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A quarter-life crisis causes a young Chinese-American woman to drop out of college and go on a life-changing journey to an isolated monastery in China. But when she returns to find her hometown overrun with crime and corruption, she uses her martial arts skills and Shaolin values to protect her community and bring criminals to justice…all while searching for the assassin who killed her Shaolin mentor and is now targeting her.
It might be worth sticking around for a couple more to see whether the mythological aspects actually blossom into something more than the premiere suggests. If not, to paraphrase the original show, it'll be time to leave.
The makers of the new Kung Fu have taken a scorched-earth policy as regards the legacy of its ancestor, and good for them: The cast is attractive and committed; the storyline has multiple avenues to pursue; Ms. Liang can carry the show.
The pilot of Kung Fu suggests a sincere interest in the story of a Chinese family in the U.S., with an amount of complexity and sophistication that one might not necessarily expect from a network action series.
The new "Kung Fu" isn't as serious as its predecessor, and it doesn't have the makings of a classic thus far. But its light and affectionate portrait of Asian American family life feels both heartening and right for this moment.