Simon Chan has returned to Cabramatta. Whilst everyone thinks he was studying martial arts in Beijing, he was actually at Marshall's Art School, in Melbourne. Everyone thinks he is a kung fu master and the new saviour of their town.
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2015  
3 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast

Series cast summary:
...
 Simon Chan (6 episodes, 2015)
Dave Eastgate ...
 Egg (6 episodes, 2015)
...
 Petal (6 episodes, 2015)
Kathryn Yuen ...
 Mrs. Chan (6 episodes, 2015)
...
 Mayor Crawford (6 episodes, 2015)
...
 Pump'd (6 episodes, 2015)
...
 Elle Crawford (6 episodes, 2015)
...
 Le Bok (5 episodes, 2015)
Lap Phan ...
 Mr. Ping the Pork Bun King (4 episodes, 2015)
Felino Dolloso ...
 Kai-Le (3 episodes, 2015)
Andy Trieu ...
 Fury (3 episodes, 2015)
Jackson Raine ...
 Henchman 1 (3 episodes, 2015)
David Vo ...
 Spex (3 episodes, 2015)
Joshua Tieu ...
 Grotty (3 episodes, 2015)
Joe Le ...
 Henchman 2 / ... (3 episodes, 2015)
Khiem Ly ...
 Little Jimmy (3 episodes, 2015)
...
 Woman with Bandaged Head (2 episodes, 2015)
James Pham ...
 V-Tek 1 (2 episodes, 2015)
Timothy Ly ...
 Henchman 3 (2 episodes, 2015)
Sotheara Dy ...
 Henchman 4 (2 episodes, 2015)
Lofty Fulton ...
 Debate Announcer / ... (2 episodes, 2015)
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Storyline

Simon Chan has returned to Cabramatta. Whilst everyone thinks he was studying martial arts in Beijing, he was actually at Marshall's Art School, in Melbourne. Everyone thinks he is a kung fu master and the new saviour of their town.

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Comedy

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24 February 2015 (Australia)  »

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User Reviews

Season 1: Gentle but consistently amusing, silly, and fun comedy which is built on scripts with well-observed cultural knowledge
19 April 2015 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

By chance recently I was following a director's work and watched a promotional short film which featured Lawrence Leung trying and failing to defeat a disease with his terrible martial arts skills; it was an amusing short which was functionally effective but a little limited by its ideas. On a recent trip to Australia, I then saw Leung doing what appeared to be the same thing again – but this time in a weekly show on ABC. At first glance this is what the show is, because Leung plays a character who returns to his small town of Cabramatta, with his family believing he has been in Beijing, studying to be a great warrior, although in reality he has been out in Melbourne studying at the Marshall Arts School to become that most terrible of things – an artist. With his mother's shop under threat from Kai-Le's gang, Simon is forced to fight him in a sanctioned death match – something he is singularly unable to do, although death in a concrete basement seems preferable to telling his mother than he paints.

This is the plot of the first episode and I assumed that the show might struggle to be more than this one joke; I was very wrong though because each episode is smarter than just this, even if it uses "Simon is a warrior" as the basis for all the situations. The car-park obsessed mayor is the other driver and between these two, the 6 episodes have consistently funny and engaging plots. At first glance it does seem very light comedy, and while it could be sharper and tighter, it has this relaxed charm which is informed by well observed writing and characters. The scripts draw well on the absurdities and stereotypes, using them in a way that repeats them (but doesn't reinforce them), and also gets humor from them (but without being cruel to the targets). It doesn't have the rapid fire machine effect of some US comedies, but it is much warmer as a result – feeling a bit amateurish in some ways, but at the same time being very well done from script through to delivery.

The cast all seem to get this type of comedy and their performances generally are very good at mixing the straight with the absurd, in the dialogue, physical performance, or the content of the story. Leung in particular is very good; awkwardly nervous but yet likable throughout, he worked well with the equally likable but sullen Son, and the slightly bumbling Eastgate. In support I really did enjoy Gilsnenan's mayor since he played the cliché but had a lot of fun with it – with credit too going to Chong for his sidekick. Smaller roles are also well played, whether it is Yuen's warrior-obsessed dragon mother, Haig's self-obsessed dancer, down to Wong's Le-Bok or villains Dolloso and Trieu.

You do need to buy into the light and a little silly tone of it, but it is easy to do and I found it really very enjoyable through the 6 episodes, giving me a smile for the duration, and frequent enough good laughs. Hopefully one of the UK networks can pick it up for a bit more exposure and hopefully get a second season – after all they do produce terrible soaps just because the foreign markets like them, so it would be good if the same effect happened here.


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