Because fans should be critical, too

Part 4.3 of the Korranalysis is Up!

I’m literally down to the wire with these past three parts, so they’ll be uploaded sporadically throughout the rest of the day. (And if all three aren’t up today, then definitely tomorrow.)

I’ve got to tell you, lately I’ve been questioning the validity of this entire project. There are so many bloggers and tumblr posters with better arguments and criticisms than I provide, and don’t need to hide behind “humor” and a personal playlist to do it. I just hope I’m contributing something substantial to this discussion of The Legend of Korra.

EDIT: The next two parts will be up tomorrow. Sorry.

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8 responses

  1. JMR

    Ah, the Equalists, easily among the greatest examples of wasted potential in a show from recent memory.

    I really do hate how people say the Equalist plot “tackles” the issue of privilege and inequality. No. In order to “tackle” an issue there needs to be some sort of substantive analysis of that issue. There is none of that here. The show’s representation of this problem is so superficial and one sided that there are plenty of people legitimately questioning how much Rand Bryke had been reading before they sat down to write LoK’s script.

    This, of course, goes hand in hand with the idea that LoK is somehow “morally ambiguous”. I am of the firm opinion that in order for a story like this to have any sort of moral ambiguity, both sides of any issue need to be treated with respect. This is because in a morally grey story the audience shouldn’t immediately be able to determine who is “right” and who is “wrong”. Ultimately, a work that is completely morally ambiguous would have us as the audience questioning our initial assumptions about who is the “good guy” and who is the “bad guy”, and perhaps even cause us to ponder whether the idea of “good guys” and “bad guys” should really be a thing. This, I’ll admit, is a bit of “pie in the sky” idealism, but I hope you get my point. In order to really debate or understand someone’s viewpoint, you have to first respect it enough to find it worthy of your consideration.

    This is simply not the case in Korra. While the show is maddeningly wishy-washy when it comes to Korra herself and her reprehensible actions, it is quick to condemn everything about the Equalists. As you mention in the video, the Equalists don’t have to be “good”, per se, but the narrative at the very least needs to acknowledge that these people are responding to a real social problem and understand that you can take issue with their tactics without condemning their message entirely. I think it would have aided the show immensely for us to be shown that there are other groups outside the Equalists talking about bender/non-bender issues while still being agreeable and moderate about it. Instead, anyone who takes issue with the situation is painted as a violent extremist (or an obnoxious blowhard in the case of the megaphone guy).

    I’ll probably have more to say later, because the Equalists, and Amon specifically, touch another peeve of mine, the “bad apple theorem” as I like to call it.

    As for other people writing things and such, I wouldn’t worry about it. Using humor isn’t necessarily “hiding”, it can make the piece more accessible and entertaining and less “here is a giant wall of things that I think”.

    August 24, 2013 at 3:08 pm

    • Please, please continue! I’d love to know what this “bad apple theorem” is!

      September 2, 2013 at 12:33 pm

  2. amonymous

    you should stop being so hard on yourself, video as a medium, is in itself a restricting factor as to how much information you can meaningfully convey, and you’ve done a good job with conveying your points in your videos

    August 24, 2013 at 10:18 pm

  3. rosemon

    I believe that you are contributing something to the overall conversation: for those who couldn’t be bothered to read over 1000 pages of tumblr critique, your videos combine all the main points of controversy into five compact video parts. Besides there aren’t many negative video reviews of Korra on youtube.

    August 24, 2013 at 10:30 pm

  4. rosemon

    What’s even more frustrating is that the TRIADS (including Lightning Bolt Zolt-the guy who was out by Amon as someone who amassed a fortune extorting money from the helpless) are humanized a bit at the end of Republic City Hustle 3. Zolt tells Shady Shin not to attack Mako and Bolin because they were children. Then Shin seems to go out on slightly better terms with the brothers, almost as if they were actually friends.

    August 25, 2013 at 9:41 am

    • I still haven’t watched the shorts. I think I’ll check them out and then write an entry on them.

      September 2, 2013 at 11:28 am

  5. grasshoppercup

    I think what kind of makes me irritated is how Bryke completely dismisses the Equalist plot as over, leaving us to assume that the non-bender problem wasn’t a real issue at all without ever once giving it a fair chance. I know it’s a fictional world but somehow I can’t help but feel offended by this XD. I think, despite it’s extremist methods which I don’t condone, I related to them more then the main characters. I’m probably taking this personally but still I don’t think i’m the only one.

    August 25, 2013 at 2:50 pm

  6. rosemon

    When will the last two parts be up? Tonight?

    August 25, 2013 at 5:47 pm

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