Six months after the explosive events of season one, Nicky and the Shens are in a great place: Nicky’s been using her Kung Fu skills to keep Chinatown safe, she and Henry are only deeper in love, and the family are all in the know about Nicky’s extracurricular activities. Everything’s great…until the reemergence of Russell Tan and the surprise appearance of Nicky’s cousin, Mia.
For thoughts on Kung Fu: The Complete First Season, please see my review of the Blu-Ray here.
For thoughts on Kung Fu: The Complete Second Season, please check out my previous overview here (around 1:20 mark).
Kung Fu comes to DVD with 13 episodes over 3 discs, which offers a fair amount of room to avoid compression issues. The first season received a Blu-Ray release, so it is a bit disappointing to see that sales did not warrant the series being continued on that format. Due to the limitations of the lesser format, these episodes are not going to look as good as they do in high definition, but they look as good as they can with these considerations in mind. Shadow detail can struggle a bit as black levels fail to achieve the depth necessary for distinct edge detail. By and large, though, this remains a fetching show with fine details easily visible in brighter environments. Skin tones appear natural, and close ups look quite good with some texture on display. Colors make an impression, and you can even feel a bit of dimension with the production design. While the show did look much better on Blu-Ray, the DVD is a fair option if you want to own the series on physical media.
This DVD comes with a Dolby Digital 5.1 track that gets the job done for the type of show that it is. The mix wields a faithful sense of directionality so that nothing ever feels like it is emanating from the wrong place. Dialogue comes through clearly with a focus in the center channel. The enjoyable score and various tunes are presented effectively here. Sound effects and background chatter never overwhelm the dialogue causing lost information. The rear speakers create a three-dimensional atmosphere as the sound of various specific environments envelops you when the moment calls for it. You could not really ask for more from the track within its limitations on DVD. There are optional English SDH subtitles provided.
- Gag Reel: A four-minute collection of flubbed and forgotten lines, joking around, malfunctioning props and more. This is always one of the best features.
Kung Fu continues to be one of the notable examples of a series building upon its legacy for more rewarding gains. Beyond sharing a name, it bears very little resemblance to anything that has come before. The second season continues to build upon the lore of the series while both introducing engaging new characters and adding new layers to those we already love. While it can be a bit formulaic at times, it does a nice job of balancing more “case of the week” type storytelling with grander narrative ambitions that coalesce quite nicely over these thirteen episodes. Warner Bros. Home Entertainment has delivered a DVD with a decent A/V presentation for the format and brief supplemental feature. While we truly wish the show had continued on Blu-Ray, this is a fine option if you simply want to own the show on physical media. Recommended
Kung Fu: The Complete Second Season is currently available to purchase on DVD and Digital.
Note: Images presented in this review are not reflective of the image quality of the DVD.
Disclaimer: Warner Bros. Home Entertainment has supplied a copy of this disc free of charge for review purposes. All opinions in this review are the honest reactions of the author.
Dillon is most comfortable sitting around in a theatre all day watching both big budget and independent movies.