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MEGA-MARATHONS: 'Firefly' and 'The Green Hornet'
January 7, 2011  | By Diane Werts
 
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Get that TiVo or DVD recorder ready. Two cult faves spanning 40 years get marathon runs this week.

First up is Saturday's all-day Ovation play of Joss Whedon's space western, Firefly. Then it's Tuesday's full-series run of the '60s TV series that introduced Bruce Lee, The Green Hornet, on Syfy.

Saturday's noon-5 a.m. ET Firefly event on Ovation includes all 13 episodes of the 2002 Fox series and the two-hour "Serenity" pilot (different from the subsequent movie), all starring current Castle lead Nathan Fillion.

Of course, Firefly has long been available on DVD. But The Green Hornet never has been officially released on disc, and isn't likely to be anytime soon. So that's the one that definitely demands recording -- especially since Syfy's 15-hour 13-hour Tuesday marathon (10 a.m.-11 p.m. ET Jan. 11) includes all 30 episodes 26 episodes.

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That showcase is obviously pegged to next Friday's new Green Hornet theatrical film starring Seth Rogen and Jay Chou. ABC's 1966 series was inspired by the previous season's blockbuster success of another comic book takeoff, Batman -- now repeating on The Hub -- and both half-hour shows centered on a rich guy with a secret life fighting crime. This one takes itself a bit more seriously than the Dynamic Duo's tongue-in-cheek lampoon, though star Van Williams doesn't have Adam West's deadpan panache.

What Hornet does have, of course, is Bruce Lee, pre-fame, as the Hornet's sidekick Kato. Lee disposes of bad guys with the kind of chopsocky cool that would soon make him a worldwide sensation in martial arts movies like Fists of Fury, The Way of the Dragon and his Hollywood starring breakthrough -- and final film -- Enter the Dragon.

Lee definitely takes a back seat in Hornet, since '60s Hollywood had no idea what to do with an Asian hero. The actor's less-than-silky English-speaking didn't help. But the series made an entire generation of tube-tied kiddie viewers curious about Lee's later career and helped magnify his posthumous escalation to pop culture icon. (Lee died in 1973 at age 32 in Hong Kong of cerebral edema.)

Here's a look at Lee's electric TV presence:

 
 
 
 
 
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