Avatar: The Legend of Korra: Some Mid-Binge Thoughts on Seasons 1 & 2

Growing up I did not really watch Nickelodeon much, which resulted in missing out on gems like Avatar: The Last Airbender. This Summer, being at home has pushed me to finally catch up and bask in its glory. From art to story-telling The Last Airbender has been some of the best animation I have seen, and still pretty sad I missed out on it all over the years. The dialogue and character development were spectacular, every single character had a complete arc that was satisfying.

A scene from Avatar: The Legend of Korra (Image: ViacomCBS).
A scene from Avatar: The Legend of Korra (Image: ViacomCBS).

As a lover of spoilers, I tend to read up on shows beforehand. I remember Avatar: The Legend of Korra came out when I was in college and how divided the fandom got over it. Reading up on what everyone had to say, I dove into Legend of Korra because I had to experience it for myself. One thing I really like about Korra is how very different as a person and as an Avatar she is from Aang. I found myself having to really detach myself from the previous story to fully appreciate it but a couple of episodes in I was hooked. That said, there's validity to some of the points raised prior, as well as some thoughts I had along the way as I wrap up Seasons 1 and 2:

Why does Korra constantly need a "Tuxedo Mask"? While I love the show focuses on the importance of having a strong team as a foundation to beat whatever comes your way, the Avatar still should be able to hold a battle themselves. I know it may be an unpopular opinion, but two seasons in there was not a single battle that Korra won herself. Which brings us to the next point…

Deus Ex Machina? This one was not my original thought, to be honest, but my roommate kept bringing it up as I watched saying it was truly an anime by "how much Team Avatar kept losing." I brushed it up, but then I could not stop thinking about that. Suddenly at the last minute, someone knows of something that means more than what they thought and magically they win. It started with Amon, I mean, it was so anti-climactic. Then Jinora's astral projection to help Korra was the cherry on the cake and has not stopped bothering me since.

A scene from Avatar: The Legend of Korra (Image: ViacomCBS).
A scene from Avatar: The Legend of Korra (Image: ViacomCBS).

Mako is not the d**chebag people painted him as. How did he play them? Let's see, Korra knew he was seeing Asami and kissed him. He told her no, they could not happen. He and Asami broke up, he got with Korra, he was honest with his feelings. Rinse and repeat, but with Asami kissing him as soon as she found out he was not with Korra anymore. Both instances the kiss was initiated by the girls when they knew someone else was at play. Why is Mako the only one paying for it?

"Team Avatar." For such a considerably older cast, they whine so much more than AtLA's core team. I understand bickering is part of growth and it happens with those you love most. However, at times the characters felt disjointed and suffering from the "Avengers Syndrome," defined as a group of characters going through extremely dire situations that are seemingly unable to take anything seriously and there is a joke right after every downtime. While there may not have been a joke literally every time, in a matter of life-or-death Tenzin and his siblings at one point became the most childish characters in the story- and Tenzin is one of my favorites.  I truly hope the dynamics evolve and mature over the next two seasons- a little growth in that area would be a huge benefit.