the Legend of Korra – change (Book 3)

Guess who finally got season 3 and around to watching it?

So usually I try to avoid spoilers and revelations about these things.  Other than Season 1 (which I watched close to its release) this is the only season I went into completely blind.  S2 one can’t hardly cross the internet without hearing about the flaws, and Season 4… rather infamous that one…

Anyway, so far I can say that this was probably the best Korra season so far.  S1 was a little better overall until the very end where everything was resolved in 5 minutes rather than allowed to carry over to the next season as story logic demanded.

Things I didn’t like:

  • The scene where Korra & Asami crash in the desert with their captors was a great chance for Korra to be humbled and grow as a character and realize that other people are more complex than her simplistic self-vision allows.  Instead what should have been a leap in development was more of a stumble.
  • “Team Avatar” (by which I mean Mako, Bolin, and Asami) seemed entirely superfluous and struggling to branch off and do their own thing.  They really should have been allowed to leave the group with a new crop of characters joining Korra for this arc.
  • For a series that wants to brag about being “realistic,” it’s kind of distracting to watch lava treated still by <a href=’http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/ConvectionSchmonvection’>an outdated trope</a>.
  • Kind of convenient that air benders just “happen” to return, no?  With Aang’s & Korra’s spirit bending (especially now that Korra has learned the ancient history of bending & the 1st avatar), why didn’t they make new air benders themselves?
  • The earth-kingdom “having a dark secret” felt a little too much like a repeat of Avatar S2.  Seriously if this has happened 2 generations in a row, maybe Zaheer is right and there really shouldn’t be any royalty (at least when it comes to Ba Sing Se).

Things I liked:

  • Korra actually didn’t have a “get-out-of-jail” free card meditation this time and instead had to actually struggle for victory.
  • Yet at the same time, was unable to accomplish that victory without the aid of her allies.
  • I like the main arc villains weren’t painted as cartoonishly evil.  Indeed with the earth queen’s actions we are even given strong evidence that they might be right about an anarchist cleansing.  Heck with some of Korra’s actions, a case could even be made that the avatar isn’t always inherently good and might need to be eliminated.  I really hope after this season we see Korra take a moment to self reflect and realize what responsibilities truly entail when having the power she does.
  • It was great to see Tenzin FINALLY open up the can of whoop-ass he should have been in the previous two.  One thing that’s annoyed me is that while Aang’s series did have respect for elders, this one very much has not – both by the character and seemingly the writers.  Tenzin was starting to suffer from the Worf effect as often as he was getting beaten (usually off screen) to set up dire situations.  Watching him beat the tar out of Zaheer before being ganged up on was very satisfying and worth the blu-ray price alone.
  • The interactions of family in general was some of the most engaging television.  Between Tenzin & his brother Bumi forming a new bond to Lin working out problems with her sister, I found myself more drawn to the families in this season (it almost felt like Korra was an intrusion at times).
  • It was nice to see old Zuko and his kick-ass dragon.
  • The running gag of the “bounty hunters or Bolin fans” was well done.

I guess that’s why there isn’t much said about this season (it’s always easier to ramble on in complaint than praise).

So yeah, great season all around.  This and S1 so far remain the high points.

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