Justin Bruening, Knight Rider

NBC Universal

The new version of Knight Rider premieres tonight on NBC. Is it any good? I've seen the first hour, and I'm spilling on what's hot and what's not. (Spoiler alert: There's far more of the latter.)

Plus, get your chance to Save It or Sink It for yourself...

What's Good: Much as William Daniels' work as the voice of the original KITT imbued the show with a lot of its humor and verve, Val Kilmer does a lot with a little. As done by Val, the measured tones of this machine don't have an excess of personality, but they do convey the (artificial) intelligence that's meant to be the motor of the show. Also, the chemistry between Mike Traceur (Justin Breuning) and Sarah Graiman (Deanne Russo) is nicely done.

What's Not So Good: This Knight Rider is allegedly updated, but despite the fancy-pants look and some name-dropping meant to simulate modernity, the pacing, technology, storylines and style of the show are right out of Scarecrow and Mrs. King, or you know, the original Knight Rider. It's marginally faster-paced, but not by much. It's just kind of, you know, silly. Perhaps it would be foolish to take a Knight Rider remake too seriously, but I'm not sure the creators themselves believe in (or care about) the story they're telling...

David Hasselhoff, Knight Rider


Furthermore (Don't Get Me Started):

  • OK fine, so you have a little napalm problem. Sure. But why can't you just get out of the car, you dummies, rather than waiting to bake to death inside?
  • Apparently KITT likes Nelly, because at one point he basically says, "It's gettin' hot in here/ So take off all your clothes."
  • In modern cities, every street and freeway is clogged with automobile traffic at almost every hour of every day. (I've been in gridlock at 3 a.m. on a Sunday.) As such, I am fascinated by this world in which KITT can go 300 mph on any road and encounter no obstacles of any kind. I would welcome our new supercar overlords, but honestly...
  • Note to engineers everywhere: Attach a pretty, glowing LED to something, and it automatically becomes high-tech!
  • Chicks aren't allowed in to serve the U.S. Special Forces. Even I know that, and I'm about as fuzzy and nonmilitary as you can get. If you want a hooker-looking military chickadee from Mike Traceur's past, please make her an MP or a Marine he met on leave or just something remotely believable. (Cheap-hooker look notwithstanding.)

Bottom Line: Veronica Mars (just for example) has more badass in her little finger than all of Knight Industries has in a former Green Beret, an airplane hanger, several supercomputers and a shiny Ford Mustang.

After you catch the first hour (tonight on NBC or now on Hulu or NBC.com), share with the rest of the class: What did you think? Vote in the poll and post in the comments on whether KITT should be saved or sent to the junkyard in the sky.

Save It or Sink It, Sept. 24
Knight Rider
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