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April 2021

Celebrating the Arts since May 2012

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Television!

KUNG FU

Kung Fu premieres April 7th on The CW Network (Starring Olivia Liang)

KUNG FU

  • By KENNE HOFFMAN

The 1972 martial arts action-adventure series Kung Fu (starring David Carradine) and Kung Fu: The Legend Continues is being re-imagined for the CW Network by executive producers Christina M. Kim (creator of the updated version), Ed Spielman (creator of the original series), Greg BerlantiHanelle CulpepperMartin Gero, and Sarah Schechter. 2021’s Kung Fu is set in the present day and follows Nicky Chen (Olivia Liang), a young Chinese-American woman whose quarter-life crisis forces her to leave college and make a life-changing journey to an isolated monastery in China. Upon her return to America, she finds her hometown of San Francisco is plagued by crime and corruption run by ‘the Triad.’ Nicky is forced to use her martial arts skills and Shaolin values to protect her community all while dealing with her estranged family and searching for the assassin who killed her Shaolin mentor and is now targeting her. The supporting cast features Tzi Ma, Kheng Hua, Jon Prasida, Shannon Dang, Eddie Liu, Gavin Stenhouse, Gwendoline Yeo, and Tony Chung. In light of the recent tragedy in Atlanta and the rise in anti-Asian racism and violence, this adaptation of Kung Fu could not come at a better time. In terms of advancing positive and powerful Asian representation on screen, Kung Fu showcases an almost entirely Asian cast on a major network. It tells a distinctly Asian-American story about family, community, and yes, some awesome martial arts.

Kung Fu” premieres April 7th on The CW Network.

REBEL

Katey Sagal stars in Rebel on ABC (April 8th)

REBEL

  • By KEN WERTHER
  • Photo Courtesy of ABC

In the new ABC-TV series Rebel, powerhouse Katey Sagal (Married With Children, Sons of Anarchy, The Conners) brings her larger-than-life energy to the role of hard-charging consumer advocate Annie “Rebel” Bello. “When she gets it in her mind that something is unfair and has to stop, she’s relentless,” Sagal says of the sexy blue-collar badass. The series, created by Krista Vernoff (Grey’s Anatomy, Station 19), is inspired by the current work of activist Erin Brockovich (whose early career was chronicled in the 2000 Julia Roberts film) and co-stars Andy Garcia as Julian Cruz, the lawyer for whom Rebel consults. ABC describes Rebel as a funny, messy, brilliant, and fearless woman who cares desperately about the causes she fights for and the people she loves. Along with Sagal and Garcia, the cast includes John Corbett (Northern Exposure, Sex and the City, Parenthood), James Lesure (For Your Love, Las Vegas, Good Girls), Tamala Jones (Veronica’s Closet, For Your Love, Castle), Ariela Barer (Runaways), Lex Scott Davis (Toni Braxton: Unbreak My Heart), and Kevin Zegers (Gossip Girl). When Sagal was asked how she feels about having a show built around her at this stage of her career, she said, “It’s groundbreaking. Men of a certain age have always been in leading roles, but you don’t find many women. I’m in my 60s. Women my age can be hot, vital, vibrant, and smart — all the things that we are.” My DVR is set!

Rebel” premieres April 8 on ABC.

ATLANTIC CROSSING

ATLANTIC CROSSING

  • By KENNE HOFFMAN

Historical credibility is the focus in PBS’s newest Masterpiece series. Atlantic Crossing is a fictionalized drama inspired by true events during World War II. Norwegian Crown Princess Martha (The Bridge’s Swedish star Sofia Helin) steals the heart of the President of the United States Franklin Roosevelt (Sex and the City’s Kyle McLachlan). Atlantic Crossing is true with regard to Martha having the most access to Roosevelt, next to his advisors, and she used that to help Norway during the war. Martha flees the Nazis with her three young children and lives under Roosevelt’s protection. The series co-stars Tobias Santelmann as Crown Prince Olav and Harriet Sansom Harris (Frasier, Desperate Housewives) as First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt. Eighty years ago, Norway had virtually no defenses and that scenario is mirrored today. Martha was more of a figurehead but became politically active. The writers spent almost seven years researching all sides of the events depicted in the series, as well as the personalities of all the characters involved. For the closed-door conversations for which there was no solid research, they carefully took into consideration what they knew of the historical figures and tried to imagine themselves in their shoes. Nobody really knows how intimate romantic the relationship between Roosevelt and Martha was. That said, many sources confirm Roosevelt’s infatuation with Princess Martha. 

The eight-part series premieres April 4th. For details, click here.

PRODIGAL SON

Catherine Zeta-Jones joins Fox’s Prodigal Son

PRODIGAL SON

  • By RICH ANDREW
  • Photo Courtesy of FOX

Creators Chris Fedak and Sam Sklaver crank up the crazy and deranged for their second season of the crime procedural Prodigal Son. The series follows criminal psychologist Malcolm Bright, whose peculiar insight into murder stems from the grey matter he inherited from his father Dr. Martin Whitly, more infamously known as a serial killer called The Surgeon. In Season One, we watched Malcolm investigate a series of murders that forced him to reconnect with his father in prison for help that only his disturbed mind could provide. But Martin’s machinations only put Malcolm and his sister Ainsley in more danger, culminating in the prodigal daughter suffering the family’s serial killer genes and committing a murder. At the top of Season Two, we find Malcolm now haunted by his own sinister actions, having covered up his sister’s crime. And when a top-notch Europol detective comes sniffing around the family for answers, Martin plots his escape in order to protect his children. With an outstanding cast that includes Tom Payne (The Walking Dead), Lou Diamond Phillips (Blue Bloods), Halston Sage (The Orville), Aurora Perrineau (Into the Dark), Frank Harts (Bull), Keiko Agena (Better Call Saul), Bellamy Young (Scandal), Michael Sheen (Staged), and now adds superstars Catherine Zeta-Jones (Queen America) and Alan Cumming (Briarpatch) to the mix, Prodigal Son doles out even more twisted fun.

Season Two of “Prodigal Son” returns April 13th.

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