A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Taxi Brooklyn is a police drama concerning an officer who begins investigating crimes with a taxi driver. Compared with other police dramas, there is relatively low violence. The viewer sees plenty of gunplay, high-speed car chases, and even some blood and dead bodies, but the violent acts are shown in quick cuts and the camera doesn't linger on violence or death. Language is generally mild, though there are some curses ("what the hell are you doing?") and other rough language. There are references to casual sex and body parts as well as flirting and dating; we see a couple in bed, but no nudity or sex is shown on-screen.
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What's the story?
Based on the same Luc Besson movie that spawned the 2004 movie Taxi, TAXI BROOKLYN is centered on the difficult life of Detective Caitlyn "Cat" Sullivan (Chyler Leigh). She recently lost her dad under violent circumstances, and she's determined to solve his murder. But in the course of investigating a different, yet seemingly related, crime, her reckless driving leads her higher-ups to forbid her to get behind the wheel of a police car. It looks like it's desk work and the foot patrol for Detective Sullivan, but then she collides with flirty taxi driver Leo Romba (Jacky Ido), a Frenchman who drives a taxi and who agrees to cart her around as penance his own crimes.
Is it any good?
With a weak plot and so-so acting, Taxi Brooklyn mainly comes off as a rehash of other, better cop movies and TV shows you've seen before, including the 2004 Queen Latifah/Jimmy Fallon vehicle that was so bad in the first place, you wonder why NBC chose to revisit it. Chyler Leigh seems to be sleepwalking through her part; perhaps that's because it seems anemic, a mash-up of tough-but-pretty lady cops with a tragic secret. Ido comes off better, even if he, too, is a character you've seen before, the charming Frenchman whom women can't resist but who also has a tragic past.
The one interesting element of the show is the high-speed car chases, which crackle with the energy that's lacking from the rest of the show. Viewers will perk up whenever Sullivan and Leo are careening all over the road in pursuit of criminals. As soon as they're out of the taxi, things sag again. The presence of Ally Walker as Cat's zesty, recently widowed mom makes things briefly interesting whenever she's on-screen, but she's a minor character at best. This is the very opposite of appointment TV, something non-threatening and relatively easy to watch if it happens to appear on your screen and you don't feel like reaching for the remote. Otherwise, stick to other, better cop dramas.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about whether Taxi Brooklyn is a realistic show. Do the police officers look like other officers you've seen? Do the crimes seem like real crimes that might be investigated?
Taxi Brooklyn is set in Brooklyn. Is it shot there? How can you tell? Have you ever seen a TV show "set" in a city that's filmed elsewhere? Again, how can you tell? Why would a show's directors or creators do this?
Are the protagonists of Taxi Brooklyn rich or poor? What gives you clues to their economic statuses?
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