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Why You Should Watch: The Legend of Korra

In which Megan extols the virtues of Nickelodeon's The Legend of Korra, spin-off the the late, great Avatar: The Last Airbender.

Why You Should Watch: The Legend of Korra

It’s no secret that the writers of FYA all like to pimp out their favorite things, be it books, movies or tv. I do most of my pimping in the real world – for years I have been that friend that is constantly haranguing everyone she knows to read this or watch that. But sometimes people don’t listen to me, which is why I love taking to the internetz, in search of new people to convert. And that is why today I’m going to be talking to you about a new show premiering this weekend - The Legend of Korra.

The Legend of Korra is a spin-off of the wildly popular and super fantastic Nickelodeon show Avatar: The Last Airbender. And for those of you who are thinking: Megan, wasn’t that also a movie? I say to you: NO. IT WAS NOT. And for those of you who are STILL saying: No Megan, I’m pretty sure there was a movie. And didn’t M. Night Shyamalan direct it or something? To you I say: NO, IT NEVER HAPPENED. And if the WHOLE UNIVERSE believes that, maybe the COLLECTIVE POWER OF OUR MINDS will make it so.

I’ve already seen the first two episodes of The Legend of Korra, so I’m here to tell you why you should watch it and why you will definitely love it.

WHY EVERYONE WILL LOVE THIS SHOW:

Awesome World-Building/Great Story

To understand of the world of Korra, we have to go back to its roots. Avatar: The Last Airbender (A:TLA) is set in a fictional east-Asian inspired universe where certain members of the population have the ability to manipulate (or “bend”) one of the four elements (earth, air, fire or water). Nation states are more or less divided along bending/racial lines. Water benders are almost exclusively found in the Northern and Southern Waters Tribes, air benders with the Air Nomad people, earth and fire benders with the Earth Nation and the Fire Nation, respectively. One person, known as the Avatar, is the only one with the ability to control all four elements. The Avatar gets reincarnated (sort of like a superhero Dalai Lama) and it’s his or her job to use their powers to maintain balance and ensure peace in the world. In A:TLA, a young air bender named Aang finds out he is the Avatar. Overwhelmed by his destiny, Aang runs away one night and ends up frozen in a block of ice for 100 years. During this time, the Fire Nation completely genocides the Air Nomads and begins a campaign to conquer all the other bender nations. When Aang is released from the block of ice, it is up to him and his friends to, quite literally, save the world.

This series starts off light and goofy (or, as goofy as you can get with GENOCIDE), but develops into something very mature and dark (while, strangely enough, maintaining its humor and heart). The deep back-story and the characters eventually hit me in a way I hadn’t felt since Harry Potter (yes, I just went there). I cannot recommend the original show enough (and, all three seasons are on Netflix instant!)

The Legend of Korra builds off the rich back story of A:TLA, set 70 years in the future with the next incarnation of the Avatar – a young woman named Korra. She moves to Republic City, a multi-racial city founded by Aang and his friends. The city looks like some combination of a 1920s Shanghai or San Francisco - it’s super stream-punky and exquisitely drawn. This universe is filled with so many neat characters, animals and places. Korra participates in a sport called pro-bending, which is officially my new favorite fictional sport. And the “big bad” of the show is more subtle than its predecessor. Korra finds herself in world that is distrusting of those who can bend (and considering benders have traditionally always held all the positions of power…can you really blame them?) And for those of you who care about these things, the overall quality of the show is superb – the animation, music and voice acting are all top notch.

WHY FYA READERS WILL LOVE THIS SHOW:

Kick-Ass Heroine/Strong Female Lead

Guys, Korra is a kick-ass heroine to be reckoned with. She’s strong, brash, and stubborn. But she’s also kind-hearted, fun and brave. You will love her almost instantly. Plus, when was the last time you saw a show that had a non-white 17 year old girl (albeit, animated girl) as its lead? And when was the last time you had a YA girl as a lead in something that wasn’t (at least originally) exclusively marketed toward YA girls?? It sounds so pathetic, but THIS IS THE SHOW I’VE BEEN DREAMING OF. This is the kind of show you should watch with your daughters AND sons because it’s important for them to have an awesome young woman to look up to and emulate and/or admire. And it’s great for us olds, because I know I always want to read about/watch cool ladies, 24/7/365! Also, look at those guns! You should watch the show for her guns alone.

Angsty Love Interest/Mysterious Loner Dude

GUUUUUUUUUUUYS, this is Mako. He has had only 10 minutes of screen time so far but I am already in loooove with him. I mean, of course he doesn’t give Korra the time of day when he first meets her. And of course Korra and Mako are going to PRETEND to be really annoyed by each other, even though they actually respect and secretly love each other. Plus, Mako has a traumatic past and is guarded because of it and DON’T YOU JUST WANT TO HELP HIM THROUGH HIS PAIN?? Help him by engaging in witty banter and MAKING OUT WITH HIM?? Also, am I the only one who finds themselves inappropriately attracted to cartoon characters!? So, what do you say? Will you give it a try? And for those of you who have already been watching/are fans, what do you like most so far? Help me preach the good word of Korra!

Check out the full first and second episodes on Nickelodeon's website (UPDATE: and FREE from the iTunes store!) while you still can! Or tune in when they premiere live on Nickelodeon on 14 April at 11/10c.

Megan Crane's photo About the Author: Megan is an unabashed fangirl who is often in a state of panic about her inability to watch, read and play all the things.