Knight Rider: "A Knight In Shining Armor"

Knight Rider: "A Knight In Shining Armor"

As an editor at a website I'd like you to visit and enjoy as often as possible, I probably shouldn't say this, but here goes: Why are you here? It can only be one of two reasons. Either you actually watched the series premiere of the new Knight Rider show and want to know what we thought of it, or you didn't watch it and you're curious to know just how bad it was. Before I go any further, allow me to quote from my own TV Club entry about the two-hour TV movie that was supposed to relaunch the '80s franchise earlier this year. You'd see how wrong I was to overestimate the intelligence of TV executives.
"So blah blah blah, new Michael figures out how to work KITT, kills most of the bad guys without being outwardly violent, and then goes to Mom's funeral. Standing far in the background–you saw this coming, because you know he's a whore–is David Hasselhoff, who introduces himself to the son he's never met and tells him that 'one man can make a difference.' New Michael turns down the job, then accepts it, setting the world up for a new Knight Rider series. Which can't possibly happen. No one who watched this thing could possibly be begging for more. Not that the series was particularly great to begin with, but this is just brain-dead." And then I gave it an F–and that's saying something, because I like crap.
But here we are, months later, and a major television network–the one that brings you The Office and 30 Rock each week, no less–has brought you more Knight Rider. Allow me to quote Ted Knight: "You'll get nothing and like it!"
It's confusing, this iteration of the franchise, which has gone through lots of stupid iterations since the original. The slant this time, it seems, is to go as ridiculous as possible, with constant chases, lots of sexiness, and no pretensions to plausibility. That might all be okay if this thing were even the slightest bit fun, but even Val Kilmer as the voice of the super-charged talking car, KITT, can't provide any giggles. This shit is dire. If someone were shooting a parody, they wouldn't need to change much.
Anyway, we pick up presumably months or years after the TV movie, and Michael Traceur has accepted the responsibility of being the new Knight Industries driver–a lone wolf who can go around saving mom-and-pop soda distributors (or was that The A-Team?) and such. Except this time he's not a lone wolf at all. He's part of a huge organization that involves a bunch of super-sexy young people (including Sidney Poitier's daughter, Sydney Poitier–I'm not making that up) in some kind of super-secret lab. Bruce Davison is there, apparently the leader, but so are a couple of FBI agents–representing the interests of The Man.
In the show's first big scene, Michael is in a tux, at a party (in a building labeled "Foreign Consulate, USA," so you know it's official), and he's supposed to be after a mysterious "package." Chaos ensues; his super hot ex-girlfriend Sarah is almost injected with some icky yellow poison, and KITT has to blow his wad in the first 15 minutes of the show with a turbo boost, which now involves jumping from a standing position. In the original Knight Rider, a turbo boost was a seriously special event, not something you do just to get away from a couple of bad guys. KITT's next trick is to transform into a kickass Ford truck and save Michael and Sarah. Yawn.
As they're escaping, though, a helicopter shoots a missile at KITT, and it's some kind of special missile that KITT can't escape. It coats the car in super-special napalm, which is bad, bad news. Michael and Sarah can't get out, and KITT can't put out the fire right away, so what's the next logical thing to do? Take off their clothes. I wish I was making this up. They both strip. Isn't this a kid's show?
At some point in here, if you're stupid like me and still watching, you'll likely notice the terrible, terrible CGI inflicted on KITT. His panels flip around all the time, and wacky cameras go inside his guts to show you how he's working. It looks like a horrible video game. So KITT's on fire (terrible CGI fire), and somebody back at the lab (they're in constant communication, you see) figures out that if he increases speed to 377mph (on city streets, I think!), the fire will go out. When that doesn't work, they have to kill Michael and Sarah by sucking out all the oxygen, then revive them with shots to the chest. They are still, it should be noted, in their underwear.
And it goes on like this. Not interminably, but so mindlessly that it makes 24 look plausible. There's a new emergency every five seconds, shoot-outs, super-spies (including one played by Tina from The Shield in a sexy body suit and sports car), and backstory that makes no sense. (A cipher hidden in DNA? Years of Michael's life that he just remembered that he forgot?) For a show with this much action, how can it possibly be this boring? Who knows. Who cares? Not me, and not you. Don't watch, please. And if you find the person this show is aimed at, send him over here for anthropological study.
Grade: F
Stray observations:
-- KITT has a first-aid station in his glove compartment that performs minor surgery.
-- Why is there a subway system way out here in the country?
-- KITT gets out of a plane now instead of a semi.
-- "My past will always haunt me, KITT."
-- "You need to come up with a new name." "Mike Long, sounds like a porn star!"
-- Val Kilmer, please. Apologize to everyone in Hollywood that you offended with your weirdness and bad attitude. Hire whoever made Robert Downey Jr. come back from the dead. Run away from this, fast.

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