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.”
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?
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.