'''''Martial Law''''' -- Sammo Law, a top flight cop and hand-to-hand combat instructor from UsefulNotes/{{Shanghai}}, China comes to Los Angeles to search for a crime boss and a female undercover cop whom his department lost contact with. Once there, his temporary mission is turned into an ongoing exchange position and he is partnered with a pair of cops and is met with a clash in culture. As they battle the criminal elements of the city, his skill in martial arts proves to be a big help.

This 1999 show was largely inspired by the mid-90's Creator/JackieChan craze, and the fights scenes were in the same vein of being fast-paced and filled with "blink and you'll miss it" actions. Not coincidentally, Creator/SammoHung is also a long time friend of and frequent collaborator with Jackie.

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!!''Martial Law'' provides examples of the following tropes:

* {{Acrofatic}}: Sammo
* ActionGirl: Dana and Grace
* AlliterativeName: Dana Dixon.
* AmoralAttorney: One of the villains in early episodes.
* AncientConspiracy: One appear near the end of the second season [[spoiler: and Sammo's son is one of the members]]
* ArchEnemy: Lee Hei to Sammo.
* BewareTheNiceOnes: Sammo is one of the friendlier characters but if you threaten civilians or his friends, prepare for a world of beating.
* BullyingTheDragon: In the first episode, cop Portman mocks and insults Sammo, despite hearing that Sammo was the top cop in Shanghai and the senior training officer in martial arts and hand to hand combat. Sammo shows him quite politely how he earned those titles.
* ByTheBookCop: Amy, at the start of season 2.
* CoolCar: Sammo won a cool convertible that accidentally rolled into the bay during a fight TheTeaser of one episode. He replaced it with a used taxi, to Terrell's disgust.
* CliffhangerCopout: The end of season 1 saw Sammo and Big Bad Lee Hei falling out of a helicopter over the ocean. Sometime during the summer, though, it was decided to retool the show, and instead of season 2 picking up off where the first had ended, it opened with a regular episode, with only scant allusions to a resolution to the previous events—Sammo asking if someone who's trying to kill him with a bomb is seeking vengeance for Lee Hei's death, and a fellow officer asking Sammo, "Hey, you fell out of a helicopter into the Pacific and survived... how much worse could a bomb be?" There was also no explanation for how Grace, who had been BoundAndGagged in the chopper (which, BTW, was also being piloted by one of Lee Hei's goons) managed to escape.
* CombatPragmatist: Sammo, and his niece.
* {{Crossover}}:
** Creator/ChuckNorris' Series/WalkerTexasRanger appears in one episode and Sammo appears in his show for the conclusion.
** Sammo later appears in an episode of ''Series/EarlyEdition''.
* CultureClash: Often happens frequently with Sammo and the other cops and even between Sammo and Grace, due to Grace being raised in the United States.
* TheDanza: SammoHung playing Sammo Law. As well as Louis Mandylor playing Louis Malone.
* DarkActionGirl: Lin Pei Chen, Lee Hei's daughter.
* DetectiveMole
* DirtyCop: A Secret Service agent in the first season who was helping the team investigate a counterfeiting operation turned out to be part of said operation.
* DoesntLikeGuns: Not that he doesn't like them, he just doesn't get one. HandWaved as the brass being afraid things might get volatile if he had one. [[MST3KMantra Don't think about it]]. Just don't.
* EvenEvilHasLovedOnes: Subverted with Lee Hei. When he [[IJustShotMarvinInTheFace accidentally shoots and kills his wife]] in the second episode, he's shocked, but he gets over it real fast. He also quite clearly states that ItsAllAboutMe when he is perfectly willing to let his daughter rot in jail.
* EvenEvilHasStandards: In season two a crooked guard has no problem with ''threatening'' a city with a binary nerve gas to get a huge pay-off. When he finds out his partner plans to ''use it'' on the city whether or not they pay makes him try to stop him.
* FairCop: Just about.
* FakeDefector: Pei Pei does this to Lee Hei.
* FriendToAllChildren: Sammo gets along quite well with children and teenagers.
* EpunymousTitle
* GameShowAppearance: In the first episode, Sammo furnishes his apartment by winning stuff in ''ThePriceIsRight''.
* HeelRealization: Near the end of second season [[spoiler: Sammo managed to talk his son out to make him think about his position in the secret society]], without the audience knowing that he was successful.
* HilariousOuttakes
* HostageSituation: How the robbers in episode 10 made their escape once they realized they were outclassed by Sammo and Grace.
* ImprovFu: The show has [[TheDanza Sammo Law]] present this art in its finest form.
* ImprovisedWeapon: Not terribly surprising given Sammo Hung and Jackie Chan were contemporaries in the Peking Academy of Opera.
* LiteralMinded: Sammo has a few moments where he takes some phrases or idioms literally due to not understanding the English terms.
* ManchurianAgent: One episode features a group of people who were turned into these during their studies in East Germany. A criminal uses them as an Killer-for-hire service.
* MarriedToTheJob: Sammo's co-workers are even afraid to tell him that he has to take a week off.
* MartialPacifist: Sammo
* MistakenForForeigner: Played with. Grace or Pei Pei was born in China but raised in the United States before returning back to China. The fact that she speaks English fluently and is knowledgeable about American norms surprises some characters.
* MistakenForServant: This was how Sammo and Terrell met where Terrell believed that Sammo was one of the caterers.
* MsFanservice: Grace. Small wonder as it's Creator/KellyHu.
* OffscreenTeleportation: Terell apparently pulled this off, two bad guys thought that they pinned him down with gunfire, only for him to appear behind them with [[GunsAkimbo a gun on each hand]].
* ParentsAsPeople: Winship's brother was trying hard to raise his daughter Justine after his wife's death but as Justine pointed out, he was so involved in his work that he hardly paid attention to her at all and shuffled her off to a boarding school.
* PrisonRape: Referenced when Sammo and Terrell go undercover in a prison. We're shown the shower, which pans over to Terrell showering with every single piece of his clothing on. At the end of the scene, he drops the soap, and watches the other prisoners cautiously as he picks it up.
* PutOnABus: Dana was written out of the show after only 5 episodes. Episode 6 did not even address her disappearance, and it wasn't until episode 7 that viewers learned her character transferred to a police department in Missouri to be closer to her parents. Meanwhile, both Louis & Lt. Winship were booted from the cast as part of the second season's ReTool, explained in-story as the former transferring to NYPD while the latter retired (probably due to the gunshot injury he suffered in the first season's finale).
* RealityEnsues: When Sammo leaves the airport in the first episode, he ends up in a con-man's taxi. The con man drives him out to a remote area, where he is surrounded by a half-dozen men and robbed, [[AntiClimax without fighting back]]. Because that would be stupid, seeing as they were armed and could've plugged him full of holes. When they get back from commercial, he's reporting the crime at the police station, and everything is recovered at the end of the episode.
* ReTool
* ReplacedTheThemeTune: As part of the revamp, Mike Post's Asian-influenced rock theme was replaced with a more businesslike one by the late Music/JoelGoldsmith (son of the late Music/JerryGoldsmith).
* ReverseMole: [[spoiler:Sammo's son]] apparently did a HeelFaceTurn and did his own gambit by [[spoiler:shooting Sammo with a tranquilizer to bring him into the SupervillainLair]].
* RuleThirtyFour: Sammo's goes to a house looking for a suspect, and ends up in a meeting for people who are sexually aroused by engine vibrations.
* TokenWhite: Louis in season 1, after Dana left. Amy during season 2.
* TrademarkFavoriteFood: Eveybody's surprised the first time they offer Sammo something to drink, and instead of tea he asks for Diet Coke; it usually happens OncePerEpisode.
* WellIntentionedExtremist: In episode "Cop Out" Sammo infiltrates into a group of policemen who kill criminals that have not been sentenced.

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