I wish I lived in an Alternate Universe where Book 4 (and 5?) of AtLA had never been cancelled for that stupid movie. I feel this was the bad decision that lead to an avalanche of bad decisions (the comics, for example). I've never seen a franchise get messed up so badly, and this is coming from someone who saw season 4 of 'Arrow'. (Oh yeah, I went there) It's a sad thing when a good show gets ruined by poor decisions. I don't want Book 4 of AtLA now because Korra ruined the original plans. :(
I feel exactly the same as you! I want to go to that Alternate Universe! It’s not fair! It was definitely the stupid movie that started it all. It shows how out of touch Bryke really were to think that utter flop of a movie would have been more financially successful than more episodes of the TV series. I also completely agree with you; I have never seen a franchise get so screwed up and downgraded in quality like Avatar.
Bryke seemed like they disagreed with Ehasz quite a lot regarding the future direction of the series. So much so that they didn’t even want to finish all 4 seasons of the show under his writing leadership and so they went with the movie(s) instead. Then they later created a new Avatar series to do things their way…with love triangles! Thus The Legend of Korra was born! The bad writing of the first two Books of TLoK caused the ratings to plummet, and it was eventually taken off cable and made only available to watch online! Writers from ATLA, like Joshua Hamilton and Tim Hedrick, had to be called back in to help salvage TLoK, which is why Books 3 and 4 (well…the first half anyway…) have better writing, but the ratings never did recover. They only went down.
If you go back and look at some of ATLA’s best episodes, like The Storm, or Zuko Alone, or The Awakening, all done by Ehasz or his wife, and then you go and read the comics and compare the two…ugh. It’s just so heartbreaking and painful what Bryke have chosen to do with the franchise. There is just no bridging the vast chasm in writing quality. You get such a touching glimpse into both Aang and Zuko’s painful backgrounds in those episodes. My younger sister was a very casual Avatar fan and has not seen the show since it ended back in 2008. But when she saw me blogging about Avatar, she mentioned how awesome of an episode The Storm was.
If Bryke spearheaded Avatar Books 4 and 5, they would resemble the comics. I wouldn’t want it, either. The comics are so bad, and so different than the show that it is laughable. The art may be nice, but the characterization…yuck. Katara acts like she’s been brainwashed by the Dai Li and she is literally obsessed with Aang. TV show Katara would be grossed out. And in the TV series, Aang (mostly) acted like a regular kid. In the comics, he acts more like a weird adult man in a child’s body. He’s constantly making out with Katara and it just feels so weird and inappropriate. They act like an old married couple, yet Katara still babies him. It’s just creepy. It’s nothing like the show. Aang started off as a very endearing character in the cartoon and Bryke have really made him very unappealing. These are just NOT the same characters.
Something I just found out recently is that Bryke made a parody video at Comicon 2008 called “Avatar Book 4: Air Forbidden Love” mocking the idea of a Book 4, a Zuko and Katara romance, making fun of the fans for wanting that to happen and using their fanart to make it seem like the fans of that pairing only care about the characters making out…then saying that we “never should have doubted the will of Mike and Bryan”. Um…okay. Apparently the creators were more immature with the shipping stuff than most of the fans were…They said the video was just a joke, but you can clearly tell that there was an insulting tone there.
And it’s crazy that we now know that those ideas they were mocking actually WERE the original plans for the story…LOL. Among other awesome ideas. Maybe Bryke were bitter that people liked Ehasz’ plans better than their version of the ending? It does kill me that they actually had the Air logo for the title screen made back in 2008 and instead of the real Book 4, they used it for…that. >:(
Every time I hear Iroh sing that song during his music night now, it makes me sad about all the scrapped ideas for Book 4: Air.
♪ “Winter, spring, summer and fall. Winter, spring, summer and fall. Four seasons, Four loves. Four seasons, For love.” ♪ :-(