Warrior: The Best Show You're Not Watching Is Finally Back on TV

There's a lot of television out there to watch. Between networks and streaming services, there are new shows arriving on a weekly basis and it's impossible to keep up with all of it. It makes sense that sometimes the truly great programs might slip through the cracks or fly under your radar. For many people, Warrior is probably one of those shows. The action-packed series, based on the writings of late martial arts icon Bruce Lee, is one of the best shows out there right now, and it's time to check it out if you haven't already.

If you're not aware, Warrior is a period martial arts drama set in San Francisco at the end of the 1800s. Think of it like Peaky Blinders, but with more kung fu and some of the most well-choreographed action you'll see on the small screen. The series follows the various Tongs (gangs) in Chinatown as they go to war with one another, as well as the Americans and Irish in San Francisco that don't want them in the country. 

The action is top-notch; fight scenes on par with what you'll find in John Wick or The Raid (minus the modern weaponry). Warrior also contains an important and compelling story about family, immigration, racism, and what it means to become a hero. Each episode is filled with brilliant production design and rich characters, all of them bringing something unique to the table. You can check out the show's opening scene below.

If you haven't even heard of Warrior before right now, that's understandable, and you're probably not alone. Warrior has had a long and winding road over the last few years, so it's understandable how it could be missed. Hailing from Jonathan Tropper, the creator of Banshee, Warrior began as an original on Cinemax in 2019. Shortly after the second season debuted, Cinemax stopped production on all original content, leaving the acclaimed action series in limbo. Fortunately, Warrior was moved to the Max streaming service (formerly HBO Max) for its third season, but production had to be put on hold due to the pandemic. 

On Thursday, three years after its second season aired, Warrior finally returned for its action-packed third installment. The first three episodes of Season 3 were released on Max Thursday morning, and the rest of the season will be released on a weekly basis.

What Is Warrior About?

(Photo: Max)

Warrior follows a man named Ah Sahm, played by Snake Eyes star Andrew Koji. He immigrates to America in search of his lost sister (who he soon learns is married to the leader of a notorious tong). Unlike many other Chinese immigrants, Ah Sahm can speak fluent English because his grandfather was American. He's also a gifted martial artist, able to best just about anyone he'll meet in the States.

Ah Sahm's fighting skills get him roped into the Hop Wei tong, rivals of his sisters group, the Long Zii. This, of course, puts the siblings at odds, but no one is aware of their bond. There are also subplots following a couple of white police officers assigned to keep control of Chinatown, an Irishman determined to keep the Chinese from replacing Irish workers, and the wife of the San Francisco mayor, who forms an unexpected bond with Ah Sahm.

Each character exists in their own unique grey area, bringing different motivations to the table and keeping any part of the story from being black and white.

Warrior Cast

(Photo: Max)

Koji is the star of the show, playing a character that Bruce Lee had originally created for himself to play back in the 1970s (he was turned down and the series Kung Fu was made using many of his ideas). Jason Tobin, who you will probably recognize from a couple of appearances in the Fast & Furious franchise, plays Young Jun, Ah Sahm's best friend and the son of the Hop Wei's leader.

Dianne Doan stars as Mai Ling, Ah Sahm's sister and new rival. She's attached at the hip to her lover and Long Zii officer Li Yong, who is played by Joe Taslim. You're probably familiar with Taslim's work, as he's starred in films like The Raid: Redemption, The Night Comes for Us, and Fast & Furious 6. He also starred as Sub-Zero in 2021's Mortal Kombat. The rest of the main cast includes Olivia Cheng, Kieran Bew, Dean Jagger, Hoon Lee, Langley Kirkwood, Tom Weston-Jones, Chen Tang, Joanna Vanderham, and Miranda Raison.

Season 3 gets an exciting addition as well, with Mark Dacascos joining the cast as one of the new season's leads. You probably know Decascos as Zero, the rival to Keanu Reeves' titular assassin in John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum. He's also made a lot of fans as The Chairman from Iron Chef America.

While they're not cast members, two names a lot of action fans will be excited to hear involved with Warrior are Josh Stoddard and Evan Endicott. Before becoming the showrunners on Warrior, the duo were executive producers and showrunners for AMC's Into the Badlands, another criminally overlooked martial arts series.

I could write thousands of words about the different reasons you should be watching Warrior, but that would take away valuable viewing time. There are only 23 episodes currently available (with seven more on the way to complete Season 3), so it's a relatively quick binge. 

Give Warrior a try. What you'll see on screen is a thousand times more convincing than I could ever be. I can almost guarantee that one episode will be enough to get you hooked.

Every episode of Warrior is streaming on Max. If you're not subscribed to the service already, you can do so here. If you do decide to check Warrior out, let me know what you think by hitting me up on Twitter @CharlieRidgely.