The Life & Times of an Auteur.

Commentary on Pop Culture, and maybe creating some of my own.

Friday, September 27, 2013

Legend of Korra

Okay, huge improvement this week. Except for Bolin who isn't funny, just annoyingly stupid... I mean, good lord. It's reached a point where he's such an idiot, I'm wondering if he needs help wiping his own ass.

Everything else was fine. Korra's head was pulled out of her ass and let's hope it stays that way.

24 comments:

  1. Yeah, same here though it's worth it for that one last shot in that episode.

    And see, Korra's not stupid. You can't tell but I'm laughing at everyone who complained. Haha! :D

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  2. I...don't get what you mean about Korra. She openly threatened to murder the judge if he passed the death sentence on her father, then actually assaulted him and threatened to feed him to her pet if he didn't release her father from prison or give her info about Unalaq's plans, froze and intimidated Northern soldiers, and acted aggressively even when her father said not to. If anything, her rebonding with her family has only made her worse. She's gone more psychotic and willful than ever, and it's going to end up causing the South's destruction at the hands of the dark spirits like Unalaq said. Until she gets in touch with the spiritual elements and sets things right, she's still the worst Avatar ever in my book.

    I've noticed a difference between Varrick and Bolin, our two comedic figures. With Varrick, the humor comes from his character. With Bolin, the humor comes AT his character, because "lol, he's a doofus!"

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    1. "She openly threatened to murder the judge if he passed the death sentence on her father"

      Not justifiable, but way more understandable than how she was behaving in the previous three episodes.

      "then actually assaulted him and threatened to feed him to her pet if he didn't release her father from prison or give her info about Unalaq's plans"

      ... yeah, I can see this. Lucky for her, the judge turned out to be a crook.

      "froze and intimidated Northern soldiers, and acted aggressively even when her father said not to. If anything, her rebonding with her family has only made her worse"

      Well, new information came to light.

      "he's gone more psychotic and willful than ever, and it's going to end up causing the South's destruction at the hands of the dark spirits like Unalaq said."

      Unalaq is a liar.

      "I've noticed a difference between Varrick and Bolin, our two comedic figures. With Varrick, the humor comes from his character. With Bolin, the humor comes AT his character, because "lol, he's a doofus!""

      Agreed.

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    2. I think that interrogation was more her bluffing to get what she wants. It's a classic Batman move.

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    3. When Batman does it, it's usually to get information from the crooks. Korra had no idea the judge was a crook and in cahoots with Unalaq until he spilled that. What Korra was wanting to know beforehand was where her father was so she could bust him out. And even though the judge had spared him and done nothing illegal to Korra's knowledge at that point, she oppressed him. Just because he inconvenienced HER and HER family. That's not how the Avatar should be acting.

      "Well, new information came to light."

      Still not an excuse for rushing in aggressively and piledriving through other people just to get what she wants.

      "Unalaq is a liar."

      But what if he's not? The show is making us think that right now, but there's obviously going to have to be some conflict with the spirits later on down the road. I think Unalaq, as corrupt as he is, does have the Water Tribe's and Korra's best interests at heart, just like Tonrok does. Both brothers are a little bit in the right and a little bit in the wrong here. As the Avatar, Korra needs to be the medium between them, especially if the spirits start to threaten both sides of the tribe.

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    4. "But what if he's not?"

      You're giving this show way more credit than I am.

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  3. "When Batman does it, it's usually to get information from the crooks. Korra had no idea the judge was a crook and in cahoots with Unalaq until he spilled that. What Korra was wanting to know beforehand was where her father was so she could bust him out. And even though the judge had spared him and done nothing illegal to Korra's knowledge at that point, she oppressed him. Just because he inconvenienced HER and HER family. That's not how the Avatar should be acting."

    Why do you think she did it? She wanted information and boy did she get it. It's a more personal matter so it's understandable. Not to mention, she's not Aang. She's not supposed to be.

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    1. I never said anything about her needing to be Aang. I said she needs to just be a good Avatar. The Avatar is supposed to keep peace and balance. How is assaulting someone over an issue that inconveniences the Avatar and her own family ("Take me to my father so I can bust him out of prison even though to my knowledge his sentencing was perfectly legal, but fuck that, I'm the Avatar! I can get away with breaking the law!") not abusing her power? And the judge couldn't defend himself, so this is exactly the kind of oppression that the Equalists were against. Korra was being an oppressor and a bully, plain and simple. And her father told her specifically not to act rashly, and her mother didn't indicate she wanted her to do this either. Korra has still learned nothing.

      Apparently this whole "opposite of Aang" thing means she's the opposite of a good, competent Avatar, and the opposite of a good person. That's honestly what I'm getting out of her character right now. Her rash and violent nature can only be taken so far before it starts to become repugnant and hard to stomach.

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    2. In her defense, it was more of a personal matter and she seemed a bit on the edge on that. And let me ask you this, would you rather she be Aang 2.0?

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    3. Movie-Brat: Well, for all the talk about how the main character and the show is suppose to be a different beast than ATLA, several cliches and concepts are lazily reused.

      Not to mention that Mako and Bolin were meant to emulate Zuko and Sokka.

      Furthermore, both characters tend to be useless, and I think that the reason for that has to do with Bryke also trying to do a redux of the Gaang, without understanding that the aspects that made them work don't apply to The Krew.

      I'm going to post what I did on Eric's blog to demonstrate that:

      - Though Toph herself was the most under developed one (and maybe Suki), those who were in The Gaang were their own people, whereas The Krew are (and I use this term loosely) support for the title character only.

      - Katara, Toph and Zuko were frequently with Aang to help train him in use of the elements since Pre-Iceburg, he only trained in Air. Korra's more or less finished with the elements aside from Air, and none of The Krew can help her with that.

      - Friendship is good and all, but the each member of the Gaang had their own reasons to go with Aang. Katara to better her Waterbending (and for a another reason at the bottom), Sokka to protect his sister* & to put his warrior training to use, Toph for the freedom that traveling grants her and Zuko for the purpose of atonement & to help his country. As much as Asami's friendship with Korra is underdeveloped, she actually had a personal stake in the matter. And, maybe it's a good thing she doesn't appear frequently if it means being nothing more than another pillar so to speak.

      Mako, no comment. Bolin's friendship with her was the more developed one, but arguably not enough to travel with her.

      - Plus, Aang was an orphan from another time and from an extinct culture. With Katara and Sokka being the ones to find him, it makes sense that they would travel with him out of a feeling of responsibility. Not even remotely close for Korra who has two sets of family.

      But yeah, I think that Mako and Bolin should have been supporting characters themselves. With the main heroes of The Equalist are being Korra, Asami, Tenzin and Lin. Maybe even restructure the story and include Bumi, Kya and Iroh II.


      As Greg touched upon, the supporting characters have more substance than the group that's suppose to be LoK's equivalent to Katara, Sokka, Toph and Zuko.

      But like I said before, the reason why Mako and Bolin don't feel substantial is because Bryke wanted to copy a major aspect of ATLA rather than modifying it to work with the current Avatar or just going with a cast of a different style (Korra, Varrick, Tenzin, Pema, Kya, Bumi and the Airbending kids).

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    4. Well it's just that that was the impression I was getting from you, mostly from that last paragraph.

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    5. Forgot, in regards to the part of my post with the * symbol (regarding Sokka & Katara), I meant to finish my post with another example of Mako & Bolin being pretty empty.

      But yeah, Sokka being Katara's brother plays a role in his choice to join and stay with Aang, plus you had episodes like "Bato & The Water Tribe", "The Runaway" and "The Southern Raiders" to make use of that connection.

      Last time that Mako and Bolin's relation as brothers had any bearing was back in The Spirit of Competition.

      Heck, even if Bolin needs to be more independent, shouldn't Mako be a little more concerned for how Eska is treating his younger brother?

      I mean they could have easily been two separate orphans who befriended one another and nothing would really change.

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    6. Alright, point taken on all of that. I mean I admit, I did get the overall impression that they're relying too much on ATLA for the supporting cast.

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  4. Yes, Legend of Korra is picking up a little. I'm glad, since this show has so many good ideas and it always seemed to fumble them.

    Bolin and Unalaq are the most unsatisfying things in this episode. I repeat: Bolin is far too idiotic for the type of show this is, and has no redeeming value.

    Unalaq was a perfect opportunity to create what was essentially a religious fundamentalist villain. Instead, they're making him more and more simplistic and self-serving. They're making him into the Scar/Palpatine hybrid that Tumblr thought he was, and professionals should really know better. They should know better than to not reach out and take the potential they themselves set up.

    But the execution of the episode was okay. Korra threatening the judge's life was fine. We don't need our protagonists to be morally perfect, and Korra was finally taking charge of the situation and producing decisive action rather than petulant brattiness.

    I liked Varrick, too. That's how comic relief should go in this universe.

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    1. Unalaq seems more like Loki than Scar or Palpatine, especially with the whole "getting his brother banished" thing. And why can't he be both power-hungry and manipulative AND a religious fundamentalist? When he tells Korra that all he wanted was to help her become a better Avatar and that he wants to prevent the spirits from waging war on mankind, his motives sound perfectly sincere. Korra just chooses not to believe him 'cause she's Korra.

      I don't want Korra to be morally perfect. I just want her to be moral, period. And she's shown little in the ways of that, even now when she's stopped following Unalaq.

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    2. Because if Unalaq is power-hungry and manipulative, at least to the extent of outweighing his good intentions, then he's just Ozai 2.0. There's no attempt to do anything different.

      My Tumblr comment was to show that, popular or not, Unalaq should be his own character, and not a retread of some other well-known nerd villain. And I expect him to have more justification (not forgiveness) behind his actions than either Scar or Loki did. Unalaq should be a better antagonist.

      I don't consider Korra to be particularly vicious or callous. She's more of the "angry young hothead" type of character, with her greatest flaws being her naivete and stubbornness. If the writers don't slip and fall, she should learn some valuable lessons and become a better person.

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    3. "Unalaq seems more like Loki than Scar or Palpatine"

      I really don't see that. Loki had way more depth to him than Water Lord Ozai does. At least Fire Lord Ozai was fun and intimidating. This guy is.... yeah, you're giving him way more credit as a villain and character than I am.

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    4. It's because for all the "obviously evil" vibes they're making him give off, they're really failing to sell his villainy to me. The dark spirits pose a greater threat than he does, and as far as that goes, Korra is the real problem, not him. The spirits hate this Avatar, and we can all see why. Tonrok obviously did not raise her well. But considering his own kids, I doubt Unalaq would be a good alternative...

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    5. You're giving Water Lord Ozai way too much credit. I don't think those "Spirits" we saw are spirits. The one at the end of the last episode yes... but the ones we saw in the South Pole.

      Unalaq is Snively Whiplash. No more, no less.

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    6. So Unalaq can somehow cast illusions that look like spirits? That really would make him a flat-out villain, but I'd buy that if the promos and trailers hadn't shown us real spirits in this season. Wan Shi Tong the owl spirit was shown in one trailer: how do we explain that if there isn't a real conflict with the spirit world later on?

      I'm not giving Unalaq too much credit so much as I'm not giving Korra any credit when she, a biased thick-headed child, simplifies his stance to "you're jealous of your brother and want power!" And back in Book One, Tarrlok could very well have been written off as "Snively Whiplash" before we learned his secrets. And what is Unalaq but a weaker written version of Tarrlok with some Fire Lord Ozai thrown in?

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    7. If anything Unalaq is just a pawn to the real big bad. My guess is that ever since he was a teen (when unulaq set up his big bro) he's been working with the villain

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  5. One thing that gets me is the implication that Tonraq's action is being handwaved as not being his fault on the grounds of being set up.

    I mean as pointed out in the Gargoyles episode Outfoxed, Goliath may have attacked Cyberbiotic's under false pretense, that didn't make him any less at fault for the damages done.

    At least I hope that he's still considered responsible due to making the choices he did.

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    1. I think we can all agree that "Gargoyles" was a better show than "Legend of Korra".

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