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Monday, November 7, 2016

'into the Badlands' S1 DVD/BD: Epic AMC Post-Apocalyptic Drama

The November 8, 2016 Anchor Bay Entertainment DVD and Blu-ray releases of the 2015 first season of the AMC post-apocalyptic drama into the Badlands" both is very apt for Election Day and provides folks whom the martial-arts theme of the series turns off to discover a beautifully filmed compelling series that easily passes the "one-more" test. Buying this lush series with exceptional sound effects in the enhanced video and crystal-clear audio Blu-ray format is a no-brainer; S1 consisting of six episodes facilities a very satisfying marathon viewing session.

Having "Smallville" creators Alfred Gough and Miles Millar on board definitely benefits this tale of a "special" teen boy learning to control his powers and overcome personal drama.

The lore (and lure) of "Badlands" is that the (presumably) earth of centuries beyond our time ends a long and bloody war by going old school in creating a feudal system that divides the titular region into seven territories presided over by barons. These leaders derive their wealth and much of their power from controlling a valued resource. They preserve that power through having private armies known as clippers. Firearms being outlawed requires that these soldiers of little fortune battle with swords and the aforementioned martial-arts skills.

S1 central baron Quinn has poppy fields that are the source of the opium on which his empire is based. Much of the drama revolves around his perceived and actual weaknesses making him a target for takeover by the other barons. These vulnerabilities include the millennials old elements of failing health and a son who is not up to the challenge of ruling the kingdom.

Central character/martial-arts expert Sunny heads up the Clipper army of Quinn. Tension between the two relates to the aforementioned offspring, Quinn not adequately heeding the advice of Sunny, and Quinn committing an act of arguably senseless violence that particularly does not sit well with the head of his armed forces.

Neighboring landowner/oil tycoon The Widow having a tenuous claim on the title of Baron ignores that vulnerability in how she conducts herself, including plotting against Quinn. A major setback early in the season does not deter this woman with a plan.

Teen boy M.K. is the third main element of "Badlands." The pilot episodes begins with Sunny kicking ass but not taking down names on encountering a group of marauders known as nomads; our hero also frees M.K. from that group and subsequently learns that The Widow is behind that capture.

The reason for The Widow wanting to add M.K. to her force becomes clear later in the pilot. However, the plans of Sunny for the boy with something extra is to adopt him as his "colt" and train him to be an expert fighter. The hidden agenda of this version of Batman and Robin is to escape across the Badlands to an Oz that holds the promise of fulfilling their wildest individual dreams.

Additional drama that develops roughly halfway in S1 presents our hero with a dilemma that can be considered "Sunny's Choice." He is offered a deal of a lifetime in exchange for betraying his protege.

In true modern serial drama, the tension and drama build to a climatic season finale. This one has Quinn face an ambush, things come to a head for Sunny, and events arguably returning to the pilot episode.

The copious special features include a cool digital "Badlands" comic book, films devoted to the various classes in this regimented caste society, and several behind-the-scenes extras.

Anyone with questions or comments regarding "Badlands" is strongly encouraged to email me; you can also reach out on Twitter via @tvdvdguy.