Originally posted at Just Add Color
Into the Badlands is coming into its second season March 19, and even though we’re psyched about the level of action and and suspense, we’re also focused on the family aspect of the show, which is worrying about how Sunny’s going to get back to his family, Veil and their newborn baby.
Check out the trailer for an insight into what we can expect this season:
One of the elements I’ve loved the most about Into the Badlands is the relationship between Sunny and Veil, especially the backstory behind why Daniel Wu specifically wanted Sunny and Veil (Madeleine Mantock) to be an interracial Asian man/black woman relationship.
As he told Slate:
“…[I]t felt especially important to show an Asian male as having a sensual side. We all know the story of Romeo Must Die, how Jet Li is the movie’s hero, and the whole time you see this connection developing between him and Aaliyah, who played the female lead. And in the last scene, Li was supposed to kiss her, but when they showed the movie to test audiences, people said they found that disgusting. In the version they released, you just see them give each other a hug. So I don’t want to say this is groundbreaking, because we need to make this a success yet, but it’s cool that we were able to right that wrong too. It’s been 15 years since Romeo Must Die, and 40 years since Kung Fu. That’s just ridiculous. But it’s Hollywood, so I’ll take it.”
This point comes up a bit on this site, but Wu’s insistence on redoing Romeo Must Die in his own way is important, since the only other times (at least in my memory) that we’ve seen an interracial AM/BW relationship on TV was during Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Cinderella in 1997, with Brandy as the titular character and Paolo Montalban as the prince:
And 2009’s Flash Forward with John Cho as Demetri Noh (who I believe saw his own death??) and Gabrielle Union as his fiancee Zoey Andata:
And until the recent boom in shows featuring Asian American men like Fresh Off the Boat and Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, the most recent example of an Asian man as the love interest on a show was, once again, Cho in Selfie.
In short, Into the Badlands is super important to the discussion of representation for interracial relationships, particularly interracial relationships between two non-white individuals and, of course, relationships between Asian men and African American women.
There’s a whole host of other things that makes Sunny and Veil great, so to list them all, I asked the good folks on Twitter why they love Sunny and Veil’s relationship.
Its good to see an IR w/ 2 poc esp when black women and asian men are rarely portrayed as desirable or love interests— Focused⁷ (@klamillexnamgi) March 17, 2017
Veil and Sunny aren't stereotypes and I love seeing a black woman in a fantasy thats loved but also has her own agency— Focused⁷ (@klamillexnamgi) March 17, 2017
they are layered human beings. pic.twitter.com/YPAfebuIiS— glitter & hotpants & acab • she/her (@gltrandhotpant) March 17, 2017
These two have a natural chemistry that you don't find often in series like this. Veil is a viable character separately and with Sunny. https://t.co/kYF985i8mD
— ᴮᴱBluePhoenix1⁷ (@BluePhoenix1) March 17, 2017
💙 the opposites dynamic. She's a healer, he's a mercenary; his boss killed her parents. It's beyond against all odds.
And they're pretty. https://t.co/dGBnfy4ZCZ
— Tiff, Still Tired (@WhoIsTiffIsMe) March 17, 2017
I like that the smart woman gets the hot guy.— I am Fully-Vaxxed Spartacus (@ShanaHartmann) March 17, 2017
Because they're a couple that TALK TO ONE ANOTHER when something dodgy happens. So rare in drama.— Sy Almans (@syalmans) March 17, 2017
They're both very independent but aren't afraid to express their fears which is refreshing to see in a character like Sunny #IntoTheBadlands— Black Women's Lives Matter. Carolyn Hinds (@CarrieCnh12) March 17, 2017
I'm a believer in be with the person that makes you a Better person, I like that what he lacks she has in spades and vice versa, he lacks— V for Vaccinated (@S0veryTIRED) March 17, 2017
Mercy and compassion (and literacy) she gives it to him and if it hadn't been for Veil I don't think Sunny would've had the capacity 2 take— V for Vaccinated (@S0veryTIRED) March 17, 2017
On MK as a colt... and where she might not be able to physically protect herself especially being prefers WHOOP Sunny can and I think she— V for Vaccinated (@S0veryTIRED) March 17, 2017
Gleaned some courage and the ability to stand and face evil and threats and enemies from him, obviously their communication needs work— V for Vaccinated (@S0veryTIRED) March 17, 2017
(Don't we all) but together they're learning how to open up and it's a BEAUTIFUL thing 😍 I LOVE this TV couple and I Swear no one better— V for Vaccinated (@S0veryTIRED) March 17, 2017
Hurt that Baby!!!! 😠😢😢— V for Vaccinated (@S0veryTIRED) March 17, 2017
its a nice reminder that interracial couple doesnt mean 1 white person/1 non-white person. Most importantly Veil has agency— Aman (@QueerKaur) March 17, 2017
Veil/Sunny are equals. she has her own motivations/ideas/thoughts and communicates them. It's such a refreshing relationship— Aman (@QueerKaur) March 17, 2017
THEY'RE SO ATTRACTIVE— Eunice Yooni Kim (@euniceyoonikim) March 17, 2017
@madeleinemgm love their honest relationship and it's so rare to have a love story between 2POC. And their chemistry is— Isaïla (@Hinss4) March 17, 2017
amazing. I can't wait to see what season 2 has in store for them (and the whole show)— Isaïla (@Hinss4) March 17, 2017
Why do you love Sunny and Veil? Give your reasons in the comments section!