I must have seen Kung Fu on WUAB weekends. I’m not sure if I saw it prior to seeing The Master, or after. If it was prior, then it could have been my introduction to martial arts and Asian culture. Even if it was, though, it wasn’t a very good one. I was rather afraid of Kung Fu. I think I was afraid of most 70s properties. They were so garish with their implied nihilism and aggressive reds, yellows, and oranges. That’s how I saw them, anyway, and Kung Fu was no exception. I couldn’t understand it, I was afraid of it, so I mostly avoided it.
I must admit, though, that there was one Kung Fu episode I really liked. Caine knew some bad guys were in the vicinity watching for him, and he decided to confront them, so he stood out in the open rather than hiding and banged some rocks together to get their attention. I thought that was pretty hardcore.
Years later, I would be reintroduced to Caine as Kung Fu: The Legend Continues premiered on the PTEN syndicated network. I was really into martial arts back then and loved the show. The biggest thing I remember is that Caine once healed himself of a bleeding injury. I’ve always wished I could do that.
Don’t forget to check out my book TV In My Time for more of my 80s TV memories!