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Wednesday, March 9, 2011

About: Traffic Light "Breaking Bread"

What comes out of my mouth next may offend some fans of this show so let me start by saying that I really do enjoy Traffic Light. It's a smart and engaging show with lovable, albeit underdeveloped, characters. But what's great about the show is that I don't need it to do all that much for me in order to enjoy it. Just give a story I haven't seen a million times before and make me laugh a few times and I'm good. So that's why this week's episode "Breaking Bread" was particularly disappointing.

I did laugh a few times, so they had me covered there. Adam getting a lip on lip kiss from the neighbor was pretty funny. I liked the cold open, it was amusing and believable as a topic of discussion. There were definitely a few more laughs in there, mostly at Nelson Franklin who plays Adam. His delivery is so dry and I find it hilarious.

The problem for me was the re-used story lines. Adam and Callie find the neighbor's dog alone on the street. Adam takes the credit for finding him and the neighbor showers him with gifts bread. Well, as soon as they started talking about how great the bread was I knew there would be more. I knew there would eventually be too much bread and things would get awkward. This is a story formula we've seen again and again on comedies that quite frankly aren't as entertaining as Traffic Light has been in a few short episodes. Then, there was the loud neighbor storyline which usually goes one of two ways. Either the neighbor is confronted and refuses to quiet down resulting in a battle of the wits or the neighbor somehow manages to silence the complaints before they begin by winning over one of the opposing parties. Let's see what's behind door two. Again, we've seen this formula before which is fine if you bring something new to the table. Except all we got were some second hand jokes that reminded me a little too much of I Love You, Man.

I will say that I enjoyed the Ethan storyline if only because it was the only "new" concept in the episode. Ok, so the structure is probably one that's familiar to sitcom fans but it was handled a little differently than I'd seen before so I was willing to overlook it. I like the Wilson-esque thing this show's got going on with Ethan's invisible neighbor. (If you're not a dork like me, that's a reference to Home Improvement.)I'm interested to see how much of a character he becomes.

So that's all I'm going to say about this episode, no need to beat a dead horse. "Breaking Bread" had it's moments but overall I was unimpressed. I look forward to next week's episode because it really has nowhere to go but up!

Also, did anyone else notice the palm tree in the last scene? Seriously? Even if you're not from Chicago you're smart enough to know there are no palm trees in the Midwest.

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