Here Come the Brides: Season 1, Episode 25

Marriage, Chinese Style (9 Apr. 1969)

TV Episode  -   -  Adventure | Western | Comedy
7.4
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Ratings: 7.4/10 from 11 users  
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When Jeremy is in Tacoma picking up supplies, he saves a Chinese woman who is in town to meet her arranged spouse. Since Jeremy saves her, she says she now belongs to Jeremy instead of the intended husband.

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Title: Marriage, Chinese Style (09 Apr 1969)

Marriage, Chinese Style (09 Apr 1969) on IMDb 7.4/10

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Cast

Episode cast overview, first billed only:
...
Bobby Sherman ...
...
Bridget Hanley ...
...
...
Henry Beckman ...
Susan Tolsky ...
Linda Dangcil ...
Toy Quan
...
Lin
Richard Loo ...
Chi Pei
Weaver Levy ...
Kang
Helen Kleeb ...
Lucy
Hideo Inamura ...
Chu (as Hideo Imamura)
Jeff DeBenning ...
Capt. Hale (as Jeff De Benning)
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When Jeremy is in Tacoma picking up supplies, he saves a Chinese woman who is in town to meet her arranged spouse. Since Jeremy saves her, she says she now belongs to Jeremy instead of the intended husband.

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9 April 1969 (USA)  »

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1.33 : 1
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User Reviews

Bruce Lee in a rare non-fighting role
3 February 2015 | by (Bronx, NY) – See all my reviews

The Asian-themed subplot of this episode of "Here Come the Brides," in which a Chinese bride-to-be becomes attached to one of the series' heroes, has been done in TV westerns before, but is notable here chiefly for the casting of martial arts star Bruce Lee in one of the key roles. That said, it's one of Lee's least interesting credits and is strictly for Lee completists. He has a couple of brief dramatic scenes, as a young Chinese man in America trying to get out from under the yoke of tradition, but his character is never really developed in the piece as the emphasis shifts to the bride-to-be, Toy Quan (Linda Dangcil), whom Lee was supposed to meet at the Tacoma dock when she arrived from China, but chose not to. Thanks to some timely intervention, Toy winds up "belonging" to Jeremy Bolt (Bobby Sherman), one of the series protagonists, after he saves her from being sold into prostitution by the ship captain seeking to get reimbursement for her passage. Much of the episode involves Jeremy trying to clear up misunderstandings about his relationship with Toy Quan with his girlfriend, Candy (Bridget Hanley), and some kind of local Seattle ladies' moral league run by Helen Kleeb (who specialized in playing old biddies for most of her career). Ultimately, everyone seems a lot more liberal and open-minded than they might have been in the real Pacific Northwest of the late 19th century.

The plot of an Asian woman, usually a runaway bride, who winds up the responsibility of the series hero, echoes three earlier TV western episodes that I've reviewed on IMDb: "Day of the Dragon" from "Bonanza," starring Lisa Lu; "Pocketful of Stars" from "Cheyenne," also starring Ms. Lu, and "From Karate with Love" from "F Troop," starring Mako and Miko Mayama. "Day of the Dragon" remains the model of how to do such a plot right, with abiding respect for its Chinese characters and their customs. Here, in "Marriage Chinese Style," all kinds of made-up Chinese customs are thrown into the mix and the leader of the local "Green Lantern" Tong Society, played by Richard Loo, is a full-blown Yellow Peril-type villain. (Loo played a warlord in "Day of the Dragon," but his character there had substance and nuance.) Weaver Levy, another Chinese-American actor active in this kind of role, plays Loo's henchman here. Bruce Lee's character, Lin Sung, initially tries to break with the Tongs, but is soon pressured to track down Jeremy in Seattle with the goal of killing him to save face for his taking of Toy Quan. Eventually, a confrontation in Seattle, with Lee uncharacteristically getting the worst of it, leads to a contrived plot twist designed to exploit yet another fake Chinese custom to get Lee and his bride-to-be back on track. Still, the fact that the runaway Asian bride here has an Asian groom-to-be who's a sympathetic character in his own right is something of a breakthrough for episodes in this unique sub-genre.

Lee is good in the few scenes where his character gets to express himself, but there aren't enough of these. And curiously, in one of his later scenes, his voice sounds dubbed by another actor. The actress playing Toy Quan, Linda Dangcil, who's of Filipino descent, is charming and perky, and does a good enough job of making Toy Quan the endearing center of the piece. She had a number of other TV credits from 1955 to the early 2000s, usually playing Latina roles, but this is the first time I've seen her in anything.


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