element-of-change:

Anyone else on Team Here’s-Hoping-They-Cliffhang-Us-Just-So-These-Flawless-Villains-Aren’t-Wasted?

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or am I alone over here?

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sifufirebender said: Really quick, would you recommend watching LOK? I'm nervous to start it because i love ATLA and i've heard some not so great stuff about LOK. I've watched the first few episodes of book 1, and was not really impressed. Does it get better or am I just being snooty?

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While I’m on an ask-answering stint…

I adore questions like this! Thanks so much sifufirebender!

Well let’s get right down to it! I’m going to provide a brief list of why every Avatar fan should watch The Legend of Korra! Then I suppose I’ll give a brief (mostly) spoiler-free review of the three seasons as they stand.

Why you should watch The Legend of Korra:

  1. The legacyThe Legend of Korra upholds the legacy of that inimitable series, Avatar: The Last Airbender. The animation, the music, the choreography…these are all comparable to the original series if not betterKorra is more mature in many of these respects. The storytelling, while it may occasionally disappoint, flows in the same way as A:TLA. The same talented hands of bryankonietzko and michaeldantedimartino penned these tales and it shows.
  2. The objective Korra attempts to accomplish something quite similar to Avatar: The Last Airbender yet a cry more advanced. The show continues to be about finding inner strength despite weaknesses and conflicts! It sets women and men on equal grounds and really challenges viewers to put aside their cultural preconceptions. Note: this is the only action/adventure show out there with a female, let alone Woman of Color protagonist are you kidding me!?! TOO GOOD TO BE TRUE! In my opinion, Korra dominates as a positive role model. She is easily the most focused upon and most developed character over the course of the series. Do you have to invest time and energy watching the show to finally see her shine? Yes! Is it worth it? Oh hell yes!
  3. The entertainment - Irrespective of its predecessor and its sequel status, I find The Legend of Korra to be really entertaining. For the most part, the characters are still better written than half the shows out there. It gets really real, and really dark, and really dangerous. We have the hijinks of Avatar with a new twist of intensity from Korra. Sure, most fans complain of this deviation from the original series, but I find the psycho-thriller elements quite captivating.
  4. The dynamism The Legend of Korra carries viewers through a broad range of storytelling elements. While I’d say some of the dynamics of the show leave viewers with a fair share of chagrin or frustration, I will say that this is an undeniable asset to the show!
  5. The story - A while back it occurred to me why the creators chose to write of the Avatar to follow Aang and not some past Avatar (though we’re treated to the impeccably executed Avatar origin story in Korra as well). This is the time of greatest change in the World of Avatar. As standalone as Aang was, Korra follows up to brave the new world forged by Avatar Aang and co. The parallels between the series, often in conflict with the outright, bold departures from the original series, make for quite the interesting tale. What more, this series conveys a real legend of modern miracles and unignorable drama.

Now, for a quick review of each Book in this series:

  • Book One: Air - Clearly well-conceived and carefully-plotted, this season establishes the new World of Avatar in Republic City, the symbolic and proxy Fourth Nation. We see Korra crash into obstacles as she enters the World as an active agent for the first time in her life! This season grounds the series as a tale counterpoised to Aang’s. While Aang’s tale told of a gifted Spiritual being, the Avatar, seeking insignificance as a regular old human who learns to properly assume his role as the Avatar, Korra’s tale regards an Avatar with Spiritual failings who seeks nothing else but success in her unique role. As Aang learns to assume responsibility as the Avatar, Korra learns to assume responsibility as a being entangled in complex interpersonal relationships, and as a being in the World. The finale of this season leaves you lacking, with a quite contrived explanation for the season’s main conflict and with a quick tie-up at the end, but I love it nonetheless. It’s beautifully animated, perfectly scored, and intoxicatingly dramatic.
  • Book Two: Spirits - This season has some of my favorite moments from The Legend of Korra, yet they are buried in the fold of confusing and disconcerted efforts in the writing. The Korra creative team expanded for this season, yet it seemed to have an adverse effect. Some episodes are poorly written - at many points, the dialogue grates on viewers’ ears as harsh, unlikely, unnatural. The plot meanders dangerously, like a drunken wander in the woods, stumbling headlong into pitfalls and, finally, rushing towards the forest edge. It feels so rushed, or maybe stunted. Some new characters delight, others disappoint as two-dimensional and unexplored. (They wouldn’t let the teen romance die till the end but thank Yangchen they finally did.) Nonetheless, the latter half of this season reassures viewers of a conclusive season arc. This is delivered. I adored the end of this season; it launches Korra to new, previously unimaginable heights.
  • Book Three: Change - Did any one of us fans think Korra would ever get this good? Book Three: Change has sailed through from the chaos of Book Two and emerged victorious. World building the likes of which we haven’t seen since A:TLA, breathtaking animation, and proper character writing emerge! New villains challenge an old order within the fictional world just as they challenge an established precedent within the show’s writing for not delivering on compelling backstory and explanation for these kinds of characters. The show has hit its stride. The writers seem to have taken to heart prior criticism, cured the malaise of their shoddy dialogue from Book Two, and really expanded their potential.

In essence, watch The Legend of Korra if only to reach the Avatar origin story, “Beginnings,” the conclusion of Book Two: Spirits (which was wondrous), and the entirety of Book Three: Change, which delivers on so many things fans always wanted to see!

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passingpastiche:

element-of-change:

Single-handed take-downs of the Walls of Ba Sing Se

The parallelism here articulated a kind of antithesis I don’t think we’ve seen so clearly illustrated yet: The White Lotus and The Red Lotus are opposites.

In the antebellum and war times of the ATLA timeline, the Order of the White Lotus worked in secrecy as a clandestine organization. So, when the Order’s members finally acted upon the world, their act was one of the grandest displays of power. Iroh, The Grand Lotus, and his fellow Old Masters harnessed the power of The Great Comet to effect great change.

The Red Lotus foils this. They are so advanced, so honed upon their quest for change, that even such a colossal feat as tearing down the Walls of Ba Sing Se happens for them with little effort and in virtually no time at all.

It makes such sense to me that the greatest Firebender of his age, Iroh, couldn’t accomplish this task until the arrival of the Comet, whereas an Earthbender gifted with the power to manipulate energy as a Firebender would, Ghazan, could accomplish this any day.

It’s just so obvious how this was handled differently with intent. Sure Iroh burst through the second Outer Wall, which is bigger than the walls that divide the city’s rings, but Ghazan accomplished this with such ease it was laughable. It really makes you think twice about the Red Lotus and what a challenge they pose to the world!

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Viewing Korra

element-of-change:

Rounding the track for the fifth time on what I’m calling the four-part finale of Korra, I queued up the last two eps episodes on Nick.com, since ep. 214 still isn’t on iTunes, and I saw a comment. I don’t know how old the commenter is, could’ve come from anyone, but it said, “best show ever.” A simply put superlative that really shocked me right then. Couldn’t stop from thinking…

Wait, but actually is Korra the best show ever?

No, obviously not because Avatar: The Last Airbender is a thing.

Right, of course, this is the most PLAINLY obvious thing in the history of time. But that acknowledged, is this franchise the best franchise on television and originally from television?

I’m calling it: yes. There isn’t a franchise of such broad base appeal and such a brilliantly creative, culturally eclectic, and thoughtfully imaginative fiction universe with its inception in television. It is literally the best show.

See, you can pick your poison with television, live or animated, that’s fine by me. This isn’t about fandoms. Because honestly, there isn’t anyone I know who’s sat down to an episode of A:TLA and reviewed it as anything less than sheerly brilliant.

And I truly believe this stands for Korra. I think it stands hard. I’m just thinking of this, you know, since I imagined the Nick.com commenter as a young kid…

CAN YOU IMAGINE WATCHING THE BOOK TWO FINALE AS A TWELVE-YEAR-OLD RIGHT NOW!?!?

Hell, can you iMAGInE WATCHING THE A:TLA FINALE AT AGE TWELVEI?I?I?I don’t know about everyone else, but I was already like 17 when the A:TLA finale aired. I thought it was THE COOLEST THING IN THE HISTORY OF TELEVISION!!!!!¡!!!!!!!!!!!!!

And I have my reservations about Korra: in so many ways it fails to live up to my expectations. But this is only because my expectations are OBSCENELY HIGH! Every time a jagged line of dialogue affronts me as it grates from my scream I SHED TEARS FOR MY PERFECTLY CAST AND CHARACTERIZED GAANG BBIES! Every time. It happens every single time.

A:TLA was flawless.

HELLO! If that’s not the ONE THING WE TOOK AWAY FROM OUR EXPERIENCE WATCHING THAT SHOW!!! PERF. IT WAS PERF.

Korra is so close to that level, though! The sequel’s but an infinitesimal bit below A:TLA, but it really is THAT GOOD. It is. HOW MUCH BETTER HAS IT GOTTEN!?!! Let’s be honest, this Book Two finale was UNGODLY LEVELS OF GOOD. It came close to the A:TLA series finale for me, and I know I’m not alone here.

Now, I think we’ve just got to reflect a bit more often. Look back and see how far we’ve come with this franchise and HOW UNSPEAKABLY AMAZING ITS ARTWORK AND ITS STORIES ARE.

Now look at what’s right here. What I’m rewatching for the second of one too many times in a week.

We need to realize how cultivated our senses for entertainment are, of course, cultivated in the experience of such matchless works as Avatar.

I’m not trying to diminish anyone’s experience, when I say this, especially not anyone younger than me. I’m just saying, there comes a point when your appreciation and comprehension and critique of entertainment shifts radically. It advances whether you like it or not. That this show can be so satisfying to anyone of any taste in narrative entertainment is one of the most impressive things to me. The end.

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Network Management: Korra Time Change, Korra Scheduling

element-of-change:

Time to diatribe it out on the rescheduling of The Legend of Korra for October.

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Do you know what BITES ME ON THE ASS when it comes to Nick and Korra? No, its not the network’s arrant ignorance of viewer demographics (LIEK WHY DO YOU EVEN HAVE RATINGS). It’s that they are SO OBVIOUSLY bent on taking the only gem in their cache and pawning it off, NO, TOSSING IT OUT THE WINDOW FOR THE VAGRANTS!

This is the ONLY found gem out there in N. American animation. Nothing stuns like Korra! THERE IS LITERALLY NO OTHER SERIOUS, EPIC CARTOON THAT GLISTENS SO IN THE QUARRY OF TELEVISION IN THIS COUNTRY!

HELLO, YES I’D LIKE TO SPEAK TO THE NICK EXECUTIVES. OH, WHAT’S THAT, WELL, YES, OBVIOUSLY I’LL HAVE TO HOLD AS THEY SPELUNK TO THE DEPTHS OF THEIR CAVERNOUS ASSHOLES IN SEARCH OF THE HEADS THEY ONCE LOST IN THERE.

GAWD!

Non-neo-platonic cave metaphors aside, CAN THEY GET A CLUE!?! IS IT AT ALL POSSIBLE FOR ANY OF THEM TO ACQUIRE A CLUE IN ANY FORM!

LITERALLY ANY CLUE!

Here I’ll throw a few to the wind in hopes they’ll land where the Nick execs tossed any serious respect and advocacy for Korra so that the a-holes’ll see these, the clues I’m about to throw, when they next look over to laugh, in folly, at ALL THE SENSE THEY’VE LOST…

  1. DO NOT AIR THE ONE SPECIAL PROGRAM YOU’VE GOT, WITH ITS SPECIAL ADULT AUDIENCE (corroborated demographically as such) ON A FRIDAY NIGHT! That’s like the ONLY night most people, even the lamest, do something! GLOB!
  2. STOP AIRING KID COMMERCIALS WITH IT! You cannot straddle dividers of these disparate viewing groups! Go neutral! More air freshener bits less “here, boys, take this play gun and fake-shoot things so you’ll complain less when it’s time to switch to go G.I. since unwanted soldiers happen to be all we export in this country.” Thanks for the unsolicited indoctrination, but your hyper-gendered toy commercials accomplish many things, NONE OF WHICH pertain to sticking viewers. DO YOU KNOW HOW EASY IT IS TO BUCK THE RATINGS AND THE LIVE AIRING AND JUST VIEW THIS SHIT ONLINE FROM ONE OF DOZENS OF DOWNLOAD OR STREAMING LINKS POSTED EVERYWHERE!?!?!
  3. Cut some slack to the dedicated crew. You’re stacking everything against them with your poor network management, so please, just PLEASE afford them the leeway they’ll need to swing from the hazard zone when the shit crashes down, which it will, which it is…

Yeah, I used to think, hey, Nick’s par with Korra, last season went so well…THINK AGAIN!

For all we know, renegotiation on signed contracts for seasons 3 and 4 could see conference tables if we aren’t all dedicated to superseding the pile o’ shit Nick’s flung at us in way of TOTALLY impractical airing times, 7 pm on a FRIDAY now changed to 8:30 PM on AN EFFING FRIDAY, LIKE ARE YOU KIDDING!?!?!?!

Anyway, watch the show or watch it as they chuck it out…

Don’t think they won’t.

Elem out.

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Some of my thoughts on Nick’s management of TLoK

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korranation:

Check out this exclusive piece of background art from the new season of LoK - the interior of the Southern Water Tribe Palace Banquet Hall we see in the upcoming premiere of Book 2.
If you haven’t already, be first-in-line for Book 2 sneak peeks by signing up for the Korra Nation fan club at korranation.com!

korranation:

Check out this exclusive piece of background art from the new season of LoK - the interior of the Southern Water Tribe Palace Banquet Hall we see in the upcoming premiere of Book 2.

If you haven’t already, be first-in-line for Book 2 sneak peeks by signing up for the Korra Nation fan club at korranation.com!

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(Source: slavocracy)

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(Source: mrspiritual)

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(Source: thetalesofbasingse)

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