The Knight Rider 2008 Constructive Criticism Thread

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Re: The Knight Rider 2008 Constructive Criticism Thread

Post by Karman » Mon Jan 26, 2009 2:34 am

I'm new to this forum and have read through many of the posts regarding this new Knight Rider series and I feel the need to add my 2 cents. Some of this may be repetitive and I apologize for that. I grew up with the classics like Knight Rider, Battlestar Galactica, Star Trek, Doctor Who, Airwolf, etc and although some of those may not be considered award winning, they were captivating and took you into another world for an hour. I have really tried to like this new Knight Rider and given it a chance to win me over but there is a key word in this sentence that sums up my overall impression; "tried". I find myself saying things like, "Oh my god that was horrible", "I can't believe I just watched that", and "I know they're trying to get this right but it just isn't working". I've broken this down to why it isn't working for me and please forgive me as I don't know the actors real names so I'll use their show names.

Why isn't this show working?

1. Acting. This show has extremely poor actors and their lack of enthusiasm really shows. The only 2 that seem to be 'getting it' and growing with the show and their roles are Michael and Billy. I have to give those 2 alot of credit as this is a tough, critical audience but what is seperating them from the rest is passion and it shows. This show isn't just about a fantastic talking car, there are stories to be told and it's the acting that is going to draw people in for an hour or make them want to turn it off. Michael is growing into his role and his passion for the show is starting to come out in these latest episodes. It is obvious that he is really trying and I think it's the writing that is binding him from really exploring the character. I have the same to say about Billy. He's a character that I find myself genuinly becoming interested in. He too is doing a good job and it's obvious that he wants to do this. Graiman (sp) has been alright but he's dead (maybe) so he doesn't count anymore.
As for the rest, well.
Zoey -- please make her go away. She cannot act and comes across as "hey look at me I'm in Knight Rider aren't I just the coolest". She brings nothing to the show and nothing to the group that Billy couldn't take up in his role.
Torres -- all I can say is I'm glad he's dead. No passion, no ability to draw people into the character, no more.
The Other FBI Female -- as above, I'm glad she's dead. What was her function other then some excitement for the viewers who happen to like lesbians in the pilot. She can not act and is another character that has failed to draw people in.
Sarah -- i know I'm going to get alot of flack for this one -- her only function in this show seems to be for sex appeal. Yes she has some talent, but I'm not seeing very much passion from her in this role. She comes across as a flake, phoney and only there so that viewers will look at her flesh. I find myself wanting her to get out of the shots so that Micheal and Kitt can have more screen time to work on their relationship and partnership which should be the focus of this show.

That brings me to the second point

2. Too many bad characters and not enough focus on Michael and Kitt. There is too much going on with trying to write in story lines for these bad actors that Michael and Kitt aren't getting enough time to grow on the audience and draw us into their growing friendship.

Which brings me to point three.

3. Writing -- I can't put all the fault on the writers. They have the task of trying to develop all these characters that don't really serve any functional purpose and it's taking away from what this show is, Michael Knight and the fantastic car duo that are inseperable. I give Michael credit for doing the best he can with what's been given to him. These past few episodes could have been fantastic with Michael exploring more of his past with Karr and building up to a battle with more depth and feeling because we would have been drawn in deeper to the story of Michael and Karr and Kitt's desire to want to help Mike overcome his past and beat down this uber evil Karr. But it all got lost due to trying to focus on other characters and left us with a multitude of questions.

On to point four.

4. Questions -- I feel this is something that has contributed to how this show is coming across. We are left with way too many questions and trying to figure things out on our own. Yes, a degree of mystery is warranted with things like Mike's past and the character discovering key points along the way with us the audience, however; certain things have gotten lost that us Knight Rider fans shouldn't be questioning and I think is part of the reason that we are having troubles with this show. Why are we questioning the new Karr's origins, why did graimen build another Karr, did graimen build it or the nsa, did Mike like being Karr's driver, did Karr take over Mike, etc. This I feel goes back to too many characters and the writing. There just hasn't been time in these shows to answer those questions and take us deeper into the personality of Mike and the world of Karr, Mike and Kitt.

I read another post about why some sequel shows are successful and others are not or something like that. There was a great comparison using Doctor Who as an example. One of the key points was the actors passion for the role and his obvious enthusiasm for the whole history of Doctor Who. He didn't have to 'try' to be the new Doctor, he simply 'was' the new Doctor. He drew us into the world of Doctor Who right from the start and it's gone on from there. Brilliant!

I feel the actor playing Michael has this ability as well. He simply has not been given the scripting and freedom to accomplish this. He's competing with too many other characters cast by poor actors and it really does show. One of the major factors in fantastic shows such as these is the actors ability to bring you into that space. Star Trek started with a poor budget but a good concept. What turned it into something that became a cult? The actors. Their enthusiam for the show and the roles they played took you into that universe. Each role served a function and the personalities they brought to the characters really pulled you in making you smile, laugh, feel concerned and identify with who they were in those roles. The old Knight Rider did the same. A show about a fantastic talking car? How ridiculus. But what made it popular? Hasslehoffs ability to bring you along for the ride and genuinely care about his character and his friendship with Kitt. Same with Bonnie and Devon. There was passion in their roles.

I do feel this new Knight Rider could have a future and I do hope they can work out these bugs.
Kudos to Billy and Mike. I like what you are doing and maybe it's time you two stood up and said "Come on, let's get back to Knight Rider. A show about a man and his fantastic talking car that can do all kinds of cool things and take down the evil guys as inseperable partners with his genuis mechanic/tech that cares for Kitt as much as a best friend."

p.s. To the effects team. Outstanding. You're doing a fantastic job. It's simply that you aren't given enough time and resources to bring us these epic battles and more flash in the shows due to the afore mentioned points. I hope you are kept on if the show survives and that you too are given more time within the series to show your talents and help Michael and Kitt be the fantastic duo that is potentially there.
"Michael Michael stop it!"

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Re: The Knight Rider 2008 Constructive Criticism Thread

Post by dcpan » Mon Jan 26, 2009 3:22 am

All in all, I like to say two things.

1. To whoever is producing the show, I don't know what pressures you are under, but I am sad that you didn't stick to your vision. All this reboot and changing of episodes makes me wonder if you really believed in your vision of Knight Rider. Look at Battlestar Galactica, and I don't think I really need to say much more than that.

2. To the audience, I'm not certain we, myself included, gave the show enough time to play out the vision. I personally thought the whole government involvement bit was just a way to bring the program back...but the way it was rushed and presented really made me have no interest in seeing the plot play out. In hindsight, this could have been very well, and had the producers been able to stick to the vision and tough it out, things might have worked out better.

As much as I don't like the lack of continuity between TOS and the current show, I dislike the lack of continuity in this current show itself even more.

Michael driving through a wall during the rebooting of kitt without nanoskin? How did he even survive the initial machine gun fire as he drove out of the crate in the last episode. I'm guessing the producer is trying to make whiners like me who preferred the molecular bonded shell happy, but really, when did kitt get an external shell upgrade?

Being able to turbo boost and land safely really negates the need for the attack mode further.

OK, I guess that's more than two things. Awesome job, actors and special effects team. Whoever is in control the plot, please give the actors some REAL continuity and substance so they are not thought of as bad actors. I don't have to agree with your vision of what knight rider is, but at least give me a consistent vision of knight rider.


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Re: The Knight Rider 2008 Constructive Criticism Thread

Post by jshorva65 » Thu Jan 29, 2009 9:56 am

About the cast, first I'll repeat that I'm not among those who wanted to see Sarah, Billy, Zoey (or even Chales or Alex for that matter) killed off or written out by some other means. Having said that, somewhat less screen time for them to make room for more of Mike and KI3T would be a good thing. Charles, in particular, still has a lot of contributions to the show that only he could possibly furnish. A second faked-death scenario would be the best possible outcome, wherein the "Service" was just a Memorial Service (no trace of his body found, or not even the actual plane wreckage itself, perhaps). Perhaps he realized seconds before the explosion that the pilot was trying to kill him and was about to bail out himself, at which point he knocks the pilot out and straps on the pilot's chute, bailing out just before the blast and leaving his would-be killer behind to die instead. Perhaps the plane's wreckage is subsequently found with the dead pilot inside, and Graiman charged with his murder until Mike and KI3T recover the Cockpit Voice Recorder and KI3T repairs its damaged tape loop to reveal evidence to clear Graiman by proving Self Defense.

Without Charles Graiman's intervention, remember that KI3T's backdoor Self Destruct program leaves him in (without modifications that only Charles himself could make) potentially in direct violation of his primary function by having the constant possibility of becoming a 3,000 pound bomb hidden deep within his circuitry. Graiman could reveal in some future episode (perhaps as a hologram again, or after having returned from MIA/presumed-KIA status) that he upgraded KI3T's earlier self-destruct version to blow the CPU with an emergency EMP weapon mounted to fire into its cooling block if the Self Destruct program becomes activated and is not stopped before its time-delay elapses, "killing" KI3T's AI upon firing and simultaneously transferring all functions to full-manual except that the ABS begins "pumping" his brakes by default unless overridden by briefly pressing the accelerator (a kind of "inverted cruise control" logic performed by circuits displaced from the CPU area and thus unaffected by the CPU-killing EMP.

Perhaps I should offer my services to the writers as a Technical Consultant for a small hourly rate or perhaps some very tiny Royalty percentage ... equivalent to about $10 to $25 per hour. Yes, I have two degrees and 30+ years' experience in Electronics plus many hours logged watching "campy sci-fi and/or action/adventure" TV shows over the years. My opinions on what "will fly" and what's "just not working" might be worthwhile enough to the writers that they could put a few bucks in my PayPal once in a while. That's about 1/3 of what I bill for my hands-on tech work and about half my billing rate for teaching more-advanced electronics applications to interested hobbyists via my Web-based small business. Writers, please PM me for my business name, specialty areas of expertise, and other details if interested in purchasing more-detailed input.

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Re: The Knight Rider 2008 Constructive Criticism Thread

Post by Longun » Fri Jan 30, 2009 2:44 pm

I'm keeping this simple

Attack mode, wy too pimp my ride. I liked the pilot attack mode loads more.

The episodes about 3-9

All the sex, ok TOS had some of this but it wasn't so in your face.

The large cast.

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Re: The Knight Rider 2008 Constructive Criticism Thread

Post by jshorva65 » Sat Jan 31, 2009 6:26 am

To expand on my prior comments regarding a need for less screen time for Charles, Sarah, Zoey, and Billy to allow more screen time for Mike and KI3T in MOST episodes, a very good compromise to avoid making the actors feel that the roles they play are too restricted or downplayed would be to feature their characters substantially more prominently in a limited number of episodes per season, as was done in Season 3 of TOS when Bonnie had substantially more screen time than usual in some episodes to belatedly address some concerns expressed by Patricia McPherson during Season 1.

I also have to "partially agree and partially disagree" with others' complaints about "T&A" in past KR08 episodes. Fewer and more-tame bedroom, shower, and/or beach scenes would be appropriate, given the 8PM time slot and the fact that many children will want to watch the show because of KI3T just as KI2T appealed to children in TOS. That being said, though, Deanna Russo and Smith Cho are far too HOT to not be shown scantily-clad on occasion. Perhaps an abbreviated Mike/Sarah bedroom scene in a very few episodes, starting with a passionate kiss, cutting to some other scene, then resuming to a moment of afterglow and leaving whatever happened in between to the imagination? Beach scenes, I also can't complain about when a particular episode's adventures take place at a location known for its beaches. Provided the swimsuits stay on at the beach and are no more revealing than municipal ordinances in most American tourist towns permit, I fail to see a problem with bikini-clad girls being shown. Most children have been to a public beach before, so it's no big deal.

As for violence, the 8PM time slot made the bank robbers' shooting of a hostage in the back inappropriate to have been shown so graphically. Viciousness of the villains need not be toned down, but the depiction of their atrocities should be less graphic in the final edit given the early time slot and the show's inherent appeal to children because of the presence of an intelligent, talking supercar.

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Re: The Knight Rider 2008 Constructive Criticism Thread

Post by BennyCruz » Fri Feb 20, 2009 1:07 pm

when the guy got shot in the back, i don't think that it was all that graphic, on top of which, the guy was still okay. KITT told Mike that the man was shot with a hand gun which was a difficult shot on a moving target, which to me implies that the robber had no intent of killing the man, but wanted to send a message to the authorities.

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Re: The Knight Rider 2008 Constructive Criticism Thread

Post by Overheal » Sun Feb 22, 2009 3:50 am

I havent read any of these posts, I don't want my own current view to be colored before I write this down. Im new to this forum. First off: COOL BUTTONS! :dash:

Ahem yes.

First off I really had high hopes from the 2008 movie. You even explained cool things like how Fuel Efficient KITT was, explained the Nanotech well, and had a cool finish with a nano-inspired T-bone crash. Epicness!

Then the Pilot came and it was just, trouble. The nanomorph was given up for transforming (peer pressure from Bumblebee?) into a TRUCK and then from the flatbed theyre suddenly in seats... ok. Im sure youve beat yourselves enough about that decision. Ill leave that there, along with everything before the reboot - frankly, I stopped watching after 101 and 102.

Then I decided to watch it again the other week just to see how things were going. I find Michael and KITT at an airplane crash site, doing some investigating, having a bit of banter, and it was actually just what I was looking for, ending with "...You get paid?" That whole episode I think went a long way to re-establish between Michael an KITT that was a very key element in the original series.

On the investigative side of things, Fight Knight (must they all have Knight in the title?) did a lot. Out in the backwaters, solving crimes, pissing off sheriffs, just like the good old days. So thats good. Thats all good. Hang on to that core format. And Zoe and Billy are priceless, and so must be kept also.

So, in the end, the show is doing a lot right, and starting to hit some great buttons after being rebooted, but there are some buttons still that it shouldnt be pushing, but is. And those are the Virtual Reality Buttons. The inconsistency and wtf buttons.

I was watching this clip on youtube today of the original batman movie with adam west, when he fights the shark? And he conveniently keeps Shark Repellent in his Convenient Bat Chopper? Its important and vital to stick to a selection of tools and props. Go to the drawing board, and really think "This is what KITT has" and when he finds himself in X situation, dont go creating Convenient and New Tool to do it with. Work with what you have.

I could understand that if Mike and KITT regularly over a few episodes found temselves in situations where they are thinking "Hey We need something for this situation we always seem to get into" Then okay, have billy cook it up. But when we have magical Miniguns and Radiation Chambers it just stinks of Bad Batman. Honestly. In one episode Mike says to KITT "Hey fire up your 3D object mathingy and make me up a key for these cuffs"..... Why not just use the Already Very Well Established Laser Mathingy to break the cuffs? As for miniguns, One episode he has a pair of them on each side of the hood, and the next episode he has one in the center of the hood. Stick to Something! I mean even the Hoff seemed to find a hundred ways to use that stupid Oxygen Vent in his passenger seat of KI2T. Do they need to be multi-barrel miniguns? Does KITT need that much firepower after being supposedly designed as a Non-Lethal enforcer, and alternative to KARR?

In fact I'd go as far to say a lot of the episodes feel like they are flip flopping because the car is. Which is why its so important to stick to something concrete. If he has miniguns, great! But you need to put them on a Sketch drawing and say That is where the miniguns are and that is where they stay. Then you have to think if the minigun is there where does the engine go? What about KITTs processing? the Transmission? How does the interior change? Can we show nanites changing the leather as he transforms?

At the end of the day its Science Fiction, but good science fiction works hard to stay anchored in plausibility, which is why Stargate and Star Trek were so successful - each worked on its own boundaries and limitations. They didnt always get it right and they contradicted themselves sometimes but it was close enough. When they did something wrong they owned up to it... kinda ("Wormhole X-TREME")

You're getting to the point where you've nailed down the action and the characterization and the mystery, its a work in progress but youre getting there. But you need to focus on the science fiction component a bit more, and make it believable science fiction. The reason it worked well in the movie was because it was explained and thought out - it had boundaries and limitations: when KITT was turned off the nanites didnt work and he was a vulnerable mustang, it was an easy concept. But thus far the audience has gotten no nod or explaination of the physics-bending autobot transformation effects that have been added. I mean if you wanted to say the extra mass of the 4x4 is stored in a pocket of subspace thats FINE but at least have the guts to say something like that and stick to it. Its the inconsistency and the unwillingness to commit to details like that which will eventually kill the show.

edit: regarding the sex and violence, im in my early 20s, so some tasteful violence is always a good show, and beautiful women are a plus, but i could understand why not everyone wants to be subjected to inyourface sexuality all of the time. tasteful after all. do we want our little girl scouts growing up thinking they need to be sluts to attract michael knights?

Violence I quite like to tell you the truth. I dont think KITT should be so eager to electrocute people that try to smash him up with a crowbar - that should be michaels job. when he pistol whips a guy with a shotgun I remember thinking to myself "damn!" you just dont see that often, and I liked it. That and the choreography is really somewhere above average for a television gig. But yes, kids watch, and kids are involved in several episodes. It is something to be mindful of, not that I am in any hurry to see people getting hit with the butt of a rifle get edited out from my viewing pleasure. But remembering watching the 80s series as a kid, I cared less what hoff did and more what KITT did. Which is the reason why KITT needs to be the non-lethal one, more so than Michael.