Longtime friends Mike (David Denman, C), Lisa (Liza Lapira, fourth...

Longtime friends Mike (David Denman, C), Lisa (Liza Lapira, fourth from L) and Ethan (Kris Marshall, R) help Adam (Nelson Franklin, second from L) and Callie (Aya Cash, L) move in together in the new comedy " Traffic Light" premiering Tuesday, Feb. 8 (9:30-10:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX. (Carin Baer/FOX) Credit: FOX Photo/

THE SHOW "Traffic Light"

WHEN | WHERE Tuesday night at 9:30 on Fox/5

REASON TO WATCH An "Office"-y vibe, but . . .

WHAT IT'S ABOUT Three college pals, Ethan, Mike and Adam, navigate the ins and outs of relationships. They spend much of their lives behind the wheel of their car, in traffic, as they talk back and forth about the opposite sex. There's Mike (David Denman, who played Roy, Pam's onetime fiance from "The Office"), a lawyer, married to Lisa (Liza Lapira, "Dollhouse") and a new father; Adam (Nelson Franklin, "Scott Pilgrim vs. the World"), a writer at Bloke magazine who just moved in with his girlfriend, Callie (Aya Cash); and Ethan (Kris Marshall), a ladies' man with a British accent who drives an ambulance and uses the back of his vehicle for nonemergency purposes, if you know what I mean.

MY SAY "Traffic Light" is adapted from an Israeli series called "Ramzor," which was probably adapted from an American series called "Friends" or "Just Shoot Me" or "The Single Guy." (Show of hands: Who remembers "The Single Guy"? Thought so.) Relationships. Guys. Marriage. Bachelorhood. The points of this compass have been explored endlessly on TV, and as long as there is TV, they will continue to be explored endlessly.

What "Traffic Light" brings that's fresh and original is - at first glance - inscrutable, and because most viewers abide by their first glance, that could be a problem. This is a show that can't decide whether it's a '90s sitcom or a show like "Modern Family" that winks at the conventions of '90s sitcoms.

Two of the leads, Franklin and Denman, are probably best known from "The Office." (Franklin had a recurring role last season as Nick, the Sabre IT guy, and on this show he seems to be channeling John Krasinski.) But comparisons between those two shows abruptly end there.

This show wants easy laughs and nods of recognition from viewers - "Oh, man, my wife does that to me, too." There are just too few of them.

BOTTOM LINE A not-unpleasing comedy that takes time and commitment to grow on you. How long? I started to like it three or four episodes in. Seems like an awfully long time, no?


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