Kung Fu

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Re: Kung Fu

Postby Steve James on Sun Apr 11, 2021 5:37 am

Kung Fu is both a really fun action show and also a family drama with a lot of heart about a kind of family we haven’t seen nearly enough of in television dramas.


I definitely agree with the first part. There are two shows. I disagree that it's "about a kind of family we haven't seen nearly enough of in televivion dramas." Drama or not; families are families. Well, that's the rub. Anyone who thinks that there aren't "tiger moms" in all cultures --who are disappointed with their daughter choices-- with loving fathers --who are not so happy, but resigned to having a gay son --has a fairly limited view. This family could be Arab, Indian, Nigerian, or American.

Believe me (or not), I'm not criticizing the show. I like watching the family --especially the son and the funny daughter. I'm not particularly interested whether the main character hooks back up with the White guy she left or the Chinese guy she met. But, I'm at the point in my life where young love dramas don't keep my attention.

Having an all Chinese (er, Chinese-American) family show is great, but I don't watch family shows in general. If the title hadn't been "Kung Fu," I'd probably never have watched. Now, if I were writing a drama, I'd get the character pregnant so she couldn't fight, or give her a drug or alcohol problem. No spoilers, so we haven't mentioned the crime element, which is where I'd say the non-fantasy drama is in the story.

I'll watch the next few episode just to see how they manage the two, or three, shows. I think having the various elements may satisfy a wide audience. Otoh, there might not be enough of each element to satisfy everyone. In the end, this was promoted as a reboot of Kung Fu. That's why I watched.
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Re: Kung Fu

Postby Trick on Sun Apr 11, 2021 6:00 am

marvin8 wrote:
Trick wrote:So I just watched an trailer of the new Kung Fu......and compared it with the trailer of the 1972 Show......
I must say the fight action still looks cool in the old, and cooler than that in the new......
For other aspects apart from the Kung Fu fighting one probably have to watch a couple of episodes to make an clear judgement....

Past full episodes of the new Kung Fu can be watched for free at:

https://www.cwtv.com/shows/kung-fu/?pla ... 372097ad05

If you're outside U.S. you may need a VPN or find it streaming elsewhere on the internet.

This show when I try it
. Due to licensing restrictions this content is only available in the U.S.
Last edited by Trick on Sun Apr 11, 2021 6:02 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Kung Fu

Postby marvin8 on Sun Apr 11, 2021 6:47 am

Trick wrote:
marvin8 wrote:Past full episodes of the new Kung Fu can be watched for free at:

https://www.cwtv.com/shows/kung-fu/?pla ... 372097ad05

If you're outside U.S. you may need a VPN or find it streaming elsewhere on the internet.

This show when I try it
. Due to licensing restrictions this content is only available in the U.S.

Right, that's why you use VPN and choose U.S. IP address.

Instead, for Kung Fu try clicking here.
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Re: Kung Fu

Postby marvin8 on Sun Apr 11, 2021 12:46 pm

Steve James wrote:
Kung Fu is both a really fun action show and also a family drama with a lot of heart about a kind of family we haven’t seen nearly enough of in television dramas.


I definitely agree with the first part. There are two shows. I disagree that it's "about a kind of family we haven't seen nearly enough of in televivion dramas." Drama or not; families are families. Well, that's the rub. Anyone who thinks that there aren't "tiger moms" in all cultures --who are disappointed with their daughter choices-- with loving fathers --who are not so happy, but resigned to having a gay son --has a fairly limited view. This family could be Arab, Indian, Nigerian, or American.

I believe she is referring to (and as I pointed out):

Jessica Mason on Apr 6th, 2021 wrote:This is the right time for a series with a majority Asian cast who are never relegated to side plots or stereotypes. They are front and center as complex and compelling characters.

Again, there is no other Asian family drama or kung fu series currently on network TV (broadcast over the air without charge) in the U.S.

Steve James wrote:Believe me (or not), I'm not criticizing the show. I like watching the family --especially the son and the funny daughter. I'm not particularly interested whether the main character hooks back up with the White guy she left or the Chinese guy she met. But, I'm at the point in my life where young love dramas don't keep my attention.

Having an all Chinese (er, Chinese-American) family show is great, but I don't watch family shows in general. If the title hadn't been "Kung Fu," I'd probably never have watched. Now, if I were writing a drama, I'd get the character pregnant so she couldn't fight, or give her a drug or alcohol problem. No spoilers, so we haven't mentioned the crime element, which is where I'd say the non-fantasy drama is in the story.

I'll watch the next few episode just to see how they manage the two, or three, shows. I think having the various elements may satisfy a wide audience. Otoh, there might not be enough of each element to satisfy everyone. In the end, this was promoted as a reboot of Kung Fu. That's why I watched.

Others have shared similar opinions.

IMO, Master Po and grasshopper was a memorable relationship that passed on great wisdom, helping the lead character (Kwai Chang Caine) grow. I hope the new Kung Fu can do the same, if not better. If the new Kung Fu can bring a renewed respect to kung fu and Asian people in the current environment, as Bruce Lee has, it will be worth it.

Yes, I believe it's too early to make a judgment. Time will tell if the series becomes popular enough to be continued.
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Re: Kung Fu

Postby Steve James on Sun Apr 11, 2021 1:44 pm

If the new Kung Fu can bring a renewed respect to kung fu and Asian people in the current environment, as Bruce Lee has, it will be worth it.


Well, ime, people who don't respect kung fu and Asian people won't be watching. I think people who do respect kung fu and Asian people don't really need a show.

Whether the show receives an audience may depend on scheduling. I agree that the anti-Asian hate sentiment in the news may draw more viewers. I can't speak for those who'd watch for that reason, though. One thing going for it is that it's on the CW, which has a younger audience.

So, personally, I don't think we need a show to illustrate that Asians are good people with interesting lives. The people who don't believe it won't change their minds. I agree that a family show with an all-Asian cast is warranted. I told you one I liked already. When Kung Fu came out in the 70s, few people knew anything about China, or Shaolin, or the history of the Chinese in the US. It had a tremendous effect --even though the main character wasn't Chinese. It should have been Bruce Lee, but the social effect was just as great.

Again, I'm not saying I don't like the show. I agree it's a good idea. But, I think the category "Asian" includes far more people than this show represents. If social change comes from shows, then we need a lot more representation. But, I don't think people change because of it. I think people who are open already will watch and think more about the plot than the ethnicity. Obviously, they'll see it. My point is that audience that is open will identify with the characters. For ex., I can identify with the father whose daughter doesn't want to listen. The young adults can identify with the Romeo and Juliet aspects. The more people who can identify with the characters and their problems, the more people will watch. Imo. I hope it works.
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Re: Kung Fu

Postby marvin8 on Sun Apr 11, 2021 9:33 pm

Steve James wrote:
If the new Kung Fu can bring a renewed respect to kung fu and Asian people in the current environment, as Bruce Lee has, it will be worth it.


Well, ime, people who don't respect kung fu and Asian people won't be watching. I think people who do respect kung fu and Asian people don't really need a show.

There are many people that have little knowledge about kung fu and Asians. Kung Fu can expose millions of people (e.g., kids, parents, people who thought of fitness but didn't have the motivation, etc.) to the benefits of kung fu and Asians on a weekly basis, hopefully gaining respect for them.

Steve James wrote:Whether the show receives an audience may depend on scheduling. I agree that the anti-Asian hate sentiment in the news may draw more viewers. I can't speak for those who'd watch for that reason, though. One thing going for it is that it's on the CW, which has a younger audience.

No one brought up Asian hate will bring in more viewers. They said they hope the new Kung Fu series will help the Asian hate problem.

Steve James wrote:So, personally, I don't think we need a show to illustrate that Asians are good people with interesting lives. The people who don't believe it won't change their minds. I agree that a family show with an all-A may sian cast is warranted. I told you one I liked already. When Kung Fu came out in the 70s, few people knew anything about China, or Shaolin, or the history of the Chinese in the US. It had a tremendous effect --even though the main character wasn't Chinese. It should have been Bruce Lee, but the social effect was just as great.

Again, I'm not saying I don't like the show. I agree it's a good idea. But, I think the category "Asian" includes far more people than this show represents. If social change comes from shows, then we need a lot more representation. But, I don't think people change because of it. I think people who are open already will watch and think more about the plot than the ethnicity. Obviously, they'll see it. My point is that audience that is open will identify with the characters. For ex., I can identify with the father whose daughter doesn't want to listen. The young adults can identify with the Romeo and Juliet aspects. The more people who can identify with the characters and their problems, the more people will watch. Imo. I hope it works.

Just as Bruce Lee movies and the original Kung Fu brought popularity to kung fu and Asians, the hope is the new Kung Fu will also.
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Re: Kung Fu

Postby Trick on Sun Apr 11, 2021 11:15 pm

. even though the main character wasn't Chinese. It should have been Bruce Lee,
. What many don’t know, Li JunFan a.k.a Bruce Lee(artistic name?j on his mother’s side had a German/Swedish ancestry, but that was probably not enough to land him any great Hollywood lead roles...He supposedly tried for the original ‘Kung Fu” Kwai Chang Caine role but as we know the lead went to David Carradine, who actually might have been the better actor or perhaps had stronger Hollywood connections...?

At the open food market just next to my place in Dalian there where a woman that looked as Kwai Chang Caine, she knew some English and we sometimes chatted but I never said anything to her about about that resemblance 8-)
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Re: Kung Fu

Postby Trick on Sun Apr 11, 2021 11:37 pm

Now I haven’t seen any of these movies, but for you Americans that are at “the right age” most probably have seen some of them - Dr Fu Manchu and Detective Charlie Chan - how did they form an opinion on East Asians(Chinese) back then ?
I can images that the character of Charlie Chan might have imposed an positive opinion ?

Interesting about the Original actor playing the roles of both Fu Manchu and Charlie Chan was an Swede named Värner Öhlund or as his Hollywood name say ‘Warner Oland’ .
There are some claims that Warner had made the claim that his Russian grandmother was of Mongolian descent, so that might be why he looked a little(or maybe to some quite much) as an East Asian(Chinese),
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Re: Kung Fu

Postby Steve James on Mon Apr 12, 2021 4:17 am

Growing up in NYC, there were plenty of Chinese people. I don't know anyone who didn't go to Chinatown long before Bruce Lee was on TV. That was the mid 60s. There are people on the board who began studying then or before.

Kato on the Green Hornet was a gong fu guy, but that wasn't explored in the show except in one episode where he fought a Praying Mantis practitioner. But, in NY, there was already a Kung-fu Wushu school, and Ed Parker was teaching Kenpo (aka Chinese karate) out west.

The Kung Fu series was Bruce Lee's idea. But, there'd never been an Asian lead actor on a TV series. In fact, Asian heroes were played by White actors. I don't think it had anything to do with acting ability. The reason the series got made was because China was opening up. Nixon was going there, and a lot more cultural exchange was happening. China was beginning to get more respect. The TV series became a vehicle for it.

And it was David Carradine who brought esteem to the show and a wide audience. Even though everyone knew he wasn't Asian, and everyone else on the show were better martial artists. That's why Lee would have been a better choice. That was the 70s. I don't think it's possible for any show now to accomplish what Kung Fu did. I don't think China or the Chinese are considered weak.

Before Kung Fu, there was no stereotype of the Chinese kung-fu guy. One thing that hasn't been mentioned is that by making the girl the hero, the show focuses on Asian women and their strengths. That's new. OK, too bad the lead is a dancer, not a martial artist.
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Re: Kung Fu

Postby GrahamB on Mon Apr 12, 2021 4:31 am

"Before Kung Fu, there was no stereotype of the Chinese kung-fu guy. One thing that hasn't been mentioned is that by making the girl the hero, the show focuses on Asian women and their strengths. That's new. OK, too bad the lead is a dancer, not a martial artist."

Yes, too bad. It probably means she's fitter, stronger, more athletic, looks better and can learn movement patterns and knows how to present them to a camera more quickly though.
I could be wrong.
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Re: Kung Fu

Postby Steve James on Mon Apr 12, 2021 4:44 am

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Re: Kung Fu

Postby Steve James on Mon Apr 12, 2021 5:01 am

I can images that the character of Charlie Chan might have imposed an positive opinion ?


Well, a positive opinion of Charlie Chan was presented, maybe. But, "so sorry," he was a fake Chinese, with fake Chinese manners, who called his sons and daughters by numbers, but whose one achievement was that he was smarter than the White detectives. :) The real entertainment in the show were Mantan Moreland's comic bits. Btw, the character of Charlie Chan was based on an actual Chinese-American policeman, Chang Apana.
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Fu Manchu, otoh, also always played by a White actor, was a creature of an imagination worried abut the Yellow Peril. He was the early version of a James Bond villain, aiming to take over the world -often by promoting opium addiction.

If you can get to YouTube, there are plenty of Charlie Chan, Fu Manchu, Mr. Moto (sort of a Japanese Charlie Chan), and others. Christopher Lee was almost as famous for playing Fu Manchu as he was for playing Dracula.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=33mJRSKipbw
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Re: Kung Fu

Postby Steve James on Mon Apr 12, 2021 5:21 am

It probably means she's fitter, stronger, more athletic, looks better and can learn movement patterns and knows how to present them to a camera more quickly though.


Aw, I think any competent wushu forms competitor could do it as easily. Making the fights look good is mostly a matter of finding the right choreographer. In this case, I think the acting chops are more important than the karate chops. I.e., finding and Asian actor who's attractive and can kick (who's not Michelle Yeoh) was key. There had to be a casting call and screen tests. I think this show's biggest impact will be that the presence of so much talent will be lead to the creation of more shows.
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Re: Kung Fu

Postby Trick on Mon Apr 12, 2021 5:24 am

. And it was David Carradine who brought esteem to the show and a wide audience. Even though everyone knew he wasn't Asian, and everyone else on the show were better martial artists. That's why Lee would have been a better choice. That was the 70s. I don't think it's possible for any show now to accomplish what Kung Fu did. I don't think China or the Chinese are considered weak.
I actually don’t think BL would have been an good Kwai Chang Cain, he would just have been BL with BL fighting characteristics, Carradine was a good choice, and it probably helped that he was basically born into Hollywood and before he played on the screen had acted on theater scenes including Broadway, he had a real solid acting career that actually shone trough in his Kwai Chang Cain role, it was not David Carradine it was Kwai Chang Cain, with Bruce Lee I don’t hunk that would go.

As mentioned in the thread being a trained dancer might be quite beneficial for portraying a martial arts movie character, and it is said that carradine was indeed a skilled dancer too...probably as most the old school Hollywood actors were.
And by his dancing skill was probably why he could actually later on become a skilled martial artist too
. As a published author, David has also written his autobiography, Endless Highway, as well as The Kill Bill Diary, a day-to-day journal of his experience on the film set and beyond, and two martial arts related instructional books, David Carradine’s Tai Chi Workout and The Healing Art of Chi Gung. He has produced and starred in a series of martial arts workout videos, beginning with David Carradine’s Kung Fu Workout, and a number of others on Tai Chi, Chi Gung, Cheng Tai Chi Meditation and Kung Fu Kick Boxing.
https://www.davidcarradine.com/about/biography/
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Re: Kung Fu

Postby marvin8 on Mon Apr 12, 2021 5:33 am

GrahamB wrote:"Before Kung Fu, there was no stereotype of the Chinese kung-fu guy. One thing that hasn't been mentioned is that by making the girl the hero, the show focuses on Asian women and their strengths. That's new. OK, too bad the lead is a dancer, not a martial artist."

Yes, too bad. It probably means she's fitter, stronger, more athletic, looks better and can learn movement patterns and knows how to present them to a camera more quickly though.

Yes, too bad. She can be a role model for teens and young adults, a large part of CW's audience. Fifty years ago, Asian kids had Bruce Lee. Today, Asian kids and young adults have a role model and representation, in the new Kung Fu.

Excerpts from "CW’s ‘Kung Fu’ Reboot Wants to Flip the Script on the Asian-American Family in Television:"

Kristen Lopez on Apr 8, 2021 wrote:With the recent heartbreak in the AAPI community, it's a bittersweet time to release this series — but star Olivia Liang hopes there's an opportunity to do good. ...

“Looking back, and just thinking of the time that this first aired, it was such a groundbreaking show in so many ways,” Kim told IndieWire. “This idea of a main character using Buddhist wisdom, and spirituality, and kung fu skills to help people. It’s such a novel idea.” Veteran actor Tzi Ma, who plays Nicky’s father Jin, watched the original when it aired, describing it as “funky.” He said it’s important to bring up how the original series provided opportunities for Asian performers whose choices were often limited back in the 1970s.

“It was as an opportunity for a lot of Asian-American actors to work,” he said. “I watched it for that reason. I got to see Robert Ito, James Shigeta, Mako, Nancy Kwan, Kam Yuen, Pat Morita, Keye Luke. An all-star Asian-American acting roster!” Ma said, and noted that, if anything, Carradine himself was the fortunate one for getting to work with such a lineup. “Because of all the martial arts in the show all the Asian-American black belt ranked [members] got a chance to do it.”

For Liang, this series was a chance to tell this story in a way that acknowledges the past lack of representation. “It’s all the more special to know that we’re telling the story from this perspective now,” she said. “Maybe that’s how it should have been told from the beginning.” But where the original series provided Ma an opportunity to look at Asian-American stars of the studio era, this new take on “Kung Fu” wants to expand and attract an entirely new audience who haven’t felt seen onscreen. Liang, for example, said she was too young as a child to realize she didn’t see anyone who looked like her onscreen.

“It wasn’t until I became an adult and reflected on my childhood that I realized I never saw someone who looked like me [who] I could look up to,” she said. “So it’s with hindsight that I realized I didn’t feel represented. I’m just excited that there will be young Asian boys and girls out there who will feel represented by the show.”
Ironically, the opportunity to work opposite Ma, who was recently listed by Vulture as one of the best character actors working today, was a big deal in Liang’s household. ...

It’s hard, though, to discuss “Kung Fu” without acknowledging the growing anti-Asian racism that has popped up in the headlines over the last several months. Kim explained that she’s “heartbroken and outraged.” “We need to come together as a society to condemn these terrible acts of violence,” she said. “I don’t think my TV show is the solution but I really do hope shows like ‘Kung Fu’ [are] going to bring about greater cultural awareness and acceptance of Asians.”

It’s a bittersweet time to release this series, but Liang similarly hopes there’s an opportunity to do good. She said the series doesn’t seek to depict all Asian-American experiences, but one specific set of characters that can be relatable to others. “It seems silly to boil down anti-Asian racism and hate crimes to a lack of representation but it really is a huge part of it,” she said. “If we’re not in people’s homes, on their screens…we just continue to be other, to be seen as unrelatable and not fully human.
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