If you haven’t seen Avatar: The Last Airbender then go watch that right now, it’s amazing. Some people may be turned off because it’s a cartoon on Nickelodeon, especially older people, but it’s appealing to all ages and those people are wrong. A quick summary, the show creates a unique world were some people can “bend” one of the 4 elements – earth, wind, fire, and water. These people are broken up into different tribes, so say the people of North America could control fire and the people of Asia could control earth. The show follows around 12 year old Aang, the avatar and only person that can bend all 4 elements who is trying to save the world from the evil fire lord. Honestly my description doesn’t do the show justice, but it really is one of the best animes I’ve ever seen and appeals to a wide audience. Do not watch the live action movie!!! Stick to the animated cartoon series, which is sadly unavailable on Netflix stream and YouTube has the character voices altered to avoid copyright infringement apparently, the voices are almost unbearable without audio adjustments. This is a purchase you won’t regret buying if it comes down to that, trust me.
The Legend of Korra (TLoK) is a series that happens about a 100 years after the events in Avatar: The Last Airbender (AtLA), I highly recommend watching it beforehand. Watching the show will make you wonder which element you’d want to bend in real life, and your decision may flip flop forever, I know mine has. Right now I’m on water, but I’ve imagined myself bending different elements.
This may be the best show on air that no ones watching, well actually it’s not even on air anymore! It can be streamed from the Nickelodeon website here. It’s sad too because Season 3 of Legend of Korra has been its strongest yet, but has had terrible ratings so far, let’s go over that.
The Legend of Korra (TLoK) hasn’t exactly received any favors from Nickelodeon when they received the dreaded Friday night timeslot, even Friday Night Lights wasn’t played on Fridays…actually I can’t think of any successful show that aired on Friday night ever. Even kids have better things to do with their lives on Friday nights apparently. Before Nick took TLoK off the air and decided to solely stream the videos online, they didn’t put them up at all and the only chance to see the episode was at 8:00PM on Friday. I don’t think they even replayed the episode ever, if you missed the original airing you missed it. That was literally their marketing scheme, “if we only give them 1 chance to see the episode, then they have to tune into watch it.” So of course everyone just pirated the episodes and of course the ratings are down. Technically this show is in it’s 6th season, and has been one of the most successful shows the Nick had, managing to garner a loyal fan base, so I have no idea what they were hoping for. It probably didn’t help that the trailer for the season came out a week before the release date, which might not be too much of a problem unless THEY DON”T TELL YOU WHEN IT’LL COME OUT. How does that even get approved?! They make this amazing trailer and forget to put the most important detail in it. I actually didn’t even know TLoK started airing until after the first couple of episodes came out BECAUSE HOW WOULD I KNOW?! The show was already slated to have a 4th, technically 7th, season, but there here’s a website that explains the whole debacle that happened the last couple of weeks. No matter how hard Nick tries to kill the show, it looks like it’ll be okay…for now.
Besides terrible promotion from Nickelodeon, I can understand why some of the fans would be hesitant going back to TLoK when Season 2 was just such a letdown. Season 2 (spoilers) introduced us to spirits, which was interesting, but the execution was terrible. In the past the show has effectively introduced unique and interesting spirits, like Koh the Face Stealer, but all the spirits in Season 2 felt so generic. Which matched the main antagonist Unalaq, the power hungry younger brother of Korra’s dad. His motivations were so clichéd evil that I never grew attached to him, a real shame because the show has had a great track record with “villains”. One of the best aspects of the show is the elemental bending battles, something the finale just threw out the window, bending>>>spirit fighting. The main characters didn’t really develop on me at this point, outside the dreadful love triangle, and the new characters were a little underwhelming, besides Varick, the eccentric entrepreneur brought so much energy to the season in contrast to Aubrey Plaza’s ice princess Eska, at least she had some good bending moments. The 1st avatar’s origin story was the only notable episodes for me in Season 2, but I don’t think I’m wrong in thinking that a lot of people didn’t like this season compared to the other ones.
Season 3 (minor spoilers) has shown some real promise and actually is already the best season of TLoK yet, which makes all the more frustrating how low it’s viewership has been. I actually enjoy all the main characters now; AtLA averaged about 20 episodes per season, while TLoK averaged 12 episodes a season. These guys had less character development than in it’s predecessor and the characters felt less established because of how fast the pacing was. I think it just took longer for me to like them because they had less screen time, the love triangle really annoyed me, and the writers were trying to figure out how to make this foursome unique, but different than the previous Team Avatar. Now the characters are hitting their stride, the dialogue is much better, and it’s working. The humor seems to be on point this season, I actually found myself laughing out loud during a bunch of the episodes. Bolin especially has been getting some great lines, heck, even the villains are making me laugh. The bending battles, probably my favorite aspect of the show, have just been absolutely stunning. I feel like the animation has gotten better this season.
With air bending coming back to the world, actually I’m not even a 100% sure how it happened, but some non-benders have gained air bending and it’s a new turn that this show really hasn’t explored with their being very limited airbenders in the world previously. And with the spread of air bending comes the introduction of air bending villain Zaheer, who seems just as cool as 1st Season antagonist Amon except Zaheer has much cooler companions and a much more visually stimulating style of fighting, and he might not even be the best one compared to his companions! Each of these guys were introduced by breaking out of these special prisons designed to suppress their bending, so the breakout bending scenes were highly enjoyable. One guy has lava bending, which seems rigged and is somehow earth bending, although it really seems like a hybrid. Earth now has metal and lava. Water arms girl manages to use the best aspects of water bending in her style, even if it’s nothing too new. I never really understood the mind explosions thing being interesting when you fire benders also get freaking lightning! That’s good enough already! I’d love to see a lightning bender specialist, how is this not better than combustion?, but so far I’m loving this season. There are only 3 episodes left, but I have high hopes for the season finale, and I expect some epic fights to continue to the end.
Remember every episode gets released on Friday on the website.