Friday, June 29, 2012

The Legend of Korra Season 1 Reflections Part 2

Part 1 found here.

Asami was underserved, which was surprising because she had some serious issues to deal with. Her father was keeping a double life from her only to give up on her for his revenge. Then her boyfriend cheated on her, after she told him he makes her feel safe. She was betrayed by the man who raised her due to his anger and hatred, and by the man she fell in love with because he was not honest with her. At the end of the show she’s all alone, with no one standing next to her (literally, she’s standing behind everyone else in the final shot). The next couple of months to year are going to be difficult for her. She needs someone solid in her life to stand by her, and it would be interesting to see how she deals with it going forward.

Tenzin/Lin Beifong
Tenzin was not a rewrite of the old sage character. He didn’t have all the answers, and there were times you get the feeling he wished his dad was still around to help and give advice. There were times he missed opportunities to guide Korra on her journey by sharing some of his father’s struggles, but he did care, and he was a rock to those around him. He had good faith in those he trusted, and you know he would put his life on the line for his family and friends. I’m not saying he wasn’t wise, he was, and he knew the importance of being patient, but he was no Iroh or Roku. 

Powerful, confident, unwaveringly brave, Lin was a Beifong. But she was not a rehash of her mother Toph. When she finally got some air time, she showed her skill, knowledge, power, and bravery. When she made mistakes, she did not shy away from taking the blame, and more importantly, she made every effort to correct them (like freeing her officers). Her sacrifice for the last airbenders was heartfelt. She may have been scared, but once she chose a path to protect the man she loved and his family, she did not turn back. She was a great addition to the cast, and quite frankly, I’d be happy if the show just focused on her adventures in Republic City from now on.

Republic City
Republic City was a modern setting in an ancient world. It had mystic, magic and darkness. It reminded me a lot of the world of Harry Potter; there was always more to it, but it was just out of sight, and left to the imagination. Like Manhattan, from a glance it’s perfect, with tall sleek structures, and its citizens walking together in harmony. But once you get a little closer, you see the shades of grey; the poverty, the forgotten, the downtrodden, and the corrupt. Republic City felt alive, and I hope we get to delve further into this fascinating world.

Anyone Else?

Tenzin’s kids were great, but underused, or were they great because they were underused? Either way, I would like more.

Gen Iroh II was a bit of a letdown. Sure he was a skilled bender, but he didn’t seem to be a very good general.

Pro-bending was much like Quiddich, fun in short bursts, but shouldn’t be over used. I would like to see it return in moderation.

The old Gaang were only present via Katara, in two episodes, or flashbacks with Toph, Sokka and Aang (who also made an appearance at the very end). I would like more though. How did Sokka die? Did he have children? What happened to Suki? Will we see Zuko and Toph again? I expect Katara to maintain the same level of interaction in the future (possibly leading to her death), and Aang to continue to guide Korra much like Roku did for him.

Naga and Pabu need more airtime. Some of the funniest bits from the last show came from Appa and Momo, and Naga and Pabu definitely could fill that void.

This was a good start for a new setting in a familiar world. Season 1 came and went too quickly, and now that Nick knows the shows staying power, I hope for longer shenanigans in future seasons. Staying focused on the main story is important, but some of the best episodes from the last series were standalone, and the show could benefit with more time. I can't wait for what's next to come.

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