NBC’s ‘Knight Rider’ Proves It Doesn’t Pay to be a Fanboy

Well, it looks like Dutch Oven Productions (does NBC know what that actually means) really knows how to shit the sheets as I finally caught NBC’s reboot/rebirth/remake/destruction of “Knight Rider” tonight on a replay that could best be described as a two hour commercial telling me “Quarterlife” premieres on NBC this Tuesday as the text was emblazoned in the lower left hand side of my screen the entire duration of the mini-movie.

Taking up two hours of my life, I would honestly wager a bet that the show actually only lasted just over an hour as commercials were the flavor of the day. Excuse me for my ignorance if this is how all television programming is, I have given up watching television at its regular time after being spoiled by TV on DVD and never intend on going back and tonight made my decision seem that much better.

I am confident in saying this new “Knight Rider” is the absolute worst television show I have ever seen! From the awful storyline, acting, editing, directing and effects to the bombardment of commercials I was only entertained by its putrid nature and the thought of writing this article. That and the fact that during the many commercials I was able to flip over to ESPN2 and watch St. Mary’s lose at home to Kent State (what’s up with the WCC this year eh?).

Unfortunately I don’t have an exact running time, but I can tell you if they cut out the shots of KITT driving and exterior montages of Las Vegas it may actually be less than an hour of programming stretched over two hours. Not only is the endless stream of commercials annoying, but the “cliffhangers” meant to keep you in suspense as you learn what’s going to be on your local news next Monday at 11 PM (really?) are god awful. I guess this is just my point of view, some may think the entire cast is going to be shot and killed once we return from commercial.

I can handle the bad acting and even the stupid cliffhangers as long as the story is mildly entertaining, but there is nothing here to hold on to. The 1980s “Knight Rider” I remember being about Michael Knight and his cool car, KITT, and how they went around getting the bad guys. “Knight Rider” 2008 is about KITT and that’s it, and what does KITT do? He drives… A LOT! Oh, and he talks and makes funny comments such as, “That does suck.” Val Kilmer (the voice of KITT), what were you thinking?

Speaking of KITT, let’s talk special features. What can he do that is cool? Well, we all pretty much knew slow-mo jumps weren’t going to fly in 2008. Nope, CGI is a must so first off KITT has CGI bullet protection that allows him to get hit with a bullet and it instantly repairs itself using nano technology (I think Apple has the copyright on that). Yeah, he isn’t bulletproof, he technically gets damaged but can repair himself and hold up to 8 GB of music and video!

The next thing this CGI feature can do is change the color of the car from a black Ford Mustang to a white Ford Mustang. This is a deception tactic, but since he is going 200 miles an hour I think he should still be pretty easy to spot.

Actually, let’s examine that speed issue. How exactly can KITT go that fast? Well, when KITT wants to go really fast all he has to do is turn on the CGI second spoiler. This allows the car the ability to go just over 600 miles in about 3 hours and 20 minutes. I really need to get me a double-decker spoiler.

Of course he can also tap into private and public surveillance and has the infra red vision, but the really cool thing is watching him drive and then watching him drive some more, and when we aren’t watching him drive we are in the car listening to the blowhard passengers discuss life as the CGI green screened vistas pass by outside. Honestly, I have never seen such bad green screen work in my life. This show could have actually been made in your home.

This brings us to the actual story. You see, one guy has codes to a whole bunch of missile launch thingamajigs and whatnots and he has somehow been granted permission to install these into his super car… KITT. So, some terrorists come to get him and end up killing his Vantage Point-style double while he escapes out the back door. The double dies and is forgotten. Thanks double!

Meanwhile KITT escapes the terrorists and goes and gets dude’s daughter and then sets out on a mission to get Michael Traceur who turns out to be Michael Knight’s (The Hoff) son. Traceur and the girl then go to rescue her dad, get caught, escape and end up stopping KITT right in front of the bad guys and with his Apple nano technology they ram him and everyone in the SUV dies except her dad and it is all caught on video and spread over the internet via YouTube which you can watch on your Apple iPhone.*

Throughout all of this Mike’s mom died and at the end we are at her funeral and The Hoff shows up and says, “I’m your father.” To which Mike says, “I know.” Then The Hoff goes off to the pond where he lives (not joking… well, sorta joking).

The end of the show is where it all should have begun; Traceur goes off on his first mission as the new Knight Rider. He is apparently out to get someone code named “Sidewinder.” Fucking awesome eh?

Oh shit, I forgot to tell you! To get you all hot and bothered we are first introduced to Traceur as he is having a threesome. Does it make sense? No. Does it go anywhere? No.

The chances of this getting made into a series are absolutely ZERO! Be thankful for that.

If I was in any way involved in this production I would be afraid to show my face. Justin Breuning, who plays Traceur, can go back to “All My Children”. Deanna Russo who plays the daughter can go wherever Rebecca Gayheart ended up because she is a slightly more attractive lookalike and the rest of the cast can only hope to forget they were ever actors. I am sure Bruce Davison will continue to get work and I only hope Sydney Tamiia Portier gets a second chance because going from Tarantino’s Death Proof to this is embarrassing.

The script is 100% attributed to David Andron who is going to have to write the next great American masterpiece to be considered good. It is amazing to think they actually waited this long to make this pile of crap.

As for my headline, and it having to do with fanboys, this show speaks largely as to what the studios – television and movies alike – think about fanboys as an enthusiastic fan base. Fanboys can be taken advantage of is the message I am reading out of all of this.

Fanboys, rightly so, get excited about certain projects that are created and aimed directly at them. Studios know how dedicated this group of movie and television watchers can be, and they make shows such as “Knight Rider” and the awful looking “Terminator” specifically for these folks, and they tune in. They are a group that hopes for the best, regardless of opinions they have read, they must see for themselves just how bad Spider-Man 3 actually is.

Sure, it’s easy to poke fun at a group of people that get excited over the next Batman film or dissect every aspect of the latest superhero feature, but guess what, it isn’t only fanboys going to these movies. Fanboys are the reason so many of these films that are making insane amounts of money at the box-office are even getting made, but you and I are out there supporting them just as much as they are. Hell, when a pile of shit like Ghost Rider can make $115 million at the box-office I think it is safe to say there is a fan base outside of comic book geeks attending these films. The question is, why don’t the studios take them seriously?

Is it because Fox can make a second Fantastic Four and despite the fact that it isn’t very good it can still gross $131 million. Is it because Sony could make a Ghost Rider 2 and it would probably crack the $100 million mark despite how bad the first film was? Yup, that’s exactly it. Studios know they have a fan base that will tune in and buy tickets for whatever load of crap they make just as long as it features a hero they like, even if they butcher it.

I don’t say this because fanboys blindly follow their favorite comic book heroes. I say this because they attend the theater hoping for the best, and who doesn’t?

Unfortunately, when a shit pile such as “Knight Rider” rolls along and takes the love of the original for granted and spews filth all over my TV screen it is insulting to anyone that ever watched television. The mere fact NBC had the balls to air it is shocking enough. Then to see how bad it is makes their decision even that much more appalling.

I know I can’t dissuade fanboys from going and seeing the films they are anticipating no matter how bad it looks. Even I was interested in seeing just how bad Ghost Rider was going to be and from the minute “Knight Rider” started I knew the following two hours were going to be rough. Sadly this means we will continue to get substandard fanboy films, which is why Christopher Nolan’s Batman Begins is held in such high regard and Jon Favreau’s Iron Man looks like it may be next on the list right next to The Dark Knight.

I guess the biggest problem is that fanboys really can’t win. It’s rare a movie aimed at the dedicated group is going to live up to expectations, especially when the slightest detail can cause a shit storm (end of the Iron Man Super Bowl trailer anyone?).

As for Dutch Oven Productions and their reboot of “Knight Rider”, they better watch out, I hear Cleveland Steamer Productions is ramping up an “Airwolf” reboot that will knock your socks off.

*Apple is not actually anywhere to be seen in the show, but my references to it are just as stupid as the real thing.


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