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There are caveats upon caveats to "Kung Fu," but despite all of its quirks, the show has potential, and with a tighter focus on its characters Nicky's adventures to defend her community could be worth the investment.
Kim's enthralling iteration ... rights the wrongs of appropriation to fashion a modern, painfully relevant take that features high-flying action papering over a melodramatic script.
It wouldn't be a CW show without a classic love triangle - and Kung Fu has set up a brilliant one.
Based on the opening hour, and the obvious, almost arbitrary B-movie plotting of its ordinary criminal plotlines, one suspects the series will fare better the more mystical its mysteries become.
If a pilot is your opportunity to establish premise and put your best resources forward, Kung Fu is a mixed bag anyway. The action stuff is fine, a little on the deliberate-and-slow side, but boasting glimpses of Wuxia gravity-defying beauty.
The makers of the new Kung Fu have taken a scorched-earth policy as regards the legacy of its ancestor, and good for them: The cast is attractive and committed; the storyline has multiple avenues to pursue; Ms. Liang can carry the show.
As is often the undercurrent for the best of CW shows, it's actually an engrossing family saga. Long review short: come for the action drama and stay for the emotional squabbles.
For a show called Kung Fu, the actual fight work doesn't exactly stand out, but Olivia Liang's Nicky is a formidable and fun hero who's worth following.
It's yet another series from Greg Berlanti, but it's full of action, gives Asian Americans a showcase at a time they need it and ultimately more entertaining than, say, the "Mulan" remake was.
Representation matters, so the existence of an almost all-Asian cast on a broadcast network series is a welcome development even as the show's format and themes feel overly familiar.
Audience Reviews for Kung Fu: Season 1
1d agoI absolutely loved it! This is the kind of show I adore. It is about a young woman named Nicky who drops out of Harvard (sad) and runs away to study martial arts in a monastery for women in China. It shows her devotion to and her strive to defeat the woman who killed her late sensei. The show did well in getting me connected to her by giving her a sad beginning. When she comes home three years later, her whole family is different, and her boyfriend has moved on. I hope to see character development and discovery in Nicky. The fighting is so exciting. The cast is beatiful. The whole her being a strong chinese-american woman is so amazing because I can actually relate to her. This is an absolute MUST WATCH! Can't wait for episode two!
2d agoThe interpersonal drama and small scale theatrics are pretty interesting, however initially rote, but tying them into its larger narrative of "been there, snapped that" collector porn is just a road too well travelled as a weary excuse to stretch out an obvious hero's journey.
4d agoGreat show, not a reboot of the original series but it's own characters. I'm looking forward to seeing the development of the show.
4d agoWhere is the mythical part of Carradine's kung fu series? Why, if he came out of a shaoli temple, his philosophy is not part of the series? Only the fiction of the sword. He could easily have trained anywhere and it wouldn't matter. the series could be called by any other name.
5d agoThe Arrowverse without supersuits. 90% talking about feelings, 5% action, 5% conversations with ghosts. 100% completely and utterly blah. You'd think the CW might be able to bring us something other than the usual. You'd be wrong.
5d agoAmazing. Loved the cast. Representation matters, and I absolutely adored seeing the Chinese American community portrayed so lovingly and realistically on screen. I cannot wait to see how the character and story development go from here. I think people can relate and be more open to other cultures when they watch this family. Already, you can see the writers are not afraid to tackle issues that are considered taboos especially in Asian American traditional and conservative families. A must watch!
6d agoThey just had to add a gay brother into the mix and she gets to ask a ghost questions. Ho hum.
6d agoDefinitely feels like CW, and it's going to appeal more to Asian Americans than to Asians for better and worse.
6d agoActually starring Chinese actors is nice. The down side is that Kung-Fu has all the usual CW ingredients. It's nice that they have gay characters in like every show. It's just it is getting cliche for the CW. The upbeat sister also feels like a clone of any character in the CW. They don't try to bring originality to this show from the start. Especially when it starts with the CW opening that Arrow made famous. "My name is...."
6d agoI can't believe people made this stereotype drama in the year of 2021. The whole thing just likes the general tsao chicken to Chinese audiences which ain't no Chinese at all. If people have got budgets they shall invest on warriors season 3 or Awkwafina as Nola instead of this crap.