Thoughts on Reactions: “The Legend of Korra”

Hey. Morike here. I’m the one that started our Gmail account, but you probably didn’t know that already. I should probably tell you about that. Anyway, if you want to send us fan mail, you can do so at pottedlid@gmail.com. But, we’re on G+ too. So add us to your circles. We’re awesome like that.

In addition, I’m not going to ramble on about geek culture. Instead, I’m going to dive right into talking about something geeky. If you see the image below in your peripheral vision, you know where this is going.

Caution! Spoilers ahead

The Legend of Korra season 1 finale teaser poster. Let’s all speculate how Bolin got so angry.

<– So this awesome piece of storytelling ended on Nickelodeon a few weeks back, and apparently a portion of Tumblr was not pleased with it. I admit, I thought the ending was kind of streamlined, but then I did some rethinking about some of the reading about the production of this show. And it kind of makes me want to beat down the nay-sayers. So here I am. Beating y’all up. Unless you’re not nay-saying the show. Then you’re alright . . . for now.

I should note that most of my information is coming from the discussions between the good men at Republic City Dispatch (link to Tumblr). Just in case you were questioning the validity of my statements, you can go listen to their podcasts. They’re quite entertaining and thoughtful.

Streamlined
The first thing I’d like to point out is my biggest issue with the finale, in that it was kind of streamlined and everything has a happy ending. I mean, POOF, spiritual connection made and everyone’s got their bending back! My initial thoughts were “that was way too fast.” But the more I thought about it, the more I realized it had to have been done that way. You see, when the creators Brian K. and Mike D. thought up the show, they wanted it to be quite opposite from the original Avatar: The Last Airbender. The Avatar is female (1) in a more character-based plot (2) with a stationery location (3) and closed-narrative seasons (4). So it doesn’t surprise me that they wrapped up the season as they did. If they didn’t, the season would end on a cliff-hanger and you can’t really have that in a closed season. And so I forgive the show for its streamlined ending. I would have liked to have seen more Korra-angst over missing bending, but even I will admit that I’m easily bored with angst.

(Unless you’re Batman. Batman angst gives me all the feels.)

In addition, this was originally conceived as a mini-series. A mini-series! There were plenty of things I thought needed more time, like Pabu/Naga interactions. And more Naga in general. And some more snooping around Tarlok before his kerfuffle would have been nice as well. But regardless, we’re already getting more than originally planned, so I suppose we should be happy with what we got, right?

Ye Olde Gaang
This next point doesn’t come from Republic City Dispatch — it comes from a friend of mine who posted something on Tumblr. Her main complaint was that The Legend of Korra was nothing like Avatar: The Last Airbender and you rarely saw any of the old “Gaang”. It kind of made me want to flick her ear. Like I just said, The Legend of Korra is supposed to be the opposite of Avatar: The Last Airbender. In addition, it’s 70 years after the end of the 100 Year War. As precious as the Gaang is, I really like all the new characters. (My favorite is Meelo because he’s a fartbending heartbreaker). The adults are awesome, the children are teenagers, and there are really creative ways to use bending. Also, Pabu and Naga. Because Pabu and Naga.

Additionally, anyone in this universe named Iroh is, by default, a badass.

Congratulations on your face? Congratulations on your HAIR, sir!

Ze Romance
On a romantic level, I’m pleased with how things ended up. Mako and Korra were going to happen the moment they met. And I’m quite glad it didn’t take off right away. I realize there are fans out there displeased with Mako’s treatment of Asami, and I am with you. But I am willing to forgive him because he’s an orphaned teenager and, as an orphaned teenager, very unfamiliar with this Love Thing. Teenagers by definition make some stupid choices (no offense — adults make stupid choices too). And sometimes you’re so overwhelmed with the feels that you don’t know what to do with yourself. Mako had to deal with his feelings for two young women (TWO, as in, two lonely numbers TOGETHER), and I don’t think even an adult could handle that smoothly. So while I really think Asami deserves more of an apology, I forgive Mako for his behavior.

On a side note, was anyone’s image of Pema turned on its head when you discovered she was a homewrecker? Yeah, I liked it too.

Interpreted Suicide
According to Republic City Dispatch, some Tumblr fans believe Korra was contemplating suicide when she goes to the end of the ice cliffs and her tear falls and the music is all amazing and stuff. The good men at RCD like to try to disprove this by saying it is a children’s show (but it tackles mature themes) and you really shouldn’t project your own feelings into the show and it’s too soon for Korra to consider suicide and blah blah-blah blah-blah. I say (because apparently my opinion carries some weight): unless something is specifically stated within the text, you are free to interpret that scene however the hell you want.

Badgermole don’t care her image don’t fit the text. Badgermole just ate your hard drive.

Interpretations, however deep or shallow, add an enormous amount of color to both the source text and the world around us. I learned a lot as an undergrad, but one of the biggest things I’ve learned is to make connections in the things you engage in be it All’s Well That Ends Well, The Legend of Korra, or Treasure Planet. What you read into a text is yours. Just like your English professor, all I ask is you find evidence to back up your claim. As long as you can do that, you can discuss your ideas until the cows come home. You guys are free to interpret Korra’s thoughts in that penultimate scene in the season 1 finale however the hell you want. Just back up your claim with hard evidence.

And don’t preach. For the love of all that is good, do not attempt to convert me to your argument. The moment you cross that line is the moment you become that sketchy Jesus-freak on the street with a megaphone. Be default, I do not listen to those people, and I think the rest of the world is with me.

Side note: I don’t listen to preachy Jesus-freaks on the street because I believe that anything sold on the street is dodgy. Someone claiming to be homeless attempted to ask for change from my old roommate, and she pointed out that he had an iPhone in his hand. Another someone claiming to be homeless tried asking for change from another friend of mine with one story, and fifteen minutes later asked for change again with a different story. A third someone on the street tried to get me to submit a short story to a publishing scam. Dodgy things happen on streets. I don’t trust Jesus-freaks on the street—I trust a priest/rabbi/imam in the designated place for worship. I am amused yet dislike how I felt the need to defend a single statement with a paragraph.

Anyway, thank you for listening to my thoughts on reactions to The Legend of Korra. I don’t really have a thesis to restate, or a main point I want you to walk away with (except The Legend of Korra is awesmer than Barney Stinson and you should watch it), so I’m going to awkwardly end with a pseudo-self-centered bio:

Morike is only this long-winded in text and geeky conversations. She can also be found at her personal blog, Overcrowded Bookshelves, and her Tumblr, Disorganized Papers, which are very accurate descriptions of her living room.

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2 responses to “Thoughts on Reactions: “The Legend of Korra”

  1. I like the series though, despite certain factors. The only cartoon I look forward to every week. Haha!

    • I’m looking forward to season 2! Unfortunately, I haven’t been keeping track of when it’s coming out, but I hope it’s soon.

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