What’s On TV This Week (March 14 – March 20)

by Michael Lauck on March 14, 2016 · 0 comments in Buddhist Blog

*TV listings are as fluid as a tai chi fighter and may change without notice. Channels may also vary schedules by region. The scriptures say “the wise man always checks local listings.”*

We are pushing on through winter (it is still technically winter) and it will be spring soon. With the new season will (finally) come the RUSH HOUR TV series, and CBS is beginning to push the show with a flurry of advertising. It will premiere on Thursday, March 31 at 10:00 PM, but you can check out several videos on CBS.com now. This got me to thinking about how many martial arts-centered series have aired during prime time on US broadcast networks… Can you think of any that I am missing? Remember, no syndicated series just network prime-time! I have THE GREEN HORNET, KUNG FU, THE MASTER, SIDEKICKS, WALKER: TEXAS RANGER, SONS OF THUNDER (that was the WALKER spin off), MARTIAL LAW and BLACK SASH. KUNG FU: THE LEGEND CONTINUES, STREET JUSTICE and VANISHING SON were syndicated, so they do not make the official list but they are honorable mentions. I also don’t think thatLONGSTREET is really martial arts centered (same reason I am not mentioning shows like THE AVENGERS and HONEY WEST), even though Bruce Lee was in four episodes. I am not sure; I’ve never seen it! However, it is supposedly set to be released on DVD for the first time in the US later this year.

Speaking of WALKER, it is still on all the time. WGN is airing four episodes a day every Monday through Thursday starting at 9:00 AM, and Inspiration fits in two episodes weeknights starting at 10:00 PM, and another two weekday mornings at 2:00 AM. Sunday nights at 8:00 PM they squeeze in two more! So far Sundance’s HAP AND LEONARD has been light on the martial arts… a wrist lock here, a sparring bout there, but that’s about it. If you want to check it out, though, Episode One is on 8:00 AM Wednesday, 2:00 AM Friday, and 8:15 AM Sunday. Episode Two is running at 4:45 AM Monday, 9:00 AM Wednesday, 3:00 AM Friday, and 9:15 AM Sunday. And the new episode is Wednesday at10:00 PM, with re-airings at 2:10 and 9:30 AM Thursday, 4:00 AM Friday, 2:00 AM Saturday, and 10:15 AM Sunday. If you don’t have Sundance, AMC is running the first two episodes Wednesday at 1:00 AM.

And now the movies! It is actually a pretty decent week, partially because the Sony Movie Channel is making a real push into the films of fist and foot. El Rey still dominates the action, though, and they kick off the week at 1:00 AMMonday with THE DELIGHTFUL FOREST (1972), followed by FANTASY MISSION FORCE (1982) and FILMS OF FURY (2011) at 4:30. The action picks up in the afternoon with CANNONBALL RUN II (1984) on HDNet Movies at 1:25 PM, and HARD TO KILL (1990) on AMC at 2:30 PM. OUT FOR JUSTICE (1991) and UNDER SIEGE (1992) follow up on AMC at 4:30 PM and 6:30 PM. Sony offers up THE HARD CORPS (2006) at 8:00 PM, KNOCK OFF (1998) at10:00 PM, and BLOOD AND BONE (2009) at 11:45 PM. Tuesday starts with Sony re-showing KNOCK OFF at 1:30 AM and BLOOD AND BONE at 3:15 AM, but they continue the martial arts later in the morning with BLACK DRAGON(1989) at 8:50 AM (I am pretty sure that this is the Jackie film also known as MIRACLES), and  LEGEND OF A FIGHTER (1982) a 11:10 AM. AMC has OUT FOR JUSTICE at 1:00 to round out the day.

Wednesday mixes things up a bit. There isn’t anything worth mentioning in the morning, but El Rey breaks out THE CROW (1994) at 4:00 PM, IFC offers CRANK 2: HIGH VOLTAGE at 6:00 PM, Spike has THE EXPENDABLES (2010) at7:00 PM, and THE EXPENDABLES 2 (2012) at 9:30 PM. FXX is airing 47 RONIN (2013… so not one of the good versions) at 8:00 PM and 10:30 PM, and IFC finishes the night with a second showing of CRANK 2 at 10:45 PM.

Thursday brings SHANGHAI KNIGHTS (2003) at 10:00 AM on AMC, Spike showing EXPENDABLES at 4:00 PM, and EXPENDABLES 2 at 6:30. The day is dominated, though, by El Rey. They have MASKED AVENGERS (1982) atnoon and 4:00 PM, HOUSE OF TRAPS (1982) at 2:00 and 6:00 PM, THE MASTER (1980) at 8:00 PM, and CHALLENGE OF THE MASTERS (1976, a personal favorite) at 10:00 PM.

Friday stars with THE MASTER on El Rey at midnight, followed by CHALLENGE OF THE MASTERS at 2:00 AM, and MARTIAL ARTS OF SHAOLIN (1986) at 4:00 AM (both on El Rey). Sony gets back in the game with THE SHINJUKU INCIDENT (2009) at 1:00 PM, SECRET RIVALS (1976) at 3:10 PM, and SECRET RIVALS 2 (1977) at 4:45 PM. HDNet Movies offers up CANNONBALL RUN II at 6:10 PM, and then Sony comes back with BEVERLY HILLS NINJA (1997) at 6:20, THE LAST DRAGON (1985) at 8:00 PM, KUNG FU HUSTLE (2004) at 10:00 PM, and THE LAST DRAGON again at 11:50.

The weekend is chock full of action, starting with KUNG FU HUSTLE on Sony at 1:50 AM. El Rey unleashes AN EYE FOR AN EYE (1981) at 10:00 AM and CIRCLE OF IRON (1978) at noon. HDNet Movie is back with CANNONBALL RUN II at 12:25 PM, and MGM jumps into the fray with CODE OF SILENCE (1985) at 1:30 PM. El Rey is back at 2:00 PM with BIG TROUBLE IN LITTLE CHINA (1986), FXX offers up HERE COMES THE BOOM (2012) at 5:00 PM, and Esquire has NINJA ASSASSIN (2009) at 5:10 PM. El Rey finishes off the night with THE CROW at 4:00 PM, CIRCLE OF IRON at 6:00 PM, BIG TROUBLE IN LITTLE CHINA at 8:00 PM, and THE CROW at 10:00 PM.

Sunday starts at midnight with AN EYE FOR AN EYE (1981) on El Rey, but then there isn’t anything else on until 10:00 AM when El Rey shows CLAN OF THE WHITE LOTUS (1980), followed by CLAN OF AMAZONS (1978) at noon. FXX is showing HERE COMES THE BOOM again at 1:00 PM, then EL Rey has THE PROUD TWINS (1979) at 2:00 PM, with Esquire showing NINJA ASSASSIN at 2:30 PM. El Rey pulls out FIVE SHAOLIN MASTERS (1974) at 4:00 PM, FXX drags out 47 RONIN (the bad one again) at 6:00 PM, and El Rey is re-airing CLAN OF THE WHITE LOTUS at the same time. El Rey replays CLAN OF AMAZONS at 8:00 PM, and FXX shows 47 RONIN again at 8:30, with the week ending on a showing of THE PROUD TWINS on El Rey at 10:00 PM.

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