Because fans should be critical, too

Archive for September, 2013

Here is the Podcast I Appeared On

They are AvatarLegends.net, and they invited me to comment on the Book Two premiere based on the merits of the Korranalysis (which is still wrapping up, by the way). I had a nice time chatting with them, and that alone makes me willing to endure more of Book Two (which means I’ll stop when and if they kick me off the podcast). All-in-all, we’ll rather ambivalent about what’s in store this season.

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Immediate Thoughts on the Book Two Premiere of “Korra” (Yeah, I Watched It…)

  • For the whole hour, I was distracted by how stiff and limited the animation was compared to Book One. If there’s one thing I miss about Book One, it’s the animation and the variety of expressive poses found throughout. Where’s Ki-Hyun Ryu and his amazing influence on that season’s animation?
  • Both episodes felt extremely rushed and confusing, and not in the fun, Mission: Impossible (1996) way. There is so much exposition; the audience barely has time to breath and take in all the information before the next dump of expository dialogue is hurled at them.
  • Is it just me, or was Korra rather…mean in these episodes? She’s hostile to Tenzin, her father, and sometimes even Mako. Maybe if I could comprehend her emotional state, I could empathize. Unfortunately, the breakneck speed of the plot makes that rather difficult.
  • This is by far the fastest Flanderization of television characters I’ve ever witnessed. I never expected to find myself wishing Bolin would just shut up.
  • Mako is Mako. Let’s leave it at that.
  • Paraphrasing: “I thought Avatar Aang ordered the White Lotus to keep watch on me.” Yeah, I did, too. What’s all this talk about Tenzin and her father actually being the ones responsible?
  • My suspicions were confirmed: Korra’s father is just as boring as you’d expect him to be.
  • Where is Korra’s mother? Did she show up at all? Did she even get a line of dialogue? I honestly don’t remember.
  • So they introduce the notion that moving pictures is taking shape in the Avatar universe. The joke is kinda funny, but the cinephile in me wondered why they didn’t poke fun at the greatest urban legend of cinema. Would it have been too obvious?
  • You’ve got to love how Korra relinquishes herself from the subjugation of two men (Tenzin and her father) to willingly subjugate herself to another man.
  • I hate it when things in a new show/film I’m watching only remind me of better shows/films I could be watching instead. The first spirit attack reminded me of the first Kraken attack in Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest, and Mako’s pre-meditated one-lines reminded me of Hot Fuzz. (Then again, one line from Bolin reminded me of North, and I’d like to forget I saw that one, thank you.)
  • Aubrey Plaza may not have been the ideal choice for Eska (her comedic style, while low key, has always had some flair and liveliness to it), but otherwise, she manages to make Eska pretty funny. She’s honestly the only thing that made me laugh consistently throughout the premiere.
  • Speaking of great comedians, they’re really wasting Maria Bamford’s talent with the painfully limited role of Pema. As far as I remember, she only had one line of dialogue. It wasn’t even funny dialogue.
  • Paraphrasing: “I’m so used to being told what to do that it’s nice to have someone who actually trusts me.” Korra, go fuck yourself.
  • Korra’s father was banished for accidentally unleashing the wrath of forest spirits. I’ll give him the benefit of the doubt, and say that he never thought to simply turn the water back into snow (or something) because he simply couldn’t foresee the consequences of his actions. In that sense, he’s actually the most human and empathetic character in the new season thus far. So naturally Korra tells him to fuck off and leave her alone.
  • If this season doesn’t end with Korra receiving a slap or a spanking from her father, I’ll be very disappointed.

In other words, I am not very enthusiastic about the things to come in this season. Depending on how the podcast discussion goes tomorrow, I probably won’t be watching any more of Book Two.