According to an article by Whitney Friedlander, News Editor for Variety, the next big thing trending in entertainment may be martial arts TV shows.
There are a few good signs out there showing us that things may be trending our way. One is AMC’s Badlands, based on the classic Chinese story “Journey to the West” and its unprecedented trip directly to a television series even though it doesn’t have a pre-existing fan base. This is a first for AMC.
Al Gough, who co-created Badlands with partner Miles Millar, and who is showrunning AMC’s Badlands said that martial arts speaks to the visual and visceral components of television, plus “it’s something that’s not on TV right now … also, it’s something you can actually do week-to-week. It’s something that looks great and is highly visual.”
“I think there’s a great variety of martial arts that you can call on,” he says, adding, “oftentimes it’s a fight that comes down to two characters, and television has an intimacy that really lends itself to that.”
Gough and Miller were on the forefront of a TV trends. They also created the long-running Superman origin series “Smallville” for the WB/CW. Gough acknowledges that there’s “obviously an appetite for those shows,” but they’re now a lot more ubiquitous than when “Smallville” premiered in 2001.
Another interesting point brought up by Al Gough in the article was his question about whether special effects and flash are getting to be too much for audiences, predicting that “audiences want to get back to something that feels real and is very tactile and involves characters; not avatars.”
According to the Friedlander article, “. . . the key for television trends is in their ability to morph into the next big thing. This time, the emerging genre may be martial arts, since intense fight sequences are already a major part of many comicbook shows”.
It is becoming imperative that comicbook characters be well trained in martial arts and we see this happening in CW’s Arrow. DC character Oliver Queen was stuck on a remote island where he was forced to trained in a number of combat practices to survive. The leads in Marvel’s Netflix properties “Daredevil” and “Iron Fist” also have martial arts skills, and the action series, “Luke Cage” focuses on a street fighter.
If the next big thing trending in entertainment is martial arts TV shows, this will mean a larger demand for martial artists who can act and for martial arts fight choreographers and stunt coordinators. This is good news for us!