Israel’s ‘Traffic Light’ stops at US intersection

February 8, 2011 - 1:30 PM by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: A New Reality, Entertainment, General, Pop Culture, tv 

The US cast of Traffic Light

Today’s a big day for Israeli entertainment. The first episode of the comedy TV series Traffic Light is airing in the US on the Fox Network.

Based on the original Hebrew version, Ramzor, which has been on the air for two seasons here and won an International Emmy last year for its creator, comic Adir Miller, the sitcom centers around three longtime guy pals who intersect in their relationship stages with women. There’s the married guy with a baby, the recently-moved in with a girlfriend one, and the swinger who can’t commit.

Our version of the show is smart and funny, and according to advanced reviews of the show compiled by Allison Kaplan Sommer, writing for The Forward, the US debut is stepping forward in the right direction.

Dorothy Rabinowitz of the Wall Street Journal dubbed it “a scintillating comedy brimming with confidence and wit,” adding that “the perilous situations that drive ‘Traffic Light’ are charged with a life and zest that’s good to see. The best comedy of the year, it seems, has arrived in midseason.”

The Hollywood Reporter’s Tim Goodman also greeted the new show warmly, saying that “in the same way that Modern Family has been able to mine comic gold out of everyday struggles, Light keeps the couple-banter and the friend-banter surprisingly relatable and, in the biggest shocker, enormously funny.”

The reviews haven’t all been positive though. David Hinckley in the New York Daily News wrote in a review entitled ‘No Need to Stop for Traffic Light: “The freshest thing in “Traffic Light” – besides Ethan’s wonderful dog, Carl the bulldog – is that these guys seem to have half their conversations while driving in their cars using hands-free speakers.”

And Mark Perigrad in the Boston Herald American wrote that “Traffic Light is the kind of sitcom that revs from zero to zero with laughter.”

So, if you’re in the US, check Traffic Light out tonight and make up your own mind. And if you like it, give a loud shout out to us here in Israel.

No red lights for TV’s ‘Ramzor’

October 6, 2010 - 11:44 AM by · 1 Comment
Filed under: A New Reality, Business, General, Israeliness, Pop Culture, tv 

The cast of 'Ramzor', with Adir Miller the man in the middle.

The Israeli hit TV sitcom ‘Ramzor’ (Traffic Light) appears to have no red lights.

First, the rights to the popular Channel 2 series, developed by Kuperman Productions and Keshet, and created by comedian/actor Adir Miller, were bought by 20th Century Fox TV in the US to be adapted for the American screen,

Now, a few months later, the show has now been nominated for an International Emmy award for best comedy. According to a press release from the International Academy of Television, Arts and Sciences, a panel of 700 judges from 50 countries chose the series which will compete against ‘Los Simuladores’ from Mexico, ‘Peep Show’ from the UK and ‘Talok Hok Chak’ from Thailand. The winners will be announced at the Emmy Awards in New York on November 22.

The US version of Ramzor is slated to begin filming in the US next month under the name ‘Traffic Lights.’ Penned by Wedding Crashers writer Bob Fisher, the US version of the show will follow the same premise as Ramzor – focusing on three longtime friends whose romantic relationships with the women in their lives are all at different stages.

“We never imagined the show would reach these dimensions,” writer Ran Sarig told Haaretz after learning of the Emmy nomination for the show, which will soon begin filming its third season.

‘Ramzor’ isn’t the only Israeli series receiving accolades this week. The Hollywood Reporter wrote on Monday that US reality production house Stone & Co. has acquired the domestic rights to ‘Connected,’ (Mechubarot) the HOT reality show broadcast on Channel 3, in which five women are given cameras to document their relationships with their significant others.

“It’s breakthrough television,” said producer Scott Stone who is planning to pitch the show to US networks. “It’s a way of doing user-generated video in a TV show that’s never been done before; you get things that you never thought you’d see. It’s like if you were to give Candace Bushnell a camera before ‘Sex and the City.’” he told the Hollywood Reporter.

The recognition achieved by ‘Ramzor’ and “Mechubarot” follows the trend of Israeli entertainment successes in the US, which began a few years ago when the series “B’Tipul” was picked up by HBO and morphed into the hit series “In Treatment.”

Now if we could just do something about all those commercials on Israeli commercial TV…

 

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