Knight Rider [1982]

No one in the 1980s had his finger on the pulse of gizmo-crazy adolescent boys like producer Glen Larson, creator of Battlestar Galactica and Manimal. But the peak of Larson's particular genius has to be Knight Rider, the love story of an absurdly handsome man and his absurdly indestructible car. Former detective Michael Knight (David Hasselhoff, later to achieve worldwide media dominance with Baywatch) zooms across the U.S. in K.I.T.T., a supercharged talking Trans Am with an impenetrable shell and the catty voice of William Daniels (St. Elsewhere). From the Las Vegas desert to the Louisiana bayou, Michael and K.I.T.T. solve crimes and help the downtrodden with the aid of a multi-million-dollar corporation run by dapper Devon Myles (Edward Mulhare) and mechanic/secretary/nanny April Curtis (Rebecca Holden, who took over from Patricia McPherson for the second season only). The first season was goofy camp from the start, but the second turned even more giddily ridiculous: K.I.T.T. developed supersensors, telekinesis, and the ability to drive on water; plots included amnesia, super attack helicopters, a desperately needed transplant for a sick girl, and a supremely cheesy evil-twin storyline featuring Garthe Knight, son of the multimillionaire who gave Michael his identity-changing facial surgery, played by Hasselhoff with a mustache, soul patch, and even more luxuriant hair. In one episode, Michael goes "undercover" as the lead singer of a rock band, allowing Hasselhoff to flaunt his beloved-in-Germany vocal stylings. Of special note is an episode featuring Geena Davis (future Oscar-winner for The Accidental Tourist) as the daughter of a cat burglar, perhaps the only episode with a love interest as cartoonishly good-looking as Hasselhoff himself. This is definitive trash television, the kind of empty calories that, for some viewers, are irresistibly tasty. For Knight Rider fans, Season Two is a feast. --Bret Fetzer Knight Rider--Season Two Trivia • Although David Hasselhoff plays both Michael and Garthe Knight in one of the episodes in this season, he is only credited on-screen for playing Michael. • For this season, Rebecca Holden plays April Curtis, KITT's new technician. She was brought in after Patricia McPherson (Bonnie) pushed the show's writers and producers to give her character more to do, possibly including a romance with Michael. Although April was not unpopular, many fans missed Bonnie and wrote in to ask for the character to return, which she eventually did at the start of the third season. • The writers were torn between two songs to use for Garthe Knight's theme - "Sympathy for the Devil" and "Gimme Shelter," both by the Rolling Stones. The episode uses "Gimme Shelter". • When avoiding pursuers, K.I.T.T. rotates its license plate, James Bond style, from KNIGHT to KNI 667. • The producers toyed with the idea of making K.I.T.T.'s water-driving ability a reoccurring function, but it was dropped due to it proving to costly.

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