Traffic Light (2011)
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We have three buddies, one of them married and having a child, one with a just-moved-in girlfriend, and the other having short term relationships. They talk about whatever happens in their everyday lives and try to sneak a thing or two pass their partners, but without being douches. They manage somehow not to be boring either. The girls are also OK, not the main characters, but the permanent ones are well-drawn, and attract sympathy.
It's more a "relationships in the city" sitcom, but the dialogues and the friendship thing do remind of the SITC series. The writers have experience in good-rated comedy shows, so that explains it. Actually, this here Traffic Light is the American version of an Israeli sitcom, Ramzor,created by Adir Miller. On the other hand, Bob Fisher co-wrote Wedding Crashers, which had the same guys-talking-about relationships-without being too nasty air.
I hope they manage to keep this one going well, and not make artificial efforts to pump it up. The latest sitcoms on TV are following a "forced" tendency, that I cannot yet put into words, but I do not like. This one is not in the same batch.
Sure you can compare it to other ensemble comedies, such as HIMYM, Rules of Engagement, or the up and coming Happy Endings. But what I like about this show the most is the characters are normal...not eccentric. They are just a trio of three friends, bonded perhaps more than most with the lost of their fourth amigo Ben. They find a way to balance their own lives, whether stopped, slow or on the go with the connection of friendship that often wanes as we move into our thirty and forties.
That said, I do admit, it took me about three episodes to really start falling for this show, but I am glad I invested the time. I really enjoy tuning in each week for the antics of the boys. I hope Fox gives it a chance to shine because I do think it is a diamond in the rough.
When its truly sarcastic it's laugh out loud funny, but the conversations are too much, though situations are good and occasionally this show delivers stunning one-liners, but the payoffs are few and far between.
All in all if your over 30 it will make you smile wryly but it probably won't be the show you're going to want to become your absolute favorite.
The traffic light "metaphor" is pretty obvious, yet they still feel the need to have a character literally explain it word for word at a *memorial* for... Someone barely featured in the show. It's supposed to be a twist that we find out a character mentioned *once* in the pilot is dead at the end... Literally could not believe how poorly half-assed this attempt to create a sentimental moment is. The memorial scene is so far out of the narrative of the show that it just reeks of a producer going to the writers and saying "all comedies nowadays have *sentiment*, write some in or you're fired". All a viewer can do is stare and ask, " why?" This dead character is not brought up again.
The humor is pitting gender stereotypes against each other, featuring the relatable plight of "I love my wife, but I want to hang out with my friends and have *man time* and I don't know how to ask for it!" In basically every episode. The humor is entirely predictable, though, to be fair, there's at least one witty one line in each episode. The situations of this "sitcom" are *so* believable that they're... Not funny at all. Neither are the actors, neither is the show.