Knight Rider

Common Sense Media says

Cliched '80s action show hasn't traveled well.

Age(i)

2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17

Quality(i)

 

What parents need to know

Positive messages

Michael and KITT are dedicated to fighting crime and injustice, and every episode centers on their ongoing crusade to uphold law and order.

Violence

Frequent chase scenes, but they aren't very scary. The occasional fist fights and shootouts aren't especially graphic, either.

Sex

Many episodes include a romantic subplot, but the main character's love life remains offscreen.

Language
Not applicable
Consumerism

In the '80s, tie-in toys were very popular.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Some characters smoke and drink, but rarely to excess.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that one of the main characters of this show is a car that can -- and often does -- zip along at 300 mph, jump over ditches, shoot flames, and many other daredevil exploits. Kids, who are probably the most likely to enjoy the show these days (although even they may be turned off by the now-dated effects and production values), may plead with their parents to emulate the show's questionable traffic habits ... or at least to buy them toys that will let them pretend to do it themselves.

Parents say

Kids say

What's the story?

It's hard to say who's the real star of KNIGHT RIDER -- Michael Knight, the mysterious loner dedicated to pursuing justice, or KITT, the amazing black car that is his friend and ally. Certainly when it hit the air in 1982, KITT, played by a souped-up Pontiac Trans Am, generated the most buzz -- it could speed along at 300 mph, was equipped with flamethrowers, smoke bombs, and numerous other gadgets, had a bulletproof exterior, and was powered by an advanced computer that could think and even talk. It was more than an equal to Knight (David Hasselhoff, in his pre-Baywatch pretty-boy glory), who supplied the derring-do as man and machine set off to right wrongs. Knight was once a cop, but after being shot and left for dead, he has become "a man who does not exist," working for the mysterious Foundation for Law and Government, as the opening credits explain. His guide and mentor is Devon (Edward Mulhare) who provides Knight and KITT with their assignment every episode and then directs the action from afar.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

Though it was a huge hit in the 1980s, Knight Rider definitely shows its age. The clothes, stylish then, are now polyester and denim eyesores. The ho-hum production values and staged fights don't compare to current standards, and the generic plots seem formulaic and predictable. Even KITT, the fabulous vehicle with the digital dashboard and sleek lines that seemed so advanced then, now looks like something that belongs on a used-car lot. This is one show that should drive off into the sunset.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about vigilante justice. Michael Knight was once a cop, but he now works for the Foundation for Law and Government, a mysterious private organization that seems to operate outside the law. Though he's clearly the good guy, Michael follows the standard protocol for TV agents, which generally includes sneaking into suspects' homes and offices, lying about his own identity, pummeling the bad guys into submission, and of course driving really, really fast. Is it OK to take the law into your own hands? What about breaking the law to capture criminals -- do the ends ever justify the means?

TV details

Cast:David Hasselhoff, Edward Mulhare, William Daniels
Networks:Syfy, Syndicated
Genre:Drama
TV rating:TV-PG
Available on:DVD, Streaming

This review of Knight Rider was written by

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are conducted by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

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Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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What parents and kids say

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Parent Written byatomist April 6, 2015
AGE
2
QUALITY
 

NOT FOR YOUNG KIDS

Watched the first episode, had numerous hells and dams, so language is a biggie in this one. Also, serious violence throughout, and very skanky bar scenes with women dressed like a Victoria Secret commercial. So, not for young kids. However, for much older kids, say 16 or 18 or older, it's perhaps an interesting show, with lots of creative sci-fi sorts of stuff. At least that's what we gathered from episode 1.
What other families should know
Too much swearing
Teen, 13 years old Written bycsmedia789 August 3, 2012
AGE
9
QUALITY
 

Knight Rider : A shadowy flight into the dangerous world of a man who does not exist.

Although it may seem unlikely for a kid my age to know and hear about these classics which aired on NBC in the 80's, I enjoy them. I really enjoy Knight Rider the best as well as The A-Team, The Incredible Hulk, Miami Vice, and Quantum Leap. These shows have a lot action and suspense, but isn't that intense or scary. Sure the rating may be TV-PG, but a kid at least 9 years old will be able to handle it and enjoy this classic. I have seen all of the episodes for this show, and it is very inspirational. David Hasselhoof makes this very excited for children and parents of all ages. Take a look for yourself. You can get the whole series on Netflix, as well as on DVD. I wish they could show this series regularly, like Spongebob Squarepants and Adventure Time.
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Parent Written byThe smart guy May 25, 2015
AGE
6
QUALITY
 

Awesome show!

Seriously? 9+ this is a great show for your kids! It gives a positive message that one man can make a difference!
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models

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