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.”
Five years ago today, Smallville ended its historic ten-year run on The CW, fka The WB. At the time, it was the longest running genre series on-air and is still the longest running superhero series in television history. It’s hard to believe now, when superheroes have completely permeated popular culture, but Smallville’s popularity was a rarity in the early 2000s. The current incarnation of The CW — which after the acquisition of Supergirl from CBS should just rename itself DCTV — owes a great debt to the Superman origin story shepharded by Into the Badlands creators Al Gough and Miles Millar. (FYI, Craig Byrne, founder of Kryptonsite — the definitive Smallville destination on the internet, penned a must-read retrospective of the series at Collider).
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.
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?
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?
The third episode of Into the Badlands — “White Stork Spreads Wings” — will be the last one to follow The Walking Dead since last night was the mid-season finale for everyone’s favorite zombie show. How Badlands will fare without its massive lead-in will be a question to be answered next week. If this episode is any indication, viewers should be coming back in full force even without a zombie pre-show.
For obvious reasons, we’ve been riding the Into the Badlands train from jump, and now that it’s here — and a huge hit — we couldn’t wait to add the show to the Recap rotation. We’ve been holding on to this one for a while too, since we got an early look at episode two a few months ago. As much as I dug the pilot, I always thought the second episode was where the series was going to take off with audiences. And if nerd twitter was any indication Sunday night, everyone else agreed.
Originally posted at Angry Asian Man
As we near the end of 2015, one thing is for sure: it’s a great time to be an Asian American television consumer. For the first time in history, you’ll need two hands to count the number of major television programs to feature Asian American leads! On ABC alone, you have shows like Fresh of the Boat, Dr. Ken, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., and Quantico.
This Sunday night, the biggest network of them all — AMC — throws its hat into the ring with Into the Badlands, a dystopian martial arts drama starring Daniel Wu. And I can safely say the show is unlike anything you’ve ever seen before.
Daniel Wu is a Chinese American actor/director/writer/producer that has already had quite an impressive career overseas in Hong Kong, appearing in over 60 films there — many of them box-office hits — and also winning awards for his directing, producing and performance work (such as the “Best New Director Award” at the Hong Kong Film Awards for his directorial debut The Heavenly Kings in 2006, which he also wrote, produced and starred in, and a Golden Horse Award for “Best Supporting Actor” in Jackie Chan’s New Police Story in 2004. He will also be starring in Duncan Jones’ Warcraft movie in 2016.
Wu breaks into American TV airwaves on Sunday, November 15th (at 10/9c) with the debut of AMC’s Into The Badlands, which has been receiving buzz as a hotly-anticipated new martial arts drama/action television show featuring not just one but two Asian American leads — Aramis Knight, a young actor of Pakistani and East Indian descent, also plays supporting character M.K. alongside Wu’s main protagonist Sunny. In this interview, readers will appreciate Wu’s illuminating answers, in-depth insight no doubt informed by seasoned experience and hard-won achievements on both sides of the Pacific.