I think you’re the third person to ask me that today, haha. Here are some of my scattered thoughts, borrowed and expounded upon from different instances I’ve discussed this today.
The Book 3 finale? It was OK. It was very FUN, and I loved a lot of the scenery and the music. The fight scenes were neat, and I enjoyed the melancholic ending with Korra really being out of sorts. It sets up what could be a potentially intriguing Book 4, but given how Books 2 and 3 dismissed the intriguing set-up they had almost immediately…I’m not getting my hopes up. Book 3 was entertaining, but I feel emotionally empty, apathetic – like even the last few minutes were there specifically to force an emotional reaction out of me, like so many other aspects of LoK. It’s like an old friend trying to guilt trip you or emotionally manipulate you into paying attention to them. A good friend of mine made that metaphor about her feelings with LoK and it really opened my eyes to why it rubs me the wrong way a lot of the time – it feels like the themes, messages, and character development get tossed aside in favor of the writing trying to manipulate the emotions of the audience. That can be entertaining, sure, but it can leave you feeling empty and uncaring after all is said and done, and I guess that’s where I’m at.
We got a ton of NOTHING as far as explanations are concerned. The Red Lotus is now just a typical “Illuminati” villain group that could spring at any moment, given them a cheap way of suddenly introducing shock-twisty villains. The rise of random-ass people becoming airbenders is also essentially dismissed. There’s no reasonable explanation at all, not even an ATTEMPT at explanation. Tenzin literally uses the word “somehow.” We might as well have added “because of reasons.” I’m not a fan of seeing Aang and Katara and Tenzin’s legacy to grow Air Nation culture (which was complex and interesting with the Air Acolyte dynamic) reduced to “Super Squad Airbending Heroes” without even an explanation for why they EXIST (and Harmonic Convergence/Portals isn’t an explanation, because neither of those have actually been explained, either). It could’ve been something as simple as “The world is trying to self-correct its own elemental imbalance” or something, but…nope. Nothing. Because in LoK the reasons or the consequences don’t matter – all that matters is “Are we making the audience feel X or Y at a specific moment?”
Book 3 concluded with many of the same unfortunate plot devices that plagued Book 2 and even 1 in the thematic sense: Korra was captured/defeated, and someone else bailed her out (again). I’m so damned sick of the MAIN CHARACTER of this show not ever getting the chance to shine, to save herself in a way that’s rewarding and not reliant on punching shit.
I'm pretty sure you guys don't know what critique means, because you are obviously a hate blog. There is nothing wrong with this series, it is far superior to even the original ATLA, at least the romance in this series wasn't just something so boring like Sokka and Suki or Aang and Katara. Or ugh, Mai and Zuko. It took the lame and improved it into something far palatable and realistic.
Wow anon, I know what critique means, but I’m pretty sure you don’t. Because what you just said sounds a lot more like hate towards ATLA and it’s canon couples.
While I know not everyone will agree because everyone has different shipping tastes, but the one things I will praise without fail for ATLA is how the romances felt more realistic.
(LOK more palatable and realistic? Hahaha, yeah your mileage will HIGHLY vary on that.)
Aang and Katara’s relationship was a young love that matured and bloomed along with the characters. It was a growing love.
Sokka and Suki’s relationship was the most healthy and real couple out of them all. From their flirtatious nature, to Sokka having to deal with losing a girl he cared about (Yue) and fear of losing another he cares about, to them evolving into one of the most healthy couples is one of the best things I enjoyed. In terms of romance subplots, that’s how it should be done. Sokka and Suki helped each other grow.
Aang and Katara did too, but I digress.
Zuko and Mai is more the rocky but old flame that was once rekindled. You have two stubborn people who actually do understand each other pretty well. But it’s not a selfish love. Zuko as much as he loved Mai, could not drag her along with what he would do (aka treason), but he also couldn’t be selfish enough either just to stay behind for her sake, and Mai? Need I say more? “I love Zuko more than I fear you.“
Something that spoke volumes more than any line ever uttered from Korra to Mako or Mako to Korra.
Maybe you should look up the word critique and hate in a dictionary, because you’re not critiquing something if you can’t admit it’s flaws and point them out. Give advice on what can be done to fix something. Blindly loving something does not mean you’re unbiased either, fyi.
I suppose in the end, I’m glad that they brought in more writers, seeing as they floundered on their own. I’m glad that the crappiest romantic subplots seem to be over and done with. And I’m glad that their protagonist has finally done some growing as a character.
But damned if I still can’t see all of the places where they tried and failed.
If Legend of Korra fans focused less on the “haters” that do watch the show and more on the unaware people that don’t watch the show, the ratings would increase. Be mad at us haters all you want, at least we are watching.
I know the Red Lotus gang: P'Li, Ghazan, Zaheer and Ming-Hua are dangerous individually and together but that doesn’t change that they were imprisoned in mostly isolation under horrible conditions for thirteen years.And that this is treated as if it’s completely okay, no questions asked, no basic human rights, no ‘rehabilitation’.
Someone said they should be called the Trauma Team (or Team Trauma).
…yeah, no. If you think you’re going to convince me that Ming-Hua’s cell was either not a prime example of protagonist-centered morality or in any way, shape, or form okay…you don’t have a chance in hell.
I’m getting more and more disillusioned with how shockingly American-dominated social justice discourse on tumblr is. It’s really quite frustrating and inaccurate the way American voices are presumed to be universal, and voices that suggest racism and sexism may operate differently based on context are delegitimized and marginalized in order to make room for *real* minority oppression, i.e., that of American racism and sexism. It’s quite disgusting that one cannot have a proper conversation about such issues if you’re not American on tumblr.
“The Legend of Korra”‘s first two apocalyptic seasons intelligently critiqued the uses and abuses of power. And its new comic book even has a rogue refinery! How does your show reflect the concerns — geopolitical, environmental, etc.—of our own era?
We have a lot to say about that, especially in Book Four, so I will have to stay mum on that for now.
What would you give Book 1 on a letter scale? also, great blog!
Thank you anon!
And what grade would I give it? Well the first four episodes were set up really well and paced really good…a couple things were slightly rushed, but I don’t really have too many complaints about the first four episodes…I’d say an A- to an A probably.
After episode 4….oi…I’d give the series a D, or I guess a D+ to be generous, because there were a couple of good elements in there that kept it from being a total F.—angelrin89
Edit: You’re right Rin…you are being generous…I’d give it a D- :/ like you mentioned some of the good elements keep it from being a complete failure…but D+ is too generous imo.—digidestinedkimpossible
I think in all fandom, there’s often a point to which we get so close to narratives that we see the things we love as more flawed than they are - I’ve seen a lot of commentary lately stating that LOK is a “deeply flawed”, and well, it’s not perfect, of course it’s not, nothing is, particularly in a medium like television, which requires a rapid turnover, and involves many creative voices. But I think it’s silly to call it “deeply flawed”: if it takes its themes and characters in interesting directions, successfully makes us care about them, and tells the story it wants to tell in a clear, engaging way, then it’s not that flawed. I think in fandom, we analyse our favourite shows so closely we notice these flaws more closely than people who watch the show less passionately. I’m not saying we should consume media passively, I’d never say that: I love meta-analyses. I think it’s important to understand why a story we love might not work for other people, or why parts of that story don’t work for us. It’s definitely important to critique a show when it portrays underrepresented groups in a harmful or problematic way. But there’s a point to which what I call “cinema sins criticism” dominates fan debate, where we talk about every minute plot hole, or complain that a piece of media is bad because it didn’t include every scene we wanted to see. Upon making these criticisms, fans decide a piece of media isn’t actually very well made: our love of a show is, ironically, what leads to us hating it. And I don’t think this is a useful form of criticism: when it comes to meta-analysis or critiques of media, I find the stuff that works best isn’t the stuff that asks “is this media good or bad?” It’s the analysis that asks “How does this piece of media work, what is it doing, and what is interesting about what it does?” And for me, LOK is a hugely interesting show that explores its themes and characters in fascinating ways, while carrying the audience along on a really entertaining ride. Which renders discussion of its flaws almost irrelevant: the way it tells the story it sets out to tell is (for me) a huge success, and is the product of a very good narrative.
shhh but don't worry. season 2 will have the original writers from the first series. never give up hope, even with your dying breath!! *sobs*
We haven’t given up hope here. (Though I will admit, angelrin89 is more optimistic than I am…but she’s always been more of an optimist than me.)
We have better hope that things will be worked out and fixed up in Season 2 and on. Sure we don’t exactly know what to expect (we can only speculate) but the other writers coming back only brings hope in my heart, after all, while I love Season 1 of ALTA, things only got better and better after that.
I suppose that’s why we’re so disheartened and disappointed in Season 1 of LOK. From what both myself and angelrin89 have heard, is that Bryke DIDN’T originally have those writers around for Season 1 of ATLA. So it sort of breaks my heart, (angelrin89 too), that Bryke, they were obviously talented, they knew how to keep the romance in the background and teased with slowly but surely, they had very strong female characters shown with even just season 1 alone. I mean Katara got some development, while Suki was just a minor character and only introduced once in one episode in ALTA Season 1, her and the Kyoshi Warriors proven they were something fierce, and Suki even beat out some of the sexism that was in Sokka. Yue, minor character she may be…but she was also someone who was a strong character, and she wasn’t even a fighter. She was a brave woman who gave up her life for the sake of her tribe…for the sake of the world.
While the characters still had some more development to go, season 1 set up a beautiful and strong start. After working out the bugs, they really had it going. And the Season Finale, Bryke really hit the ground running.
They didn’t need help to do that!
So I know they’re very talented. I really don’t know what happened that made them backtrack so much with LOK.
However, yes, the original writers that were around for Post Season 1 of ATLA will be back, and that is good news, no—that’s great news.
Because they really kept the ball rolling in ATLA from Season 2 and on.
(I would dare say I would even call Season 2 the perfect season for ATLA).
So I do have hopes that things will improve, I’m not sure how much will improve, and how I will overall feel, because some of the bad taste episode 5 and on of LOK Season 1 left in my mouth…however, I’m not going to shy away, I’m going to watch and see what happens.
See how I’ll feel. It’s too soon for me to know for sure to know how I’ll feel in the future about LOK, one thing I do know, is that the other original writers coming back, can only mean good news for this series that very much needs a fix up.-digidestinedkimpossible.