Monday, February 18, 2008

Knight Rider Inclusive!

Having grown up watching the original Knight Rider (and having my own KITT Matchbox car!), I was excited to catch the new 2-hour update of the series from NBC, if only for nostalgia and kitsch value. While some of the pacing was reminiscent of the original (Mission: Impossible it ain't), a welcome twist occurred during the opening title sequence for the tele-film. As the various characters are established, we see young Michael Knight (Justin Bruening) in bed with two young ladies in Vegas. While at a beach house we see a surf diva get ready for work as an FBI special ops agent, saying goodbye to a young lady she's leaving behind in her bed. This isn't the '80s Knight Rider!

34-year-old actress Sydney Tamiia Poitier — the biracial daughter of Oscar winning actor Sidney Poitier and Joanna Shimkus — plays FBI agent Carrie Ruvai. If Knight Rider returns as a series, it will be interesting to see if the character continues to be lesbian or bisexual, or if this plot point is conveniently overlooked to create future sexual tension between Carrie and Michael.

For years, I've said how refreshingly inclusive it would be if just one of the crimefighters on a network procedural show like Law & Order and CSI was also gay. HBO's The Wire figured it out long ago. Now NBC has a chance to show just how inclusive it can be: If Knight Rider becomes a series, its Agent Ruvai may be the only queer leading lady of color on scripted network television. And as points out, if Cashmere Mafia doesn't return next season, she may be the only LGBT leading lady on network TV.

No comments: