12.01.2015

...And the other shoe drops on #IntotheBadlands

Two things: Issue #1 - Some of us have been waiting for the fuckery to begin where Sunny and Veil are concerned and in addition to having Quinn be all creepy and sleazy towards Veil, this week's episode threw us a hint in the form of Zephyr, a female Clipper with whom Sunny used to be "involved" and who's made it clear she wants to get back to tappin' that (not that we can blame her).

Zephyr doesn't bug me for the reasons that you'd think.  Let me start with the fact that the thought of two Clippers getting it on is hot, no matter if it's Guy-Guy, Girl-Girl, Guy-Girl, Three-Way Combos or what have you.  Clippers getting it on is the sort of fanfiction fodder that just basically writes itself.  'Cause you know they don't trust one another and probably hold onto their weapons even when they're going at it.

It is realistic that Sunny would have an ex, so the fact there was another woman once upon a time doesn't bug me.  He's a Clipper; in a exchange for a Clipper's loyalty, Barons are happy to let them have lovers.  Just by the way Sunny swigs off his flask alone lets us know he "had a life" before he met Veil.

That Zephyr is subtly presented as a "threat" to Sunny and Veil's relationship doesn't worry me.  At least this actress actually looks like a real warrior, which was a welcome sight.  But the fact that she - and the ex-Regent in the wheelchair - were cast as White is a missed opportunity on a show which, let's face it, is banking on its attempt at diversity to get somewhere in this world.

News flash, AMC: simply casting an Asian lead, a Black girlfriend we don't see much, and a White/Indian/Pakistani mixie sidekick and then burying them in a blinding sea of ever-expanding Whiteness does not a "diverse" cast make.  And no, I'm not counting the martial arts team from Hong Kong - they're not speaking characters on the show.

And it's not just Zephyr and Waldo the Wheelchair Warrior who were missed opportunities.  The Widow herself is a missed opportunity.  Were Michelle Lee and Jolene Tran simply too busy?  Did they just not want a paycheck?


(skip to the middle)

Or what about Maggie Q???  In addition to doing her own fighting on Nikita, she did her own stunts.



And as for Zephyr, did no one consider, say, Talisa Soto?  She's only a few years old than Daniel Wu.



Hell, what about Vivica Fox???  She's 51 and looks 40.  And I know y'all remember Kill Bill!!!



These missed opportunities bring me to Issue #2: Into the Badlands suffers from Firefly Syndrome.  And by that, I mean this: both shows rely heavily on East Asian cultures, from clothing, to behavior, to language, to the martial arts.  They are drowning in Asian influence...minus actual Asians.

For a Black woman living in a America, this is sort of thing which raises big red flags.  It's like when non-Black people enjoy Black music, clothes, slang, hairstyles, and dances, but don't want to have to deal with Black people.  I mean, what's going on in the Badlands?  With Joss Whedon's Firefly, we at least know how and why Chinese culture in particular became so prominent.  The characters even speak Chinese at random.  But where's the same explanation for the Badlands?  I get that it's supposed to be a genre mash-up, but what could have been a great strength is turning out to be its great weakness.  I've noticed that while critics and their commenters enjoy the fight scenes on the show, the setup of the show itself is raising too many questions.

This week's kudos go to MK

I do want to give a fist-bump to MK (Aramis Knight) for being a snarky, hard-headed teen who gives no fucks for safety, rules, or boundaries whatso-fucking-ever.  I find him amusing and refreshing, and the fact that's he's baffled by Sunny/Veil is hilarious.  There have been some concerns about the slight sexualization of his character in episode two (the actor apparently just turned 16), and I concur: let this kid be a kid.  Not everyone has to be grown up and sexy.  Sometimes the adults need a trash-talking minor to put things into perspective.

3 comments:

  1. Hell, what about Vivica Fox??? She's 51 and looks 40. And I know y'all remember Kill Bill.


    Honestly I wondered a long time ago why more black women weren't featured in action movies. I know the obvious reason. I would probably pick Jada Pinkett (though she is short) or Gabrielle Union over her. She was great in Kill Bill. I just don't see her in that role now. I could also see Regina Bell or King doing it. Also maybe Tika Sumpter.

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  2. I agree about the not so diverse cast in an Asianized distopian world...like, who taught them all kung-fu? Where are all the Asians? And yes, Black women can kick ass too, I like your suggestions.
    I didn't pay much attention to Zephyr though but she seems like a real threat to her Black baron.
    Waiting for the 7th episode, so far I like it.

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  3. I definitely would have wanted to see more black people in the show, but diversity all around is what is needed. I do like the widow though shes cool so they did a good casting job, but I am not surprised the show isn't super diverse on the screen.

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