Warrior: The Resurgence of Bruce Lee's Vision

Two men and a woman standing with show name logo, courtesy HBO Max.

During the pandemic lockdown in 2020, many individuals, including myself, indulged in binge-watching numerous shows, both old favorites and new discoveries. One of those discoveries for me was the underrated TV series Warrior.”

“Warrior” is a television show inspired by the creative vision of Bruce Lee, who originally conceived the idea of a show called “Ah Sahm,” centered around a Chinese martial artist navigating the Old West. Despite initial skepticism from producers about casting an Asian actor as the lead character, the concept eventually evolved into the well-known David Carradine series “Kung Fu.”

Decades later, Bruce Lee's vision was finally realized in 2019, thanks to a collaboration between Shannon Lee (Bruce Lee's daughter) and the creators of Banshee.” Here are some of the reasons why I absolutely love this show:

Diverse Representation: “Warrior” stands out as an American show featuring a predominantly Asian cast in influential roles of power.

Character Depth: Much like “Game of Thrones,” “Warrior” boasts characters with significant depth. Each character could conceivably lead their own show, thanks to well-developed personas and compelling character arcs.

Karma as a Theme: The show prominently explores the theme of karma, allowing viewers to relish in the moments when antagonists face the consequences of their actions or when protagonists achieve success.

Exceptional Action Sequences: “Warrior” sets a high standard for action scenes within its genre, especially for a television series. Several members of the main cast are real-life martial artists and stunt performers, resulting in flawlessly executed and intense fight sequences.

Stunning Stylistic Elements: The show's attention to detail is commendable. The music, while at times over the top, adds a Western flair to every scene. The settings are historically accurate, and the costume design consistently impresses. Notably, the character Mai Ling, portrayed by the talented Dianne Doan, showcases outfits that are worthy of a separate discussion.

Engaging Dialogue: Much like “Game of Thrones,” “Warrior” excels in verbal combat when characters aren't engaged in physical confrontations. The dramatic yet effortlessly cool dialogue is delivered by actors who consistently deliver exceptional performances.

Originally airing on Cinemax, “Warrior” marked the network's final original program before its cancellation in late 2020, coinciding with Cinemax's absorption into HBO Max (now known as Max). However, the show quickly gained popularity and became one of the most-streamed shows on HBO Max, consistently ranking among the top 15. This resurgence led to the renewal of the series for a third season, allowing for the resolution of loose ends from the second season.

Additionally, “Warrior” enjoys a dedicated and passionate fan base, which has initiated a petition for the show's renewal for a fourth season. Given the significant buzz and critical acclaim generated by Season 3, the prospects for Season 4 are increasingly promising.

What are your thoughts on “Warrior”? Are you considering giving the show a try, or have you already experienced its captivating world? Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments section!

Photo courtesy of HBO Max.

Becoming Warrior | Part 5: The Warrior | HBO Max

Warrior - Season 1 (2019) | Official Tease 2 | Cinemax