Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Kung Fu and the Evils That Men Du

My father got me the first season of the original Kung Fu TV series just out of the blue about two weeks back. This is really the first time I've gotten around to watching anything other than the pilot.

It's an interesting show. Its from that same era that birthed MacGyver, though it lacks the energy of Richard Dean Anderson's signature series.

The martial arts are...I dunno. That really is the kung fu that I was taught. Stiff, hard, and damnably nasty. I know only a bit of kung fu, but this fits. The moves are a bit slow at times, but I think they're about the speed they need to be.

What impresses me, though, is that Caine isn't an ungodly martial arts master. He's a Shaolin monk with a decade or more of training under his belt. He's damn good...but if the show were made today, he'd be Lady Shiva good. By that I mean "I'm looking for a man name Caine. He's supposed to be the best martial artist in the world. I want to KEEEEEEEL him to prove that fact to be incorrect."

The show's slow, though. I mean its really slow sometimes. There's a lot of long, contemplative silences, and a lot of rapid, jump-cut flashbacks that are almost seizure worthy in how sharp they are. There are no soft fades or dissolves into flashbacks, but rather jarring stark cuts where one frame old Caine is standing in the desert, and the next young Caine is standing at the feet of a monk, learning how to turn people's knees into boxing posts.

My biggest problem with the show, though, is that it tries to say that 99% of the people in the world are out to beat up, rob, shoot, or coerce people into giving them what they want. Just about every Caine meets is evil, sinful, lustful, greedy, and willing to kill, rob, cheat, and steal whatever they want. Not everyone in the old west was nice, but I somehow doubt that they were all small minded villains.

Still...interesting show. I like Caine's philosophical bent to things...and I find that I do kind of agree with him. Which is sad, becuase I really don't think I should agree with anything said by any television character.

Jenny Sparks, on the other hand...Jenny is a bit of a different matter...


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