Through the years
After the season finale I was floored by how this show continues to portray toxic romantic relationships. Then I got tired of the subsequent arguments that “it’s just a kid’s show! Relax!” So I wrote a follow-up piece to my earlier article about the Legend of Korra’s Ex-Girlfriend Problem. I hope some fellow Mako Roasters find it interesting or can add to it!
Brilliant analysis that explains some of the major romance problems LOK has. My favourite line has to be:
“Asami is never given the right to confront Mako or even break up with him herself. She simply fades from narrative existence, to the point where she only receives one line in the season finale.”
DID SOMEBODY SAY CLEANSING
maybe you should seeing how you can’t understand the finale at all
look dude, i hate to break it to you but not agreeing with someone does not mean they don’t understand.
people can have differing opinions things. it’s not a zero sum game. i don’t like pepsi particularly… doesn’t mean i don’t understand the fundamental concept of soft drinks.
Probably not, no. I’m in the final rounds of an interview this week for a job that involves jetting off round the world to do research. My life will change pretty significantly if I get it and there’s no way I’d put in the effort to keep up with LOK.
But who knows. I might not get the job. And I also might follow your plan of watching the episodes in bulk or something. What’s become clear to me though is I don’t think LOK is going to improve. I keep trying to convince myself it will, but I’ve seen and read enough from Bryke to know the direction the series is going in is not one I want to follow.
I will keep this blog though. I’m really close to 40,000 followers which in itself is ridiculous, and I don’t want all the effort to be for nothing. I always have a lot of fun debating with you guys and of course verbally abusing Mako is a really great stress relief. So who knows, I’ll still be here. I just won’t be making the same effort to watch the new episodes.
what are the odds on the opening titles for S3 being korra bending all four of the elements?
As announced earlier this week, book 3 will be titled “Change”
This isn’t exactly the most coherent of arguments. You claim the mythology being wiped isn’t something that’s been “taken away”, yet 4 sentences later admit that the Avatars were “destroyed”. You’re contradicting yourself. You’re also basing your argument on the premise that these two things are mutually exclusive. They aren’t. LOK has both destroyed a massive part of the history of the series and it’s turning over a new leaf. They are two valid processes that can rightfully be interpreted from the narrative.
So I get your point. You want to focus on the positives. You want to see this as a new direction the series is taking. You don’t want to focus on the past, you wanna see the advantages of the future. Fine, perfectly legitimate viewpoint to have.
My argument is that we’ve had four and a half seasons building up this intricate, detailed and fascinating history of the Avatars. We learnt about their mistakes, how each changed the world and how they affected their successors lives. It was an incredibly rich and dynamic source of storytelling that understandably a lot of people had an emotional connection to. Kyoshi was my second favourite Avatar, and Roku’s death was one of the saddest moments of Avatar for me. Having their stories and history literally wiped from existence is far more a negative than it will ever be a positive. And I know I’m not alone in that opinion.
So yes, there are positives. Korra gets to be super special and be first Avatar in the reincarnation cycle. Brilliant. To achieve that narrative feat they’ve deleted 10,000 years worth of fantastic storytelling and emotional poignancy for the audience. And while that might be a cause for optimism for some, it’s not for me.
Defending the Sky Bison
It’s also a different age group that each series is dealing with, we mustn’t forget, and then the era each series is set in also plays a huge part in the attitudes and actions of the characters too :>
No sorry, I don’t really agree with that. I’m talking about the quality of the storytelling. There’s nothing wrong with having multiple partners or having promiscuous characters. It’s how you tell those stories. And actually your basic premise isn’t really true, both Zuko and Sokka are of similar ages to the LOK characters + they had similar number of partners.
LOK’s romances were an incoherent mess. They didn’t add anything meaningful to the story. And some really serious issues such as emotional abuse and sexual assault are played for laughs.
So to be clear, my argument isn’t over the type of romance. It’s over the quality of the storytelling.
Nick values the online fan base a lot now. New business models are obviously emerging and this is one of them apparently.
But from what I’ve read in interviews with Bryke, they seem vaguely pissed off. Imagining working on something for years only for it to be all splurged in one night. Bryke weren’t really told about this decision and LOK wasn’t built around the Netflix model. I like having one or two episodes a week because it gives time to digest and debate. Having it all in one night is a clusterfuck of emotions and difficult to process.
So yer, I understand why Nick made the decision. There are viable business models based around this type of release. But I thought it was really harsh on Bryke and it wasn’t actually what the fandom wanted.
The difference in how romance is handled between ATLA and LOK I think is indicative of how storytelling is approached between the two series.
Romance in ATLA was taken seriously. It was planned out thoroughly. The female characters were treated with respect and had agency. The romance arcs were emotionally poignant and added a lot to the story. Think how much impact Yue & Sokka’s arc had, Mai and Zuko’s too and of course Aang and Katara. All of their romance plot lines were so well thought out and added an extra dimension to the series. Even if you didn’t like some of those pairings I think most would admit they added something worthwhile to the series.
Compare those stories to the love triangle. To Ginger and Bolin’s “romance”. Bolin and Eska. Mako and Asami. The difference in storytelling quality is stark and undeniable. I’ve never seen such toxic relationships handled with such flippancy and ~humour~. The fact Bryke seems to think the reason people didn’t like these ‘romances’ is because cause the fandom can’t take a joke just makes the situation infinitely worse. But I’ll discuss that later, there’s a whole interview recently released that goes into this.
So yes. You’re spot on. Romance in ATLA was handled with much more care and authenticity than it was in LOK.