The new Knight Rider doesn’t premiere until next week, but NBC is trying to build buzz by airing the entire first episode online starting today at Hulu.com. The network is also premiering several other shows one week early, including Chuck and Lipstick Jungle.
As for Knight Rider, the premiere delivers the kind of fun, sexy action fans might expect from a series being run by the man behind NBC’s Las Vegas and the Fast and the Furious franchise. In the first 10 minutes, KITT transforms, catches on fire, and the two attractive leads (Justin Bruening and Deanna Russo) strip down to their underwear.
The premiere also raises plenty of questions. Mike Tracer (Bruening) searches for a package and, during his missions, meets several bad guys who seem to know him fairly well, though Tracer claims never to have met them before. The mysteries of Tracer’s lost time and suspicious actions during his time in the Iraq War set the table for the ongoing storylines of the series.
The center of Knight Rider, however, is KITT, and the car delivers. Aside from possessing the ability to transform into other cars, KITT also has Attack Mode and Turbo Boost, giving the special effects team plenty of opportunity to show off what they can do. The car chases and action sequences are pure fun, something not many other shows on TV do.
The rest of the premiere also introduces the rest of the cast, who all fill their various roles admirably. Most amusing would be the dynamic between the two tech nerds of the operation, Billy (Battlestar Galactica vet Paul Campbell) and Zoe (Smith Cho). The way she taunts him with her sexuality gives viewers the perfect amount of comic relief for a show as dependent on action as Knight Rider.
No one will mistake Knight Rider for the next great television drama. It’s not the kind of shows that will win dozens of Emmys or loads of critical respect. But Knight Rider serves a distinct purpose on TV, the same one met by mindless, popcorn action films over the summer. It’s fun. There’s great action, some funny one-liners and an attractive cast. It’s not a recipe for filet mignon, but it’s still a delicious cheeseburger with a cold beer on a hot summer afternoon.
Knight Rider premieres on NBC Wednesday, September 24 at 8pm and can be seen online starting today at Hulu.com.
-John Kubicek, BuddyTV Senior Writer
(Video courtesy of Hulu.com)
(Image courtesy of NBC)