You Be the Critic: KNIGHT RIDER

Before reading this TV Addict’s rant with regards to last night’s special two-hour KNIGHT RIDER movie there are three things you should know. Firstly, having missed the original series by a few years, I have absolutely no warm and fuzzy feelings of nostalgia for the original Hasselhoff’s vehicle. Second, I’m still angry at NBC Ben Silverman for his recent comments with regards to FRIDAY NIGHT LIGHTS. And finally, I’m not ten years old anymore. Which would most likely explain why I may never tune into NBC on Sunday night ever again.

Two hours of AMERICAN GLADIATORS followed by what amounted to be a glorified car commercial for the Ford Mustang. My dear NBC…. what have you let yourself become?

Between the endless shots of KITT which had me wondering how much Ford paid for this infomercial, to the absolutely inane banter between the show’s reluctant heroine Sarah and the incredibly boring KITT (voiced by the snooze inducing Val Kilmer), this TV Addict spent most of the show’s second hour regretting my choice to record ABC’s BROTHERS & SISTERS.

Here’s hoping when NBC reveals their Fall 2008 lineup, fans everywhere are not stuck uttering the words, “They cancelled FRIDAY NIGHT LIGHTS for this?”

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  • Hansi

    This was much better than I had anticipated, I actually think this could work as a series. I was afraid it would be like the Knight Rider shows of the 90’s, but to me this was just as good as the original show. I even liked the Mustang, especially the sound of the supercharger

  • I can see why NBC didn’t want to send out review screeners ahead of time — Knight Rider was a failure on ever account, and may just land in the number one spot for Worst Show of the Year come December.

    And you’re so right about the non-stop commercial feel of it. What bothered me the most was that the only cars on the road were either Ford models (including Ford subsidiaries like Volvo) or no-brand, obvious models of Ford competition that were the only ones getting smashed. Have you any dignity NBC?!

  • Other than a 2nd rate script and uninspiring performances by the predominantly no-name cast, it’s hard to pinpoint what’s wrong with this TV movie. It wasn’t exactly horrible, but it wasn’t great either and isn’t worthy of going to series (at least not without some significant improvements).

    The coolest and most nostalgic moment of the show was the final moment when KITT backs down the ramp of not a tractor trailer truck but a cargo plane. I have to admit, that was a pretty cool.

    As for KITT, I understand the upgrade to a modern car, but I miss the sleekness of the Trans Am, replaced with the non-aerodynamic nature of the Mustang. And, at least the Trans Am had a tiny back seat; the Mustang doesn’t seem to have one at all. I’m mostly okay with KITT’s ability to change color but not with it changing shape (too much like Viper). I also have mixed feelings about the automatic body repair system which only works when the computer is working. Other than A.I., GPS, satellite hookup, speed, color morph, and the repair system, there’s not much too it. How about oil slicks, flame throwers, lasers, etc.?

    And, you’re right, there was excessive product placement for Ford. How many times did they get a close-up of the Mustang symbol on the grill?

  • Dave

    There were far more closeups of the Cobra symbol than the Mustang symbol.

    While it’s true that Friday Night Lights is about as good as it gets, I’m going to try to keep from holding it against Knight Rider. I actually thought this was decent, and a good way to update the series. It was well-thought-out and generally well done. Not earth shattering, but very watchable.

    There are definitely worse shows out there than this would be.

  • Sorry TVAddict, I do have a trace of nostalgia brought up by the show, and the deadpan delivery of KITT was spot on. The other basic fanboy likes include the “sibling” rivalry between driver and car. Some of the “homage” bits did seem over the top, but overall, its far better than Bionic Woman, and that makes it watchable. Especially as popcorn faire, much like the original.

    Now all that is left is , where is my Knight Industries Two Thousand? where have you gone?

  • DB

    oh, poor tvaddict, i can’t believe you recorded Brothers and Sisters while watching this snooze fest… I switched to ABC after an hour… I didn’t have a lot of expectation on this, but it was definitely worse than what i was anticipating.

  • Jim

    I didn’t like this movie at all. Anything and everything they could screw up; they did.

    The whole thing was, just a huge infomercial for Ford. Ford cars everywhere. Even during the infomercial breaks, there were constant commercials for Ford.

    I’m glad some people liked the new KITT, but to me, it was horrible. Two spoilers? Ugly wheels? Looks like something a 16 year old would drive. Hasselhoff was just lame, and not needed at all. Everyone knew he just did the role so he could get a check and a free fish sandwich.

  • Ken

    Vary disappointed. The new GT500KR is a bad ass car but the show would have been better if GM had paid it. It was like watching commercials in commercials. What was it, like 45 min. of actual movie and 1hr 15min. of commercials? This may actually hert the sells of the new GT500.

  • Hansi, you must have anticipated this being really bad, if it surpassed you expectations.

    Sorry Rajeev, but this was definitely worse than BIONIC WOMAN and that was by-no-means good. The “deadpan delivery of KITT” may have been good, but the problem I had with the voice, is that it didn’t sound like it was coming from the car. It was like some ethereal disembodied voice.

    I did like the way it was like a sequel and not a remake, but the execution was terrible.

  • annsensei

    I actually really enjoyed it. I totally agree that it was irritatingly filled with commercials!!! however, I did enjoy the storyline so much that I ended up switching back and recording brothers and sisters.

    my only other complaint (besides the car commercialism) is that they should have kept the original KITT’s voice!!! was mr feeny not available???

  • Andi

    Loved it. I think it was the best premier of all the new 70s/80s reboots. I remember thinking how disappointing Bionic Woman was, and Battlestar took a few episodes to get into. I was definately not disapointed by Knight Rider, althought I’d like to see a Turbo Boost or two per episode, and I wish they could have used the classic KITT voice. Glad to see The Hoff in the series too. Can’t wait for it in the fall!

  • I agree about the infomercial aspect, though it didn’t really bother me, maybe because it was so obvious? They made no bones about it.

    The overall story was fine. The actor playing Mike was fine. Poitier was fine. All of which would be enough to make me try a series IF!

    1. They ditch the daughter. I really, really didn’t like her. At all. Get a new actress in there or change the character.

    2. Get some new writers, especially those who know how to write good dialogue! How about Jane Espensen?

  • theTodd

    Yeah, the dialouge… OMG. And are they just trying to be trendy with the lesbianism and threesomes that seem to have nothing to do with the storyline (or character development for that matter)?

    I did like the original Knight Rider back in the 80’s, and in a lot of ways this show seems like it was filmed in the 80’s. They were cheesy in all the same ways, as well as some new ones.

    I guess I’ll keep watching in the hopes that someone steps in and saves it.

  • Marie

    Just a couple out of dozens of similar questions throughout this show:

    If KITT is a souped up, super-fast, super-intelligent car, then HOW did the baddies get to Vegas before him??

    With the advancements in computers in 20 years, why is KITT no more intelligent and even LESS advanced (no emotions with this KITT) than the original??

    The writing was terrible. The acting was worse. The original series was corny, and accepted itself as such. This one did have that ‘yeah we’re a little silly, but let’s have fun’ feel to it. It was just rank.

  • Marie

    CORRECTION: This one DIDN’T have that ‘yeah we’re a little silly, but let’s have fun’ feel to it. It was just rank.

  • I beg to differ , it was camp, and knew it. It really wasn’t trying to take itself seriously.

  • Husam

    It wasn’t that bad but the Mustang just doesn’t fit, the old Trans Am was the right choice, not a good choice with the ford, anyway, I hope that they would bring back the old Kitt (Pontiac).
    Val Kilmer wasn’t bad, he could actually be a good replacement for the old Kitt voice.
    Bring back the Trans Am, it’s what this show is all about

  • adam maxwell

    i think the new knight rider seriously kicks ass, i was affraid the ford gt500 would be a bad choice but watching it , its a perfect choice val kilmer is perfect , just a shame the original isnt doing it, would have been nice to see the old k.i.t.t back in business the whole feel of the series feels so right for this generation.

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  • Garrett

    Ok, I’ve watched 10 minutes of an episode and have already decided this is one of the worst shows EVER. Maybe as high as top 25 of worst shows.
    Bad dialogue – check
    Cheesy “action” scenes – check
    Bad or bland acting – DOUBLE CHECK
    Unable to suspend disbelief because of how bad it is – you know that a check
    I mean – the car’s on fire and temperature inside the car reaches 155 and they’re gabbing (not to mention flirting).
    And I’m sorry – because there are worse shows on TV (and I doubt there are many) is not a reason. We have come to accept mediocre for GOOD and awful for mediocre. Not me. This overdone Ford Mustang commercial just plain sucks.
    Good Knight, Rider.

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