Review TV

The Legend of Korra Season Finale – You Gotta Deal With It!

We have watched the Korra finale a few times now in these parts, and I love it.  There are many who don’t, and they would be wrong.  That is not to say that there weren’t problems or things that could’ve been tweaked, some silly choices, but you know what?  I didn’t even think of them while watching, too caught up in what was happening.  I was stifling cheers and “oh sh*t no!” and “I totally called that!” and everything else you say while watching a show that has gotten you emotionally invested.

My favorite parts (SPOILERS):

  • The Lieutenant (seems wrong he doesn’t have a name!) stomping on his mask after witnessing Amon bloodbending.
  • Naga again being the most effective member of Team Avatar.
  • Turning around all we know about Amon and Tarrlok, and showing how your past comes back to haunt you.  You actually come to feel…not sorry, maybe, but you understand how hard things were for Amon (I don’t have the right spelling for his real name yet).  The use of Aang’s voice actor was interesting.
  • When Korra announces that Amon is a waterbender in front of the Equalists, and we see his eyes narrow – FINALLY she’s gotten through his defenses.
  • Aang showing up at the end.  She made the spiritual connection – she’d been closer and closer over the past few episodes – and seeing Aang, and Kyoshi, and Roku…worked for me.
  • Lin Beifong getting her bending back.  YES.
  • Iroh Man flying around.

The meh:

  • Mako/Korra.  Just don’t like them together, and I really don’t like how Mako strung Asami along.
  • I can come up with an explanation for how Korra could still airbend after Amon de-bended her but it takes some work.  Eh.
  • The United Forces were pretty lame.  I realize they were fighting unknown weapons, but still.
  • When Korra was hiding and Amon walked past her spot, why didn’t she just trap him with earthbending?  Not enough room to move?
  • Tenzin and the family still being captured.  Got another Meelo line out of it, but…very plot-convenient.
Most of the complaints I’ve seen about the finale involve things feeling ‘rushed’.  I don’t feel that way, though.  This was intended from the start to be one 12 episode mini-series, and even once they knew they’d have another season, they wanted this to wrap up.  I know it’s hard to see where Korra goes from here, but that’s why I’m not writing extremely successful “kids” TV shows.  I do think they underestimated how much we’d dislike Mako for all that happened with the love triangles.  The plot moved.  There were no filler episodes, other than the ‘shipping’ episode.  But even that had a ton of bending, so it was fun enough.  You were left breathless after most episodes, wondering just how things got that bad, and how it could possibly be resolved.  I for one am interested to see what the adventures of a fully realized Avatar will be like, especially in the world as it is now.  Season 2, please!

The Legend of Korra: WHOA

Note:  bigtime spoilers here, if you aren’t fully caught up.

I watched episode 8 today (both times it was on!) and am completely floored at what’s happening here.  The show is moving through plot at a breakneck pace, and just when you think they might take a breather, BOOM, Tarrlok and Korra fight.  And for Tarrlok to somehow bloodbend without a full moon, well, something is definitely up.  This page has a very interesting theory on what is happening in the flashbacks (though he extrapolates a bit much, and I don’t think everyone in the room is being bloodbended or is that bloodbent?).  My thought for the next episode is Beifong rescues Korra, but not until she finally gets some real meditating in, and gets some plot info from Aang in spirit form.  Or at the very least sees the whole picture of what she has seen only bits and pieces of so far in those flashbacks.

Other random thoughts:

  • I love the airbender kids.  The fartbending was a bit much, but Meelo and Ikki were both fun.
  • The Asami/Korra dynamic is great, though I would’ve thought Asami had noticed something between Korra and Mako earlier, so Ikki’s spillage wouldn’t be such a big reveal to her.
  • It was good to see Team Avatar be effective, seems so many times they’ve been disabled or defeated pretty easily.
  • Moving the show up to 20’s era society makes things quite interesting.  Will benders be like the samurai, with ever-dwindling prestige in society as it becomes more technologically based?
  • We need Katara back in the mix, I think.  Perhaps she will teach Korra how to defeat bloodbenders.
  • Is it Saturday yet?
Featured Media Review

The Legend of Korra

This is a notice to those of you who wax nostalgic about the cartoons of your youth, and claim nothing they make these days can compare.  I bet you’re not watching The Legend of Korra, the follow-up series to Avatar: The Last Airbender, on Nickelodeon.  A:TLA was well known for being an excellent show, and not just for kids, and The Legend of Korra seems no different.  If you don’t know what the deal is, basically this world has ‘benders’ who control one of the classical elements of Fire, Earth, Water and Air.  There is always one bender, however, who can learn to control all four, and they are the Avatar, destined to keep balance in the world.  The previous series followed Avatar Aang and his quest to re-unite the nations and tribes after Fire Lord Ozai tried to take over.  The Legend of Korra skips ahead 70 years, with a Republic established and relative peace.  The new Avatar, Korra, is a powerful but hot-headed young woman from the Southern Water Tribe.  She follows Tenzin, Aang’s youngest son and her would-be airbending teacher to the capital, Republic City.  She’s in for quite a culture shock, as Republic City resembles a modern-day metropolis, with a wide mix of benders and non-benders from all tribes…and a building anti-bender sentiment amongst certain people.  Behind all of that, there lies an even greater threat to bending itself.

The makers of the show have successfully advanced the world as you might expect, taking the Steampunk elements and moving them forward to exist in a 20’s to 30’s sort of world.  The first cars are appearing, they use newsreels to do the “last time on” montage at the beginning of each episode, and Korra has to deal with the media.  Korra herself is a very interesting heroine.  She’s tough and wants to do good, but frequently leaps before she looks (sometimes literally).  She has real fears and feelings, and with an older Avatar, they writers can bump up the maturity level of the storylines a bit.  This keeps up with the age of the kids who grew up watching Avatar: The Last Airbender, while keeping it accessible enough for new fans.  I’m enjoying the show immensely, to the point where I’m actually worried about the characters.  The danger they are all facing is terrible, if true (I have theories!), and I don’t want to see them hurt.  Previous knowledge of A:TLA is helpful but not required, and you can go through the Nick site for Korra to get some of the background.  Hit up the comments or the forums if you want to discuss the show!


Happy Birthday Townsend Coleman

Happy Birthday to Townsend Coleman, voice actor extraordinaire. People of my vintage may not know his name, but we know his work. Most famously, he was the voice of the Ninja Turtle Michaelangelo…and my favorite, The Tick. (to keep this sports related, he voiced Wayne Gretzky on ProStars) His voice acting profile is here, and he also did tons of commercials, including being the voice of ‘Must See TV’ for NBC back when they had more than one relevant show.

Here’s one of my favorite exchanges from an episode of The Tick, with the evil villain Thrakkorzog:

Ah, that still kills me. And yes, I know the actual birthday was yesterday, but my writing of this was interrupted. Time to re-watch the series, I think.