Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Avatar: The Last Airbender

Watch this show. I'm not kidding. Watch it.

Set in a world divided into four sections, the Air Tribe, Water Tribe, Earth Nation, and Fire Nation, each group has benders that can manipulate their element and control it. They had lived in peace until the Fire Lord used the power of a great comet to attack the other nations. The Avatar was the only one who could control all four elements and the only one strong enough to defeat him, but he was killed, and the new, young avatar disappeared for a hundred years . . . only to be found by a young brother and sister from the Southern Water Tribe, Sokka and Katara. Aang, the 12-year-old savior of the world and the last airbender in existence, is tasked with learning to control all the elements and defeating the Fird Lord to bring all the nations back into balance. He travels the world with Katara, Sokka, his flying bison Appa, and the flying lemur Momo, eluding Fire Nation capture, getting into trouble, and making friends and enemies everywhere they go as Aang tries to learn just how to save the world.

Whoa. I just discovered this on Netflix, and I have become completely and utterly hooked. It's no secret that I'm a bit of a geek; for heaven's sake, I dress up and go to conventions! This show has been on my radar for a while, but I just hadn't gotten around to it until last week. Now?

What can I say? Saying it's not a kid's show does it a disservice, because there's a lot here for kids to love: the three main characters, Aang, Katara, and Sokka, are young and completely relatable to a school-age audience, and the episodes often have morals to them. But, saying it's only for kids does it a HUGE disservice, because the stories are dramatic and complex, the characters are three-dimensional and often have ambiguous motives, and the fight scenes--! Well, I'd like to see Jet Li and Chow Yun Fat try some of the stuff these characters do. The show is full of Chinese mysticism and the fighting styles are real and recognizable; I gasped when I saw that they even incorporated the true ritual for finding the Kundun, or the next Dalai Lama, with the ritual for finding the next Avatar! The episodes are clever and affecting, well-written and exciting, and often very funny. I've made it through the entire first season, and I can't wait to watch the second and third.

Watch. This. Show.

That is all.


Kimba said...

I can't believe you didn't know about Avatar before now!! We have been huge fans since the first episodes years ago...and own all of the DVDs (if you can't get them all through Netflix). Kaitlyn has had Avatar shirts & jewelry for years! It just makes me laugh because you are more apt to be the one to know about these great things rather than me! They are making a "live action" version due out next July. I'm afraid...very afraid..especcially since it's being done by M. Night Shyamalan (whose movies I tend to hate).

Ginger said...

I know about the movie, and I'm very frightened too! I used to love Shyamalan's earlier stuff, like Unbreakable, but he got crazy-pretentious later on! Let's hope he can rein it in, and just do a great adaptation of great material. At least they cast Dev Patel as Prince Zuko; as one point, they had an all-white cast! What?!

Kimba said...

I HATE the choice for Zuko! He looks NOTHING like him...doesn't have the boy-ishness with the strength. I also hate the choice for Katara (wasn't that girl Veruka Salt?) *sigh* I still can't wait to see it, though.

Ginger said...

Hey, originally, they had Jesse McCartney for Zuko. That would have been much worse . . .