Somehow the return of Avatar the Legend of Korra snuck up on me and I had no idea it premiered. I managed to watch the first three episodes of season three and here is what I have to say. I liked what I saw, the writers saw the flaw of season two concerning ‘boyfriends’ as a main plot, touched on it briefly and threw it out the window because everyone knew that it’s a stupid thing to bring into a thirteen episode long season.
I’m a bit concerned nickelodeon decided to air three episodes friday night, sure it’s awesome that we get ninety minutes of a great show, but that just means we only have ten more episodes to enjoy and what may be the last season since Avatar The Last Airbender was only three seasons long.
There were quite a lot of twists that the first episode alone presented to the audience, and they will be discussed now.
From this point on there will probably be spoilers, please do not read if you do not wish to know them.
AIR BENDERS ARE BACK! A few weeks ago I had seen the previews of people airbending and my thoughts were ‘did either Aeng or Tenzin participate in infidelity? or did Tenzin get drunk a few nights before getting married?” I honestly was concerned that the writers would place such an adult theme in a television show that has teens and children as it’s target audience. Much to the (probable) relief to adults and parents who watch the show this wasn’t the case.
Something happened with Harmonic Convergence at the end of last season and Air Benders have returned to the Avatar universe. The first three episodes plays it out similar to X-Men where a person discovers a mutant ability, in this case air bending, and are scared and terrified and have no idea what to do. Legend of Korra puts a great twist on this since people who awaken as air benders don’t want to convert to the air nomad way of life due to not wanting to leave their families or go through a huge life change (or in some cases are such inconsiderate social shut-ins that even by force they can’t leave).
Regardless Korra is on a global search to find and train airbenders with Tenzin, I think this is a great change from the usual shenanigans of republic city that we’ve gotten use to. It takes us back to Ba Sing Se and the Earth Kingdom where it looks like Legend of Korra may do something shockingly smart for it’s target audience. In Avatar the Last Air Bender it is shown the extremes and differences of upper class and lower class citizens and how the lower class lives in poverty. Sadly after many years there is still poverty in the earth kingdom. This could easily be a way to educate younger audiences that even in a beautiful prosperous environment there are still people in need that are being ignored by those who have power and money, even in countries like The United States.
A better emphasis is placed on the extreme difference concerning social class by having Mako and Bolin meet their family. Their family is very large, living in very small living conditions selling fruit that is expiring before your very eyes, however they’re not miserable. As soon as they discover that Mako and Bolin are present they’re brought to tears of joy and love that they finally have met the children of a family member who left the earth kingdom.
While in Avatar the Last Airbender the ruler of the Earth Kingdom was just plain unaware of these social injustices, the current ruler just doesn’t care about those in need and only cares for herself even having the desire to reclaim republic city for her own some day as a probable allegory to dictators. The Dai Lee is still in effect as well capturing any and all air benders and holding them as prisoners.
But now I’m just summarizing the show, not honestly reviewing it.
As I stated earlier romance was touched upon between Asami and Korra and although I (and many other fans of the show) hated that half of season two concentrated on Korra and Mako’s relationship, I am glad that they gave Korra and Asami this discussion. They had a similar discussion very briefly in season one, but didn’t go anywhere with it because the writers didn’t want Asami and Korra to be women getting pissed off at each other over a man (plenty of other shows that do that for us already). The conversation between Korra and Asami is mature and both sides ask for forgiveness for kissing Mako when they knew they shouldn’t have. And Korra and Asami being the two mature women they are accept forgiveness then proceed to continue being awesome.
It looks like romance may return in the form between Jinora and a newly awakened airbender boy who chose to travel with Korra. Normally I’d scream at the tv/computer/tablet screen and groan at how stupid such an idea is, but she has to help repopulate the air nomads since not too many people want to join up so the writers are forgiven for this…for now.
I say that season three looks to be very good; there are many twists that have turned the Avatar universe upside down and it looks like the writers are going to tackle themes and issues that were shown in Avatar the Last Airbender but had no actual solution for. Yes there will be more posts for the episodes to come, this is a great show and I honestly love it and can’t wait to see more of it.