‘Kung Fu’ Co-Showrunner Robert Berens Spills Some Details For Season Two [Part 2]

With the first season of The CW’s Kung Fu now over, many fans have been wondering what’s next for our beloved Shen family. The season finale had Nicky and Zhilan come head-to-head at Pei-Ling’s monastery battling for control of the biàn gé power, with Nicky defeating Zhilan and releasing biàn gé back into nature where it came from.

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Q&A with the ‘Kung Fu’ Cast and Showrunner

Presented by CAPE and The CW, join the cast of Kung Fu — Olivia Liang, Shannon Dang, Jon Prasida, Kheng Hua Tan, Tzi Ma, and showrunner Christina M. Kim — and The Nerds of Color Editor-in-Chief Keith Chow for a conversation on reclaiming martial arts, shattering stereotypes, and being an Asian American family on primetime TV.

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Action-Filled ‘Kung Fu’ Reboot is Relatable for Asian Americans

It has been almost 50 years since the premiere of 1972’s western martial arts series Kung Fu, which starred white actor David Carradine yellowfacing as a mixed Asian Shaolin monk. Back then, that was the norm for Asian character roles. But now, Kung Fu is getting a complete reboot/retelling of the story and righting the wrongs that were made from the original. Developed by Greg Berlanti and Wendy Mericle, the new series centers around a Chinese American woman, Nicky Shen (Olivia Liang), who returns home to San Francisco, after spending three years at a Shaolin Monastery in China to escape the familial pressure to be successful and marry into a nice Chinese family. Her time at the Monastery is cut short when her mentor/teacher, Pei-Ling (Vanessa Kai)  is murdered by a mysterious assassin. With nowhere else to turn to, Nicky returns home to face the family she abandoned and somehow find Pei-Ling’s killer. 

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‘Mulan’ is a Thoughtful but Clunky Iteration of the Chinese Folktale

Mulan is the latest in a growing line of Disney live-action remakes. Based on the 1998 animated feature film of the same name, as well as The Ballad of Mulan, a young woman (Yifei Liu) disguises herself as a man to take her ailing father’s place in the Imperial Army, to protect the country from Northern invaders. Along the way, she comes to terms with realizing her full potential and to not hold back on who she is.

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Alan Yang is About to Get Serious with ‘Tigertail’

Alan Yang is a funny guy. 

He has written and directed some of the funniest episodes for hit comedy series like Parks and Recreation and The Good Place. He also co-created the award-winning comedy, Master of None, winning both a Peabody and Emmy for his work on the acclaimed series. 

Now, Yang is about to release his first feature film this week on Netflix, and it’s not what you’d expect. After working in comedy for several years, Yang wanted to write about something personal. Inspired by a trip he took to Taiwan with his father four years ago, Yang really got to know his father and the life he lived in Taiwan — his hopes, dreams, failures, ambitions, and regrets. Tigertail, a multigenerational drama surrounding a Taiwanese American immigrant story, was the end result. 

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Hell on Wheels: Chinamen, The Final Frontier

SPOILER ALERT: If you haven’t watched through Episode 6 this season, there are some character revelations and minor plot twists revealed, but ostensibly nothing that would alter anyone’s viewing of the show.

AMC’s Hell on Wheels entered its fifth and final season this summer with seven episodes scheduled to finish in 2015 and seven more in 2016 to close it out. The show follows a former Confederate solider, Cullen Bohannon (Anson Mount), as he reconciles his dark past while becoming a key player in the race to build the Transcontinental Railroad.

Admittedly, I have never been a regular viewer of the show. I only tuned in for this season after hearing that Hell would finally include Chinese railroad workers as part of its story; and not without some healthy skepticism. Chinese workers have been mostly glossed over in mainstream media depictions of the western frontier and they got the same treatment through Hell‘s first four seasons. While the show’s creators Joe and Tony Gayton gave practical reasons as to why this happened, the chances of whether the Chinese would ever be included on the show seemed less promising with each passing season.

Season Five, however, has been worth the wait.

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