying PERFECT COUPLES, mostly because of my man-crush on Kyle Bornheimer. But I can’t take yet another one of these…especially one even less original than BWY (at least that has an old married couple).

  2. […] Traffic Light: Premiere Review […]

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