As of January 1, 2016, Gapers Block has ceased publication. The site will remain up in archive form. Please visit Third Coast Review, a new site by several GB alumni.
 Thank you for your readership and contributions over the past 12-plus years. 

TODAY

Sunday, August 9

Gapers Block
Search

Gapers Block on Facebook Gapers Block on Flickr Gapers Block on Twitter The Gapers Block Tumblr


A/C
« Strong Works Starts Tonight Overheard Illustrated: "Simple" »

Television Mon May 09 2011

'Traffic Light': Witty Couples in Fake Chicago

trf_102_002_509.jpgWhen you hear the words "Fox midseason replacement," your first instinct probably isn't to make a run for the TV set. So maybe you haven't seen Traffic Light, the next in our tour of Chicago TV shows, which started this February in the timeslot vacated by the defunct Running Wilde.

Even if you've seen the show, you may not have realized that it's set in our fair city. As a single-camera (read: movie style, not "live studio audience") sitcom with tons of outdoor footage - the characters are frequently on the phone with one another while driving thier respective cars - the program is full of opportunities to glimpse the city in action...but not this city. Traffic Light is shot is Los Angeles.

In fact, the show rarely brings up its Chicago setting. Aside from the pilot, which discusses the main characters' move to the city after bonding at U of I, and the presence of "Bloke Magazine," which could be a sideways nod to Playboy, Chicago isn't really mentioned. This is probably for the best. Had its purported setting been more obvious when the show started airing in February, the barrage of scenes set at BBQs and public pools might have driven freezing Chicagoans mad with confusion and jealousy.

Honestly, there is no reason for this show to be set in Chicago, even if it's in name only. Sometimes it seems as though the writers plum forgot about the setting, as in the episode "Breaking Bread," wherein Mike (David Denman, who played Roy on The Office) realizes his next-door neighbor is jamming with Chad & Flea from the Red Hot Chili Peppers. And sure, that could happen in Chicago. Just like we could have a sunny day for outdoor party in mid-March. It's just a bit of a stretch.

That said, in my eyes, these location problems are the show's only major flaw. It may be a show about relationships, but it is consistently laugh-out-loud funny, with a dynamic cast that is cute and witty without being unbelievable. Alas, like many hilarious television shows, it may not be long for this world; check it out while you can, and pretend it's set in the warm, sunny Chicago you've been dreaming about.

 
GB store
GB store

Architecture Tue Nov 03 2015

Paul Goldberger Describes the "Pragmatism and Poetry" of Frank Gehry's Architecture in His New Book

By Nancy Bishop

Architecture critic Paul Goldberger talks about Frank Gehry's life and work in a new book.
Read this feature »

Steve at the Movies Fri Jan 01 2016

Best Feature Films & Documentaries of 2015

By Steve Prokopy

Read this column »

Blogroll

ACRE
An Angry White Guy
Antena
AREA Chicago
ArchitectureChicago Plus
Arts Engagement Exchange
The Art Letter
Art or Idiocy?
Art Slant Chicago
Art Talk Chicago
Bad at Sports
Bite and Smile
Brian Dickie of COT
Bridgeport International
Carrie Secrist Gallery
Chainsaw Calligraphy
Chicago Art Blog
Chicago Art Department
Chicago Art Examiner
Chicago Art Journal
Chicago Artists Resource
Chicago Art Map
Chicago Art Review
Chicago Classical Music
Chicago Comedy Examiner
Chicago Cultural Center
Chicago Daily Views
Chicago Film Examiner
Chicago Film Archives
Chicago Gallery News
Chicago Uncommon
Collaboraction
Contemporary Art Space
Co-op Image Group
Co-Prosperity Sphere
Chicago Urban Art Society
Creative Control
Defibrillator
Devening Projects
Digressions
DIY Film
ebersmoore
The Exhibition Agency
The Flatiron Project
F newsmagazine
The Gallery Crawl...
Galerie F
The Gaudy God
Happy Dog Gallery
HollywoodChicago
Homeroom Chicago
I, Homunculus
Hyde Park Artcenter Blog
InCUBATE
Joyce Owens: Artist on Art
J-Pointe
Julius Caesar
Kasia Kay Gallery
Kavi Gupta Gallery
Rob Kozlowski
Lookingglass Theatre Blog
Lumpen Blog
Marquee
Mess Hall
N'DIGO
Neoteric Art
NewcityArt
NewcityFilm
NewcityStage
Not If But When
Noun and Verb
On Film
On the Make
Onstage
Peanut Gallery
Peregrine Program
Performink
The Poor Choices Show
Pop Up Art Loop
The Post Family
The Recycled Film
Reversible Eye
Rhona Hoffman Gallery
Roots & Culture Gallery
SAIC Blog
The Seen
Sharkforum
Sisterman Vintage
Site of Big Shoulders
Sixty Inches From Center
Soleil's To-Do's
Sometimes Store
Steppenwolf.blog
Stop Go Stop
Storefront Rebellion
TOC Blog
Theater for the Future
Theatre in Chicago
The Franklin
The Mission
The Theater Loop
Thomas Robertello Gallery
threewalls
Time Tells Tony Wight Gallery
Uncommon Photographers
The Unscene Chicago
The Visualist
Vocalo
Western Exhibitions
What's Going On?
What to Wear During an Orange Alert?
You, Me, Them, Everybody
Zg Gallery

GB store

 

Events


A/C on Flickr

Join the A/C Flickr Pool.



About A/C

A/C is the arts and culture section of Gapers Block, covering the many forms of expression on display in Chicago. More...
Please see our submission guidelines.

Editor: Nancy Bishop, nancy@gapersblock.com
A/C staff inbox: ac@gapersblock.com

Archives

 

A/C Flickr Pool
 Subscribe in a reader.

GB store

GB Store

GB Buttons $1.50

GB T-Shirt $12

I ✶ Chi T-Shirts $15