‘Kung Fu’ review: The CW borrows the old show’s name to kick off a contemporary drama
Racing through the plot in the extremely, extremely hectic pilot episode, the series stars Olivia Liang as Nicky Shen, a young Chinese-American female who, on a solo journey to China, end up dropping off the map and going into a Shaolin abbey, where she’s trained for more than 3 years.
After an attack on the abbey — and the theft of a valuable sword — Nicky returns house to San Francisco, simply as her sibling (Shannon Dang) will get wed. Her arrival resumes old injuries about household characteristics, especially including her requiring mama (“Crazy Rich Asians'” Kheng Hua Tan), who plainly invested lots of hopes and dreams in Nicky’s once-promising future.
Still, all is not well in Chinatown, with corrupt forces having actually threatened her moms and dads’ dining establishment organization (Tzi Ma plays Nicky’s papa), threatening the regional neighborhood. If just somebody might withstand them, maybe by battering groups of armed henchmen, and had an ex-boyfriend (Gavin Stenhouse) who occurs to work in the D.A.’s workplace.
The timing definitely feels welcome for a series that concentrates on an Asian-American household, one with a great deal of traditional issues to go with the more wonderful ones — finding the bad guy who took the abovementioned sword primary amongst the latter.
Still, “Kung Fu” — established by Christina M. Kim under Greg Berlanti, who manages the CW’s superhero dramas — feels less like a reboot than a brand-new series that merely obtains the widely known title and draws out a list of remarkable cliches. (In in between, there was a syndicated revival in the 1990s.)
Approved, that evaluation is based upon one episode, and it may be worth remaining for a couple more to see whether the mythological elements really bloom into something more than the best recommends. If not, to paraphrase the initial program, it’ll be time to leave.
“It’s really … tasteful,” Grace’s Tom lies upon going into the location.
The underlying stress is that Tom, an author, is dealing with a book notified by — what else? — his insane household. That includes a little bite to what’s otherwise a quite breezy workout, which does not totally make use of the possibly intriguing effect of class problems and diverse financial status on brother or sister competitions, a minimum of at first, as strongly or imaginatively as it could.
All informed, the principle and casting have pledge. However while it includes a contemporary household, at very first blush, “Home Economics” is no “Modern Family.”
“Kung Fu” and “Home Economics” best April 7 at 8 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. ET, respectively, on CW and ABC.
Jobber Wiki author Frank Long contributed to this report.