Set in New York City, TAXI follows a group of cab drivers of the Sunshine Cab Company through the daily but far from ordinary routine as cabbies. The sitcom features a multitude of extroverted persons such as a frustrated... more » actor, strained boxer, ex-hippie and cynical dispatcher.« less
"I think there are four great sitcoms: The Mary Tyler Mooore Show, Taxi, Cheers, and Seinfeld (note, many of the same writers actually worked on the first three). Seasons of a show vary a lot. Most get worse over time: Seinfeld was embarassing after Larry David left; Cheers was at its best in the first five years; Taxi really wasn't very good in its first or last years. Oddly, MTM was excellent even in its seventh (perhaps one reason why it often ranks as the greatest sitcom of all time).
Taxi was not a consistently brilliant show. It was generally good, often very good, and on occasion superb. I can't think of another sitcom episode as brilliant as either "Latka the Playboy" or "Mr Personalities." For both daring and execution, they are the most intelligent - and I think funniest - episodes of TV comedy I've seen. (Seinfeld's "The Contest" is easily as funny, but conceptually it's not as original as the two Taxi eps.)
As I've said, the first season of Taxi was nothing special. Randall Carver wasn't very good. And Jim hadn't yet arrived. Season 2 showed how good the show could be: "Reverand Jim, A Space Odyssey" was one of the show's best episodes (it was Jim's first as a regular). "Elaine's Secret Admirer" was touching and poignant in a way few situation comedies are. But many of the other episodes were so-so.
With Season 3 the show achieved its true height. "Tony's Sister and Jim" is quirky and delicate, and it humanizes the nornally caricatured Jim (Tony's Sister is played by Julie Kavner, who would later "play" Marge Simpson). "The Call of the Mild" sees most of the gang roughing it in a cabin in the mountains. It's an unforgettable episode (partly because of a turkey called "Ernie"). "Latka's Cookies" is on most people's list of favourite episodes. "Zen and the Art of Cab Driving" is a clever episode which celebrates television itself. The season ends with the great episode "Latka the Playboy."
If you buy only one season of Taxi, it has to be this one. It was the kind of literate show that you just don't see today (the only one that comes close in intelligence is Curb Your Enthusiasm, but that's a different kind of show, exploring the nature of comedy, and involving improv, etc.). It's worth pointing out that many of the best episodes of the show were written by Glen and Les Charles, and keep an eye out for their eps in earlier and later seasons. (Some of their best work was done for Cheers - the pilot being a prime example). Celebrate the art of TV and get this DVD."
......THE SERIES GOT R E A L L Y GOOD DURING THIS PERIOD
N. N Wahlert | seattle, wa United States | 07/21/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Despite keeping agonized fans waiting due to the '80-'81 season actors' strike, "Taxi" more than made up for the wait by gradually entering the greatest half of its history. It had gone out of the slump weighing it down during the previous season, mainly with New Blood among the writers: rookies Ken Estin & the team of Ian Praiser/Howard Gewirtz (who'd all be promoted to producer for the even-better fourth season); veteran David Lloyd (who copped the writing Emmy 5 years before with his "Chuckles Bites The Dust" episode of Mary Tyler Moore); future "Married With Children" producer Katherine Green; and future "Simpsons" creator Sam Simon.
It was THEIR variety that provided the spice for the latter part of this season.......and the magnificent fourth & fifth seasons, when the series was able to be all it could be. The inspiration, too, must've rubbed off on The Old Guard: writers/producers Glen & Les Charles, and Barry Kemp & Earl Pomerantz.
Among the ALL-TIME CHAMPS among the classics this season are the Charles brothers' "Zen & The Art Of Cab-Driving," in which a couple of Reverend Jim's fares discuss positive thinking enabling one to reach any goal, so Jim decides to become Sunshine's prizewinning cabbie, raking in the loot......all so he can get "ultimate TV," which he proudly displays to his colleagues.
Another GREAT great episode is the series' all-time howler, "Louie Bumps Into An Old Lady." Penned by David Lloyd, it's lethally funny: while driving a pretty new cabbie around, Louie hits an elderly gal, who sues him for a cool million. Alex informs Louie that the lady in question is an notorious scam artist, making Louie scheme his revenge......the only twist (to what otherwise would've been a "cliche-comedy" plot) is that the poor gal REALLY WASN'T FOOLING! A scream.
Also, there's Katherine Green's debut script, "Call Of The Mild," taking its cue from Estin's breakthrough "Alex Jumps Out Of An Airplane" episode of the previous season: it takes place almost ENTIRELY outside the garage. Tony, Bobby, Alex & Jim decide to rough it at an isolated mountain cabin--getting more (less?) than they bargained on: being snowbound & without food during a horrendous blizzard (someone stole all their food which they stupidly left outdoors for lack of a fridge)......they're finally forced to make do with a wandering turkey whom Jim calls "Ernie" ("He LOOKS like an Ernie!"); a reluctant Alex is the designated assassin. The series' unsurpassed expertise at combining comedy with pathos is seen to best advantage during Jim's somber (but still unintentionally humorous) table-prayer.
In "Elaine's Strange Triangle," Tony finds out that the handsome gent whom he thought had winked at Elaine, is really interested in HIM. When Alex is asked to intervene at the young man's favorite hang-out, the hilarity REALLY begins! (This episode copped Emmys for directing & editing; writer Lloyd got nominated but didn't win.)
Ranking just below these all-time greats are those episodes which, in many ways, were what actually made the series so special: episodes with creative story-slants of some sort that were quite engaging, and more than justifying the purchase of any of the "Taxi" complete-season sets. Here, we have "Fathers Of The Bride" where Alex becomes furious when he finds his ex-wife (Louise Lasser) didn't invite him to their daughter's wedding; "Latka's Cookies," written by the Charles brothers, in which Latka dreams of being cookie-king with his grandmother's strange recipe (watch for the cameo from Wally "Famous" Amos himself); and the two-parter "On The Job" (written by Praiser & Gewirtz) in which the cabbies pound the pavement for other jobs when the cab company goes under.
OK, this third season came out over a year ago. Where's the
Rykre | Carson City, Nevada | 10/15/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
""Taxi" still has a great many more fabulous episodes. Episodes like Ladka's and Simka's wedding, divorce, re-marrying, etc etc. and other great episodes that are essential prime time television entertainment.
Shows like "Taxi", "M*A*S*H", and "WKRP in Cincinnati" were when television was at it's funniest, while it still remained innocent enough for the whole family to sit down and watch together. Today's television is way too adult oriented and offensive for the whole family to enjoy together. These shows represented television during it's finest hour. So, now, if only I could get the last two seasons of "Taxi". However, forget "WKRP in Cincinnati". They changed all the original music on the the first season DVD release, plus the picture quality really sucks.
UPDATE: Hey! Guess What? Volumes four and five of "Taxi" will be released in 2009 from CBS.
I felt stuck. I'm a completist so I really hate being stuck with an incomplete concept like, for instance, the entire 5 seasons of "Taxi".
I was beginning to become afraid to start buying any TV shows on DVD for fear that they may decide not to finish what they started.
Well, thank God we will finally get to own all five seasons of "Taxi". I was wondering what CBS was waiting for.
Television at its finest!
Brian Kerecz | PA, USA | 09/26/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The third season of Taxi represents what television can be, when excellent characters, talented writers, and gifted producers all come together. What we see in Taxi, Season 3, is an evolution to a quirky show, to one of the best written sitcoms in television history.
When I opened the DVD's and started watching, one episode would turn into two, and two into three. I have the first three seasons, and this by far is the most enjoyable. I had to turn the sound up watching these because I was laughing so loud. This is a thoroughly enjoyable season with many memorable moments. Who can forget Louie doing a running jump into bed with Mrs. Mackenzie? Or Latka's transformation into Vic Ferrari? Or Jim's mistakenly repeatedly calling Bobby "Booby" in "Zen and the Art of Cab Driving."
One of the most touching moments was when Jim went home to see his father, and his father realized that Jim is not interested in his money at all, contrary to what he believed all along.
Episodes: Louie Bumps Into an Old Lady Louie's Rival Latka the Playboy Zen and the Art of Cab Driving Thy Boss's Wife Fathers of the Bride Going Home Elaine's Strange Triangle Bobby's Roommate Tony's Sister and Jim Call of the Mild Latka's Cookies The Ten-Percent Solution Elaine's Old Friend The Costume Party Out of Commission Louie's Mother On the Job (Part 1) On the Job (Part 2)
Buy this set- highly recommended for those who laughed along with the original series......and if you are younger and are not really familiar with Taxi, you are in for quite a treat.
Oh, and a word of safety advice: Make sure you are not eating any food items which are large in size when watching this series;-) "
Another good season of Taxi
Kurt A. Ragsdale | Afton, Tn | 11/06/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I do have one major complaint about the first disc on this season it has 5 minutes of promos for other tv show dvd's which you cannot fast foward through and have to go through each time you put the first disc in and play it."