This is a weird postapocalyptic TV series by amc and … it’s cheesy alright?! Very cheesy indeed, cliché loaden, with a total nonsense societary and economic system (I won’t take the time to try to explain but has something to do with cocaine), unbelievable mix of cultures and genres, mostly badly acted, kinda soapie, with spurts of uncontrolled violence mixed in for childish reasons. Well, if you only get into ItB now, I’ve already made a writeup in 2015. You’re very welcome to look it up. 🙂
At least the violent streetfighter style bouts are nicely filmed and edited … and now we know why the actors are mainly bad: The producers obviously thought they can use the stunt people to do the little acting that is needed to introduce yet another fisticuffs and speak some lines. Killed two birds with one stone, did you? 🙂
Worst, or best, thing is the sense of fashion the badlands inhabitants have. It’s somewhere between Barbie, asian, medieval and all sorts of impractical. To make it short: The style is to die for! What’s not to love about Into the Badlands?
It already started in season 2: Acting, particularly of our main protagonist Sunny (Daniel Wu) became almost bearable, we get to see more outrageously styled Motorcycles and cars in Mad Max style, and lots of sexy female kung fu fighting. Unfortunately the kung-fu in nightly lit rainy streets and taverns was replaced mostly by kung-fu in elaborative purpose-made sets fit for a great apocalyptic adventure movie.
The very first minute of the first show of season 3, that we watched just last night, made us go gulp! when we saw whole armies of clippers fighting each other. Back to the, much more fascinating, topic of fashion: While most male combatants are dressed in, like, fantasy soldier uniforms in Terry Gilliam or Mad Max style, the females mostly wear frilly skirts and very practical stilettos. That’s cool when you see them climbing walls and jumping around in tree tops. 🙂
Fortunately Nick Frost, who plays the scoundrel Badjie, survived the slaughter of Season 2’s finale and is still around to infuse some kind of playful fun into a series that takes itself much too serious for consideration. Unfortunately the very charismatic force of Marton Csokas’s Baron Quinn met his explosive demise in the last season’s finale, together with Sunny’s lover and mother of their son, Veil (Madeleine Mantock).
Ok, we thought she was a whiny bitch so it wasn’t that much of a loss. But Quinn … we really enjoyed his evil antics quite a lot. And guess who else is still scheeming and planning her big female powered empire: The Widow (Emily Beecham). Cool. She got some very stylish, almost supernatural, fight scenes. And always in very high heeled boots, let’s not forget that! I woudn’t even be able to walk a single meter in those things. 😮
We can’t say if the drama part of ItB became worse, now that almost all barons are dead and the soapie factor is mostly gone. No truces and alliances to break anymore. What now? After only one episode it’s really too early to predict anything. As far as I can tell it’s possible an alien space ship comes to the badlands and abducts the whole cast into another universe, for all I care.
But what we can say for sure is that they have upped the production ante once more and stayed stylish. No, ItB doesn’t look like the cheap show it was in season 1 but is very decently produced, and exciting to look at.
Another good actor in ItB is Stephen Lang as Waldo, the tricky ex-clipper. He’s mostly responsible for driving the plot towards culminating points. Uh, yes, you noticed he’s the bad guy from Avatar.
You guys gotta watch ItB! It’s total nonsense, offensive trash of the finest sort. It’s so bad it’s already good again.