Kung Fu (CW series)

Discussion in 'TV & Media' started by Janeway’s Girl, Mar 23, 2021.

  1. Janeway’s Girl

    Janeway’s Girl Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    A young woman drops out of college and joins a monastery in China. When she returns home to San Francisco she finds it overrun with criminals so she takes matters into her own hands.

    Really looking forward to this!

    Premieres April. 7th

     
  2. Morpheus 02

    Morpheus 02 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    This will be interesting...I hope
     
  3. CorporalCaptain

    CorporalCaptain Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    I'll definitely give this a try. Getting Tzi Ma is some serious casting.

    The original Kung Fu series is one of the greatest TV shows of the 1970s, if not ever. One can hope, but I'm not expecting them to catch lightning in a bottle again. If this is only half as good,* it should do OK. Ed Spielman is aboard, so at least that's something.

    * - The Legend Continues wasn't, unfortunately.
     
  4. Janeway’s Girl

    Janeway’s Girl Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I was really into the first episode. I really liked how the mythology is woven into the plot. The fight scenes were great and I’m really interested to see where the story goes.
     
  5. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    It was okay, but very much in the CW formula, with a season-arc quest and romantic triangles and a cute hacker girl and everything. I'm not sure how it even constitutes a remake of Kung Fu. The only point of commonality is that the main character was trained in a Shaolin temple (which is actually a very familiar Vancouver location, though they did a great job with the digital Chinese mountainscape around it) and had their mentor killed. Although in the original, Caine had already killed his mentor's killer and had a price on his head as a result, making him a wandering fugitive of the sort so beloved by 1960s-70s TV series. That was the preferred formula then, but the preferred formula now is to keep a character in one place and surround them with an ensemble and an ongoing quest. And it looks like instead of having flashbacks as in the original, they're giving Nicky symbolic (or genuinely supernatural?) visitations by the ghost of her sifu.

    I was excited by the idea of a series set in Chinese-American culture written by an Asian-American showrunner, but so far the roles seem more stereotypical than I expected -- the marriage-obsessed mother, the restaurant-owning father, the overachieving children with skills in math and medicine and computers and martial arts, the tong leader running Chinatown. Hopefully we'll get more nuance as the show goes on.

    I did not expect a supernatural element. I don't recall anything like that in the original show. It's no surprise that a Kung Fu show made for modern audiences would emulate the style of big-action Hong Kong movies of the sort we've become more familiar with since the original, but those don't always have fantasy aspects.
     
  6. CorporalCaptain

    CorporalCaptain Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    There were a few original series episodes that had supernatural elements.

    For example, in "The Devil's Champion" (S3 E8), an evil master controls a powerful champion (Soon-Taik Oh) by essentially demonic possession. After the evil has been defeated and the spell lifted from the champion by the Shaolin masters' mystic powers, the appearance of the evil master and his palace physically change, both to become old and decayed instead of young and vital.
     
  7. FPAlpha

    FPAlpha Vice Admiral Premium Member

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    Pretty much agree and the reason why i won't continue watching - too many tropes.
     
  8. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Oh, I'll keep watching. Like I said, the new show is made to fit today's formulas just as the old show was made to fit the preferred formulas of its time (Western, wandering-fugitive). But the old show had something distinctive to offer within those formulas -- its philosophical aspect and its hero who preferred nonviolence to gunplay. The new show could offer something worthwhile too, if it manages to convey an authentic Chinese-American voice. It just feels a little broad at this point, but I'll give it a chance.
     
  9. Forbin

    Forbin Admiral Admiral

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    I said out, dammit!
    There was also the ep where three assassins were sent after Cain, including one with mind powers (Clyde Kusatsu?), who caused Cain to hallucinate fighting an evil doppelganger.
     
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  10. CorporalCaptain

    CorporalCaptain Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    That's right. It was the two-parter, "Blood of the Dragon." That was Clyde Kusatsu. Those episodes also had Patricia Neal.
     
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