"Knight Rider" 2008 Constructive Criticisms/Thoughts (Long!)

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"Knight Rider" 2008 Constructive Criticisms/Thoughts (Long!)

Post by goldbug » Wed Oct 15, 2008 10:01 am

After reading almost a month's worth of reviews for KR2008 online and many threads here, I thought I'd pop my own .02 cents in about how the series can be improved. Let me preface this by saying that I enjoyed the Knight Rider 2008 movie a lot, and the series has been a really fun ride so far. I want this show to succeed, but even an ardent supporter such as myself sees room for improvement. How this thread differs from many others however is a focus on constructive criticism instead of just outright bashing and sentences in all caps ending with exclamation points (and a couple number "1's" as well, heh).

Feel free to debate and discuss, but realize I am not bashing the show by any means, merely offering my opinion on how it can be made a stronger program.

Character development
It is almost universally agreed upon that part of the original "Knight Rider"'s recipe for success was the relationship between KITT and Michael Knight, which went from argumentative to pure friendship on almost a weekly basis. In American culture, there is a very ingrained social tie between a man and his car, a concept that predates "Knight Rider" by decades. A car isn't just a mode of transportation. For some men it is a representation of their success,
their pride and in some cases, their profession (ranging from race car drivers to police). By giving the car its own identity via the AI, KITT became not only everything mentioned above, but a character in his own right, elevating him above a set piece.

KR08 has the elements in place to take advantage of this component of the formula. The car is there, the man is there, the AI is there. Scenes such as the "potato chip" incident in the February 08 movie and the "cowboy" watching scene in "Journey into the end of Knight" are perfect examples of how the series can take that classic car/hero relationship and utilize it in this new show. We've even seen hints of KITT's loyalty as he spies on Graiman and Torres while scanning Mike's file. These are all steps in a positive direction, and I believe in concert with Mike's "wiped memory" we may yet see a really fascinating story.

However, where things get muddled is the propensity (thus far) to make this show a new version of TKR without the extra vehicles. Aside from Sarah's role in the first episode, there's not a whole lot of need so far for everyone else to tag alone with Mike and KITT, and yet it seems like it's going to happen often. While this has become the norm, I would argue it needs to become the exception. The show needs to focus on the developing friendship between MIke and KITT, and show us how the two work well together. Once that is well established, then start taking Billy, Zoe etc. etc. out on missions as a sort of "treat" every now and then.

I also believe the character of Rivai needs to be used more often. When two out of three episodes that start off the series do not feature a main character from the pilot movie, you know something is up. Despite the fact that Sarah has the same training as Mike, it strikes me odd that Rivai wasn't the one in the first episode on the field or that she wasn't the one to go surfing in "Iguana" (I know they dismissed her with a line, but still). No matter how much training Sarah has had, Rivai has been an agent longer and has more field experience. It seems odd they keep ignoring her in favor of sending Sarah and/or untrained scientists into the field instead. Rivai needs to be utilized more to emphasize just why she's even still there to begin with.

Regarding the KITTCave crew, I believe they are being poorly utilized. Charles, Sarah, Billy and Zoe are all supposed to be braniacs of some sort, so show us that aspect. Silliness can be thrown in for good laughs, but at the end of the day, show us how smart the characters are, don't just tell us. I'd love to see some displays of technical wizardry or pulling off modifications/upgrades to KITT that no one else can etc.

KITT
Going back to my earlier point above, KITT needs to be treated as a character who can do extraordinary things, not just a set piece. Ironically, I believe the writers/producers have a firm grasp on what they want KITT to be as a character, but as a super car he is lacking in many ways. The original series managed to find a good balance between KITT having a personality and the car "body" being able to do fantastic things. That balance has not quite been struck in the new show yet (but I think it will in time).

First there is the oft debated interior. While the interior shown in the February Pilot movie was rather sparse, the LCD screen did a lot, including utilizing KITT's tendency to communicate via pictures (the crying Native American was classic). It also gave KITT a high tech look inside despite the rest of the interior being rather "standard". Now in the series, the use of the HUD and the glowing instrument panels and the "globe" are all fantastic. I applaud the effort and thought put into each one, especially in adding visual hints of classic KITT's tri-bar speech patterns.

However, the center of the car dash underneath the globe is downright distracting due to how utterly ordinary it looks, and also knowing that at one point there was a more high tech piece of equipment there than a radio and a few knobs. I would propose bringing back the small LCD screen allowing characters to operate independent unctions and KITT to utilize his "communication through images" again. I don't believe a modern day KITT needs to look like "Darth Vader's bathroom", but nor should he look almost completely "stock" without the HUD running. On a much more minor point, I would love the steering wheel from the pilot movie to be brought back as it was a nice, real life, allusion to KI2T's steering wheel.

The second thing that needs to be done is not so much as a change in the car itself, but how it is utilized. While we have seen KITT do some truly amazing things including transformation, survive missile blasts and of course, turbo boost, there need to be more practical effects done with the car that establish it as a powerhouse. The Mustang has a reputation as being a powerful vehicle, so show us just how powerful KITT is. Stunts such as crashing through walls or withstanding impacts from other vehicles (such as the last scene in the pilot movie) would go a long way to show just how powerful KITT really is. All that said, I believe the use of CGI combined with practical effects for the Turbo Boost works well.

For the geeks in all of us, I believe KITT's abilities need to be outlined better. Often in the original program we were reminded of KITT's MBS, what technology was being added to him etc. So far, KITT's abilities are a tad bit more mysterious than they need to be. Questions on this board about "Is he still nanotech, does the tech shut down if he shuts down?" etc. show that a bit more exposition needs to be given. This is not just informational, it also helps us, the audience, add some "wow" factor in our minds about the car. It's one thing to watch and think "KITT is getting shot at but not damaged" but it's another thing to think "KITT is protected by nanotech that repairs him and absorbs bullet impact, cool!" Again, this is terribly geeky, but I think it also offers some nice continuity from episode to episode for us to know just what makes KITT "special".

VFX
The VFX crew have pulled together an extraordinary feat with "Knight Rider". The transformation sequences impress me a lot as it was not too long ago that these FX were still in their infancy as they were being developed for "Transformers". Now seeing them in a weekly television show and done well is amazing. I'm a big fan of the HUD and the tech it represents as well as the whole use of touch screen tech to manipulate windows, something I can see happening with home systems more and more in time. As mentioned before, I actually dig the globe a lot and its nod to KI2T's voice box.

Contrary to many complaints circulating around, I think the VFX team only requires minor adjustments to significantly improve things. The weakest aspect of the VFX right now are the green screen effects when the characters are driving. I understand that this is necessary from time to time in an episode for cost savings, and I have no problem with that at all. However, having watched many other shows that also use driving green screen, I can say that KR needs to step up those particular effects a lot. There are three aspects to the process that I think would help a lot:

1. The "video" being used for the green screen is often either too highly saturated in color (making it look almost cartoon-like) or too low in saturation (to the point where it looks like something being projected on a screen in the background). The saturation of color needs to match up with the actual actors/sets being used in the scene, or it simply doesn't work.

2. The sharpness of the video being used for the green screen also needs improvement. Sometimes the footage of the road or buildings going by is so grainy and blurred you can barely tell what it is they're supposed to be driving by.

3. An effect I've seen used in other shows such as "Bones" involves having a practical light source passing by the car as it drives through a street or set. This adds a level of realism. If the car is driving down a street at night, have several lights hitting it since there are street lights everywhere. In the desert? Add a lens flare effect to represent a glint off metal from the sun. Little touches like that help "fool" the eyes into thinking the scene is more real than it is.

The final bit that I believe needs work are practical effects. Specifically, KITT needs some type of visual cue to show is invulnerability to weapons fire. This was done in the original series using "sparks". Mind you, this is not how it would actually happen in real life, but it made these scenes a lot more exciting. The pilot movie did this by using the "nanotech healing" effect, something we've only seen once since the show began to air. Seeing a bit more of this would help enhance already nicely done action sequences.

I truly believe KR08 has a strong foundation and good cast who can make this show fun and stand on its own for a new generation, it just needs some tweaking as many other shows did before they became successful in later seasons. I wish the cast the best of luck and will continue to tune in every week!
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Re: "Knight Rider" 2008 Constructive Criticisms/Thoughts (Long!)

Post by Garthe Knight » Wed Oct 15, 2008 1:11 pm

goldbug wrote:After reading almost a month's worth of reviews for KR2008 online and many threads here, I thought I'd pop my own .02 cents in about how the series can be improved. Let me preface this by saying that I enjoyed the Knight Rider 2008 movie a lot, and the series has been a really fun ride so far. I want this show to succeed, but even an ardent supporter such as myself sees room for improvement. How this thread differs from many others however is a focus on constructive criticism instead of just outright bashing and sentences in all caps ending with exclamation points (and a couple number "1's" as well, heh).

Feel free to debate and discuss, but realize I am not bashing the show by any means, merely offering my opinion on how it can be made a stronger program.

This always was and still is my intention, when I write on this board, and I think your post is really well witten and has a lot of good points. So I want to comment on this.
goldbug wrote:Character development
It is almost universally agreed upon that part of the original "Knight Rider"'s recipe for success was the relationship between KITT and Michael Knight, which went from argumentative to pure friendship on almost a weekly basis. In American culture, there is a very ingrained social tie between a man and his car, a concept that predates "Knight Rider" by decades. A car isn't just a mode of transportation. For some men it is a representation of their success,
their pride and in some cases, their profession (ranging from race car drivers to police). By giving the car its own identity via the AI, KITT became not only everything mentioned above, but a character in his own right, elevating him above a set piece.

KR08 has the elements in place to take advantage of this component of the formula. The car is there, the man is there, the AI is there. Scenes such as the "potato chip" incident in the February 08 movie and the "cowboy" watching scene in "Journey into the end of Knight" are perfect examples of how the series can take that classic car/hero relationship and utilize it in this new show. We've even seen hints of KITT's loyalty as he spies on Graiman and Torres while scanning Mike's file. These are all steps in a positive direction, and I believe in concert with Mike's "wiped memory" we may yet see a really fascinating story.

However, where things get muddled is the propensity (thus far) to make this show a new version of TKR without the extra vehicles. Aside from Sarah's role in the first episode, there's not a whole lot of need so far for everyone else to tag alone with Mike and KITT, and yet it seems like it's going to happen often. While this has become the norm, I would argue it needs to become the exception. The show needs to focus on the developing friendship between MIke and KITT, and show us how the two work well together. Once that is well established, then start taking Billy, Zoe etc. etc. out on missions as a sort of "treat" every now and then.

I also believe the character of Rivai needs to be used more often. When two out of three episodes that start off the series do not feature a main character from the pilot movie, you know something is up. Despite the fact that Sarah has the same training as Mike, it strikes me odd that Rivai wasn't the one in the first episode on the field or that she wasn't the one to go surfing in "Iguana" (I know they dismissed her with a line, but still). No matter how much training Sarah has had, Rivai has been an agent longer and has more field experience. It seems odd they keep ignoring her in favor of sending Sarah and/or untrained scientists into the field instead. Rivai needs to be utilized more to emphasize just why she's even still there to begin with.

Regarding the KITTCave crew, I believe they are being poorly utilized. Charles, Sarah, Billy and Zoe are all supposed to be braniacs of some sort, so show us that aspect. Silliness can be thrown in for good laughs, but at the end of the day, show us how smart the characters are, don't just tell us. I'd love to see some displays of technical wizardry or pulling off modifications/upgrades to KITT that no one else can etc.

Absolutely, nothing to add.
goldbug wrote:KITT
Going back to my earlier point above, KITT needs to be treated as a character who can do extraordinary things, not just a set piece. Ironically, I believe the writers/producers have a firm grasp on what they want KITT to be as a character, but as a super car he is lacking in many ways. The original series managed to find a good balance between KITT having a personality and the car "body" being able to do fantastic things. That balance has not quite been struck in the new show yet (but I think it will in time).

First there is the oft debated interior. While the interior shown in the February Pilot movie was rather sparse, the LCD screen did a lot, including utilizing KITT's tendency to communicate via pictures (the crying Native American was classic). It also gave KITT a high tech look inside despite the rest of the interior being rather "standard". Now in the series, the use of the HUD and the glowing instrument panels and the "globe" are all fantastic. I applaud the effort and thought put into each one, especially in adding visual hints of classic KITT's tri-bar speech patterns.

However, the center of the car dash underneath the globe is downright distracting due to how utterly ordinary it looks, and also knowing that at one point there was a more high tech piece of equipment there than a radio and a few knobs. I would propose bringing back the small LCD screen allowing characters to operate independent unctions and KITT to utilize his "communication through images" again. I don't believe a modern day KITT needs to look like "Darth Vader's bathroom", but nor should he look almost completely "stock" without the HUD running. On a much more minor point, I would love the steering wheel from the pilot movie to be brought back as it was a nice, real life, allusion to KI2T's steering wheel.

The second thing that needs to be done is not so much as a change in the car itself, but how it is utilized. While we have seen KITT do some truly amazing things including transformation, survive missile blasts and of course, turbo boost, there need to be more practical effects done with the car that establish it as a powerhouse. The Mustang has a reputation as being a powerful vehicle, so show us just how powerful KITT is. Stunts such as crashing through walls or withstanding impacts from other vehicles (such as the last scene in the pilot movie) would go a long way to show just how powerful KITT really is. All that said, I believe the use of CGI combined with practical effects for the Turbo Boost works well.

For the geeks in all of us, I believe KITT's abilities need to be outlined better. Often in the original program we were reminded of KITT's MBS, what technology was being added to him etc. So far, KITT's abilities are a tad bit more mysterious than they need to be. Questions on this board about "Is he still nanotech, does the tech shut down if he shuts down?" etc. show that a bit more exposition needs to be given. This is not just informational, it also helps us, the audience, add some "wow" factor in our minds about the car. It's one thing to watch and think "KITT is getting shot at but not damaged" but it's another thing to think "KITT is protected by nanotech that repairs him and absorbs bullet impact, cool!" Again, this is terribly geeky, but I think it also offers some nice continuity from episode to episode for us to know just what makes KITT "special".

I agree with you. The new "voicebox" is cool, the 3-bars are wonderful. And the interior would need some extra gadgets and buttons so it looks more special.

One thing I want to add is the transformation part. In Transformers the transformation part makes sense, because they are robots from another planet that disguise as cars and vehicles on earth.
But I have a problem with KITT transforming. And that has different reasons:
1. KITT has to be recognizable. In the pilot KITT lost his scanner when he morphed to that silver Mustang. He looked too usual then. Now in the series he can transform into other modes, which are all black and have the red scanner. This is better.
2. Transformation must make sense. Until now the attack mode and the truck mode didn't really make sense. Normally KITT should have been able to do everything he did in the other modes in his normal mode. So it seems either KITT's normal mode is weak, or the other modes are not necessary.
So the standard Mustang should be enough. (apart from that I still don't like the over-tuned look of the attack mode)
3. Transformation must be believable. I would consider Knight Rider a science fiction show. KITT can do amazing things, that might not be possible with todays cars, but those things could be possible some day. So they could think of an explanation for the things that KITT can do (like MBS).
But they should never forget the science in science fiction. Some things will never be possible or are just too far fetched. Like the way how KITT transforms. Flying fenders, matter coming out of nowhere... even if the VFX are well executed, they are not believable.
With KI2T I always had the feeling "one day this will be possible", and we are not far from that day. With KI3T my feeling says "this will never be possible". That's why the transformation is not believable for me.

The same applies for Turbo Boost. Using the side-exausts for the Turbo Boost seems like a good explanation of how KITT can jump. But again they have forgotten the word science. Since the exausts are on the back end of the car, there is no way it could boost the front of the car into the air. The boost would have to be at the front to lift the car. This is the law of physics, you could never change that.
The original show never gave an explanation for Turbo Boost, and I think in this case it was the better choice. And because stunts were real back then, it always looked real, because the forces that affected the car could be seen on the screen. The sound effects did the rest.
goldbug wrote:VFX
The VFX crew have pulled together an extraordinary feat with "Knight Rider". The transformation sequences impress me a lot as it was not too long ago that these FX were still in their infancy as they were being developed for "Transformers". Now seeing them in a weekly television show and done well is amazing. I'm a big fan of the HUD and the tech it represents as well as the whole use of touch screen tech to manipulate windows, something I can see happening with home systems more and more in time. As mentioned before, I actually dig the globe a lot and its nod to KI2T's voice box.

Contrary to many complaints circulating around, I think the VFX team only requires minor adjustments to significantly improve things. The weakest aspect of the VFX right now are the green screen effects when the characters are driving. I understand that this is necessary from time to time in an episode for cost savings, and I have no problem with that at all. However, having watched many other shows that also use driving green screen, I can say that KR needs to step up those particular effects a lot. There are three aspects to the process that I think would help a lot:

1. The "video" being used for the green screen is often either too highly saturated in color (making it look almost cartoon-like) or too low in saturation (to the point where it looks like something being projected on a screen in the background). The saturation of color needs to match up with the actual actors/sets being used in the scene, or it simply doesn't work.

2. The sharpness of the video being used for the green screen also needs improvement. Sometimes the footage of the road or buildings going by is so grainy and blurred you can barely tell what it is they're supposed to be driving by.

3. An effect I've seen used in other shows such as "Bones" involves having a practical light source passing by the car as it drives through a street or set. This adds a level of realism. If the car is driving down a street at night, have several lights hitting it since there are street lights everywhere. In the desert? Add a lens flare effect to represent a glint off metal from the sun. Little touches like that help "fool" the eyes into thinking the scene is more real than it is.

The final bit that I believe needs work are practical effects. Specifically, KITT needs some type of visual cue to show is invulnerability to weapons fire. This was done in the original series using "sparks". Mind you, this is not how it would actually happen in real life, but it made these scenes a lot more exciting. The pilot movie did this by using the "nanotech healing" effect, something we've only seen once since the show began to air. Seeing a bit more of this would help enhance already nicely done action sequences.

I truly believe KR08 has a strong foundation and good cast who can make this show fun and stand on its own for a new generation, it just needs some tweaking as many other shows did before they became successful in later seasons. I wish the cast the best of luck and will continue to tune in every week!

Agreed.

Summing up I agree with everything you said and would add my thoughts about transformation, turbo boost and credibility.

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Re: "Knight Rider" 2008 Constructive Criticisms/Thoughts (Long!)

Post by Rockatteer » Wed Oct 15, 2008 5:14 pm

Nicely said Goldbug. I'm inclined to agree with everything you said, and I hope the people who have the power to fix the issues you mentioned get to read this and take it on board.
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Re: "Knight Rider" 2008 Constructive Criticisms/Thoughts (Long!)

Post by 99 Trans am » Wed Oct 15, 2008 5:19 pm

+ 1 I agree also!

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Re: "Knight Rider" 2008 Constructive Criticisms/Thoughts (Long!)

Post by PHOENIXZERO » Wed Oct 15, 2008 6:46 pm

I agree as well though I'd add that with the new KITT I still haven't had that feeling that he's at least nearly unstoppable like the original and he seems nearly useless without someone issuing a command. It's okay for the new KITT to have weaknesses and not be as invincible as the original KITT was (like I've brought up with my pre/post Crisis Superman analogy in the past) but KITT should be allowed to shine most of the time without relying upon gimmicks, I think they've over done it a bit so far. There's still a lack of attachment to the characters, especially Mike and KITT, that might just be the issue of there being so many cast members and not enough time but honestly, they really haven't given me enough reason to care yet about anyone when it comes to their living or dying. Yet, they're doing it almost every episode.... Wait, no they have done it every episode so far and at least to me, there's not any attachment to the characters like there were in the original series, an attachment that could be felt almost from the start with the pilot. They need to get people to care more about the characters before putting them in so many life and death situations. Most importantly, Mike and KITT, then the rest instead of attempting a balancing act.

Also, if KITT was damaged or nearly destroyed (or just looked inferior) in every other episode in the original series those times it did happen wouldn't have made nearly as big an impact as it did. They really haven't shown much with the new KITT aside from transforming and a couple missiles, it lacks the impact of seeing the actual car bust through a wall or something. I'm even missing the sparks from the original series from when "bullets" hit the car even though they have no place in the new series. They need something to, maybe even a bit of smoke from impact of the bullet being stopped suddenly, with of course the energy from the bullet being absorbed so it doesn't ricochet. I think I'm echoing you a bit there but I think it's something that really needs to be looked at and addressed. I think they should cut the VFX team a little slack and do some more practice effects too. Hopefully that will be coming if the show gets picked up for a full season and a budget increase.
Last edited by PHOENIXZERO on Wed Oct 15, 2008 6:49 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: "Knight Rider" 2008 Constructive Criticisms/Thoughts (Long!)

Post by PunkMaister » Wed Oct 15, 2008 6:49 pm

I think the author of this thread said it all and more eloquently it cannot be spoken. :good: Hope the writters listen to you man... :mrgreen:

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Re: "Knight Rider" 2008 Constructive Criticisms/Thoughts (Long!)

Post by knightprobe89 » Thu Oct 16, 2008 12:01 am

i totally agree with your statements. and they need to do something fast before this show gets cancelled.
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Re: "Knight Rider" 2008 Constructive Criticisms/Thoughts (Long!)

Post by onedown_5up » Thu Oct 16, 2008 12:30 am

Bottom line is the 2008 pilot is done wrong, way wrong. It's turning into one of those shows that you watch a little bit here and little bit there just to see how bad the acting is as most scenes are laughable with the hope that it will get better. Here are 7 bullets why this show will ultimately fail.

1) It's simple - car is overdone when it's in "attack" mode - cheesy with the neon lights and fender flares and all.
2) I like Val Kilmer and all but the original KIT actually felt like a family member when he spoke - not a computer.
3) The entire episode is a Ford commercial (did you ever notice that the bad guys drive Chevys?).
4) What happened to the Foundations' 18 wheeler that functioned as Michael and KIT's office? I thought it was always cool when KIT drove on/off the ramp.
5) Where's Devon's character?
6) No turbo-boost? Lambo doors? Faint scanner noise?! And the red LED is computer generated?! Give me a @&^# break?!
7) Green Screen during chase or cruising scenes. The original did this way better. I dont recall it looking fake at all.

KIT should have been, at the very least, the new 2009 Camaro, which would have kept it consistent with a GM product and close to a Trans-Am remake as well. That would've been refreshing to see. KIT as a Ford is like saying Pepsi tastes like Coke - it just doesn't.

I know you may think these are stupid arguments, but to a twenty something that grew up watching shows like Knight Rider, Airwolfe, Dukes of Hazzard, and The A-Team, this show just flat out sucks compared to the original.

And c'mon now, The Hoff as the father of the new Mike? Really? Is that the best the writers could come up with? I dont think they have recovered from their strike yet. The writing is horid. I'll be surprised if this show makes it through the rest of the season.

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Re: "Knight Rider" 2008 Constructive Criticisms/Thoughts (Long!)

Post by Kaine » Thu Oct 16, 2008 4:03 am

@onedown_5up: you didn't watch the new show at all, did you? this thread and it's constructive critisism is more about the series, not just the 2-hour pilot from february!
a lot of your points are out of date. regarding "KIT should have been, at the very least, the new 2009 Camaro"... well i won't comment on that, this has been discussed to death! oh, and it's KITT with two 'T's by the way.

to add to this thread: i know we've only seen a few episodes so far, but don't you find it kind of weird that we haven't seen KITT driving by himself since the pilot? i wonder why that is!
KITT in auto cruise is essential to show that KITT is more than just a set piece!!! KITT is not just a computer build into a car, KITT is a computer (AI) CONTROLLING the car it is build in. right now this aspect wasn't displayed at all!
where is that great gadget the studio built for the pilot to drive KITT remotely? did they scrap it or sell it? why haven't we seen it in action, the first episodes had lots of opportunities for KITT driving by himself! that's something we really need to see once in a while!

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Re: "Knight Rider" 2008 Constructive Criticisms/Thoughts (Long!)

Post by Rockatteer » Thu Oct 16, 2008 5:59 am

The single biggest thing this show has got wrong is that Kitt should be the main character. TOS's main focus was Kitt the Super-car.

Jack Gill made a comment in one of the DVD features about how their main idea for stunts was that they had an indestructible car, what car they make it do this week. I think that is something that the producers have missed,

Knight Rider is about Kitt. They need to get their heads around that idea. Kitt busting through walls, Kitt driving by himself, Kitt coming to the rescue.

onedown_5up wrote:6) No turbo-boost? Lambo doors? Faint scanner noise?! And the red LED is computer generated?! Give me a @&^# break?!

Which show are you watching?? Turbo boost was used in the first 2 episodes.
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Re: "Knight Rider" 2008 Constructive Criticisms/Thoughts (Long!)

Post by Amir » Thu Oct 16, 2008 8:08 am

onedown_5up wrote:4) What happened to the Foundations' 18 wheeler that functioned as Michael and KIT's office? I thought it was always cool when KIT drove on/off the ramp.
5) Where's Devon's character?
6) No turbo-boost? Lambo doors? Faint scanner noise?! And the red LED is computer generated?! Give me a @&^# break?!


So basically, you just expect them to copy the original Knight Rider. I hope you got your DVDs because that's the only way you'll ever get to see that again. It's just totally unrealistic to expect them to just copy a show that was cancelled in 86'. They obviously made changes. Some of them I like, some I don't, but why does it HAVE to have a Devon or the semi? Why do you care of the red LED is computer generated or real?

That's the problem I have with some of the complaints regarding the new show. Instead of discussing the major issues like story lines or the feel we get from the characters, people talk about things like the bloody semi or KITTs wheel.

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Re: "Knight Rider" 2008 Constructive Criticisms/Thoughts (Long!)

Post by goldbug » Thu Oct 16, 2008 9:12 am

onedown_5up wrote:Bottom line is the 2008 pilot is done wrong, way wrong.


That's not what this post is about. Specifically it addresses the series and offers constructive criticism, something your post does not do.

onedown_5up wrote:3) The entire episode is a Ford commercial (did you ever notice that the bad guys drive Chevys?).

Aside from Ford cars appearing prominantly, how is it a commercial? Do you see Mike saying "Thank goodness that Ford engine saved us KITT!" or "That Ford Explorer(tm) is chasing us!" No. They use product placement just as much as any other show does. "Terminator" is currently using the Dodge pickup truck and it appears quite frequently, does that mean the show sucks automatically because of that? A show's quality has to do with its writing, acting, production, set design etc., not the brand of car being shown.

onedown_5up wrote:4) What happened to the Foundations' 18 wheeler that functioned as Michael and KIT's office? I thought it was always cool when KIT drove on/off the ramp.

That 18 Wheeler would not be over twenty years old and have outdated technology in it. I'm sure it was retired ages ago. I don't see any critics saying "The show sucks because there's no 18 wheeler!". This isn't even a criticism, and they've shown that the plane offers KITT transportation, and its interior is clearly inspired by the 18 Wheeler with its various gadgets and screens.

onedown_5up wrote:5) Where's Devon's character?

What mystifies me is that you point this out as a one of the "reasons" the show will fail when it is a question with a very obvious answer. Edward Mulhare passed away years ago, even if they wanted to bring the character back, it would not be played by him. GST has said Devon and FLAG etc. have not been forgotten, so I suspect we will learn his fate in time.

Either way, this is not a valid criticism of the show, it's just a simple question that has no relevancy to the quality of the program itself. "Star Trek: The Next Generation" went about seven seasons without us knowing the fate of Kirk and it was considered one of the most successful shows out there. A sequel series does not necesarily have to explain the fate of every character from its parent series.

onedown_5up wrote:6) No turbo-boost? Lambo doors? Faint scanner noise?! And the red LED is computer generated?! Give me a @&^# break?!

KITT has turbo boost. The lambo doors are optional. The scanner noise is very prominant. Who cares if the LED is CG? Does CG somehow mean it's less red or something?

onedown_5up wrote:7) Green Screen during chase or cruising scenes. The original did this way better. I dont recall it looking fake at all.

A point I address above, but I note you failed to provide any suggestions on how the process could be improved.

onedown_5up wrote:KIT should have been, at the very least, the new 2009 Camaro, which would have kept it consistent with a GM product and close to a Trans-Am remake as well.

Does anyone have a "beating a dead horse" icon?

onedown_5up wrote:I know you may think these are stupid arguments

It's not that. They're not "arguments" at all. Some are just questions. Other things you say ignore the facts altogether.

onedown_5up wrote:And c'mon now, The Hoff as the father of the new Mike? Really? Is that the best the writers could come up with? I dont think they have recovered from their strike yet. The writing is horid. I'll be surprised if this show makes it through the rest of the season.

So you want ties to the original show and now you don't? You need to make up your mind. It is logical for Mike to be Michael's son, it gives a continuity between the two series beyond the technology used in KITT.
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Re: "Knight Rider" 2008 Constructive Criticisms/Thoughts (Long!)

Post by ThisIsSparta » Thu Oct 16, 2008 6:29 pm

Hi, I'm new here. I originally posted on the NBC website to share some of my observations, suggestions and frustrations. I'm glad I've found this community of fans as well.

Episode 4 was slightly better. It had more realistic action sequences and suspense. However, many of the same fundamental flaws were still there.

I was very hopeful at the beginning of episode 4 because it seemed like Mike and KI3T were finally on their own. After all, Knight Rider is supposed to be a man and his car. My hopes were dashed in the finale when, once again, Sarah comes riding KI3T to Mike's rescue. It really bugs me that Sarah keeps coming to the rescue, especially when she's driving KI3T. It totally interferes with the bonding that should be going on between man and machine. At this point, Sarah is more of a partner to Mike than KI3T. The focus is supposed to be Mike relationship with KI3T not Mike relationship with Sarah. Apparently, the women of the show are being throw out into the field to serve as some kind of sexual element. It's totally unnecessary because there are plenty of women Mike can meet during the course of the mission to serve this purpose. The writers need to treat this just like any buddy cop movie. Partners learn and grow together by watching each other's back in life-threatening situations. If you remove this fundamental principle, there will never be that essential, heartfelt connection between Mike and KI3T in the minds of the viewers. Get Sarah out of the bikini and into the garage, or KI3T cave, as they call it. :)

What happened to Charles Graiman in episode 4? He's an interesting character and yet they leave him out and keep the two banal FBI agents. It's getting really confusing figuring out who's in charge here. There are way too many characters competing for time. Charles Graiman sufficiently serves as the "Devon" of the show. Mike should be taking his orders from Charles with the FBI playing a more minor oversight role. The show would be better served taking the money they use for all these extraneous, chatty characters and putting it into some more stunts using the turbo boost.

Also, nothing, so far, has significantly tied the show in with the original series. Having us wait until episode 13 is totally too long of a wait. Frankly, the show might be cancelled by then. This was presented to us as a continuation of the original Knight Rider. As a fan of the original, I've been eagerly awaiting something of an explanation about what happened to F.L.A.G., Michael Knight and especially the original KITT. Fans developed a huge emotional attachment to the character that was KITT. It really had less to do with the car and more to do with the voice and personality that was KITT and his relationship with Michael. The memory database of the original KITT must exist somewhere. You don't even need to bring the physical car back, just bring KITT back in some form. He can easily coexist with the new KI3T. Links to the past will equal happy fans and ratings to boot.

In a nutshell, this show is supposed to be Knight Rider meets the 21st Century. Unfortunately, it has become Las Vegas meets Fast and the Furious with a dose of 24 thrown in. I'm really praying for it to get better. It has such potential. However, until fundamental changes are made, I expect the ratings to slide week after week. Let this be a lesson to everyone who hassles the Hoff! :)

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Re: "Knight Rider" 2008 Constructive Criticisms/Thoughts (Long!)

Post by Kram061-1 » Thu Oct 16, 2008 7:46 pm

The show is good, but I think we've all agreed, for the most part, what has to be done.
1.) If they're going to insist on Sarah putting her two cents in on every frigging mission, then at least hold off with that until Mike & KITT establish a relationship themselves. When Michael gets into trouble, I never say to myself, watch out now, here comes KITT, you're gonna get it now.......I think to myself, honestly, Sarah better get here soon or Mike and KITT are going to be in trouble. Also, Sarah has to quit driving the car. CASE CLOSED!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
2.) When someone is about to possibly DIE, Zoey has to stop having something arrogant and sarcastic to comment on, and her and Billy have to stop having silly dialog useless to the situation, just for the sake of saying something. It's not funny; just annoying.
3.) I don't think it's necessary to revamp the entire dashboard, although a little work would be fine. But one of the most distinguishing features of the first KITT was his "airplane" steering wheel. The pilot one would do, I'd even take the original K2000 steering wheel, anything but the stock wheel.
4.) The show could use a little more Turbo Boost scenes, instead of 2 in 4 episodes, without the 15 second CGI nonsense leading up to it. Just jump the car and be done with it. Also, no 20 second conversations in real time, while the car is going through the air in slow motion. It gives me the sense the car is flying, as opposed to a car jump. Throw in a little Ski Mode, and some more engaging car chases. (If you watch the original series on DVD, you will see Ski Mode was used more often than you'd think. Plus it is a cool stunt.)
5.) Val Kilmer is an excellent (probably the best) choice for the voice, which has much improved since the pilot. He, in many ways, is reminiscent of William Daniels. He speaks in that 'proper dialog', I guess is the words I am thinking of. Voice Box is awesome. I'd LOVE to hear him tell Michael Knight "you can be my wing man any time!"
6.) I'm not a big fan of the transformations. They need to lay off that a little bit, AND they need to limit what KITT changes into. The Police cruiser was neat, though. I'd say the van is going a bit overboard. I'd rather see KITT project a hologram that he is a Police car, instead of a transformation. Perhaps that was a hologram, I thought I remember hearing he was going to have a hologram projector. I still think this show was aired in a different order than it was filmed, so we might find out 3 episodes from now that that's what that was. But either way, the Police Car was cool.


But I DO very much like this new show. People have to understand, it will NEVER replace or out do the original. But that's okay. It has ALOT of potential, and it's had many good points right now, and I hope it can last today's TV audience for a few seasons.


That's all I can think of right now. :mrgreen:

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Re: "Knight Rider" 2008 Constructive Criticisms/Thoughts (Long!)

Post by WIBoomer1 » Thu Oct 16, 2008 11:40 pm

I was reading down the thread, and thought to myself exactly what was written...no self-driving KITT...

The Charles Graiman character...there's something about him that grates me. I know that he was created to create the New KITT, but he's coming across as the successor to Devon...which wouldn't make much sense. It's one thing to be the technical genius that created the AI in the Knight Series Processors, but since he wasn't in charge of FLAG like Devon clearly was (at least for the 4 years of the series), this character jumps sides and becomes management 26 years later? It's sort of like asking Apollo technicians who built the Saturn rockets that went to the moon, who have retired to come back and head the Constellation program.

The Alex character has a hidden past, maybe if it makes sense and revealed, then let him stay...then Charles can be placed on the FLAG board and he can come and go...

The Knight Industries techs were thought of in the original series, they just was no need for them to show up every week. They recreated KITT when he was damaged almost beyond repair in the acid pool(Junkyard Dog). I really think that there's no need for all the sub characters. I agree that Rivai is a FBI agent, and we know she can surf, ala the Feb movie...She seems more and more like a Tasha Yar throwaway character.

I really wish that Sarah didn't have the attached baggage/backstory that she has with Mike. There was no need for her to have known Mike as a kid, be Charles kid, etc... I think we all would love to have another Michael/Bonnie natural relationship occur vs this soap opera stuff. Sarah should be the only technician, period.

Billy and Zoe are frick and frack. (frack...i said frack...about billy....uh uh huh...never mind) They are the weakest links, goodbye.

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Re: "Knight Rider" 2008 Constructive Criticisms/Thoughts (Long!)

Post by goldbug » Fri Oct 17, 2008 8:20 am

WIBoomer1 wrote:I was reading down the thread, and thought to myself exactly what was written...no self-driving KITT...

Hmmm...I might be mistaken (I've only watched the ep once) but didn't KITT do quite a bit of self driving in "Hard Day's Knight"? Sarah was in the passenger seat for most of it and Mike was busy dying. I think for most of the episode it's KITT at the wheel (as it should be if Mike is incapacitated).
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Re: "Knight Rider" 2008 Constructive Criticisms/Thoughts (Long!)

Post by Rockatteer » Fri Oct 17, 2008 7:53 pm

My biggest criticism is that the show needs to be about Kitt the (nearly) indestructible and the guy that drives him.

Kitt needs to be the main character of the show.
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Re: "Knight Rider" 2008 Constructive Criticisms/Thoughts (Long!)

Post by PHOENIXZERO » Fri Oct 17, 2008 8:46 pm

Well, in AHDK KITT actually did something during a mission without being told, so maybe that's a small sign that eventually he's learning and won't have to be told every five minutes what to do at some point.
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Re: "Knight Rider" 2008 Constructive Criticisms/Thoughts (Long!)

Post by KITT MARK 2 » Sat Oct 18, 2008 11:33 am

My problem lies in that the NEW KITT seems less advanced than the OLD KITT. I understand the AI is "learning," but you'd think they'd advance him a bit more before putting him out on the field.

Cases in point:

1st Ep, KITT just sits there while the chick pulls up and pulls a gun on Mike. Of course, the way Mike reacted was moronic as well, but the old KITT would have at least attempted to do something instead of just sit there.

When the cave doors wouldn't open, think old KITT would sit there waiting for them to get their crap together and get it open? No, old KITT woulda already turbo boosted the door or micro jammed it or something. The primary function is the preservation of his pilot's life, and he did many things to accomplish that function. Which also adds to the argument we haven't seen this new KITT do anything remarkable yet to show its power.

Then there's the scanners. Is it me, or do they seem more reliant on other technology than they used to be? The third episode was the most extensive use of the scanners yet. If a video camera isn't handy, the new KITT is essentially useless for recon. And I find it hard to believe EVERYPLACE they need to go on a mission will have video cameras. I know this is a post 9/11 world, but we haven't gone completely Big Brother yet.

Where the more believable technology fails, the out of this world stuff is even worse. The transformation stuff? Uneccessary. Old KITT never needed to become an offroad vehicle to drive over rough terrain. Sure, they gave him high traction tires for one ep, but he did alright without them in the biker gang war at White Rock ep. And attack mode? That should be more simplified. Think Super Pursuit Mode but more realistic. Like the high speed parts could rise out of the body and the rear could jack itself up and what not. Does it really need to become an entirely different Mustang? No. And the KR on the bottom is just silly as all hell. As I've said elsewhere, nobody has ever said Knight Rider within the show save for Wilton's introductions.

Among other problems I have is the sophomoric writing coupled with the fact they're relying on "hot cars" and "hot babes" to sell this show. In just THREE episodes, we had two of the female leads strip down to skimpy attire, not to mention the ever classic beach episode with absolutely no fat or hideous people partaking of the nice weather. The show has a lack of substance and it knows it. Problem is, audiences tollerate those kind of diversionary tactics so they get away with it, like every other similar show. Also, what in the hell is with the green screen stuff? They forget how to hook up cameras to a moving vehicle?
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Re: "Knight Rider" 2008 Constructive Criticisms/Thoughts (Long!)

Post by PunkMaister » Sat Oct 18, 2008 12:07 pm

KITT MARK 2 wrote:Then there's the scanners. Is it me, or do they seem more reliant on other technology than they used to be? The third episode was the most extensive use of the scanners yet. If a video camera isn't handy, the new KITT is essentially useless for recon. And I find it hard to believe EVERYPLACE they need to go on a mission will have video cameras. I know this is a post 9/11 world, but we haven't gone completely Big Brother yet.

*Sigh* Next time you go to your local grocery store, pharmacy or shopping center take a good look, a real good look and you will see surveillance cameras, heck in may states/territories even some public streets have surveillance cameras. Scanners are good but never give you the full picture that tapping into a surveliance camera and running face identification software would. The morphing tech we see is based on Claytronics nanotech which is currently in it's infancy right now, pretty much as most of the tech in the original show was. And this thread is for constructive criticism you want to nag your vitriol and hatred of the new show, post it in a separate thread of your own, thank you...

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Re: "Knight Rider" 2008 Constructive Criticisms/Thoughts (Long!)

Post by KITT MARK 2 » Sat Oct 18, 2008 7:25 pm

Was meant to be, but my disdain just comes through whenever I talk about it. What can I say, I run with the emotions.
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Re: "Knight Rider" 2008 Constructive Criticisms/Thoughts (Long!)

Post by PunkMaister » Sat Oct 18, 2008 9:11 pm

KITT MARK 2 wrote:Was meant to be, but my disdain just comes through whenever I talk about it. What can I say, I run with the emotions.
Dude we already get it, you loathe the new show and everything about it now go and post your own hate threads and leave this one alone already... :roll:

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Re: "Knight Rider" 2008 Constructive Criticisms/Thoughts (Long!)

Post by Mblackphoenix » Sun Oct 19, 2008 2:23 am

I don’t know if this subject spoken to, but what I’m missing is the spirit of the old show.
Till now the missions are for the government.
But Wilton Knight wanted someone who helped the innocent, the helpless, the powerless, in a world of criminals who operate above the law.
The FBI isn`t helpless.
I know Gary Scott Thompson wanted to go this way, but I wish in some way, it could be come back a situation in which Mike and KITT help someone where the FBI wouldn’t help, because of its unimportant.
Greetings

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Re: "Knight Rider" 2008 Constructive Criticisms/Thoughts (Long!)

Post by PHOENIXZERO » Sun Oct 19, 2008 8:41 am

Yeah, but Wilton has been dead for 26 years at this point, Devon by all likelihood passed away many years prior to when the new series takes place, Michael Knight is doing who knows what, FLAG and the Knight Foundation were obviously discontinued at some point, I'd guess after Devon died, perhaps Michael was even forced out. It's been 22 years, things change and we don't know how they're going to explain it yet but it doesn't take much for it to do so. A founder's wishes aren't always carried through or anything close to it, after they pass away it depends on who's in charge and what they want to do. Hell, we don't even know what Jennifer Knight is up to or even if she's still alive either. Hopefully the writers and GST have actually made it through the entire series by now. There's so many possibilities, most logical ones siding with things having changed in the last 22+ years since the original series ended and we lost touch with the KR universe. Not counting Knight Rider 2000 or TKR of course, they were just bad, bad, very bad dreams.
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Re: "Knight Rider" 2008 Constructive Criticisms/Thoughts (Long!)

Post by goldbug » Sun Oct 19, 2008 10:26 am

KITT MARK 2 wrote:Then there's the scanners. Is it me, or do they seem more reliant on other technology than they used to be? The third episode was the most extensive use of the scanners yet. If a video camera isn't handy, the new KITT is essentially useless for recon. And I find it hard to believe EVERYPLACE they need to go on a mission will have video cameras. I know this is a post 9/11 world, but we haven't gone completely Big Brother yet.

I guess I don't have a hard time believing that. Read some of the articles below and you'll see worldwide in most urban setting, cameras are a way of life. I know almost every store I go to has cameras. If you follow the last link I put below, it shows a project to list all the cameras in New York City, and it's quite a frightening amount. In this day and age, KITT has plenty to tap into in that respect!

http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m0EPF/is_n22_v97/ai_20421907

http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&q=surveillance+cameras+controversy&start=10&sa=N

http://news.illinois.edu/news/04/0727cameras.html

http://www.allbusiness.com/crime-law/criminal-offenses-property/10588834-1.html

http://www.informationliberation.com/index.php?id=21787

http://www.rockymountainnews.com/news/2008/apr/05/camera-controversy/

http://www.mediaeater.com/cameras/
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