This is interesting for me. Working on this web site a couple of things have been constants. First off, looking at most of the site you might notice it favors text over pictures and graphics. Big time. This is largely because I am talking about TV shows. TV shows that have copyrights whose owners could possibly get snitty if you used images from their shows. The other constant has been people emailing me saying,"Say, is X show available on home video? What about Y show?" Usually I don't find myself with much to say beyond, "I dunno." But now I find myself being able to do a little more in regards to both these things.
After spending so much time being careful not to step on studio toes, imagine my surprise when the folks at Warner Home Video asked me to put out the word that Kung Fu Season 2 was coming out on DVD. And, oh, by the way, please use some of our images we'd like you to use.
They're wanting me to put graphics and such up? Nice.
Now let me be clear, I wouldn't be putting a page like this up for a show I didn't feel deserved a little attention. It just so happens Kung Fu is a show that deserves more than a little attention, not to mention its release on DVD. So I also get to point out to some TV fans that this show is in fact available. It's all good.
First, the show itself is the definition of a classic series. Not to mention utterly unique. Its both a martial arts show AND a western. Hand to hand action and gunplay? What else could you want in an action adventure show? Oh wait... how about a show with a soul and a social conscience? How about an action hero who is actually a man of peace trying his hardest to not have to pummel people? A hero who has to deal with racial intolerance and in dealing with it exposed its ugliness to a whole generation of young viewers? How about a show created by martial arts legend Bruce Lee? This show has all of that and more.
Now, I would be remiss if I didn't point out one obvious sad irony in amongst all the cool. The fact that Bruce Lee himself was not able to play the lead role in the show due to the very racial issues the show itself highlighted. But on the happy irony side, as I pointed out the show ended up having an impact on the attitudes of a whole new generation of future writers and directors.
And even though we didn't get Bruce Lee we did get David Carradine. Yeah he was a white guy playing Asian but, give some credit, the dude was super cool. Way before he was bad guy Bill getting killed, Carradine brought depth to man of peace Kwai Chang Caine.
But you don't just get David Carradine. Ohhh no. (Excuse me while I do slip into full P.T. Barnum mode) You also get a nice array of surprise cameos. See, no matter how big the star, most every actor at some point has played a smaller guest role on a television show. Kung Fu is no exception. Keep your eyes peeled for The West Wing and Animal House's Tim Matheson, Six Feet Under's Robert Foxworth, The Dukes Of Hazzard's own Boss Hogg Sorrell Booke and Uncle Jessie Denver Pyle, Magnum P.I.'s T.C. Roger E. Mosley. Plus, Bo Svenson who also appeared in Kill Bill as Reverend Harmony who Bill had killed. And, oh yeah, some guy named Harrison Ford. And that's not even getting into the people who were already big when they were on the show like western regular Jack Elam (that guy with the funky eyes), Anne Francis, Fritz Weaver, Tina Louise...
Plus what would a DVD set be without some extras. I believe releasing a DVD without extras may in fact be a Federal crime. Well it should be! No worries in this case. You get DVD commentaries by Mister Carradine himself on two episodes. You also get "Zen and Now: A dinner with David Carradine and Friends". While you have to buy the DVD set for the full dinner, I can give you a small snack worth of Carradine and friends right here...
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If you're into action, westerns, martial arts or just plain old quality TV, you should give this show a spin. Seriously.Other Poobala Kung Fu Pages
Kung Fu and Kung Fu - The Legend Continues Spin Off Page
Kung Fu and Kenny Roger's The Gambler Returns Crossover-palooza
Kung Fu - The Legend Continues and Cheyenne Crossover Page
Click here to return to main Crossover List