Wednesday, September 24, 2008

TV Review: Knight Rider Series Premier

I want that hour back.

Well, I did it. Being in a motel room with cable and nothing else to do, I caught the series premier of Knight Rider. I can sum this up on the quick-make: the best part of the show is the part where President Bush comes on to tell us the economy has gone down the tubes and we need to shell out a few million.

After the end of Bush's undoubtedly controversial cameo, everything stops making sense. Whoa, did I just write that? Let me check that again...yes, that's when things stop making sense. Definitely not a good sign.

I'm made to understand this series premier is actually a followup to some made-for-TV movie, and I readily believe it, because it's clear I was supposed to watch and/or read something before trying to watch this. The plot starts in the middle and the characters get no introduction: There's this dude Michael (Justin Bruening), a man severely lacking in David Hasselhoffness, who has this cool car (voice of Val Kilmer) severely lacking in Cylon-eyeishness, though it rates very high in the fake-looking Transformers rip-off* department, being able to change smoothly from a sports car to a pickup truck in order to ensure that Ford gets maximum product placement. Anyway, this dude, and this girl (Deanna Russo), are both after some "package" or other, the contents of which are so secret, we don't know what they are. The package turns out to be not a package per se but another dude who encoded something in his DNA, and at this point a writer must have recognized a problem, because Michael says, "Do you know how stupid that is?"

Yeah, we know. Or rather, we don't know. We don't know anything because you haven't explained it!

So, I might talk about the show, but I can't follow it. Instead, I'll just note that I can't hear half the dialogue because of the over-loud soundtrack. That's probably for the best, though, because much of the dialogue is fake-sounding technogibberish about a car's exterior changing into a new material because it gets hit with napalm. I don't get it either, but a little checking tells me the car is now made out of nanoprobes (lame!), so that probably has something to do with it. Also, incendiary missiles apparently travel at a leisurely twenty miles per hour, giving the people on the business end plenty of time to discuss what they're going to do about their predicament when the missile finally hits.

I'll also note that the cinematographer should maybe take a few tranquilizers before doing whatever it is cinematographers do, because this show has way too many fancy CSI shots--you know, the kind where the camera suddenly zooms in on something. Of course, in CSI those zooms are actually onto things relevant to the plot, rather than onto the insides of computer-generated car engines.

Furthermore...wait a minute, did I read that right? Val Kilmer is the voice of K.I.T.T.? Huh. Talk about under-utilizing an actor. Is Val Kilmer the only guy around who can do a smooth, emotionless voice, or what?

So there you go. I give it one season. And I take back what I said before: It can be worse than Knight Rider 2000.

(Ouch, just look at that pan; this must be why I don't review television shows. It must be day nine of a ten-day archaeological field session or something.)

And incidentally, the last time I was at Universal Studios, which was when I was about eight years old, they had K.I.T.T. there and you could actually climb in and talk to him. Assuming the car is still there, it is my new goal for this blog to go there, treat the car like a confessional, see how the poor minimum-wage voice actor responds, and capture it all on video.

*Now that I think about it, this more closely resembles an Inspector Gadget ripoff, though the hideous live-action film adaptation of that cartoon is arguably a Knight Rider ripoff, so things have come full-circle.
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