This evening the new fall season of television programming begins with two returning series on The CW [Gossip Girl, One Tree Hill], one on TNT [Steven Bochco’s inept Raising the Bar] and one on Fox [Prison Break]. Overall, the new season looks a lot like the last one. Thanks to the writers’ strike, a number of series that might have been cancelled are reappearing, series like Life, Eli Stone, Pushing Daisies, Chuck and Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles to name a few. Add to them the few buzzworthy new shows [Fringe, The Mentalist, and Eleventh Hour] and it still doesn’t add up to the anticipation for Fox’s Joss Whedon-created Dollhouse. Which is not to say that there aren’t points of interest on the fall schedule.
After months of hype the new Knight Rider finally premiered on NBC this weekend. I was expecting a disaster but was pleasantly surprised by a bad, but watchable two hr car commercial. There’s potential here for a good campy show if the cast can get a chance to gel. The acting in this is pretty awful, no chemistry amongst the cast and an audio mix that was muddled at best. The loud, techno soundtrack drowned out most of the dialog and Val Kilmer’s kit was devoid of any humor, wit, or style. To make matters worse, it sounded as though it was recorded in a jar. I couldn’t hear half of what he said. The new K.I.T.T. 3000 is devoid of personality or the “wow” factor that the original K.I.T.T. had. The chase sequences from Director Steve Shill are the definition of lame – a suped up Ford Mustang can’t outrun a Mini-Van? I did like K.I.T.T.’s morphing ability that was nicely done and not as goofy looking as I would have thought it would be. There were some weird inconsistencies in how the car looked during chase sequences where it was clear they used different cars. Part of the problem with the movie was it was hampered by an obviously small budget because there was no wow factor, the action scenes felt like they were straight out of the 70s. And it was a surprisingly talky, weepy, and whiney movie. Way too serious for the material.
Former Soap star Justin Bruening‘s Mike Traceur is every cheezy 70s action hero stereotype; bad gambler who has to help and become a hero to pay off his dept. Doesn’t care about anything. Bitter that his mother sent him away to military school because he was a discipline problem. Never met his dad. Gave up the love of his life Deanna Russo who needs his help to find her father. Etc. Yeah, I know this paragraph sucks, but I’m putting about as much effort into this review as writer David Andron did in his twelve days of writing this dreck. It contains such classic moments as K.I.T.T. asking Michael if he’s gay and a two minute potty break.
Even with all of it’s faults, I still somehow enjoyed the movie. It was bad and not campy bad. It had a rushed, low-budget feel to it. But I would like to see NBC give it a chance at a series. But only if they give it a full season to get it’s legs. If it’s a 6 and out deal then they shouldn’t bother.
Final Grade C-
EM Review by
Originally Posted 2/18/08
Now that the writer’s strike is over we are starting to get some answers about the future of freshmen shows. ABC is keeping just about everything and based on this announcement NBC is still unsure what it’s going to do. For me the big disappointment of the season was Chuck – it’s just too much like Reaper and not as good, and Bionic Woman. Bionic is a terrible show, but I would like to see NBC give it a chance to find it’s footing. Life is just boring, I’m surprised to see that get picked up. Here’s the full press release.