7 April 2004 | RedHornet
Solid Superhero TV Series
The best thing about The Green Hornet TV Series is that it is really a show for Adults that will entertain children too. The tone of the series and the storylines where so far ahead of their time and gritty back in 1966 and 1967 and as a consequence of this The Green Hornet was often (and unfavourably) cast in the shadow of the far less superior, campy Batman TV Show. The episodes often dealt with the Mafia, Chinese Triads, Drug Abuse et al, but all done in a glossy exciting way remeniscent of the Marvel comics being churned out by Stan Lee and co at the same time. The most remarkable thing is the onscreen chemistry between Van William's Green Hornet/Britt Reid and megastar in waiting Bruce Lee's Kato. Firstly Van Williams as The Green Hornet and his millionaire alter ego Britt Reid, the publisher of the Daily Centenal is as good as the best actors to play Superheroes. He is certainly as good as George Reeves was as Superman, and alot more believable than Adam West's Batman. Williams plays the role with an air of Sean Connery-esque suave, cool and confidence making for a memorable Green Hornet. Bruce Lee is simply a revelation as Kato, possesing an confidence and arrogance in the role really lifting the character of Kato off the comic book page. Together Williams and Lee work excellent. You get the impression that these guys really are the best of buddies and would die for one another. All this is met by fantastic production values culminating in the most impressive representations of superhero movie vehicles, the sublime Black Beauty. There is also the memorable opening credits set to the whirling theme tune by Billy May.
On the downside it might just be possible that the series takes itself too seriously. But there is enough here to enjoy. Five minutes of Bruce Lee in action as Kato is worth an admission fee, trust me. The writers, and producer William Dozier came up with a great representation of the Fran Striker and George W Trendle characters : an exciting, action packed series, with the odd blimp not withstanding was far too under-rated and undervalued. Kevin Smith and Jake Gyllenhall, the future of The Green Hornet is now in your hands. Do your best guys.