As much as I love seeing bits of Carl’s Jr. hanging from David Hasselhoff’s nose, I think he’s going to have to hand over the wheel to Erik Nicolaisen (a comedian with several humorous reels on YouTube), the star of ManiaTV‘s online original Knight Rider spoof, Midnight Rida.
The mainstream, high-budget Knight Rider take-off that came out earlier this year on NBC was critically panned (despite it featuring some pretty big names, including Val Kilmer as the voice of the sarcastic, funtabulous talking sidekick of a Ford Mustang Shelby GT500KR, K.I.T.T.), but audiences might find the high cheese content more appropriate in its low-budget counterpart.
The show has a little bit – excuse me – a lot of style and can be explained using a few Will Smith references. Take an absolutely clueless white guy à la Kevin James in Hitch, make him wear a Men in Black suit, put him in the movie Bad Boys, and add a street-talkin’ Caddy known as G.A.R.I. (Ghetto Artificial Replica Intelligence). If that’s not enough of a grab for you, check out this trailer:
Looks like a riot (and the gorgeous girls in bikinis known as the “D”ouble-“D”etailers sure don’t hurt either).
Midnight Rida first hits the pavement on the streets of Los Angeles with protagonist intern/office-mule Mitch McKnight (played by Nicolaisen) fighting the new crime syndicate plaguing the already run-down and drug-infested streets of L.A. (if you live here like I do, then you know just what I’m talking about).
The first episode (G.A.R.I.’s Return) opens in the ‘80s with a sting operation headed by Ash (the brother in black leather with a sick fro-mullet) and his sidekick car, G.A.R.I. Things go terribly wrong and Ash gets killed and G.A.R.I. turns trunk and wheels off.
Jumping to present day, attention switches to McKnight who starts the series as one of only a few white guys in a predominantly all black intelligence office. With scantily clad women walking around to the beat of catchy hip-hop tunes and irritable midget bosses calling him “shorty,” it’s easy to see why he can’t get a break – until now.
Don’t let the amateur production aesthetic fool you, the acting in Midnight Rida is quite superb, thanks, in part, to a handful of professional comedians and actors. Comedic genius DeRay Davis of Semi-Pro and Barbershop 2: Back in Business voices G.A.R.I (and sounds way cooler than Val Kilmer any day) and Chris Spencer plays Tyrone Jackson.
The cinematography is great too. Cameras that move with the action (similar to how Arrested Development or The Office is filmed) get good shots and make it feel like Midnight Rida moves forward at a steady pace. The show also contains various hip-hop tracks, handfuls of beautiful ladies, and plenty of unoriginal, played out black-on-white Chappelle jokes that never get old.
Created by Michael Mihail and Devi Boddie of Guerilla Hollywood and with sponsorship from Axe, season one of Midnight Rida is currently available for viewing on ManiaTV with new episodes premiering every Monday. Each installment introduces new and talented characters to the ever-expanding comedic cast.