An epic Chinese series from the mid-2000s based on, of course, the life of Bruce Lee, starting with his dancing days as a mouthy teenager, and going ALL the way through his first learning kung fu, rise to stardom, and eventual tragic death. The series is shot to evoke Lee's most famous films, turning his life into one long, LONG, action movie.
For American readers, it is now available on Hulu.
This work contains examples of:
- A God Am I: After Bruce chases off some racketeers, the local store owners start calling him their "god of protection." He doesn't mind.
- Ambulance Cut: Frequently happens whenever Bruce overexerts himself. The last hospitalisation before he dies is obviously prefigured with one.
- Anachronism Stew: For a Biopic series meant to be set around between the late 1950s to early 1970s, historical accuracy was clearly not a going priority here; most locations were shot without any set dressing (or colour grading) to make them period-appropriate, so many locations, especially the American ones, are seen in their gentrified, early-2000s form rather than in 1960s/70s recreation; it's not difficult to spot car makes from the 1980s and later in the background! The producers, to be fair, made some attempts to recall that era, say by using a 1960s Mercedes-Benz sedan in the Hong Kong scenes, but most of the period styling is done on a shallow level. (Sometimes there are even period pieces from the wrong periodsee the profusion of ornate rotary phones that look more suited to the Roaring Twenties than The '60s, for instance. The boxy late-1970s cars seen in Seattle are another example.)
- Not that this is a bad thing; it's possible that since the story revolves around Bruce Lee himself, as long as the crew telegraphed his actions and personality accurately, and highlighted key events and people in his life without too much revision, the producers would conclude that the show would've fulfilled its function. After all, it's called "The Legend of Bruce Lee", and in Real Life, legends, even those about real people, are often subject to various changes in detail while still retaining the core concept.
- Although budgetary restrictions were a much likelier reason. The production team likely didn't have the resources to set-dress anywhere near the level of, say, Mad Men.
- Arrogant Kung-Fu Guy: Young Bruce, even before he learnt how to fight. Seriously, he's kind of a jerk.
- Also Yellow Runt.
- Beware the Nice Ones: In public, Wang Li-Chao is terribly polite and generous. He's still a dangerous gangster, though.
- Black Best Friend: Jesse, who started out as a taxi driver, and whom Bruce saved from some thugs upon his first arrival in the U.S.
- Establishing Shot: Most notably used in Seattle episodes, where the production feels compelled to let viewers identify Seattle each time by opening with a long shot covering the skyline, prominently including the famous Space Needle.
- Kick the Dog: A-Liang. Kinda makes ya feel sorry for the bastard.
- Yellow Runt, specifically the part where it's revealed people only call him Yellow Runt. And then he gets traded!
- Love Interest: The Filipina Arroyo almost became one for Bruce Lee.
- The Mentor: Ip Man, Kimura, and Dan Inosanto, among others. Bruce Lee himself is actively this towards others, teaching his Jeet Kune Do style to as many people as he can.
- Official Couple: Bruce Lee and Linda, of course. The show even depicts them starting a family and raising their kids.
- Uncle Tomfoolery: Bruce's Black Best Friend Jesse, the thieving coward.