D'Arcy from Winnipeg
Solution Architecture, Business & Entrepreneurship, Microsoft, and Adoption

Television: How Programs Became Commercials (or My Knight Rider Review)

Monday, February 18, 2008 12:52 AM

So tonight I watched the better part of an hour-long Ford car commercial (well, it was technically two hours I think, but I just recorded the rest to run as background music for my next WoW session).

Any of you that watched the Knight Rider premiere tonight...well, if you did, first let me offer my condolences. As with any remake of an establishment, there's always risk that things will turn into a gong-show while attempting to relive the glory days...and unforunately for Knight Rider, the gong is still ringing in my ears.

First, the dialogue...who wrote this?! I knew we were in trouble when they said things like "hard drives" with great importance...as in "let's find those HARD DRIVES"...oooo, hard drives...with DATA...or how about the geek that walks into the back room and declares "I've never seen such complex algorythyms..."...yeah buddy, because us geeks just leave our computers on displaying algorythyms all the time.

The scientists work area included a bunch of little robots and what not...all of which I already saw at the last Twin Cities Code Camp during the presentation on the Microsoft Robotics SDK. Where did the budget for this series go?

Oh right...THE CAR! Kitt is definitely rockin' the Ford logo in this show. Not only does Kitt have all the regular witty computer banter, the sleek black paint job, and the same indestructable frame...but he can also MODIFY HIS BODY AT WILL. Of course, he can only take the form of other models of Mustang but can alter colors. I could be wrong on that though, since he also GREW A SPOILER AT WILL, so maybe we'll see the Ford Ranger version of Kitt when they have an off-road excursion?

Back to the dialogue...when I really knew this series was in trouble was when the bad guys come to "rough up" the new version of Michael Knight. Apparantly he owes alot of money to shady investors who gave him money to build a racecar. No races = no money, and they're tired of waiting. While in his garage, one bad guy pulls a gun on the token friend and declares that he needs the money in 24 hours or token friend gets it. I kid you not, this is the dialogue:

New Michael Knight - "How am I supposed to get that type of money?"
Bad Guy - "I don't know, have a bake sale for all I care."

Seriously...bad guy with a gun drops the term "bake sale" in his dialogue? Did nobody read this script?! Mind you, it *is* a Ford commercial masquerading as a television show...Thank God that Dexter was on CBS last night...

D




Feedback

# re: Television: How Programs Became Commercials (or My Knight Rider Review)

Watched Dexter side by side with my AVI's I downloaded last year, just to see what they cut. (Network cable tv shows are 42 minutes, Showtime shows 55 minutes - after you remove the commercials). There's also a lot of nudity later on in the series.

Most of Doakes's dialog got cut, along with the "foreplay" before the kills, and the butchering after. I missed the start but it looks like they removed most of Dexter's first kill in the series... it takes 8 minutes to get to the credits on the Showtime version, 3 on the CTV feed.

Best dub ever? "I'm watching you Mother Lover!" 2/18/2008 1:38 AM | Cam

# re: Television: How Programs Became Commercials (or My Knight Rider Review)

I watched it and was a bit dissapointed. The show reminded me more of that old "Viper" series than it did Knight Rider.

Back in the day, even though KITT was a computer he did have a personality, and you did get a sense of friendship between him and Michael Knight. He was as much a character of the show as Michael Knight, or Devon Miles

In fact that is one of the things that bothered me about the show. They didn't explain what happened to the original KITT. The car dismantled, sure. But what about the internals that made KITT...KITT? They spent so much time in the 80's building that character, what happened to him?

Oh, and apparently the car is not indestructible like it was in the 80's with its Molecular Bonded Shell. This new car instead has a "regenerative nano-technology" outershell that absorbs bullets and repairs itself...but only when KILMERITT is functioning. If VAL KITT is "switched off", the car is as vulnerable as any other car, as we saw with the window being shot out and a broken headlight when KITT sideswiped the SUV (although I think that might have been a filming mistake as the headlight was fine in later scenes).

So, I'll watch the series if they make one as I didn't find it too terrible. But, they really failed to capture the essence of the original series.

My 2 cents.

2/18/2008 6:42 AM | Shaneo

# re: Television: How Programs Became Commercials (or My Knight Rider Review)

You guys are SO picky! Must be the old age. My wife and I LOVED it. Couldn't miss a second of it. It was just as fun as I remembered when I was a kid and I'm already looking forward to the next episode.

Tell me you didn't scream and pump your fist in the air when you save the Hoff? You know you did. 2/18/2008 9:47 AM | George Clingerman

# re: Television: How Programs Became Commercials (or My Knight Rider Review)

It was an all right shot, especially with it being a pilot. It did not pull out the true feel of the old series (I just finished watching Season 1 on DVD which included the "Knight Rider 2000" TV movie.)

The pilot of Knight Rider was similar to this movie - introduce the characters, a little backstory. I am assuming that "Knight Rider 2000" does not exist here at all... seeing as how the car in that series was the Knight Indistries Four Thousand, and the one here is the 3000. (Plus, all cops in that movie have ultra-sonic weapons to stun attackers and some have computer chips in their head...)

In the original series, Michael and KITT did not get along and did not have that chemistry until near the end of the pilot episode. That only showed here in the final scene when they were backing out of the FLAG "moving vehicle" (aka the Semi in the original, and something different here for those who have not seen it... but it was lame nonetheless - I mean, if Michael is on a mission, where the hell is the FLAG support staff going??)

I disagree with D'Arcy on one main point - this was not a Ford commercial. If it was, we would have had 2 things:

1) More car shots (there was less exterior of KITT in this movie than in some one-hour episodes of the show, including the pilot)

2) They would have not used Val Kilmer but the voice of Kiefer Sutherland, the voice of the car (he is out of jail from his DUI, and since 24 is not coming back until next year they could have... unless there was a concern that if the show is picked up he couldn't juggle voice acting for Knight Rider and fighting terrorists on 24, especially on rival networks).

This was a characterization pilot for the show. It should not have been done this way. Characterization for a pilot episode of a greenlit series is great; for a TV movie that hopes to launch a series, not so much, as you can't put enough of the energy into the show to get people to watch the new series. Sure, ratings may say otherwise, but do the ratings reflect how many people switched it off or actually liked it? If they had done a 2-part miniseries like BSG, and done a combination of characterization and flesh some things out more, this would have rocked instead of been "OK".

It's sad... I think the original series was better done that this one... although the new KITT does look kinda cool, except for the whole auto-nano-technology fixer-upper parts... and how the computer geek could hack into KITT. 2/18/2008 10:13 AM | Kelly

# re: Television: How Programs Became Commercials (or My Knight Rider Review)

Kelly:
That most definately was a Ford car commercial. They would have needed *more* car shots?! OMG...there were so many as it was! Nevermnind the fact that this series apparantly takes place in a world where EVERYONE (including the bad guys) drive FORD vehicles! Nod Dodge, no GMC...just FORD. It's all subliminal man...it messes with YOUR MIND! 2/18/2008 11:02 AM | D'Arcy from Winnipeg

# re: Television: How Programs Became Commercials (or My Knight Rider Review)

Well Logan and I loved it. The 4 part commercials where KITT gets jealous of another car were stupid, but the show was awesome. 2/18/2008 11:16 AM | Blogus Maximus

# re: Television: How Programs Became Commercials (or My Knight Rider Review)

Don't Hassle the Hoff!! 2/18/2008 11:18 AM | Blogus Maximus

# re: Television: How Programs Became Commercials (or My Knight Rider Review)

They show was TERRIBLE! Please... Rather watch ELMO dance or listen to a politician talk about global warming. 2/18/2008 11:21 AM | Rick DelDorsitia

# re: Television: How Programs Became Commercials (or My Knight Rider Review)

Please! It was absolutely horrific! What an expensive joke... The writers must have been smoking crack to come up with that dialogue. Corny, Corny, Corny... What's up with KITT's voice? I'd rather practice math word problems. Sorry to the cast & crew of the original... 2/18/2008 11:24 AM | Mike Jacquez

# re: Television: How Programs Became Commercials (or My Knight Rider Review)

Well, that settles it. If Chris liked it and I liked it, it's obviously an awesome show and the rest of you left your childhood way behind in the past.

2/18/2008 11:25 AM | George Clingerman

# re: Television: How Programs Became Commercials (or My Knight Rider Review)

No, I think it just shows the effects of living in the heart of NASCAR country can have on people.
;)

D 2/18/2008 12:26 PM | D'Arcy from Winnipeg

# re: Television: How Programs Became Commercials (or My Knight Rider Review)

Everyone is entitleed to their opinion. i agree that the show wasn't perfect, but who cares KNIGHT RIDER IS BACK! the show was really about the car, and it seems like it still is.
relationships and character development will come later with the series if it comes out, but ultimately, i think they did a good job on the show. it wont be any fun if it's exactly like the original series. it needs to be updated, the technology needs to be upgraded. All the thing they put into this show, I think they handled with respect of the original, and it was very tasteful and exciting. All you other are not true KR fans if you dont see that.
"One man can make a difference." 2/18/2008 2:44 PM | Ben Bahner

# re: Television: How Programs Became Commercials (or My Knight Rider Review)

I concur on the whole Ford commercial thing. I switched it off after watching it for about 15 minutes, after which I'd seen all the Ford-logos I can stomach for one night. Actually, I did notice a couple of Volvo's which were taken out pretty quickly (or at least they ended up in a ditch or on the side of the road; you know, Volvo's are SOOO unsafe that way).
I watched the original Knight Rider growing up in Europe, so I don't know about this, so here's a question: did the original series also have "Ford car giveaway sweepstakes" commercials in between??
Please, this is as lame as GM trying to push its models in the Transformers movie a couple of months ago (I did actually like that movie; couldn't care less about the cars though). 2/18/2008 5:32 PM | Blurpie

# re: Television: How Programs Became Commercials (or My Knight Rider Review)

It should be pointed out that Ford owns Volvo, hence why they were in the shoots.

This was almost as bad as those HORRIBLY BLATENT product placement segments on the Biggest Loser.

D 2/18/2008 5:49 PM | D'Arcy from Winnipeg

# re: Television: How Programs Became Commercials (or My Knight Rider Review)

It turns out that the AutoBlog Community also severely disliked the show...

http://www.autoblog.com/2008/02/17/knight-rider-the-liveblog/
2/21/2008 6:08 PM | Kelly

# re: Television: How Programs Became Commercials (or My Knight Rider Review)

SCREW autoblog.....those jerks...what do they know....how dare they sulley the image that we know as the lone crusader who champions the cause of the innocent, the helpless, and the powerless who operate in a dangerous world of criminals who operate above the law!
2/22/2008 8:05 PM | Shaneo

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