TRAFFIC LIGHT: David Denman and Liza Lapira Discuss Their Healthy On-Screen Marriage - Give Me My Remote : Give Me My Remote

TRAFFIC LIGHT: David Denman and Liza Lapira Discuss Their Healthy On-Screen Marriage

February 8, 2011 by  

Much like THE CHICAGO CODE isn’t your typical police procedural, thankfully, Fox’s newest comedy series, TRAFFIC LIGHT, isn’t your stereotypical sitcom about relationships.

The show centers around three friends, Mike, Ethan and Adam, who are all in various stages of relationships. Mike is married to Lisa and they have a son. Adam has just taken the step to move in with his girlfriend, Callie. Ethan…well, he’s single and avoiding commitment.

But no, this isn’t a “boys will be boys and the women will begrudgingly put up with their significant others”-type show. The series has heart and you can tell these characters all genuinely care about each other. And as an added bonus, it’s realistically funny, which helps to make it one of the best newbies to debut this season.

“We did make a very conscious effort to not do one of those [stereotypical sitcom] couples,” series star David Denman (Mike) noted on a recent conference call with reporters. “Both of our executive producers are very happily married and they wanted to make very clear that we were a happily married couple that had problems and stuff that we work out and deal with — but we wanted to do it in as relatable and realistic a way as possible. We didn’t want to do the old ‘man beaten down by his wife’ [story] and all the jokes that can come from that, which frankly for me is kind of boring and I’ve seen it a million times. That happens, of course, with the relationship at times, but at the core they’re very happily married. They have a mutual respect for each other and they’re very successful in their jobs and they both think they run the house.”

Liza Lapira (Lisa) agreed with her on-screen hubby’s assessment of their characters’ relationship. “Even within our specific arc type of ‘the married ones,’ it’s not stereotypical. I like to say we try and keep it hot. We’re still hanging on to being this young sexy couple that we were in college. It’s just our circumstances have changed. We’re Adam and Callie five, six, maybe ten years later. We certainly flirt like we like each other and we have banter like we like each other. And then when we fight, we do go toe-to-toe, which I like. I think Lisa wins maybe 51 percent of the time. If not, it’s 50-50. But we’re pretty evenly matched.”

And while the equal footing in the marriage is evident from the pilot, it’s also obvious that Lisa has a long history with Mike’s BFFs.

“Lisa has been around since college, actually,” Denman said. “They’ve been [together] for a long time so she knows all the guys. [Mike has] known them a little longer, I think we all met in college. But Callie’s character, she’s only been around — I don’t even know how long, maybe a year or so? She’s a little bit more of an outsider to the gang.”

“Lisa is obviously married to Mike, [but] with Ethan and Adam, it’s almost a brother-in-law/sister-in-law relationship,” Lapira said. “Essentially the four of us have been friends since [we were in school]. It’s about the three guys, but Lisa has definitely been in the mix [for awhile]. I also feel like on a character level, there is something grounding about Lisa. She’s kind of — I don’t want to say the most normal — but I’d say the most grounded of the group. Whereas with Callie, she’s kind of like a firecracker that’s like the new information. So in that way, the two women are very much like pillars on the opposite sides of the spectrum. And if we continue to make more [episodes], which we’re hoping we do, it will turn into more of an ensemble thing. It will always be about the three guys and their relationships with their women, but there will also be storylines about a group of friends — all five of us.”

Still need more incentive to tune your TVs to Fox Tuesdays at 9:30 PM? Check out a few TRAFFIC LIGHT promo videos!

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