Screen Rant receives an exclusive clip from the home media release of Kung-Fu season 1, The CW’s reboot of the iconic martial arts drama series.
Screen Rant received an exclusive clip from the home media release of Kung-Fu season 1, The CW’s reboot of the iconic martial arts drama series. The original series premiered in 1972 and starred David Carradine as a Shaolin monk traveling through the American Old West seeking his half-brother and armed only with his spiritual training and his skill in martial arts. Carradine returned for its sequel series, The Legend Continues, for four seasons while development on a reboot languished at Fox for a few years until The CW picked it up in 2019.
Developed by Christina M. Kim, the modern-day adaptation of Kung-Fu centers on Harvard dropout Nicky Shen as she utilizes her expertise in martial arts to help her family and community combat an increasing triad problem in her hometown as a vigilante. The cast is led by Olivia Liang as Nicky alongside Tzi Ma, Kheng Hua Tan, Shannon Dang, Eddie Liu, Jon Prasida, Gavin Stenhouse, Yvonne Chapman and Ludi Lin. Premiering to solid reviews from critics, The CW renewed the series for a season 2 about halfway through season 1.
On the heels of the show premiering on digital platforms, Screen Rant has received an exclusive clip from season 1 of Kung-Fu. The featurette, entitled “Bound of Honor,” offers insight into Nicky’s journey and the efforts from executive producer and developer Kim, Liang and the cast to break the tropes and stereotypes from the original series. Check out our exclusive clip below:
As iconic as the original series was, Kung-Fu has seen criticism in the years since its airing for multiple problematic elements, including its whitewashed cast, examples of yellowface, representations of women, ethnic groups, namely East Asian and Chinese groups. Additionally, the series was slammed for having reportedly stolen its central premise from master martial artist, Bruce Lee, and not casting him in the lead role. While The CW’s reboot may not be a perfect series, it quickly became clear in its development cycle that the network and Kim were looking to right the wrongs of its IP with its racially-appropriate cast and compelling story.
The featurette for Kung-Fu season 1 is an even more interesting spotlight of this issue with Liang and Kim’s interviews. The star’s reaction to receiving the script for the project is very understandable, as a series with a stereotypical name being offered to an Asian performer could almost be an insult had it not been the subversive take on the story and genre it ended up being. With any luck, the in-development season 2 can learn from some fan criticism of The CW reboot and deliver another worthwhile season.
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