Knight Rider – the last review (episode 2)

Knight Rider wasn't classic entertainment even in the 80s, but this time Mark's really had enough...

I promised myself I wouldn’t do this, because intrinsically I love good TV, and Knight Rider is not remotely in that classification. But like a dog that returns repeatedly to something it just spewed, or slowing down to rubber-neck at an especially graphic pile-up, I’m compelled to cover another of these creative train wrecks…

In the second of the series Michael goes undercover to find out the source of illegal military hardware smuggling to China by posing as a driver to Fast-and-Furious wannabes the Cheng Brothers. As a plot, this is pure Hoff-era Knight Rider fare, and an especially tacky excuse for driving fast. But let’s be brutal: this isn’t actually a TV show is it? Like the original one, it’s an extended advertisement, now for the Ford Mustang.

There’s a subplot about stealing a car for the Brothers Cheng which is a pathetic excuse to ogle women in bikinis at a pool party, while playing Mercy by Duffy. And that’s how shallow this show is, amazingly. I might be impressed if I was a terminally adolescent male, but for the rest of humanity, this is cringingly awful.

It all culminates in a race where Sarah gets herself caught, and then, after escaping, Michael does the same for good measure. He ends up buried to his neck in the desert with the Chengs looking to play Subbuteo with his head. Unfortunately he survives because of KITT, damn it!

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To follow the Knight Rider playbook precisely, the resolution is a truck going over a cliff in slow motion and exploding on impact. In production terms, trucks are cheap, and I’m sure Ford provided this one for free.

I’ve sat through two of these now, and I can’t hack it any more. If I actually listed all the things wrong with this show I’d be here till Christmas, 2022. Justin Bruening and Deanna Russo have acting styles so subtle they’re almost negligible. They make Roger Moore’s left eyebrow movement seem like the pinnacle of pathos. The dialogue makes me want to wash repeatedly using neat bleach, and the plots are the same crap that got slated 25 years ago when the Hoff worked this beat.

But pointing this out is probably pointless because this wreck has a date with destiny, and she’s pre-ordered the Lobster!

If they don’t cancel this soon, there is no justice in this world.

Check out Mark’s take on the season opener here.


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