I have a love for all things kick ass. If it has martial arts or superheroes, I will probably watch it which is why I started watching the new AMC show Into the Badlands. While the show is by no means perfect nor is it a masterful work of art, it is extremely fun, and the fight sequences are beautifully shot. However, the most interesting part of the show is it’s lead character, Daniel Wu, who stars as Sunny. He is one of the only Chinese men staring as the lead actor on a television show, but not only that he is doing it in an original way. While of course, he is a martial arts master and the most proficient assassin in all of the Badlands, his performance is not the stereotypical over the top dramatics we are used to from martial arts movies. He also is by no means a shy nerdy Asian stereotype. He is unique. Sunny is powerful and multifaceted, and perhaps most surprisingly sexual. Too often races are reduced to their stereotypes, and unfortunately, Asian men are often not seen as sexual. This is not the case with Sunny. He definitely gets the girl. It is such a breath of fresh air. There is nothing incapable, awkward, or unattractive about Sunny. He is not defined by a race. He is only man desperately trying to keep the ones he loves alive.
In light of our recent talks about the whiteness of the Oscars. I thought this new AMC show that is breaking stereotypes was worth a mention. We need to embrace the reality that people, all people are unique individuals regardless of their race, and their stories deserve to be told in their wide array of color.