Snap Judgment: 'The Knights of Prosperity'

17125__knights_l What I liked about last night’s pilot of The Knights of Prosperity: Shlubby Donal Logue (pictured). The portrait of New York City as a democratic, multicultural melting pot where Ralph Kramdenesque strivers from around the world bump and jostle the rich and famous. The warehouse full of giant menorahs, dreidels, and other Judaica. Logue’s motivational, American-Dream speeches, which (like The Godfather and The Sopranos) take our ideology of self-improvement to its logically larcenous extreme. The Tarantino/Soderbergh band-of-thieves group-stroll-shot parodies. Mick Jagger’s put-upon, silently irritated houseboy. The clever use of ’70s kitsch — Boston’s "More Than a Feeling," the Loni Anderson poster, and let’s face it, Jagger himself.

What I didn’t like: The title. The derivativeness — so far, Knights looks a twist on My Name Is Earl, complete with blue-collar rubes, breaking and entering, and a Latina sexpot as unrequited lust object. The conflicting sympathies — at least Earl is a bad guy trying to be good, while the Knights are good guys trying to be bad. Are we supposed to find them more lovable and excusable because they’re also inept and dimwitted, and because Jagger has agreed to play himself as an insufferably pompous twit?

Finally, this is one of many new shows this year (including Day Break, Kidnapped, Vanished, and Runaway) that seem like they’d make better movies than TV series with open-ended plots. I wonder how the writers are going to keep this premise going week after week (and, if they’re lucky, season after season). But I’m hooked enough to tune in next week to find out. How about you, PopWatchers?


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  • K

    It didn’t do it for me. Although “Garry’s” line to the intern in the cab about vaginas being his favorite part of a woman made me laugh out loud.

  • Miles

    ahhh, Nope, not tuning in. I like My name is Earl a lot, and this is pretty much a rip off, why should I support the lack of creativity in hollywood by actually watching it.

  • Cliff

    I liked the pilot a lot more than I expected to, and I’m one of the only people in America who doesn’t watch American Idol, so I’m willing to give a few more episodes…but if ABC drops the ax after a month, I won’t stake out the Web waiting for the unaired episodes. The last broadcast episode should have the Knights stinking rich or in jail, no in-betweens.

  • lilly

    I thought it was funny and I don’t care if its like Earl because I LIKE Earl. I would rather watch rip-off shows that are still funny and entertaining than half of the “original” sitcoms out there. I’ll be watching next week and I just hope that ABC doesn’t continue with their itchy trigger finger and cancel it this afternoon (note to the networks its a bad idea to go against a Bowl game when you are premiering a new show!)

  • Jill

    I laughed out loud a few times last night…which only happens when I’m watching ‘Earl’ these days. (or ‘Scrubs.) So I’ll definitely watch for a few more weeks to see how things pan out. (It reminded me more of Ocean’s Eleven with not-so-cute-overweight guys.)

  • EP Sato

    I loved Donal Logue since the Tao of Steve and will be a fan of his forever. He’s hilarious and has a fantastic sense of comedic timing. That he’s adopted NYC as his home I’ve always liked, and like the Pre-Grey’s Sandra Oh, he’s one populare role away from greatness and “why haven’t we seen him before” comments.
    Knights was more cute than funny, but was still fun to watch. Seeing Christofa’s drug rehab sponsor from the Sopranos in an appropriately schmucky role was hella cool, and the way that Gary talked about his favorite part of a woman’s body was knee-slappingly inappropriate.
    For the record, the chica on Earl is a Chicago born Boricua (Puerto Rican), but the woman on Knights is Colombian. There was even a joke about it, leading me to believe the Knights’ writers also expected comparisons between the female leads to be drawn.
    That all said, what’s wrong with people rooting for the extreme underdog? Knights and Earl are very universal because they reflect realities that many of us know, even if they are done as farces. Take NYC. Don’t MOST middle class New Yorkers live in cramped and tiny spaces? Because other than Knights, we rarely see that. And Earl shows a woman make noodles with ketchup like it’s a joke, but we laugh because most of us probably know someone who’s made noodles n’ ketchup.

  • Osman

    Rating for the first week were so-so… getting a 4.4. Unless all of that is Adults 18-49, its life expectancy is going to be very low.
    I’m gonna watch next week, see if its still funny… if not its going into my pile of ‘liked the idea but didn’t pull it off’, which includes: smith, the nine and day break

  • Ilovejuice

    I gave this show bonus points for their pop culture reference of Grease, when they’re naming off other celebrities they could rob.
    “…Jeff Conaway…”
    “Who’s Jeff Conaway?”
    “Kenickie.”

  • Jeff

    My brothers and I watched it last night (and we’re all in that coveted age bracket) and we laughed out loud a lot. We’re not fans of My Name is Earl for some reason, but Knights had us cracking up. In Case of Emergency, however, left us empty. We laughed maybe once or twice during that one and that was it.

  • Tammy

    I’ll watch again. I like Donal Logue and thought the premise was amusing. While it may not be the most intellectually stimulating show on TV, that’s okay with me. Sometimes, I’m just looking for a simple laugh — which this show provided.

  • Dduellman

    Loved it. Will watch again. It’s the only sitcom I’ve seen in a while that I will tivo.

  • sarah

    I thought the show after it with David Arquette was a lot funnier.

  • Stephanie Travitsky

    Donal Louge is a funny actor, but this premise does not work. It has the same problem that Kidnapped had. One kidnapping and one robbery cannot go on for a whole show. T.K.P. would be funny if they did the robbery in one show, a few shows or even one season, then robbed another celebrity. If this does work out, let’s hope that eventually will be the idea.

  • hulahoop

    It was much better than I expected and I think it has a lot of potential. The characters are interesting and diverse, if not stereotypical. I laughed out loud a few times. I thought the David Arquette show that followed was pretty funny too.

  • dtt

    I laughed hard…That’s all that matters. (Like when they had the prayer circle to ask God to have stolen the right key…great stuff!)

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