So, I know there are a few of ILXors who loved the Avatar The Last Airbender, so what are you thoughts on the new series? It doesn't officially debut until next week, but the first two episodes can already be found online. After having watched them, here's a few thoughts:
* Korra already feels like a more interesting character than Aang, who was too much of a Mickey Mouse. I guess rebels just are inherently more interesting than dutiful good guys?
* The gags in this series are still quite funny! Had a hearty laughter with the scenes involving Tenzin's infant son.
* Mako feels like a too obvious love interest for Korra, being so moody and dark and all, but there'll probably be some complications... Or maybe the writers just want to appeal to the numerous fans who thought Zuko and Katara should've been a pair in the original series?
* It was nice to see old Katara, especially after the initial reports said none of the characters from the original series are alive in TLoK. I wonder if the fact that the others are dead will be a plot point, or are we just to accept that they all died of old age?
* Since the AtLA managed to mostly avoid good/evil dichotomies (except with Ozai), I do hope the Equalists are also presented in an equally three-dimensional way. The speech the Equalist agitator gave in the first episode certainly sounded like they have a point.
― Tuomas, Wednesday, 4 April 2012 13:41 (1 year ago) Permalink
Oh yeah, and STEAMPUNK! I actually think they might get some cool stuff out of it, the fact that Republic City is supposed to be a fantasy equivalent of 1920s Shanghai is certainly interesting.
― Tuomas, Wednesday, 4 April 2012 13:44 (1 year ago) Permalink
Where are all the Avatar heads? Isn't anyone excited about this?
― Tuomas, Thursday, 5 April 2012 06:42 (1 year ago) Permalink
i'm excited about this! i'm fortunate in that i just watched the original series during the Christmas holidays, so i didn't have to experience the torturous wait for this to finally get a release date. i liked the first two episodes that leaked, although my favorite part of the original was the group dynamic between aang and the others so i'm kind of in wait-and-see mode about that aspect. love tenzin's family ("be the leaf!") and that tenzin is allowed to be a little ridiculous, even though he's the wise authority.
― techno pink (reddening), Thursday, 5 April 2012 07:00 (1 year ago) Permalink
although my favorite part of the original was the group dynamic between aang and the others so i'm kind of in wait-and-see mode about that aspect.
Yeah, I'm with you here. I hope that Korra's "gang" will have more members than the two brothers, and that their roles will be a bit different than in the original series. Based on the first two episodes it's pretty easy to draw equivalents (Korra = Toph, Bolin = Sokka, Mako = Zuko), but obviously it's too early to say for sure.
love tenzin's family ("be the leaf!") and that tenzin is allowed to be a little ridiculous, even though he's the wise authority.
Yeah, I think they handled this really well. Also Tenzin's wife's exasperated reaction to learning she's about to give birth to yet another airbender. Speaking of which, I'm not sure if they're gonna delve into this, but since bending seems to be a genetical trait, it looks like the only way to rebuild the Air Nomads is for Tenzin and his siblings to have lots of kids, which might explain why he has a fourth one on the way. This might be a interesting source of drama (does Tenzin's wife feel obligated to have many babies?), but I guess they couldn't really address it in a kids' show.
― Tuomas, Thursday, 5 April 2012 07:17 (1 year ago) Permalink
So, any thoughts on the third episode? Looks like they are indeed trying to make the Equalists into somewhat sympathetic villains; even though Amon is certainly depicted as a shady character, his justification for his actions don't sound all unreasonable, and I think that's intentional on the writers' part. Hope they will develop this theme, as it'll make Amon a more interesting villain than if he was pure eeevil like Ozai.
Also, looks like they are hinting at some connection between Aang and Amon, as it was mentioned that only Aang could energybend, but Amon seems to be able to do that too. (Though it could be that he's just faking it, as his "energybending" didn't include the fancy lightshow seen in the AtLA finale.) I guess the writers wouldn't have given him a mask unless they were preparing for some sort of Darth Vader style revelation on who's behind it. (Maybe he's Mako's and Bolin's dad or brother or something? He and them both tell a similar story of being attacked by a firebender who killed their family.)
― Tuomas, Monday, 23 April 2012 20:57 (1 year ago) Permalink
Anyone still watching the series? Because yesterday's episode was awesome! Okay, the plot was kinda predictable; of course Chief Beifong turned out to be Tenzin's former sweetheart mentioned in the previous episode, of course her men failed to protect the pro-bending arena from Amon - and of course in the next episode Tarrlok will use her failure to gain more power, as was hinted here. But despite all this it was still hella exciting watching the events unfold, and the final action scene was one of the finest in the whole franchise. I love how this series (as well as its predecessor) doesn't use the bending thing as merely as a shapeless, ruleless superpower that will magically solve conflicts, but as a internally coherent way of staging action scenes. For example, you can see that Korra has now learned to fight more like a pro bender, using quick short range moves, which turns out to be useful against the Equalists, as they try to get close to her and quickly disarm her with their chi blocking.
― Tuomas, Sunday, 13 May 2012 20:53 (1 year ago) Permalink
I'm watching! But I've only watched the first 3 (next 3 sitting here waiting for me). Really liked what I've seen, still haven't quite engaged with the main characters, but I can be slow to do that with things, and I'm sure I'll grow into it. Exceeding my expectations that were based on early descriptions anyway. Disconcerting when people share voices with old characters, but that'll fade too.
― windborne grey frogs (dowd), Sunday, 13 May 2012 21:01 (1 year ago) Permalink
Okay, I don't want to spoil things, but episodes 4 - 6 will definitely add more shades to the main characters, so I don't think you'll be disappointed by them... Though I'll have to admit episode 6 made me more interested in Tenzin and Chief Beifong than in the main trio - but in the original series too my favourite character was probably Iroh. Let's hope they can manage to do similar balancing between the youngsters and the older folks as they did there, so far it's looking good.
― Tuomas, Sunday, 13 May 2012 21:19 (1 year ago) Permalink
Oh, Iroh was the best. Watched these now (I had already seen 4). Really good stuff in the last 2 eps. There does seem to be something kind of Randian about the way the equalist/bender conflict is framed - would kind of fit into the right-wing 'meritocracy' ideology that complains about the talented being pulled down by 'unrealistic' ideas about equality. Some great action stuff towards the end, though it's kind of hard to see how this series will move towards the epic battles of the first series (the siege of Ba Sing Se, for example, or the defence of the (southern?) water tribe).
― windborne grey frogs (dowd), Monday, 14 May 2012 00:50 (1 year ago) Permalink
There does seem to be something kind of Randian about the way the equalist/bender conflict is framed - would kind of fit into the right-wing 'meritocracy' ideology that complains about the talented being pulled down by 'unrealistic' ideas about equality.
Yeah, I've been noticing this too, and I do hope the show doesn't go too deep into it. So far they've manage to give the Equalists' claims at least some validity, and I do hope that by the end of the show their point of view is still acknowledged... Even if Amon will turn out to have some ulterior motives for running the movement (which seems likely), it looks like most of his followers have a genuine reason to distrust benders (for example, the City's ruling council seems to consist of only benders with non-benders having no representation there), and I think the writers are smart enough to include these shades of gray to the story, instead of just revealing all Equalists to be evil.
― Tuomas, Monday, 14 May 2012 08:15 (1 year ago) Permalink
And I do genuinely hope they're gonna not gonna reveal Amon to be some mastermind who's only using the Equalist movement for his evil purposes, I like the idea that he has some actual justification for his actions. I think of one of the biggest flaws in AtLA was that almost everyone was treated as a three-dimensional character, with their own understandable motivation for doing things, except for Zhao and Ozai who were just pure evil.
― Tuomas, Monday, 14 May 2012 08:23 (1 year ago) Permalink
Anyone still following this? Any thoughts on the revelations in episode 9?
Here's a funny fan comic I came across:
― Tuomas, Wednesday, 13 June 2012 12:51 (11 months ago) Permalink
I was just thinking of posting here, as I watched 9 this morning. Nice to see blood bending back, and some spirit world stuff. I'm still enjoying it anyway. Why did the end of my (torrented) ep have something about a 2 part season finale? Surely it hasn't been axed already?
― windborne grey frogs (dowd), Wednesday, 13 June 2012 13:19 (11 months ago) Permalink
Yeah, there's one regular episode next week, then a two-part season finale the week after that. From what I've gathered, when Nickelodeon commissioned the second season, the first one may have been so far in production that they couldn't really change the plot anymore. So it's possible the finale will actually end this story arc (as TLoK was originally supposed to be only a 12 episode miniseries), and the second season will have a completely new arc.
― Tuomas, Wednesday, 13 June 2012 15:54 (11 months ago) Permalink