Of all the TV shows coming back on screens this year, this was my most anticipated.
Though the show has problems, they pale in comparison to its strengths with it’s unique premise, gorgeous visuals and stunning fight scenes.
And going by the opening episode, I don’t see that changing.
Series Two is set six months after the events of the previous series, and see’s Sunny being led chained and and bound into a pretty depressing looking mine.
The show is unique in it’s use of colour, as the saturation is turned to up to 11 resulting in visually vibrant scenes and imagery and this opening episode is no exception.
You’d think making a mine colourful would be hard, yet the rows of vibrant red poppy fields of the badlands have been swapped with murky dark yellows and browns.
In an age where most high end TV shows and films have that same grey dull colour gradient, I’m happy i’m getting all these lush colours.
But you didn’t come here for the pretty colours did you? I’m not that dumb.
If you know Into The Badlands by now, you’re only wanting one thing: people punching, kicking, stabbing and slashing seven shades of shit out of each other, and we get a good serviceable effort from the series opening episode, with the standout fight occurring before the title card even occurs. If you don’t think a man locked in a shoulder stock can kill a room full of people with just the use of his legs then you are sorely mistaken.
The story isn’t really established as much as I would have liked though establishing where our characters are and where they have been is important. The Badlands is in disarray now that the Baron Quinn has died, and his annoying son has left his home to gather dust in pursuit of new territory. Sunny is at the mine and The Widow is growing in numbers with her sights set on the Badlands. The most interesting though is MK’s predicament, as he is held captive at a hidden monastery full of kung fu monks learning to control their black eyed murder powers, which is just enough for me to distract myself from the acting.
Yep. The acting is still some of the worst I’ve ever seen, and I greet it as an old friend with each line of badly delivered dialogue at a time. However a stroke of genius to remedy this lies with the casting of Nick Frost, Sunny’s new mate Bajie, as he brings his acting chops and charisma in droves which is a welcome change to the many characters taking themselves way too seriously in this post apocalyptic dystopian kung-fu western.
This episode was a great establishing opener to the new series and I have no doubt it will have many great episodes to come, maybe even a new baron or two? (wink wink AMC)
Into The Badlands Series Two Episode One: 7/10