You know the moment you start watching that some series are going to attract something of a cult following. My suspicion is, Into the Badlands, is one such series.
Into the Badlands takes already interesting elements from 19th century Southern USA, cyberpunk, Gung (Kung) Fu and Samurai/Western action series, mystical and medieval epics and drops the whole fruit salad of seemingly incompatible concepts, into the creative blender.
The resulting series is an elaborate and flamboyant cocktail, that works in spite of itself. The primary reason it works, is all these cultural icons are familiar. The futuristic setting is something of an anachronism, reminiscent of any 19th century Southern plantation. Lurid splendor and vice, gained from the oppressive toil of poppy field workers called cogs(cogs in a wheel), who are little better than slaves.
Sitting alongside this, is a little Mad Max-ian magic in terms of machines and vehicles that populate this world. Technology, resurrected from a whispered past that has seemingly been and gone but is not entirely forgotten.
That familiarity contrasts another, the transplanted martial arts arena, reminiscent of classic films like Enter the Dragon, mixed with a dash of Gladiator, a little mysticism and any medieval epic you care to name.
The result is a highly imaginative, visually luxurious, mesmerizing watch, thats instantly engaging and very enjoyable. Provided, that is, you don't over think things and accept this creative work for what it is. I have been addicted from episode one and plan to keep watching. Eight out of ten from me.