Have You Watched HBO’s “Warrior”? (My Thoughts)

For a while now I’ve seen reviewers on SlashFilm laud HBO’s “Warrior” as the best show that no one’s talking about. Despite that, the relatively new show has 3 seasons, and knowing Megan’s affinity for kung fu, I suggested that we try it. We’re now almost finished with the first season.

Overall, I think Warrior is a brilliant show. It’s historical fiction about the rise of San Francisco, focusing largely on Chinatown (both from the inside and outside). The show shines a spotlight on the xenophobic and racist practices against Chinese immigrants; it’s truly horrible.

I can’t speak of the historical accuracy of this, but in the show, part of the way that the Chinese immigrants survive is by dividing into gangs. We follow the main character as he unwittingly joins one of these gangs upon arrival and then learns about a connection to a rival gang.

The fight scenes in Warrior are incredible. The actors appear to do most of their own combat and stunts, allowing the camera to rarely cut away from their physical prowess. In a time of denigration of Chinese immigrants, it’s easy to root for them as they fight back. The one downside to the fight cinematography is that at times it seems to show more than it needs to in terms of graphic violence.

Warrior reminds me a lot in tone, writing, and quality as Deadwood, with the added elements of kung fu and the Chinese mafia (both of which are core elements of one of my favorite book series, the Green Bones saga). I’m really enjoying it, and I’m glad we have a full three seasons to watch despite the show feeling so new. Have you watched it?

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