Today on Blogcritics
Home » TV Review: Knight Rider (2008)

TV Review: Knight Rider (2008)

Please Share...Tweet about this on Twitter0Share on Facebook0Share on Google+0Share on LinkedIn0Pin on Pinterest0Share on TumblrShare on StumbleUpon0Share on Reddit0Email this to someone

A decade from now, if you wanted an encyclopedic list of everything wrong with television in 2008, you'll need to look no further than NBC's back door pilot movie Knight Rider.

The original series aired on NBC from 1982 to 1986, and quite frankly, it hasn't aged well. Cheap production values, unsophisticated plots, and David Hasselhoff combined to create some first-rate cheese. Still, it was reasonably good-natured and just sophisticated enough to make every boy born between 1970 and 1974 drool over that wicked cool car and tune in every week.

Unfortunately, over the last twenty years, the bar has been raised for both television action and science fiction shows. And ironically enough, NBC/Universal's Battlestar Galactica is the current high water mark for science fiction (a series also reconstructed from the ashes of a twenty-year-old series created by Glen A. Larson). Even if you only count Knight Rider as half science fiction, it now is unquestionably the worst piece of sci-fi American television has seen in a long, long time, replacing the old title holder of last fall's Bionic Woman

It takes less than sixty seconds to parse the lack of subtlety, imagination, or creative inspiration behind Knight Rider 2008. An old man, living in a house chock full of the most sophisticated artificial intelligence algorithms in the world casually lets a menacing pair of strangers walk into his house after a sudden power outage. This isn't just a failure of logic — the suspension of disbelief required to make this work would require your central nervous system to shut down completely. But it gets worse when the camera work – all medium shots and unrevealing pans – suddenly goes hand-held and leers into the face of a bad guy, using a dutch angle framing that went out of fashion when the first Knight Rider aired.

In short order, we meet a random lesbian/FBI agent; a brilliant scientist with hypnotically shiny lip gloss; and a tousle-haired ex-Army Ranger/race car driver who seems to spend his time having threesomes. When the most well-rounded, believable, and engaging character is a solar-powered morphing Ford Mustang voiced by Val Kilmer, you're watching a show that is running on fumes.

What's worse is that the clichés haven't really started piling up yet. The brilliant scientist in the opening turns out to – gasp – be a body double! Which gets revealed in a monochromatic, jumpy-camera flashback! The ex-Army Ranger (vaguely played by Justin Bruening) has a shocking family secret! And he's a big-stakes poker player! And he just happens to have harbored romantic feelings for the scientist's ultra-foxy daughter (Deanna Russo)! Who was heartbroken he left her years ago! And the local sheriff is in league with the villains! Who are a near omnipotent, Halliburton-inspired "private security company"!

Most pilots are exposition heavy and lumbering, but this whole venture is senseless and wholly devoid of fun. Way back in 1982, the idea of a super-intelligent talking car was balanced right on the edge of 'way out fantasy' and 'airbrushed van painting cool'. Now cars are coming equipped with talking GPS systems, and the outer edge of cool is somewhere beyond Facebook. Good television can't be any more than a half-step behind the mainstream. Good science fiction needs to be a couple of steps ahead of the mainstream. None of the factory spec elements of Knight Rider have any current relevance — the Bluetooth headsets, hipster lesbianism, and cheesy poker games already feel like dated cultural relics. Completely missing is that sense of cool, that 'gee whiz, wouldn't it be awesome if…' sensibility that fueled your imagination when you were young.

In a show this dismal, you can't entirely blame the actors, but Bruening lacks the porn-star-lite charm that Hasselhoff exudes with ease. The other actors are so devoid of character that it's hard to tell if they're even performing. There isn't a compelling image or coherent thought to be found. Shadowy conspiracies that seem to have only four employees, body doubles, mommy issues, absentee fathers, and hack cliffhangers all feel like something a twelve-year-old J.J. Abrams would come up with. Cheap digital effects work compounds the problems, with green screen spill very visible in a number of shots. There isn't even the thrill of sweet cars driving fast — a feat even The Fast And The Furious: Tokyo Drift managed to achieve in spades.

Not every show needs to be as heady and grim as Battlestar Galactica. Sometimes bad television can be at least enjoyable to watch, and everyone has an over-eager twelve-year-old tucked away somewhere deep inside who deserves to come out and play occasionally. Damn the nostalgia, though, because your inner twelve-year-old boy is going to have to hold on to the slim hope that an inevitable A-Team re-make is much better.

Powered by

About Jeffrey Williams

  • jeff

    [Personal attack deleted]

    What did NBC turn you down for the role of the new Michael Knight or something? Knight Rider kicked ass in 1982, and the sequel kicks just as much ass. You CLEARLY didn’t grow up watching the original series, otherwise you wouldn’t have all these self-righteous uppity things to say about the new show. Take it for what it is. Don’t exect stellar acting — the original was no different. Don’t expect artisitic camera work — no one but you gives a shit. They just want to see KITT talk smack and kick ass just like he did 25 years ago. This series is going to be just as awesome as the original, which you would realise if you took your head out of your ass for 30 seconds.

  • http://draven99.blogspot.com Chris Beaumont

    Wow, Jeff. Angry much? It sounds like you’re a little too close to the project, and it isn’t a series yet. Do you work for them?

    I enjoyed it, but it wasn’t great. I’d like to see some more.

  • http://canadiancinephile.com/ Jordan Richardson

    If hipster lesbianism is wrong, I don’t want to be right.

  • http://absent-mind.blogspot.com/ Jet in Columbus

    Jeff, very good article, and I agree completely. When KR first came out, I loved it so much just for the camp and that Pontiac. So much so that I I actually bought an early VCR so I could record and save every episode. Later I bought all the VHSs and then the DVDs.

    Considering that you didn’t even meet the main character in any kind of depth until after half the show was over, and the abysmal first half was devoted to her whining in the passenger seat the whole time, I spent that first hours yelling shut-up damn it and get to some kind of story.

    Hasselhof looked like a badly preserved funeral home cadaver.

    To be fair I watched the whole thing all the way through to “Give it a Chance”. I won’t be watching the series.

    The point of KRI was to drool for the black TRANS AM that could leap over trains and semis in a single bound. According to several websites the Mustang KITT doesn’t even turbo-boost! They didn’t even keep the watch communicator/scanner.

    What’s worse is that kids who saw this before seeing the original will think the mustang is better… groan

  • http://www.maskedmoviesnobs.com El Bicho

    “Battlestar Galactica is the current high water mark for science fiction”

    Considering the flaws within BG, that means the mark isn’t too high.

  • http://absent-mind.blogspot.com/ Jet in Columbus

    Is it my imagination, or do we have two different reviews of Knight Rider under the same title?

  • Sam

    Hey Jeff, I loved Knight Rider in 1982. But in 1982 I wasn’t old enough to appreciate Sh!tty story lines and TERRIBLE acting.

    Point being, i would rather stick my face in a meat grinder than watch the 2008 Ford Mustang KITT Knight Rider again. i almost feel like its necessary to defrag my DVR if there was such a thing to get any remnants of that show off.

    A. it was a real long Ford Commercial (which is why i wasn’t crazy about Transformers)
    B. My Rotweiller and the neighbors Lab make more interesting and believable characters
    C. My 6 year old nephew makes visual effects more compelling with imovie.

    I was real disappointed it seemed very thrown together. It sucked!

  • Anthony

    I think the movie was great. Everyone is complaining about how the the new KITT didn’t do alot of things that the old KITT did, the storyline and how the new car is Mustang. Last time i checked Trans Am aren’t made anymore. KITT is about American Muscle Cars not Pontiacs. This will be the third time KITT has a diffrent bodystyle and the first two cars were American muscle cars. Give the movie a break, nobody wants to know all of what the car can do revealed in just two hours because then it leaves nothing surprising for the new show. The storyline was good and again there is no way to tie four season worth of questions into two hours. So give the show a chance and if you don’t like it keep your worthless opinions to yourself and don’t watch it.

  • http://sterfish.blogspot.com Sterfish

    I recorded the movie and I watched it tonight. This review is, unfortunately, spot on.

    I was a huge fan of the show as a kid and always watched the reruns. The acting and writing were bad in this new version and it didn’t help that there were commercial breaks everywhere you looked. The pace was just lethargic and parts of it were insufferably boring.

    If they do a series version, I am hopeful that it will be better. They’ll need some decent writers and a good showrunner to be able to make everyone forget this movie.

  • http://www.goodisthenewbad.com Jeffrey

    First – thanks for the compliments, all. They’re appreciated!

    Second – I’m disappointed that the personal attack was deleted. For the record, I was called a ‘dumbass’, which is an unimaginative put-down in perfect keeping with the rest of that artless critique. Bring that to my own website, if you want, but don’t expect “dumbass” to carry much weight.

    Third – A disclosure… I held back on the Ford hate because I’m from a Ford family, and I learned to drive in a 1987 5-speed, 5.0 black Mustang. Even with all that forgiveness in my heart, I was mortally embarrassed for the FoMoCo for backing this pablum.

    However, for all the accusations that the show was one huge commercial for Ford, better buckle your seatbelts, because we’re going to be seeing an awful lot more of this in the upcoming years.

    TiVo and DVRs are destroying the commercial sponsored business model of television faster than anyone could have predicted, and both advertisers and networks are scrambling for new solutions. And right now, this kind of integrated product-branding is one of the most likely solutions. And Ford is out in the forefront of branding television shows – they’ve sponsored commercial-free hours of ’24’, and a few other programs as well. It’s a throwback to the early days of television in many ways, and I don’t know if it’s any worse than stopping a show every 12 minutes so that advertisers can hurl 8 other pitches at you.

    Lastly – There’s just no excuse for workmanship this poor, on any network. Take it for what it is? An ineptly executed piece of twaddle? There was no ass-kicking anywhere on display. The bulletproof effect looked like an effects house demo. The cliffhangers were ridiculous, and there was zero “man and his smart ass talking car” action which is what Knight Rider should be all about!

  • http://absent-mind.blogspot.com/ Jet in Columbus

    Amen Jeff

  • http://www.my-virtual-income.com Christopher Rose

    “Battlestar Galactica is the current high water mark for science fiction”

    Except for “Stargate”, “Stargate Atlantis”, “Star Trek: The Next Generation”, “Star Trek: Deep Space Nine”, “Andromeda” and “Farscape”, to name just six!

  • TSBINC

    A complete waste of time! This train wreck of an 80’s style series really pushed things over the top and right back into the 80’s. This program is a total waste of time! Promotion on top of promotion clearly illistrates the main shows lack of attention. This is one for he records and one record that need to be taken off the air. Clearly each year many young drivers enjoy “street racing” killing 100’s a people each year driven by teens behind the wheel of a Ford, Mustange. Do we as a society need such programming to help intensify the need for more speed, putting young and old at risk of death, injury to another because they watch “The Knight Rider”? NO! The Knight rider was a bomb of a pilot, allowing you to fall asleep at times and thinking to yourself was this worth 2 hours of my time. Clearly we are sending a strong message to are youth and younger drivers that “Hey maybe I can make my car do that”? Only to make the evening news showing illegal street racing killing one or more drivers! The Knight Rider had its run and died, don’t allow this one to take an actual life of another person. Over-all rating 10 being best I give The Knight Rider a very soft 2 at best. NEXT PROGRAM!

  • http://www.goodisthenewbad.com Jeffrey

    “Battlestar Galactica is the current high water mark for science fiction”

    That’s current in the sense of ‘contemporary’. There isn’t anything else on the broadcast schedule that has the same high profile and stylish impact.

    A case could be made for Stargate:Atlantis for being a much better current sci-fi show… but BG, despite all its numerous flaws, just has a much bigger cultural footprint.

  • http://www.my-virtual-income.com Christopher Rose

    We’ll just have to agree to disagree, Jeffrey. I don’t really understand what you mean by “cultural footprint”, but I find BG turgid, self important and utterly boring. I think it’s one of the worst Sci-Fi shows ever.

  • http://www.goodisthenewbad.com Jeffrey

    No need to disagree, you’re right on when you nail BG for being turgid and self-important. It would have been a far, far better series if each season was sliced in half, and if it ended after 15-20 episodes.

    By “cultural footprint”, I’m talking about the hype, and the obsessive media coverage that’s followed it since the beginning of season 2. I’ve more slavish reviews of one season of BG than I’ve seen press coverage for the entire run Stargate:Atlantis. Over at Aintitcool.com (which is not an unbiased sample, just a large pool of fanboys), the BG coverage just shoots breathlessly off the charts, and S:A gets a passing mention every couple of weeks. That doesn’t make BG a better show, just a more prominent one.

  • http://absent-mind.blogspot.com/ Jet in Columbus

    He obviously has never seen “Life on Mars” on BBC America Christopher…

  • jonis

    Hi.

    thought the show was awesome. awesome car and i hope it goes into production. cant understand the criticism of the show. i love top rated shows like the Stargates, charmed, BL, LV, Smvl, Lost, HIMYM, PB, Heroes and the like and i think this show has great potential.

  • http://www.goodisthenewbad.com Jeffrey

    Awww… now you’re just poking the bear with a stick! Don’t get me started on “Life On Mars”!

    That is one of the best shows on TV in the last few years, hands down. It’s a almost criminal shame that just about nobody was watching it. There’s a sequel series coming out later this year called “Ashes To Ashes”, following DCI Gene Hunt in the early 1980’s. That might be the thing I’m most excited about seeing in 2008.

    If anything good came out of the writers strike, maybe its that the Americanized (and inevitably sucky) version got killed in development.

  • http://tvandfilmguy.blogspot.com Josh Lasser

    Congratulations! This article has been selected for syndication to Advance.net, which is affiliated with newspapers around the United States.

  • Elyse

    Truthfully? I was bored by this remake. I sorta remember the original series, and at least it was fun. This remake wasn’t fun, it was repetitious. it might have had some edge if whoever was doing the voice of KITT had some oomph to it.

    If by some chance it gets a spot on NBC’s schedule, well, I won’t be watching.

  • Angel

    This is kind of childish and ridiculous. Everyone is bad-mouthing about what a “bad” movie this is. When I was a kid, I liked the Dukes of Hazzard… now I think it’s silly, but it still has a great car. Things I liked when I was a child, I don’t necessarily like as a grown up. But it still brings back fond memories. My boys are 13 and 15 and they enjoy the old KITT and the new KITT. They appreciate the car. They love the Dukes of Hazzard. They love the Fall Guy. They love the Coyote on Hardcastle and McCormick. You people bad-mouthing and arguing your opinions is silly. It’s just that… YOUR opinion. And everyone is entitled to one. It’s just the loud mouths who feel a need to go on and on telling everyone what their opinion is. Guess what… we don’t care. It’s a movie for goodness sakes… deal with it.

  • http://absent-mind.blogspot.com/ Jet in Columbus

    Angel, it can be explained simply, what if the updated Dukes of Hazzard movie’s car was a Mustang?

  • http://www.bigoakinc.com Chris

    You hit the nail on the head with this review. I agree completely! I loved Knight Rider as a kid, but watching reruns as an adult I have to cringe & wonder how I used to like the show. I will definitely not watch the series.

  • David R

    The new Version of Knight Rider would never really meet upto the Original. Yes looking at the Original version you would say its crap. But that was the fun thing. Yes the Hoff couldnt really act. But there seemed to be a great bond with Kitt and Michael. They worked well off each other. On Kitt its self. Big no no. Firstly the Red Scanner was all WRONG. Secondly the interior of the New Kitt looked just wrong. Oh look a sat nav as a talking modulator. The Original Dash looked more futuristic! And Pontiac only killed of the Firebird in 2001. They could have used that model. At least it would be true to the Original. The Morphing of the new Kitt was cool. But hang on, why does the new Kitt need to self repair when the old Kitt didnt get damaged from bullets or crashes. Hmmm seems the Orignal had better tech!!! Oh and one more thing, they Killed the Knight Rider Music! Might aswell have just used something else. In conclusion, all the fabric of the Original seems to have been lost.

  • http://absent-mind.blogspot.com/ Jet in Columbus

    I think I can make that clearer-how would you react if they made an updated “Dukes of Hazzard” and made the “General Lee” a new Mustang instead of the Dodge Charger?

    The Knight Rider could’ve been made from an Australian Pontiac GTO.

  • KER

    I do Market Research for a living, the following scores are pretty good results. I believe your review does not correlate with the mainstream and would indicate that you are out of touch with the market. I am truly sorry for your loss.

    NEW YORK (Hollywood Reporter) – NBC rode the “Knight Rider” TV-movie to a Sunday night primetime victory, pretty much ensuring that a remake of the ’80s TV series will earn a spot in the network’s fall schedule.

    But the primetime victor was “Knight Rider,” which averaged 12.7 million viewers between 9 and 11 p.m. Its 5.0 rating/12 share among adults 18-49 was the best score for a TV movie since March 2005’s “Their Eyes Were Watching God.” (A rerun is scheduled for Saturday.)

    It ran over everything in its path at 10 p.m., including CBS’ premiere of edited episodes of Showtime’s “Dexter” (8.1 million, 2.3/6) and a new episode of ABC’s “Brothers & Sisters” (8.5 million, 3.0/7).

    It’s hard to argue with the numbers, however, I see a lot of people try.

  • http://www.goodisthenewbad.com Jeffrey

    Agreed that the ratings were high, but ratings don’t have a one-to-one correlation with long-term audience approval. NBC’s “The Bionic Woman” also scored smash hit numbers with the pilot episode, but the ratings dropped precipitously once audiences saw that it was dull and muddled.

    As someone who does market research for a living, you should be well aware that hype and audience expectations are a huge part of the game. The ratings for the re-run will be much more telling, and you can expect a massive drop-off after the poisonous word of mouth.

    Did you actually watch this? Are you trying to advance the position that “Knight Rider” was quality television based purely on the numbers?

    If you were really doing your research instead of regurgitating numbers, you’d find that the overall market opinion on Knight Rider was extremely negative. And barring a massive overhaul, this series won’t last. I’m curious about how the re-run is going to rate, but I bet it won’t even come close to what they’re expecting.

  • http://absent-mind.blogspot.com/ Jet in Columbus

    I went to Google and clicked News, then entered Knight Rider in their news search engine, the overwhelming majority of reviews were Negative.

    Sounds like your research is flawed.

    Yes the numbers were very high-why. We were hoping for a continuation of the original, instead we got a morose female sitting in the passenger seat, while Kilmer did his terrible impression of Mr. Spock, the scanners of the car looked more like it was crossing and uncrossing its eyes instead of scanning, there was no adventure story to please the old fans, and in the end after waiting for two hours, we finally find a Michael Knight that looked embalmed with died black hair who didn’t even hug his own son after meeting him for the first time!!

    sheesh…

    Coming soon

    A remake of Smokey and the Bandit using a Mustang instead of the trans am

    Dukes of Hazzard remake using a Mustang instead of the General Lee.

    Gone in Sixty Seconds-using a Ford Priux instead of a mustang for the “Elenore” car.

    A remake of “Bullet” using a Chrysler Sebring instead of the Mustang

    The next Starsky & Hutch using a sponsor’s Volkswagon instead of the red Torino

    What about Magnum P.I. driving a Mustang instead of his Ferrari?

    Need I go on?

  • http://absent-mind.blogspot.com/ Jet in Columbus

    By the way the first new episode of Knight Rider is slated for Saturday at 9PM eastern.

    Let’s see if…
    The Flagg private LeerJet is replaced with using his frequent flyer miles on Delta Airlines

    KITT turns out to be s souped up Apple computer

    If Michael only wears fashons from the Martha Stewart collection.

    If KITT gets many closeup showing his raised white lettered Goodyears

    Flag headquarters is now located in a overly shown Holiday Inn.

  • KER

    It will be interesting to see if Knight Rider, as a series, can hold this audience. As you are aware, it is more a factor of competitive alternatives and maintaining or enhancing the positive attributes of the pilot. From my preliminary work, it seems that many critics who have not approved of the movie, have a significant amount of their viewers in disagreement. TV Guide currently has a poll of viewer comments at 63% not in agreement with a negative Knight Rider editor’s review. Once again, I can only communicate the numbers. Statistically, even your audience seems mixed. Given the alternatives on TV these days, I think you should take another look. Sometimes consumers make strange selections. Their reasons may not be obvious (or understandable); however, they are still the consumer and pay the bills.

  • http://www.goodisthenewbad.com Jeffrey

    Are you really trying to sell the idea that this incarnation of “Knight Rider” has even a remote chance of survival as a series? The core audience of the show is almost unanimously howling with derision, and without that support, a series will never get traction. Imagine “Heroes” without comic-book fans supporting it, “American Idol” without teenage girls behind it, or “Friday Night Lights” without football fans… Oh, you don’t have to imagine that one because its true, and FNL ratings have been below expectations since it premiered. If FNL had the low production quality of Knight Rider, it would have been yanked within a month.

    Crap doesn’t succeed on TV because of extraneous factors. Nothing succeeds on television without at least one core audience, and a sustainable prime-time series needs to draw from far beyond that. When the core audience is – and I’ll even extend you the benefit of the doubt that Knight Rider has actual supporters out there – divided, it doesn’t stand a chance.

    You can only talk in numbers? Then perhaps you should hold back on your pronouncements until you have statistically relevant numbers to work with. TV history is littered with shows that had a blockbuster premiere and then didn’t make it through a full season. Again, I cite the failure of “Bionic Woman”, which is as close a comparison as ratings history will allow. American audiences are exceptionally good at spotting crap. Advertising might convince the public to step in it once, but they rarely step in it twice. I don’t think consumers make strange selections at all — instead I think your research can’t always predict what they’re going to do, which makes their behavior seem strange on paper.

    Disagreeing with a negative review is not the equivalent of a giving a positive review. I disagree with Matt Roush because he’s a glib hack who writes in pull-quotes, but that doesn’t mean I think Knight Rider was a positive viewing experience.

    And you’re also dodging the question – did you think Knight Rider was quality television? Did you even watch?

  • The Obnoxious American

    I enjoyed it. Perhaps because of the great drought we refer to as the writers strike.

    I’m not saying it’s “The Unit” or anything, but what do you expect. The original wasn’t so great either. This could develop into something of equal value.

  • KER

    No disrespect Jeff, however, I watched it twice, and I still thought it did not deserve the harsh criticism. It could be a difference in expectations:

    My rating attributes:
    1. Made for TV Movie (I did not expect much more for free)
    2. Limited competition during it’s time slot (what, no American Idol?)
    3. Great Car (I drove a 66 Mustang in college, and nothing like KITT)
    4. Fun plot (if you want Shakespeare tune in KPBS)
    5. Great looking people (unless you enjoy The Biggest Looser cast more)
    6. Pretty fun effects (I doubt they put $100M into this production)
    7. Military theme (I have good reasons)

    Given my daily grind, I would definitely escape into this show with an open mind rather than watch two dads compete for their son’s admiration. Quality TV, I have not seen that since I Dream of Jeannie.

  • http://www.goodisthenewbad.com Jeffrey

    KER – those comments are a far cry from your first position that the mainstream loved it and that the ratings numbers are an inarguable validation of quality. If you enjoyed it for what it was, there’s nothing wrong with that. Everyone has a right to their own opinion. It’s important to have your own opinions, and I loathe critics who would presume to tell you how much to like something.

    It’s erroneous, though, to equate personal tastes with professional quality. One of the most important functions of a critic is to evaluate a show, and examine the ways in which it succeeds or fails. Whether you agree or not, a good critic will educate the viewer a little bit, and leave you with something to consider in the future.

    To wit:

    1 – Television is not free. Aside from paying for cable, you’re paying for what you watch by suffering through the commercials. The whole business model is essentially bribing you to sit still and watch advertisements.

    2 – Dexter was on CBS at 10:00 PM. Or you could always read a book.

    3 – Well, I can’t bag on the Mustang, either. I’m from a Ford family.

    4 – If you watch almost no television, then the plot might feel new. If you’ve watched a moderate amount of prime-time television, though, then you’d recognize the entire plot was just tricky devices cobbled together from other shows.

    5 – Why not watch the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show specials instead? Or Bikini Pirates on Skin-emax?

    6 – The effects were incompetent in many spots by professional standards. Greenscreen work has been a staple of production for more than a decade, and there were numerous shots where the basic effects keying was flawed. There were needless CGI effects of notably poor quality that could have been executed more ecomically as practical shots. A personal, inexplicable fave of mine, “Mansquito” on the Sci-Fi channel had notably better effects work on a much smaller budget.

    So there’s more snarkiness in there then was necessary, but hopefully you have a little bit more information to consider in addition to your criteria. Next time around, you still might enjoy watching, but at least you’re making an informed decision. If nothing else, you won’t be surprised when the series version of this dies off as quick as “Viva Laughlin”.

    If you haven’t seen quality TV since “I Dream Of Jeannie”, have you been living somewhere without a television since 1970? Would you like some suggestions?

  • Brad

    Jeff, I am surprised that people anywhere actually hold value to your opinion. As a reviewer your are nothing more than a snobbish critic and people such as your self shouldn’t be allowed to write in articles for the public to read. what’s more you should remember that the faults you see in others are faults you dislike in yourself. And I couldn’t agree more “It’s erroneous, though, to equate personal tastes with professional quality.” that is a beautiful statement!

    I believe that the old knight rider was great, I was of course a child when that was on tv and looking at it now I think very little of it. This new Knight Rider while keeping its nostalgia for the original series and working hard to create a real timeline is somewhat better, there is room for improvement of course but then it is still only a pilot. Once picked up and put to series I have a lot of faith that it will improve and will really be loved by this generation of CHILDREN and a multitude of others.

    Another point I would like to make is that, like the old Knight Rider the heroes in this Knight Rider don’t go around killing people on purpose for the greater good, yeah the bad buys have guns but the good guys are wholesome. There isn’t enough of this sort of role model on tv or anywhere else.

  • IndyV72

    If the TV industry would wise up and realize that ratings aren’t always what they’re cracked up to be. Especially for a pilot compared to a series, let alone a pilot that is a sequel to a previous series from over two decades ago. Of course the ratings were going to be fair to good just because of it being a remake. We (being those of us who were fans of the original KR) all wanted to see if they could recapture that spark, and most likely just a very small percentage extra who never saw the first series.

    Overall, I’d give it a 4.5/10 but does have a remote chance of being better. It would be interesting for NBC to give it a half season chance (13 episodes) just to see if they could improve on this pilot, but if the quality remains were it is, it’s going to be like another FORD, Found On Road Dead (please don’t hate me FORD lovers, I do own a FORD too, just had to put it in there).

    Only one part did I find funny enough to laugh at and that was when KITT asked Mike about his orientation. But that was really the only good part of the bond between the two that I felt and I believe that was the core fundamental that made the original KR fun (except for Season 4 with the stupid Super-Pursuit mode, that was jumping the shark, even for me when I was just a young teenager, I stopped watching KR then).

    Someone else had mention about the dashboard too, and I agree with them, KITT 1.0 looked a lot better compared to KITT 2.0, that would have to change and be upgraded to, need more flash. Although I think they may have this in mind considering they used tight shots on just the center screen and never showed the dash by the steering wheel head-on (got a few sideways glances of seeing the steering wheel though… lol).

  • Aubrey

    I don’t understand what you people want? I know what I want, I want a show that I can watch with my kids. BG does nothing about bringing to generations together.

    I LOVED the original, I watched it religiously every time it came on. I also hate remakes, they never work, take the bionic woman. It was not an continuation it was like the original never existed. Same with BattleStar, as with the Transformers movie, which I also hated. So I came into watching this with disdain.

    As I was watching it I started to think wow this bring a sort of nostalgia to me, than I started thinking about watching it with my son. Not a lot of gratuitous violence, not a lot of sex, though there were some parts but they were done very tastefully, unlike say BG ::No Smile::

    This show is about bridging the gap, allowing someone who is now a parent to watch something with there children and connect. Something that a father like myself can watch and enjoy for the nostalgia, as well as something my son can watch and enjoy that is from his generation. We can connect without letting go of ourselves.

    I think they did a great job, yes they changed the car and the dash, but they didn’t say it was the SAME car. It’s 25 years later, things do change. Ya the original was bullet prof, but the professor was a scientist and scientists do try new things out all the time. Also, don’t forget that the original was a FORMULA, given the current tech and knowledge now a days, I think someone could find something that would CRACK that formula and make it useless. Nanites are HARDER to crack.

    Give the show a brake, its not going to be the sex filled, violence ridden, action saturated crap that’s on now.

    I for one am VERY glad its not.

  • http://absent-mind.blogspot.com/ Jet in Columbus

    Aubrey, while you were smoking that nastalgia roach with your kids, you probably missed the lesbian cop, the three-way sex with the main character, and the fact that a mother was shot to death in front of her son?

  • http://absent-mind.blogspot.com/ Jet in Columbus

    Did anyone notice that the week-later repeat last night was devoid of Ford commercials? That doesn’t bode well for the series. By most reports the movie wasn’t completed until a day before it was aired on NBC.

    I have a feeling that most Ford execs feel the same way we do.

    Especially when KITT kept crossing and uncrossing his “eyes”

  • http://absent-mind.blogspot.com/ Jet in Columbus

    Next thing you know they’ll make KITT become a 1959 Edsel!

  • http://www.goodisthenewbad.com Jeffrey

    Jet – that ‘nostalgia roach/lesbian sex’ was a genius comeback… kudos!

    Not surprised that Ford pulled their advertising… Could also be NBC filling up a quota of make-goods. What were the ratings last night? Surprised our resident marketing executive hasn’t chimed in with them yet.

    Aubrey – BG isn’t about bringing generations together. It’s aiming at being a ‘Sopranos’ of sci-fi, if you will. It’s aimed at adults – hence the lack of goofy alien mascots and precocious 12 year olds that are pushed in for marketing purposes.

    Knight Rider, the remake, is an insult to the imagination and intelligence of everyone involved. Cheery, family-appropriate entertainment shouldn’t be so aggressively incompetent. The world of science fiction has moved far beyond the 1982 concepts of artificial intelligence and talking cars. If you want something truly for your son’s generation, the imagination/conceptualizing has to take a huge leap forward, not a twenty year step back.

    If your kid is over the age of 10, watching this just to share his old man’s nostalgia is going to quickly become punishment. Try watching “Chuck” with your boy instead. Or “Stargate: Atlantis”… both have far more to offer than this godawful KR.

  • http://absent-mind.blogspot.com/ Jet in Columbus

    Thank you Jeff. As I pointed out on the other string, in earlier remakes, KITT became a gaudy red car, and also a beeeeeeuuuuutiful ’57 Chevy. You’ll note neither worked. NBC didn’t take the hint.

    By the way the creator Glen Larson had nothing to do with this incarnation and is actually working on a feature film… I hope he takes the hint.

    If I had to write a story line it would have Michael Knight at the beginning, turning the keys over to his son with a HUG and warm words, being sure to leave the impression that Michael had been driving the new mustang for a while… THEN we the fans might have grudgingly accepted it, and then grow to love it.

    The movie made it seem as if our beloved KITT was put out to pasture, or if by reviewing the garage scene-that he was heartlessly “parted out” to other projects, and the only thing that remained was his empty shell that we briefly glimpsed and a discarded liscence plate.

    but of course that’s only my opinion…

  • http://absent-mind.blogspot.com/ Jet in Columbus

    By the way Aubrey, I’ll gladly as you say “Give the show a brake” but I probably won’t give it a break…

  • Bill

    The reason that there is blackhole of quality Sci-Fi on TV is that most Sci-Fi series fail regardless of how good they are. This keeps the influx of new sci-fi shows to a minimum, which lowers the chance that we will actually be blessed with good sci-fi.

    The last time sci-fi was truly main stream was probably Star Trek:TNG.

    The absolute best sci-fi show i have seen in the last 10 years is probably Firefly – and that was cancelled after 1 year.

  • DavidR

    I guess they will make one season and if it doesn’t take they will can it. People hear say it was cool when they were children but now its not. Well its like you believed in Santa when child and now not.
    Sci fi is a fantasy, not meant to be serious. Lets just hope they take people’s comments and make the series a bit more true to the Original. Maybe they could have Michael Knight run the Foundation, like the role of Devon.

  • Steve L.

    Knight Rider was my favorite tv show growing up, and thought the movie was cool too. Looking forward to more…

  • Kingman

    One thing in the soundtrack annoyed me. (But didn’t surprise me; it happens often.) There’s the car rolling along smooth and steady, and the engine keeps revving up and down.

  • Chaddie

    The new KR was good, has moved along with technology. Everyone point out how good the old kITT was with his “Formulation” and was always bullet proof. On more than one occasion the old KITT was damaged. The formula got cracked and he became a normal body car again. This time around he can repair himself with the use of nano bots.
    This KITT didn’t show everything he could do in this new pilot, the old KITT improved as the series went on, so give it a chance to get new things, the watch communicator, pursuit mode, was all added along the way.

  • chaddie

    Addition to my above post:

    The only silly thing I would point out is, this guy had this magnificent bullet proof car, yet when the “Bad guys” came along, rather than get in the car and escape, he decided to run through the woods LOL Great scientist?????

  • Bjorn

    I like the pilot movie. It’s just a re-introduction. You can’t compare 4 seasons with just the pilot movie. So KR should have its chance. Things do improve. There is new technology in the car and I hate to see re-cycled drama, o new plots are needed and we have to accept that.

  • johnny wishbone

    No 1982 pontiac transam means no kitt. To me and to any other true knight rider fans this is definitely not knight rider. A lot of people have said negative things like “get with the times”, “its not the 1980’s”, “the transam is outdated”.Those people are fake knight rider fans. To put those people in their place, it was the transam that kitt was born into, it was the transam that made kitt famous and it was the transam that kitt could turbo boost. Dukes of hazzard stayed with general lee why can’t kitt?

  • George

    You’re completely right: it was just awful. I loved the old series as a child, and found this just terrible. BSG and Terminator: the Sarah Conner Chronicles are fantastic. I’d like to point out that during the rescue, it was clear they wouldn’t get away with his mom, because the back seat was full of computer stuff, while there were 4 people. I knew at that point that they couldn’t escape. The premise of the show has potential, but the writing was just abysmal.

  • Ben

    Seriously cannot believe how rubbish this was. Being a fan growing up I am SO disappointed.

    Absolute JOKE.

  • Garry

    Sorry, but it turns out your just plain wrong.

    This show has literally “everything”. Its got eveything the “Fast and the Furious” had, and more. Its got incredibly cool, clearly ridiculous technology. Its got Deanna Russo. Its not even trying to hide the sexual tension between her and “knight Mk II”. it pure senseless viewing at its best, and i for one will watch every episode, with a beer in my hand.

    Its all about expectations. If you understand what your getting in for, you’re going to come away smiling.

    Quality TV.

  • Vincent

    “Its all about expectations”

    Yeah, if you expect to watch the worst piece of crap you have ever seen, then you will probably be satisfied.

    It’s just plain shit…

    It will probably get canceled unless there are enough people tuning in to see a really shiny car.. Probably nascar fans.

  • Pickleman

    This show is garbage. The actors are garbage. The story is garbage. What does retool mean? “oops, we are making garbage, let’s make it less garbage.” Less garbage is still garbage. one more time… garbage.

  • http://jetssciencepage.blogspot.com/ Jet

    I’ve actually learned to almost like this version, I like the updated theme song and how they kept part of the original in it, the new Michael Knight actor and even his back story.

    What ruins it is they dumped the original’s very important IMO “One man CAN make a difference” element. With all the extra actors pushing and shoving each other for lines, there’s no room for KITT in this version.

    They’ve recently (in the name of copying the original’s story line) killed off KITT’s creator; which really pissed me off because he was the only one of the background I liked.

    Now if they could dump the CIA and the FBI, leave the two FLAG techies, then you’ve got something.

    It’s not that I disapprove of the babes riding in the car with him, but he’s obviously distracted from what he’s supposed to be doing at the time.

  • hmmm?

    “Aubrey, while you were smoking that nastalgia roach with your kids, you probably missed the lesbian cop, the three-way sex with the main character, and the fact that a mother was shot to death in front of her son?”

    Jet – that ‘nostalgia roach/lesbian sex’ was a genius comeback… kudos!

    As a “critic” you honestly thought that was a good comeback to someone who wants something to watch with their kids? You do actually watch tv and not just criticise it dont you? Compared to most things on tv, thats very tame.

    oh and until “Jet – that ‘nostalgia roach/lesbian sex’ was a genius comeback… kudos!” i actually believed you were defending your opinion from others, and you had my respect for that. Now i see that you were ENFORCING it upon people.

  • denny

    Wow, i used to LOVE knight rider, but this remake is like having spagetti with shit sauce! it SUCKED!

  • http://jetssciencepage.blogspot.com/ Jet

    I find it interesting that you know what spaghetti with shit sauce tastes like!!!?

  • Mad

    The new Knight Rider is pathetic…. a real let-down :( The whole idea behind Michael Knight was that he was a loner, but this new turkey is just a knob – too many main characters getting involved and too many female characters!
    KITT still looks hot, but I can’t seem to be able to like him as much as the original.

  • Brian Kirkwood

    Why dont people just wake and look at this for what it is, “Entertainment”. If you dont like, bully for you some people DO.
    . “it might have had some edge if whoever was doing the voice of KITT had some oomph to it”. did the orgiginal voice have oomph? after rewatching the originals, uuuum, no they didnt.
    theres no pleasing some people. maybe swap the old general lee for a mustang? wake up einstein with the way studios are using japanese tin foil rice rockets these days what would you rather see as KITT an American icon as in a mustang or maybe we could go for a japper, hell, boyracers loved fast and the furious … maybe we could swap KITT for a talking Subaru WRX STI Impreza and the Genral Lee for a Nissan Skyline GTR Godzilla … how bloody happy would you be over that? maybe we could resurrect the Dodge from the 90’s “Viper” series, that morphed …or maybe even we could dust off an 86 Transy Firebird?
    “Clearly we are sending a strong message to are youth and younger drivers that “Hey maybe I can make my car do that”? Only to make the evening news showing illegal street racing killing one or more drivers!”
    this type of stuff has been around for years, hell when i was young we were thrashing cars on gravel and the mudflats but we could tell the difference between “”A TV programme and REALITY”” saying something like that is trying to taken blame away from those that deserve the blame, “it wasnt my fault, i saw it done on tv” mindset.
    well thats my ramblings over with for the moment!

  • Daniel Abreu

    I agree with you Jeff, one thing that wasn’t nice that you forgot to mention was that there was less respect compared to the old Knight Rider. I mean in the old Knight Rider you didn’t see any of the characters disrespecting each other; there was always descense and respect. Here you can see the characters disrespect each other, for example in Episode 2 you see Sarah call Mike a “Moroan”, and in Episode 5 you see Mike disrespecting KITT by saying “KITT, what the hell”. For the rest, I agree with everything you said; they should have made a different background for the characters.