5 Reasons to Watch the CW’s New Reboot of “Kung Fu”

Can The CW's new show live up to the hype and right the historical wrongs of the David Carradine original? Here's why you should give it a shot

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12:55 AM HKT, Thu April 8, 2021 2 mins read

The stakes are high for The CW. After failing to impress audiences with a string of shows plagued by absurd storylines and corny dialogues (think Riverdale), the network’s decision to pick up a remake of a beloved 1970s television series may be its last shot at redemption.

So far, reception towards a new take on Kung Fu has been generally positive, albeit mostly based on one trailer and with some wariness given the network’s recent history. The top voted comment on one YouTube version of the teaser reads, “Love the trailer but scared that it is on CW.”

The concern is understandable, but there are still plenty of reasons why we think you should give it a shot, at the very least…

It Stars Olivia Liang

She’s been everywhere: in an episode of Grey’s Anatomy, a couple of Wong Fu Productions videos, and most famously on The Vampire Diaries’ spinoff Legacies. We feel like she’s ready to hold her own and step into the footholds David Carradine left behind half a century ago.

She’s also pretty hilarious and tweets about everything from crying over Disney’s Raya (relatable) to fangirling over Taylor Swift (also relatable). She might also be the hero we need right now given…

The Cast Have Been Vocal About the Ongoing Violence Towards the AAPI Community

Back in 2020, as racism towards the AAPI community was beginning to increase, Tzi Ma participated in Asia Society’s “Stand Against Racism in the Time of COVID” forum with Ted Lieu and Eric Garcetti. During a promotional panel for Kung Fu, both Ma and Liang condemned the Atlanta shootings. “I’m not quite sure what the short-term fix is,” said Ma, before referencing Asian American representation within the media as “the long-term solution.”

Liang added that “the timing of our show is really impeccable” — and it’s hard to argue with that.

Tzi Ma is the Dad, Obviously

Perhaps the one good thing about Mulan was Tzi Ma being part of the cast. We can’t wait to witness his performance in Kung Fu, where he will once again be taking on the role of father figure.

Olivia Liang sums it up well:

Eddie Liu is a Total Dreamboat

If you’re wondering about some of the younger male cast members, well here’s Eddie Liu for you:

Who better to play Liang’s Nicky Shen’s love interest? Honestly, his presence alone should be reason enough to watch the pilot episode. If you’re still not convinced, just know that his character is named Henry, and the “ship name” for the two has been coined as Hicky. Oh yes.

There’s Asian Representation, On and Off Screen

Not only is the cast predominantly Asian, the reboot is also produced by Christina M. Kim, who was the one who made the radical decision to gender-flip the series’ main character. In a video interview, she stated “I really, really wanted a kick-ass, strong female Asian lead.”

So will the show live up to these expectations? Will it help right the historical wrongs felt by many with regard to the original Kung Fu? And where will it sit alongside HBO’s Warrior, a drama based on the same Bruce Lee concept that supposedly “inspired” the Carradine-led 1970s show?

We ought to know more once Kung Fu premieres on the CW on April 7.

Cover image: A scene from Kung Fu (source: Giphy)

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