Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Roundup of New TV Shows (Part 2)

Traffic Light: Good gravy, another new sitcom about couples in different stages of relationships? Enough, already! I'm ready for another wave of shows based on the acts of standup comedians, or maybe some more comedies focusing on overweight loutish dads and their disproportionately hot wives. I found this a little sharper than NBC's "Perfect Couples" but not enough to get me to come back.

Mad Love: Uh...maybe I spoke too soon about wanting something besides the multiplecouplecoms. This CBS sitcom explores the adventures of a pair of hopeless romantics who meet cute and pursue a relationship. The hook here is that their best friends hate each other. That's pretty much it, but you have to admire CBS for attempting to combine the sweetness and charm of something like "Sleepless in Seattle" with the vulgarity of jokes about masturbation.

At this point in my life and in their careers, I don't think I need to see Jason Biggs and Sarah Chalke as leads week to week. They aren't off-putting or anything, but I find them relatively charmless as stars, and I don't think either has enough to carry a show without some strong support.

In this case, the support is where the comedy is supposed to emanate, and as the best friends, Tyler "No, I'm still not Jack Black" Labine and Judy "Hey, I'm still Judy Greer, and at least CBS is actually willing to cast ME instead of some younger knockoff of me" Greer are individually entertaining but lack the chemistry--even the negative chemistry--the two are supposed to have as the bickering sidekicks. The writing jut wasn't up to speed in the pilot, and so the two had to go through the charade of exchanging witty banter that wasn't really that funny.

The show looks professional enough and has a nice time slot, so it could have time to grow into something more appealing, but I likely won't be there for it even though I love Greer and appreciate her getting a spot on network TV again. She's gonna get into Paula Marshall territory as "ratings poison," though, soon if this one tanks.

Lights Out: This outstanding but low-rated drama is getting it done week after week on FX. It combines boxing, organized crime, economic angst, and good performances. I especially like Bill Irwin's chilling, subdued take on a crime lord who the struggling ex-champ "Lights" must work with in order to--AW, HELL, NO, I just realized FX screwed with the time of the re-air again this week and I missed it. It better be on again soon...

Uh, anyway, this is a great show, but like "Terriers," it looks like a one-and-done for FX. I'll enjoy it while it lasts...as long as FX can avoid moving it from 11:01 to 11:03 and crap like that.

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