Why I Didn’t Review Warrior Season Two

The answer goes beyond any discouragement caused by the lack of comments or Twitter Likes on “Warrior Season One Highlights.”  With the long-awaited third season airing now, I decided to share a longer explanation for failing to fulfill my announcement to cover episodes from every one.  This article combines writings from the unfinished “Warrior Season Two Highlights” draft, with sentiments I experienced while watching the first 20 episodes all over again.

Special thanks to people who pushed “Like” and/or “Reblog” on the Tumblr repost of “Warrior Season One Highlights,” for assuring me that an audience could exist for my coverage of this show.

Among this season’s six directors, two possess Asian heritage, who in total directed three of the 10 episodes.  The ones I considered reviewing include “To a Man With a Hammer, Everything Looks Like a Nail” (#16; directed by Vietnamese-American Dustin Nguyen; written by Jonathan Tropper & Brad Kane) and “If You Wait By The River Long Enough” (#17; directed by Anglo-Burmese Omar Madha; written by Kenneth Lin).

The end of Warrior Season One felt like it would’ve made a satisfactory ending to Ah Sahm’s story as a whole.  This made it hard for me to tell exactly how much of following seasons’ content draws from “The writings of Bruce Lee,” and how much came from his successors in the writing staff. The documentary Becoming Warrior strongly suggests that almost all of it came from the latter, but I didn’t find the documentary until after my rewatch of Seasons One and Two.

Season Two presents some admirable efforts to flesh out the supporting cast.  Some of the most compelling storylines include Young Jun taking over the Hop Wei, and Ah Toy falling in love with vineyard owner Nellie Davenport (Miranda Raison). Regarding new additions to the main cast, new Hop Wei recruit Hong (Chen Tang) manages to endear.  His homosexuality delivers a unique reason to depict him as an outcast to both Chinese and non-Chinese, though Ah Sahm and Young Jun both sympathize with and befriend him quickly after his arrival.

One difficulty I experience while attempting to recommend Season Two concerns the misfortunes of every woman who wins Ah Sahm’s heart, outside of his family.  Fight club owner Rosalita Vega (Puerto Rican Maria-Elena Laas) appeals by carrying out an agenda independent from Ah Sahm’s story, and by holding her own in fight scenes.  Unfortunately, even though she completes the agenda, her romantic subplot with Ah Sahm concludes with an overly-cruel means of increasing his loneliness in America.  Meanwhile, Penny’s various struggles come across as a reminder for female viewers to appreciate their 21st century privileges.  The hiring of a female director, Dennie Gordon, helped prevent the reminder from feeling too condescending.  However, it might still unnerve viewers who feel that women have fewer privileges now than during Warrior‘s Cinemax run.

By the end of my first viewing of Season Two, an apprehensive part of my mind developed the sense that the writers possibly ran out of ideas for Ah Sahm.  Even though he remains important to others in San Francisco, they often threaten to overshadow him.  Sometimes, even the show’s least interesting characters seemed to receive more screentime than him.  In contrast, a more optimistic part of my mind developed the sense that the writers decided to save some compelling ideas for Ah Sahm’s story for the future.  Even if it took longer than they probably hoped for Warrior to receive a third season, it feels fortunate that they and Andrew Koji could finally bring those ideas to life.

Plug

Violence towards Asian-Americans persists at alarming levels.  I would like my readers to donate to The AAPI Community Fund, even if I personally take no share of the funds.

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