Watch Kung Fu
- 3 Seasons
Kung Fu is a classic American television series that aired on ABC from 1972 to 1975. The show followed the adventures of a Chinese-American Buddhist monk named Kwai Chang Caine, played by David Carradine, who traveled through the American Old West in search of his half-brother and further enlightenment.
The show was created by Ed Spielman and developed by Herman Miller, who were fascinated by the idea of a peaceful warrior utilizing the discipline of kung fu to overcome violent situations. The show was unique for its time as it cast an Asian actor in the lead role, challenging stereotypes and prejudices against Asians on American television.
Kwai Chang Caine is a Shaolin monk who was born in China and raised in a monastery. He is trained in martial arts and has an incredible ability to use kung fu to defend himself and others. When his mentor is murdered by a member of a rival fighting school, Caine kills the attacker in self-defense and becomes a wanted man. To escape punishment, he flees to the American West.
Throughout the series, Caine is portrayed as a wise, peaceful and compassionate man, who uses his martial arts skills to help those in need. He often finds himself in dangerous situations, either due to his own compassionate nature or because people seek him out for help with their own problems. Caine also faces many challenges because of his race and heritage, particularly in a time and place where prejudice and discrimination against Asians were commonplace.
One of the key themes of the show is the conflict between Eastern and Western cultures. Caine struggles to reconcile his own Buddhist beliefs with the violent culture of the American Wild West. Despite this, he is able to find a balance and use his teachings to promote peace and justice.
The show was praised for its portrayal of martial arts and for its thoughtful exploration of Eastern philosophy and culture. Bruce Lee was originally considered for the role of Kwai Chang Caine, but ultimately David Carradine was chosen for the part. Carradine brought a unique approach to the character, blending martial arts expertise with a contemplative, almost mystical demeanor.
Kung Fu was a critical and commercial success during its initial run, but it was not without controversy. Some critics accused the show of promoting a "mystical Asian" stereotype, while others were unhappy that an Asian actor was not cast in the lead role. Despite these criticisms, the show remains a beloved classic and continues to have a strong following.
In conclusion, Kung Fu is a classic American television series that tells the story of a Shaolin monk named Kwai Chang Caine traveling through the American Old West in search of his half-brother and further enlightenment. The show is known for its unique blend of martial arts, philosophy, and social commentary, and for breaking down barriers by casting an Asian actor in the lead role. Despite controversies surrounding the show, it remains a cherished cult favorite to this day.
Kung Fu is a series that is currently running and has 3 seasons (62 episodes). The series first aired on October 14, 1972.