NOC Recaps Into the Badlands: A Glimpse of the Other Side

Another week, another Into the Badlands recap that takes its cue from a Hamilton song. While it’s pretty obvious that I’m quoting Lin-Manuel’s soliloquy from the end of “The World Was Wide Enough” — fittingly about the lead-up and aftermath of a duel not unlike what Quinn and Ryder did last week — this week’s subtitle has as much to do with #GhostRyder as it does with the return of Sunny and Bajie who are just on the other side of the Badlands as well. And speaking of “other sides,” we see some characters aligning with other sides too. But really, it’s all about Quinn’s son on the other side.

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NOC Recaps Into the Badlands: You Don’t Have the Votes

Once again, we’re venturing back Into the Badlands as we finally get to see the much anticipated Baron Conclave. Last week, if you recall, we saw Minerva and Waldo arrive at Ryder’s estate to take part in the gathering. Basically, this is when all of the barons in the Badlands come together to sign agreements and hash out differences — without swords. Mostly. This particular conclave has been convened to vote on whether the Widow is allowed to even be a baron. Debates ensue, and all I can think of are the lyrics for both “Cabinet Battle” tracks from Hamilton.

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NOC Recaps Into the Badlands: Teach ‘Em How to Say Goodbye

In my quest to title each Into the Badlands recap after lyrics from a Hamilton song, the writers did me a solid by letting Nathaniel Moon, played by veteran actor Sherman Augustus, say a line from the classic George Washington showstopper:

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The Iron Fist That Almost Was: One-on-One with Steven Maeda

It’s been nearly two weeks since Iron Fist debuted all 13 episodes of its initial season on Netflix. Prior to its release, the first half of the season previewed for critics received a drubbing the likes of which is unheard of for a Marvel/Netflix property. I’ve since watched the whole season, and yeah, it wasn’t good. Setting aside my issues with the casting of the lead, Iron Fist suffers from the worst sin of any piece of entertainment: it’s boring! Worse than that, it has absolutely zero point of view. I still don’t know what Scott Buck is trying to say with this show. To that end, I wrote a post about different Asian American showrunners who could have brought a unique perspective to the Iron Fist story that the current show lacks. In response to my article on twitter, one of those writers, Steven Maeda, even revealed he actually pitched an Iron Fist concept to Marvel!

I reached out to the former X-Files and Lost writer to get the skinny on what happened to his pitch to Marvel.

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NOC Recaps Into the Badlands: Young, Scrappy, and Hungry

AMC’s Into the Badlands might have gotten a ten-episode second season (up four episodes from season one), but there’s no slowing down narratively. Episode 2 — which is actually chapter 8, proving just how propulsive the story of the Badlands is — wastes no time getting Sunny out of the mines, after a pretty awesome, and gruesome, fight scene to open the show. I would put the rest of the episode into three distinct buckets, that just so happen to coincide with a line from Hamiltons “My Shot.” And yes, I’m keeping up these #IntoTheHamLands recap titles all season!

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Please Cast These Actors in a Live Action Star Wars: Rebels

This Saturday, Disney will air the third season finale of Star Wars: Rebels, and by all indications, it’s going to be awesome. I’ve said it before, but Rebels is probably my favorite entry into the Star Wars canon since Empire Strikes Back. Season three has only solidified its GOAT status as far as televised Star Wars stories go. If you don’t believe me, be sure to check out last week’s episode set on Tatooine — which only made me want a solo Obi-Wan movie even more.

In tandem with Rogue One, Star Wars: Rebels is the perfect bridge between the prequels and the Original Trilogy. And not for nothing, Rogue One, in a way, featured the first live action incarnations of our favorite members of the Ghost crew. While Chopper was the only Rebel we saw on screen, if we ever get to see the rest in the future, here are the actors I’d like to see playing them.

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Translation or Whitewash? The Problem with Yo-Kai Watch in America

The art of “translating” a media property from one cultural context to another requires more than simple language transliteration. Translating works of art has existed from the moment people from different cultures encountered one another. But at what point does translating something for an American audience necessitate whitewashing as well? Today, we’re going to look at two animated properties available on Netflix — Yo-Kai Watch from Japan and Miraculous: Tales of Ladybug & Cat Noir from France — to determine at which point whiteness trumps cultural context when making a kids’ show more acceptable to American audiences.

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Thanks to Jen Bartel, Kris Anka: This #AAIronFist Redesign Took Over Twitter

This past weekend, Netflix finally dropped all 13 episodes of Iron Fist. For the most part, the internet was not pleased. While a smattering of Fist Stans tried their damnedest to pretend what they watched was, you know, good, the consensus among critics (and fans too) was this was Marvel’s first big miss. There was one awesome outcome of the Iron Fist debacle, however: a slew of awesome comics artists began sharing their takes on a redesigned Asian American Danny (or Dani) Rand! And it all started when Jen Bartel shared her riff on Kris Anka’s original:

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NOC Recaps Into the Badlands: Friends All Scattered to the Winds

After more than a year off the air, AMC’s dystopian martial arts epic Into the Badlands has finally returned! And with it, so have these NOC Recaps. Speaking of which, I’m going to try to title each recap with a line from Hamilton because 1.) seriously, have you met me?; and 2.) the Badlands writers have basically challenged me as much. So, appropriately enough, the Season Two premiere is named after a lyric from “Yorktown.”

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Five Showrunners Who Could Have Gotten Iron Fist Right

Three years ago, when I initially wrote about casting an Asian American in the lead role on Iron Fist, I had no idea the NOC would become ground zero for the #AAIronFist movement. I just never thought an Asian American Danny Rand was that radical a notion! Now that we’re on the eve of the show’s debut on Netflix — in addition to its star’s recent twitter tantrum — years-old arguments are starting to resurface on twitter and elsewhere. Coupled with early reviews savaging the series, I figured now was as good a time as any to resurrect one more Iron Fist thinkpiece before (hopefully) never having to talk about this goddamn show ever again.

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