The CW has premiered a modern “Kung Fu,” inspired by the hit 1970s series.
Created by Christina M. Kim and produced by Warner Bros. Television, the new iteration stars Olivia Liang as Nicky Shen, a young woman whose quarter-life crisis leads her to drop out of college and go on a life-changing journey to an isolated monastery in China.
She returns to find her hometown overrun with crime and corruption, and her own parents Jin (Tzi Ma) and Mei-Li (Kheng Hua Tan) at the mercy of a powerful triad.
Nicky will rely on her tech-savvy sister Althea (Shannon Dang) and Althea’s fiancé Dennis (Tony Chung), pre-med brother Ryan (Jon Prasida), assistant district attorney and ex-boyfriend Evan (Gavin Stenhouse), and new love interest Henry (Eddie Liu) as well as her martial arts skills and Shaolin values to protect her community and bring criminals to justice…all while searching for Zhilan (Yvonne Chapman), the ruthless assassin who killed her Shaolin mentor Pei-Ling (Vanessa Kai) and is now targeting her.
The original series was set in the Old West and starred David Carradine as Kwai Chang Caine, a fugitive monk. Although it provided exposure for Asian American actors, the show was criticized by many in the Asian American community for having a white actor in the lead role.
The new “Kung Fu” airs on the CW, locally KTLA Channel 5. Check local listings for air times.