'Taxi Brooklyn' review: Running on empty
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THE SHOW "Taxi Brooklyn"
WHEN|WHERE Premieres Wenesday night at 10 on NBC/4
WHAT IT'S ABOUT After a high-speed chase, Det.Caitlyn "Cat" Sullivan (Chyler Leigh, "Grey's Anatomy"), collars the taxi driver, Leo Romba (Jacky Ido) to whom she gave chase. But he was held hostage by the real bad guys, and Cat now has to make a choice -- throw him in jail, or believe his story. But at that moment, her boss tells her he's had enough with her bad driving, and yanks her license. She needs to get around, however -- particularly as she investigates a series of anonymous text messages that could lead her to the killer of her father, who was also on the force. At this point, Leo makes an offer: He'll drive her around for 48 hours if she frees him.
MY SAY "Taxi Brooklyn" is an odd fish in the wrong pond -- even its Brooklyn feels alien. It's like Des Moines or maybe Rob Ford's Toronto, where the cabbies are all friendly, and know their way around and are perfectly happy to take off a couple days to drive someone free of charge. Everything here feels, looks and especially sounds tone-deaf: Cabbies, the NYPD, and most of all that borough. They seem like ideas someone read got from a magazine, as opposed to real people and a real place someone really knew.
That's actually the least of its sins against summer TV, however. "Taxi Brooklyn" was adapted from "Taxi" -- aka the 2004 movie that nearly ended Jimmy Fallon's movie career virtually before it even started -- which was based on Luc Besson's 1998 hit movie, "Taxi." But threaded more prominently, and ineptly here, there are strands of "48 HRS." and its various and largely ill-gotten reincarnations over the years. This is a show that can't escape the shackles of that old mismatched-buddy-cop formula, even if one of them does happen to drive a cab. And speaking of shackles, Leigh and Ido -- who actually have some charm here, if not all that much in the way of chemistry -- can't escape these cuffs either.
BOTTOM LINE Inept.