Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|Taxi The Complete Fourth Season|
Actors: Judd Hirsch, Danny DeVito, Andy Kaufman, Tony Danza, Christopher Lloyd
Genres: Comedy, Television
This sitcom followed the life of a group of cabbies in New York. The group, employees of the Sunshine Cab Company, was made up a motley crew including Bobby (Jeff Conaway), a frustrated actor, Tony (Tony Danza), a struggli... more »
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Robin S. from BURBANK, CA
Reviewed on 6/9/2016...
Fun. Great Classic TV.
Andy Kaufman begins his fall and hurts a great show
Bruce Barker | NC | 10/13/2009
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Others have commented about the edits in this 4th edition of the Taxi series, so I won't waste time with that. I will say that this is once one of my absolute favorite shows and I will be buying Season 5 without hesitation. However, thisi particular season is one of the weakest of the show's run. The ratings slid enough that it was cancelled and good fortune got it picked up by a rival network for the final season. The big difference, as fans learned in later years, was the effect that Andy Kaufman had on the show.
What made Taxi so endearing was the creation of brilliant characters that were definitely New York personalities. It launched long careers for most of the cast. Christopher Lloyd, Danny Devito, Tony Danza, and company first came to national prominence because of their work on this show and the ensemble was exceptional. Unfortunately, the sudden fame had a negative impact on Andy Kaufman. After years toiling on the New York comedy scene and several memorable Saturday Night Live appearances, Andy was suddenly a superstar because of his Latka character. Sometimes a comic with a large repertoire of characters becomes resentful when one of his creations becomes more popular than the others. Robin Williams would regularly insult people in his audience who requested he do his Mork character, for example. Because he had talent in so many other areas, Robin moved past that period and Mork is now just a footnote in a long career. Sadly, Andy Kaufman didn't handle Latka's popularity nearly as well.
By the middle of the third season, Kaufman was becoming increasingly difficult to work with on set. What had begun as an occasional annoyance during the filming of season 3, had grown into open warfare. He was often late, refused to talk to the rest of the cast, and began making unreasonable demands. The producers, deeply concerned that firing Kaufman would severely hurt the popularity of the show and already aware that Jeff Conaway would be leaving, began to do whatever they could to mollify Kaufman. The result was that the demands became more unrealistic, and the rest of the cast and writers became alienated. In season 4, Kaufman played his Latka character less and less. Instead, Latka developed multiple personalities. This allowed Kaufman to introduce a number of his more obnoxious creations to the nation. It also served to make Kaufman the center of an unbalanced number of episodes which also increased the unhappiness of the other cast members. There are times when you can actually see Judd Hirsch and several of the others openly roll their eyes at Kaufman in the background of some of the season 4 scenes. Finally the network became fed up and, after caving in and giving Kaufman his own prime time special (a famously bad bomb by the way) decided neither Kaufman nor the show was worth it. It's a shame because this was one of the shining examples of excellent casting and timing that television will ever see.
Season 4 isn't a total loss. There are many wonderful episodes and famous Taxi moments to be found and fans of the series won't be disappointed by what they see. Christopher Lloyd, charged with the job of making the Reverend Jim character a viable replacement for Latka's oddness, really comes into his own and Devito in particular manages to chew up the scenery in his own unique way. But if you find yourself thinking that something just doesn't seem quite right as you watch this season, hopefully this review will help you put your finger on it.
Most tv shows reach a point where things seem to go adrift and quality slips. It's common enough that it has its own show business term; "Jumping the Shark." The name comes from the Happy Days episode where Fonzie jumps over a shark tank. It served as the best example of what happens when the creators of a show simply run out of good ideas. In Season 4 of Taxi, the show jumps the shark. As I said, that sort of thing happens all the time. What's unusual here is that the blame largely falls on the shoulders of one person. Andy Kaufman was a brilliant comic and a wonderful talent. He found humor in unique places and his fall from fame is well-chronicled. His unchecked ego badly impacted the quality of a fine tv show known not just for its humor, but also for its unflinching willingness to examine the sensitive issues of the day. Season 4 is no exception in this area as, among other things, we see Hirsch's Alex character explore interracial dating.
As you watch this season of Taxi you will have to work around and tolerate the often bizarre manifestations of Andy Kaufman's alternate personalities. He will either dominate the proceedings in most episodes, or be completely absent because he didn't show and the writers had to work around his tantrums. I can tell you that both the story lines and the talent of the remainder of the cast make the effort well worth it. It's a true shame because had Kaufman been a bit more patient and handled things with more grace, this show could easily have remained successful for another 5 seasons instead of sputtering to a finish a year later."
JUST WHEN ALL HOPE WAS LOST........
G.V. | Mexico City, Mexico | 07/01/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Four years of frustration (and bitterness towards Paramount Home Video) were lifted when I learned Season 4 of Taxi is being released next September 22. My daily routine of checking for any sign of Taxi on [...] will finally have to come to an end.
At last we'll be able to watch such classic episodes as the one where Louie's mother marries the Japanese guy (Louie: "she'll never adjust !"); the one where Elaine pokes Louie's eye for spying her while changing (Elaine: "why are you crying only on that one eye ?" Louie: "It's not the end of the world "); the one where Louie takes revenge on Ted Danson for ruining Elaines hair (Alex: "you're better than that Elaine", Louie: "She may be better than that, I'm not"). And how about Latka's wedding, Jim forecasting the TV ratings, etc., etc., etc.?
I have to think Season 5 won't be that far off, at least not until 2013 or something like that. That's the season Taxi switched from ABC to NBC and for whatever reason I never got to see a single episode.
Plenty to look forward to, that' for sure."
The unkindest cuts, indeed
Vernon Street Archives | Maryland USA | 10/11/2009
(4 out of 5 stars)
"As another reviewer has written, there's a missing scene in one episode where Jim plays the piano. And yes, you can see a snippet of that scene in the closing credits. I suspect it's because there's music involved and the DVD producers didn't want to pay for the rights. I'm also almost 100 percent certain that another snippet is missing in the episode where Louie catches a mouse and releases it off-camera at the end of the episode. I could swear that episode ends with him singing just a few words from "Born Free." The most-notorious DVD butchery was the WKRP DVD set, which I never bought. This set is not nearly as bad because so little music is used apart from Bob James' wonderful score. I haven't finished watching Season Four yet. I'm hoping these two cheap cuts are the extent of the edits. Be warned."