I’m Late To The Party But Warrior Is Really Good
Yes, I know I know. With so many new shows coming to the small screen this month how can I possibly write about something that was so last April. Because it was and because it’s good. That’s why. And what is that GOOD thing that I’m talking about? Well, Warrior of course. I fantastic TV show that I’ve discovered recently and that you’ll need to get on board with. You can thank me later. You see… Warrior’s first season was a slow burner for Cinemax, back in April. Not that many people knew about it, but I’ll blame that partly on the fact that Game Of Thrones’s last season started just days after Warrior premiered, and… well you get the picture. But since then, Warrior has slowly gained momentum with the audience and the true aficionados of both martial arts and period drama (like myself) will love the late 19 century setting of the TV show.
But what exactly is Warrior about? Well, according to Shannon Lee (Bruce Lee’s daughter) it’s a show that is based on an original concept and treatment by Bruce Lee himself. The legendary martial arts master pitched the idea for the TV show back in the early 70’s (with David Carradine in the lead apparently) but his untimely death prevented the show from ever getting made. Until now. In its essence, Warrior is a Chinese version of the Peaky Blinders. But instead of Birmingham, Warrior is set in San Francisco during the Thong Wars in the late 1870s. And the young new talent by the name of Andrew Koji is the actual Warrior from the title of the show. He’s Ah Sahm, a skilled but shy and cautions martial arts expert that immigrates to USA from China in order to find his sister, but ends up as an integral part of the criminal underground of the city.
He’s fluent in English because he had an American godfather (just like Bruce Lee did) and a good warrior because he had the best master (just like Bruce Lee did). So because of his fighting skills and his fluency he’s sold to the most powerful tong in Chinatown to work as an enforcer. And in the span of 10 episodes we’ll get to see the struggle for power and dominance between the tongs, the ramifications of the opium wars in the seedy, dangerous crime-filled San Francisco, the animosity towards the Chinese immigrants, the war between the Irish and pretty much everyone that’s not Irish, the corruption, the betrayal and oh so much more. Oh, and the fight scenes are outstanding, but that should hardly come as a surprise. The show is developed by Justin Lin, but the thing is the action fight scenes are very down to earth and muted down compared to the modern day extravaganza in that particular department. They’re realistic, they’re fantastically choreographed and they’re shot in a non-ostentatious yet stylish way. No flashy camera work, no over-reliance on CGI, no fake and cheap shots whatsoever. The action scenes are a true art form in itself.
One of the only flaws that I can really pinpoint about the 10 episodes is that there’s an abundance of supporting characters that are not given the same treatment. They’re either underdeveloped if they’re interesting (like the Georgia native cop Richard Lee) of forgotten for a lengthy period of time if they’re not (Penelope Blake).
I can’t recommend Warrior enough. The set pieces, the time period, the historic background, the costumes and the writing are all good. Oh and the lead actor Andrew Koji is outstanding as well. His performance both in the action scenes and in the quiet more dramatic scenes is really top notch, and it doesn’t hurt that he’s hot AF. Like I said. Watch it. You can thank me later in the comment section.