With me getting all nostalgic about my times in the 80s, I tend to forget about how bad television actually was. I mean, I had a great love for all the characters on the shows I watched, because at the time they were pretty righteous. Alas, when going back to some of the shows, I realize that much of it was total shit.
One of these shows, a show I loved with every fiber of my being, was the original Knight Rider. Hey, it’s 1982, I’m 8 years old, and this fucking guy has a Trans Am Firebird that talks, drives by itself, is bulletproof, has a pretty fucking sweet booster option, and that fucking cylon-like red light moving back and forth in it’s grill; what 8-year-old boy in 1982 wouldn’t love that?
Also, much like Airwolf, it had pretty decent theme music as well.
KNIGHT RIDER (1982) INTRO THEME
So, in a nutshell, self-made billionaire Wilton Knight rescues police Detective Lieutenant Michael Arthur Long after a near fatal shot to the face, giving him a new identity (via plastic surgery) and a new name: Michael Knight. I remember thinking that was the coolest fucking thing I had ever seen. Dude gets his face shot off, and these millionaires give him a new face and identity so he can get revenge without his enemies even knowing who was coming at them. I was really getting into Batman when I was 8, and this felt a bit like Batman to me. Wilton selects Michael to be the primary field agent in the pilot program of his public justice organization, the Foundation for Law and Government (FLAG). The other half of this pilot program is the Knight Industries Two Thousand (KITT), a heavily modified, technologically advanced Pontiac Firebird Trans Am with numerous features including an extremely durable shell and frame, controlled by a computer with artificial intelligence. Michael and KITT are brought in during situations where “direct action might provide the only feasible solution”. Fucking right they did. David Hasselhoff had just enough swagger and hair power to pull off the black jacket, black jeans, and sunglasses. The ‘Hoff was able to build a pretty awesome dynamic with William Daniels, the voice of KITT, making the show quite funny at times. Well, at least I thought so as a kid.
With Netflix streaming Knight Rider in its entirety, I went back a few weeks ago and tried to watch it again. Maybe it’s because we live in a current era where television is king, and holy fuck they are making good TV now, but Knight Rider from 1982 is almost unwatchable now. The shitty editing of the stunt scenes, the over-the-top rotten acting from the ‘Hoff, and the fact that KITT was annoying as fuck makes me wonder if anything from my youth was real or not. Because, as I said, this was thee shit when I was a kid. I fucking loved this show, but now can’t even make it 5 minutes into the fucking thing without wanting to poke my eyes out. I even gave the remake a chance, but as I am learning, making a remake of a shitty show from the 80s by adding shitty actors from 2015 only serves to make an even shittier show. Yeah, that seems to be a trend these days. Let’s make really shitty movies out of moderately shitty movies. Stupid.
Well, what could I expect? Was it even possible that what I thought was amazing when I was 8 years old would still resonate with me now? Yeah, I did actually. Because, Star Wars still rules, and Blade Runner still fucking rules, and Road Warrior still rules, and many of the actors from back then are killing it today. A case in point would be James Spader, who is using that terrifying voice, and his wonderful sarcasm to rule 2015. Hey, the ‘Hoff is a frikin superstar in Germany, so….
So much happened in the 80s. Again, it’s probably because of the age I was at and how impressionable I was, but there will always be a strong bond between my love of film and television and the 80s; even if much of it is utter shit compared to the quality of television today. – FATS