Just when you thought AMC’s Into the Badlands couldn’t get any better, the sophomore season proves the fighting and storylines still have a strong bite. After viewing three episodes, the series is not holding back on the fighting and the drama.
The series picks up six months from last season. Our hero Sunny (Daniel Wu) has been sold off as a slave in the mines outside of the Badlands and is determined to return to Veil (Madeleine Mantock) and their child. Sunny must work with his new companion, Bajie (Nick Frost), to go through many obstacles to return home. Meanwhile, the Widow (Emily Beecham) must fight to claim back her territory with Tilda (Ally Ioannides) and fight against Ryder, who has taken over his father’s territory. MK (Aramis Knight) must now adapt to his new life with the monks who work on taming his power, but we’re not sure if they’re actually good either.
Known for their detailed fighting scenes, Into the Badlands does not disappoint this season with Wu excelling in his every move. Master DeeDee (Huan-Chiu Ku) returns as fight choreographer and each character has their chance to show off their skill. If kung-fu could be defined in a series, it’d be Into the Badlands.
It may even be bloodier than the first season combined with just the first episode. Beecham shines the first episode with her exceptional choreography while still remain elegant and poised. In one scene, she is covered in blood and continues to seduce the camera with her determined eyes to catch her prey.
Frost, known for his comedic and slacker roles, is difficult to see as a selfish tag-a-long to Wu’s serious nature. But, it eventually works as Frost slowly places himself as the comedic, but tough, companion to Sunny. It’s definitely not a comedy, but it gives this dark drama some light-heartedness.
This season sees a little more development for Veil and Tilda as they struggle to survive in the world. Mantock has embrace her new role as “Veil: The Mother” as her focus shifts from Sunny to their newborn child. We also get to hear Mantock’s soothing singing voice.
Tilda is coming to terms with her position as Regent for her mother. She is no longer the follower from last season. Instead, she begins to manage things in her terms, which may cause some problems. Ioannides has grown with her character and has become more comfortable in her role. It shows as she begins to take over leadership of the butterflies. I look forward to more from this character.
Into the Badlands has found their footing and know where they want the story and character to be. The fight choreography is still fantastic. The characters are fun. And, it’s the best kung fu series on television.
Into the Badlands returns on March 19th on AMC.
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