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.”
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.
Bruce Lee was a cultural icon who revolutionized martial arts films. Freddie Mercury was the front man for the legendary rock group Queen and considered one of rock’s greatest all-time entertainers. Both of these artists sadly left the world too soon. But, thanks to a Japanese Twitter account, their memory lives on through a pair of action figures.
This morning, Deadline unveiled the first trailer for Birth of the Dragon, which recently made its debut at the Toronto International Film Festival. Ostensibly, the film depicts the legendary fight between Bruce Lee (played by Philip Ng) and Wong Jack Man (Yu Xia). But because this is Hollywood, the movie is going to be told from the perspective of a white dude.
One of my favorite television series in the last year is Into the Badlands. The noirish dystopian Wuxia drama is the perfect blend of action, mystery and mysticism that keeps my eyes glued to the flatscreen.
As is the case with all things PoC excellence, Into the Badlands has caught its share of hate from racist white fandom. I’m not talking about legit criticisms but nitpicking and feeble excuses that are never made for legions of lesser white shows.
Needless to say I’m not having it.
When the shade is thrown, I’m honor bound to make the haters day a “Sunny” one.
Last year was the year of the most iconic feminist leading lady in action/sci-fi, arguably the most in cinematic history: the one and only Imperator Furiosa played be Charlize Theron in Mad Max: Fury Road. Thanks to a fellow NOC, I have finally finished the way too short first season of Into The Badlands. Following Furiosa and a long history of leading women in Hong Kong action cinema with better acting chops and doing more roundhouse damage than their male co-stars (Michelle Yeoh will be back soon as Yu Shu Lien people!), Into the Badlands also introduced us to strong heroines whose stories I hope to better understand in more detail in a second season. More than Wu’s Sunny, more than the avatars, even more than my man Cung Le, it was Emily Beecham’s show-stopping performance as The Widow that locked me in.
After last week’s episode ramped up the stakes for our heroes, we headed into the first season finale with a lot of questions that needed answers. Who poisoned Jade? Will Quinn take advantage of M.K.’s gifts? Will Sunny turn on his young apprentice to secure passage on the River King’s ship? Did the Widow survive her duel with Sunny? Will Veil blame Sunny for the death of her parents? Will the show come back for a second season? And why are there only six episodes for the season?
The #AAIronFist train continues! For the latest edition of Hard NOC Life, we welcome journalist Charles Pulliam-Moore and actor/dancer Cole Horibe stop by to talk about why having Iron Fist be an Asian American character makes the most sense. We should also point out that this episode was recorded the day before Scott Buck was announced as the showrunner of the forthcoming Netflix series.
Continuing our recap catch up, the penultimate episode of Into the Badlands was clearly the most interesting of the season. And that’s too bad because after this weekend’s season finale, we don’t know if AMC will be bringing the show back for a second one. We hope so since all the pieces are finally in place for an epic showdown between good, evil, and everything in between.
Last night’s Into the Badlands — clunkily titled “Two Tigers Subdue Dragons” and not to be confused with this — was tasked with propelling us into the end of the season. In addition to a promised Baron v Baron showdown, the episode was the first to effectively use an episode-ending cliffhanger to guarantee viewers will tune in for the final two entries of its debut season. But did it deliver?