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Knight Rider returns

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In case there's anyone in the set of people who would want to see the new Knight Rider TV series but doesn't know this already, the iTunes Store is temporarily providing the first episode for free: "A Knight in Shining Armor." No idea how long it'll stay free; possibly only until it broadcasts on Wednesday night? When it was in my shopping cart, it said it was unavailable, but I bought everything in my cart and it downloaded fine.

It's getting reviews in the iTunes Store with headings like "There Are No Words to Describe How Terrible This Show Is," so, y'know, don't go into it with high expectations or anything.

I watched the first few minutes of it, and it does look pretty bad, but I'll probably watch more of that episode at some point. But the new KITT, in its base/standard form, just isn't as attractive a car (to me) as the old one, and the new voice of KITT doesn't have the kind of campy qualities of the old one (which I used to not like, but I now see as one of the original show's assets). Though apparently Val Kilmer provides the new voice of KITT, which makes me somewhat more interested in the show.

Anyway, the main reason I downloaded it is that I wanted to hear the theme music one more time; that music was, I think, at least a quarter of the appeal of the original series for me. Sadly, it turns out they've modified and updated the theme music; nothing wrong with the new version, it just doesn't appeal to me like the old one did. So I found and purchased what I think is the original theme music in the iTunes Store. (I mean, it's obviously the original theme music, the uncertainty is whether it's a re-recording or not. But if it is, it's close enough that I can't tell.)

It doesn't have the voiceover saying "A shadowy flight into the dangerous world of a man who does not exist" (what does "shadowy flight" even mean?), nor the video of KITT driving out of the sunset, but you can't have everything.

Well, okay, actually you can in this instance: all you have to do is be willing to spend a dollar to download a full episode of the original series from the iTunes Store. (Or be willing to download a pirated version from BitTorrent, I imagine.) In fact, you can see most of that title sequence for free via the iTunes previews. For example, if you look up an early episode of season 1, "Good Day at Whiterock," and watch the 30-second clip that iTunes provides, that gives you almost half of the opening credits, including the "man who does not exist" line; then if you watch the 30-second clip for the opening episode of that first season, it gives the last 30 seconds of the title sequence. But I'm not sure how much, if at all, the title sequence changed over the course of that season.

Why do I care? 'Cause that phrase "a man who does not exist" was probably at least half of the appeal of the show for me. So mysterious! So evocative!

(Which leaves only another quarter of its appeal to be spread among KITT, KITT's voice, the red Cylon light on KITT's front, and David Hasselhoff, who--I may as well confess--I found rather attractive, even though I wasn't consciously aware of it at the time.)

Okay, I think that's enough confession of embarrassing history for one night. Back to reading subs.

P.S. added later: I forgot to mention that in the 2-hour TV movie that kicked off the new series, which aired back in February and which you can watch free online (at least for a couple more days), Sydney Tamiia Poitier (last seen (by me, anyway) in season 1 of Veronica Mars) plays a lesbian or bi FBI agent. Her interest in women is made very clear in her first scene (not quite explicit, but very clear, and in an only mildly exploitative way), and then apparently doesn't come up again in the rest of the movie. I don't know whether they kept that aspect of the character for the series or not; AfterEllen.com suggests that if so, the character "would be the only leading lesbian/bi woman of color [currently] on scripted broadcast television," and possibly "the only queer woman of any ethnicity on broadcast television this fall."

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