Sunday, February 17, 2008

Knight Rider ... kinda ... meh ...

So how do you ruin a show about an autonomous, artificially intelligent, swiss army knife, mega awesome, super car?


Don't let your awesome car do anything.

Like, AT ALL!

I just spent the last two hours yelling at my TV. "DO SOMETHING!" was mostly what I was pleading. I can forgive stiff performances in a pilot (movie? LOL). I can forgive bad-ish writing. None of these things have been figured out yet. There's no synergy between actors, directors, producers, and writers yet. I'm not expecting gold, just not total crap.

There was no sense to Knight Rider tonight, AT ALL!

The original show was about action, and adventure, and a snarky talking car (woot, William Daniels!). Tonight's "movie" was two hours of dreary, badly lit, non-interesting character back story.

I don't really care that much about Michael's back story and problems. Just SHOW me he can be kick ass. This implausible explanation of him being a former Ranger AND a failed race car driver was just grating. Especially as he didn't get to exhibit skills from EITHER profession.

I don't care about Mike and Sarah, and I especially don't care enough to have them stop KITT in the middle of the night on a deserted desert road to get out (of awesome car) and TALK about how much I don't care about their relationship. I had never prayed so hard for a cheesy flashback...

Bruce Davison is awesome, but I don't care that much about his back story. Really any audience for this "movie" already knew there was a previous "Knight Rider".

I don't care about Mike's Mom, and it's almost funny that neither did Mike, as there was almost no tension or emotional distress over seeing her SHOT IN THE CHEST and die right before his eyes. That's NOT the actor's fault! Justin Bruening is a soap actor. It DON'T GET NO more emo than that.

It's even insulting that they add in Mike being the son of Michael Knight (as if his Mom's death wasn't insulting enough). There was no need. NONE! The Hoff still could've had the exact same scene at the end, and through no fault of the actors, it would've meant exactly the same thing (very little). It was a useless nod to the original, that served no purpose other than to take us away from KITT again, and have more people talk at us.

Here's a hint:

More people talking AT me = less awesome KITT DOING something.

So in the last half hour, men with guns show up, and since I've yet to care about anything else, I can't even care about that. What? They're "hacking" KITT? Well since you've given us NOTHING to go on with what KITT can do (other than shape shifting, and that he still runs on GAS hopefully premium), I care not at all for this contrived techno-plot laziness.

Kilmer does a decent enough job with what he's given, but why did they HAVE to go out of their way to strip KITT of ALL personality.

This defies reason. The best and most memorable of robots/pets/sidekicks have PERSONALITY! It's why we care about them. William Daniel's original KITT was a snarky, condescending, know-it-all. LOVE IT! Data from Star Trek is a puppy-like blabber mouth. LOVE IT! HAL from 2001 is a ruthlessly simple authoritarian, programed to coldly accomplish his task at all costs. Freaked me out!

WE CARE ABOUT ROBOTS! EVEN THE SUICIDAL GM ROBOT FROM LAST YEAR'S SUPERBOWL! They're like our pets, but they also reflect ourselves, where we're from and how far we've come. I hate seeing robots done poorly...

Just as Lassie was about a boy and his dog, Free Willy a boy and his orca, and Star Wars a boy and his Wookie, this should've been a boy and his awesome car. Simple. Easy. HOW CAN YOU FAIL

[See what I did there. I used a GM commercial as an example of something that evoked a reaction, against what was essentially a two hour Ford commercial that evoked no reaction other than blatant frustration over how little I cared. That was for Will Arnett, voice of GMC!]

It's just really sad that the four Ford Focus commercials peppered throughout, were more fun (and better acted/directed), than the show surrounding them. Fun, right? Whatta concept...

This is exactly what NBC did to Bionic Woman. Let's take a fun action/adventure show that people have fond memories of, strip out most of the action, shoot it really dark and "edgy", mire it in dreary emotionless human drama and back story, and KILL any sense of fun. Way to go NBC! I'm sure using the EXACT same formula that failed with your "Dark Angel" clone (not really much of a success in its own right) will totally provide different (and more successful) results here...


I'm going to bed.


  1. On one hand I feel really bad that the show didn't live up to expectations at all. On the other hand if it had your review probably wouldn't have been nearly as hilarious. I didn't see the show but it seems to me if you're going to have a show called "Knight Rider" then I would feel swindled if any less than 30 of the 40-something minutes was not sweet artificially intelligent car action.


  2. LOL! Exactly!

    I'm still kinda shocked how far off demo this show was. I'm a male 18-35, I remember the original, I'm kinda geeky, obsessed with gadgets, still collect Transformers, watch podcasts about tech and comics, and run a blog.

    How could this show NOT be for me?

  3. yeah I tried to watch it but even in a state of sickness I couldn't stop throwing things at the TV.

    i DID find the original Knight Rider theme song, so I rocked out to that instead. Brought me back to my sweet youth: fruit loops and post-homework TV.

    Your review is dead-on.


  4. Hey Thea!

    I have to confess, that this abomination of a show did have one positive result.

    I'm about halfway through the first season of the original Knight Rider thanks to Netflix W.i.N.

    sigh, such a nerd...

    The original theme kicks SO much ass though!