Into the Badlands is an American television series that currently airs on the AMC Network. The show is created by Alfred Gough and Miles Miller, and it is currently on its third season which has been met with rave reviews across the board.
In today’s article, I want to talk about why Into the badlands is a series that everyone should be watching, and why it is so damn cool, and one of my favorite shows on television!
The World Building:
The world set in Into the badlands takes place 500 years in the future where society is now ruled by several feudal lords who together forge order to drive out chaos in the badlands. Throughout the series we see different factions ruled by different leaders called Barons who each hold a different view on how the badlands should be ruled. Each baron is in control of a military force known as Clippers, and amongst those clippers there is one that is chosen to be the right hand man to the baron known as a Regent. Each clipper is ordered to organize and train a group of young kids known as cults, and these cults later grow to become a clipper themselves. Other people take on jobs as cogs which are individuals that cannot normally defend themselves, so in doing so choose to work for barons in exchange for protection. Each baron is in control of a resource that is of importance to everyone’s way of living. Such as:
– The Armadillo Territory: Baron Quinn: In control of Opium
– Butterfly Territory: Baron Minerva: In control of Oil
– Pickaxe Territory: Baron Jacobee: In control Of Mining
– Peacock Territory: Baron Hassan: In control of Textiles
-Grasshopper Territory: Baron Rojas: In control Of Agriculture
– Fox Territory: Baron Chau: In control of the Cogs.
Throughtout the series we see how different conflicts arise amongst those barons as a way for one to rule over the other, and during those conflicts, we see how different characters are forced to deal with the ramifications of those barons actions. The world established on this show is gigantic and each season we learn more about how and why the badlands formed into the way it is now. This alone should capture anyone’s interest because it allows the viewer to take in the idea that this world is set years past our current time, along with showing the rise of the oppressed and who those people become once they’ve gain power in the badlands.
Throughtout the series we slowly begin to see characters take on certain abilities as their eyes go complete Black. These individuals are referred to as dark ones. Once the eyes of a dark one goes black, they gain dark chi abilities that gives them a certain amount of super strength and speed, and are able to control objects in mid air. In order for a dark one to activate their abilities they must be cut. Once they are cut, they usually are not in control of their body and take on a much darker personality than who we’ve known them to be. Some individuals do have control, and are able to activate their dark abilities without being cut, but that requires a certain amount of training to be done first. The abilities these dark ones have is known as The Gift, and if used for too long it can shorten their lifespan. Right here is another reason to gain interest in the show. Not only does it have a world that is completely original, but the idea of having individuals with almost godlike abilities is an amazing way to get the attention of viewers everywhere. The story and mythology behind the dark ones is constantly being built on as seasons go on, and each season we gain new information on how these abilities came in to play in the first place. This story element brings real weight to the show, that is sure to bring a new level of excitement for many viewers.
Each character on this show is different from the other, and holds some level of importance to the story that is being told as the series unfolds. Every character has their own reason as to why they either want to rule the badlands or leave the badlands, and the show does a great job showing the journey of these characters and how they change going forward.
One of the main characters on the show played by Emily Beecham is Minerva
also known as The Widow who is an advocator for peace and is willing to go as far as she needs to go, to see that plan come to fruition. The Widow comes off as a anti- hero at certain points, while other times could comes off as a villain or sometimes a full on hero depending on how one chooses to view her actions on the show.
Her regent and daughter is Tilda played by Ally Ioannides
who when we first meet her looks up and is inspired by the widow due to the widow saving her from a tragic event years ago, and throughout the series we see Tilda come into her own and begin to question her own morals and the morals of her mother. We see Tilda slowly begin to go against the way of the badlands and form into a symbol that she wants to see in the world. During that journey she is met by a boy named MK who is saved by the most dangerous clipper in the badlands Sunny.
MK played by Aramis Knight
is one of the few individuals who possesses the Gift, and as the story unfolds we see MK go on a journey where he tries to find out what happened to his mother, and how he gets back to his homeland Azra which to many others in and outside the badlands is referred to either as the promise land or a myth made up to instill hope in others.
Sunny played by Daniel Wu
is our main protagonist of the show and is known and feared as the most skilled fighter in all of the badlands. Very early on in the series we learn sunny’s loved one Veil, is pregnant with his child, and learning this causes sunny to question his loyalty to his baron and find ways out of the badlands to keep his family safe. Through all of this, he helps MK find his way home as a way to help save his family.
Some other important characters that are part of the show are:
Nathaniel Moon played by Sherman Augustus was once a regent, and before Sunny, was looked at as the most skilled clipper ever to walk the badlands. Early on before we meet Nathaniel, we learn that his family was killed by the brother of a Nomad he had killed years ago working as a regent. Ever since then, Moon has decided to retire and leave the badlands for good. Trying to go a new path than the one he went down in his early years. For a while, moon never wanted to go back to the badlands. That is until he meets Sunny who he grows a liking to. Moon sees a lot of himself in Sunny, and because of that the two of them have gained true respect for each other. Moon and Sunny eventually end up in a fight, with Sunny leaving as the victor, and due to this, it was enough to give him a reason to return to the badlands. We see moon who is a man of honor evolve throughout the series, and become a true leader and ally to The Widow in the growing war taking place in the badlands.
Waldo played by Stephen Lang was regent to Baron Quinn in his early years, and is the one who found Sunny when he was a young boy and couldn’t remember who he was or where he was from, wearing a pendant that took shape of the paradise land known as Azra. Waldo adopted Sunny as his own, and trained him into the skilled fighter he is today. He helped Sunny grow into a man with morals, instead of becoming the dangerous mindless clipper Quinn wanted him to be. Waldo is a true father figure to Sunny, and one of the few characters that Sunny considers a trust worthy ally in the badlands.
There is many more characters in this show, that I won’t mention due to spoilers. The cast in this show is completely diverse across the board, and every character holds real importance and weight to the story of the show. There is so many characters of different backgrounds that are written incredibly well, to the point where fans begin to root for them even if they may not be a full on hero on the show.
The choreography on this show is done beautifully, and is one of the main reasons as to why fans love this show so much. The directors of the fight scenes done on this show is led by Stephen Fung, Andy Cheng, and Master Dee Dee. The fight scenes are not only extravagant in the biggest ways possible, but also each fight scene is not done the same way twice. Every character has a unique way of fighting that separates them from the rest, and in doing that it allows for a much more enjoyable show in the end. All the fights on this show is different from the one before it, and that’s a good thing, because it causes fans to have a level of anticipation for how these fights are going to end, and on top of that, it’s just downright cool to watch. Period.
I say if you’re someone who is looking for something new to watch that is really unique or someone that just loves martial arts in general, then this show is definitely for you. Like I mentioned before, the world is huge, the characters are very likable, and the action is at its best, and better than any show I’ve seen in on television. Season 1 and 2 of Into The Badlands is now on Netflix, while season 3 is currently airing on AMC. Check out this show now! You won’t regret it.
Into The Badlands Season 1 Trailer: