TV Review: Knight Rider 1.2 – Journey to the End of the Knight

Knight Rider: Journey to the End of the Knight

Knight Rider, NBC, Airs Wednesday 8/7c

Episode: “Journey to the End of the Knight” (Season 1, Episode 2)

Synopsis: Michael infiltrates a street racing gang in an attempt to uncover a spy ring selling U.S. technological secrets to China.

Review: This review is a day late because yesterday I was too hung over to write it. But that’s totally not my fault. I am, after all, an alcoholic. And Knight Rider is an unbelievably terrible television show. When I volunteered to watch it every week and turn in a review, I was drunk. And now that I am committed to reviewing this thing every week, I find I cannot watch the show unless I’m drunk.

So here’s a breakdown of my experience watching the latest episode:

We start with Michael (Justin Bruening) driving KITT down a desert highway. We get some expository BS from Michael’s boss. Michael makes wisecracks and I’m already reaching for my second Milwaukee’s Best Light (the beast!). Michael and KITT exchange some banter before we find ourselves at a roadside bar. Turns out the bartender at this place is Michael’s old army buddy. They banter. I drain my beer and go for another. I am dismayed to find that I only have two Beast Lights left in the fridge. By the time I return to my easy chair, Michael’s picked a fight with one of the bad guys. He challenges the long-haired Asian American to a street race.

Clumsy exposition and groan-worthy dialogue aside, this is a show about a super-intelligent, badass muscle car. So the racing/chase scenes should be awesome, right? Wrong. Michael faces off against the Asian guy (who’s driving a Ferrari Enzo) in a race that’s about as exciting as watching CSPAN. On mute. With no close captioning. During a floor speech.

I’m all out of Beast Light by now. So I go to the liquor cabinet. I have one finger’s worth of Sailor Jerry’s rum and a bottle of cheap gin. The Sailor Jerry’s is gone before the show’s opening credits are done. During the first commercial break, I try to find a mixer for the gin. I have apple juice, orange juice, light cranberry/raspberry juice, and coffee. All of the options make me shudder.

But I’ve never tried gin and coffee.

Gin and coffee? I’ve heard of that? Right? People drink that? Sure.

I get the Mr. Coffee started and return to my recliner just in time for Knight Rider’s second segment. The dialogue sounds like it was written by a hostage. Somehow, though, I’m buzzing pretty good, and I find I’m softening a bit toward the show. I start to have a little conversation in my head, saying, “Look, these people aren’t trying to make a bad show. They’re not making you suffer on purpose. They’re just trying to entertain to the best of their abilities.”

The problem is, they apparently don’t have any abilities. I’ve watched skits written by high schoolers and performed at Southern Baptist Mission Camps that were more coherent.

Suddenly, I realize that the only reason I’m suffering is because I’m being forced to watch this thing. And the person who’s forcing me to do that is our esteemed Film School Rejects editor, Neil Miller. He’s the one causing me to suffer the tortures of the damned here.

By now, the coffee’s ready, and on the show Michael has negotiated with the Asian bad guys to become part of their street racing team. They require a show of good faith and tell Michael that if he wants to enlist with their crew he’ll have to steal an Enzo like the one that got crashed and exploded during the pre-credits race sequence. Michael, of course, being the “good guy,” isn’t just going to steal anyone’s Enzo. He sets his sites on the Russian version of Girls Gone Wild creator Joe Francis.

Is it just me or does it seem like all of the bad guys on this show are foreigners?

This setup is nothing but an excuse to get the show’s female lead (Deanna Russo–homina-homina) into a bikini. She infiltrates Russian Joe Francis’ party and steals an Enzo from his garage. As Michael and Deanna (homina-homina) make their escape, we get a good example of the level of dialogue Val Kilmer is blessed with as the voice of KITT:

Michael: “Close the gates KITT! Scramble the codes!”

KITT: “Closing gates. Scrambling codes.”

Once hailed as the next Marlon Brando, Kilmer’s now a disembodied voice on the worst show on television. And he sort of sucks at it, to boot.

In case you didn’t see this coming a mile away, gin and coffee is an absolutely horrible combination. I fill a Big Gulp-sized tumbler halfway with coffee and fill it the rest of the way with gin. I put a couple of ice cubes in it (my normal coffee drink: black over ice). I take a sip and it’s like I’m a contestant on Fear Factor. Still, it’s all I’ve got. And the show’s not over yet.

By now, Michael’s buried up to his neck in the desert, and the bad Asian guys are circling around him in dune buggies. And I’m thinking, “Hey, this is actually pretty cool.” Unfortunately, though, he doesn’t die. I choke down one tumbler of iced coffee and gin. I go back to the liquor cabinet and reach way far back and find a bottle of Apple Pucker. I have no idea where that came from, but it’s liquor. Sweet, sweet, liquor. And I mean, like… really, really sweet. I get halfway through the bottle and I have a horrible stomach ache.

Deanna digs Michael out of the sand and, after some other stuff that’s sort of blurry now, the main bad guy drives off a cliff. And the car explodes. Like Hiroshima. And even as drunk as I am, that makes no fucking sense. Before long, the end credits have rolled. I’m doubled over with a stomach ache. Fortunately, I’m drunk as hell, so I go upstairs, crawl into bed, and pass out.

Up Next Week: Mike (Justin Bruening) must stop the spread of a computer virus that threatens a total global meltdown. The job gets much harder when KITT (voiced by Val Kilmer) is infected. Meanwhile, Mike’s jealousy begins to show when Sarah (Deanna Russo) reconnects with an old flame (guest star Jeffrey Pierce, “The Nine”), who may be the key to solving the latest mission.

For more coverage of your favorite shows, check out the Control Freaks Archive.

Did you watch Knight Rider this week? If so, feel free to discuss below.

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