Television: Legend of Korra
WEEKLY REVIEW: KORRA'S NEW AND IMPROVED ADVENTURES
THE LEGEND OF KORRA | Season 3
Janet Varney, P.J. Byrne, David Faustino, J.K. Simmons, Seychelle Gabriel, Mindy Sterling, Kiernan Shipka,
Michael Dante DiMartino
Avatar Korra fights to keep Republic City safe from the evil forces of both the physical and spiritual worlds. In season 3, Avatar Korra attempts to rebuild the Air Nation while battling a mysterious group of powerful benders.
I'm going to admit it, I'm one of those Korra fans with the tendency to constantly compare
Legend of Korra
to its predecessor,
Avatar: The Last Airbender
. I can't help it. I consider ATLA be one of the best TV series I've ever seen so I expect Korra will be as amazing. But it's not. By the end of season 1, I learned that ATLA will always be far superior in terms of writing. Still, Korra has the potential to be throughly entertaining in its own way.I thought season 2 would hold more promise since the show was entering a new and interesting realm with the spirits but I hated season two. The show got bogged down in the spirit world and the writing was awful. The love triangle between Mako/Asami/Korra grew even more annoying, Unalok became a one-note villain, and the plot turned out to be plain old boring.When Bolin readily believed Mako, his own brother, belonged in prison, I stopped watching and didn't want to catch up. I couldn't get over how horrible that characterization for Bolin was.After being convinced by some cute Jinora and Kai .gifs, I decided to see if season 3 was any better.
And lo and behold, it is! Season 3 of
Legend of Korra
is probably the show's best season to date. The plot is compelling, the characters are entertaining, and everything has more of a fun spark to it. The writers seemed to have finally managed to incorporate some of the adorable humor that made ATLA so great. I will never forget the scene where Zuko confesses in his classic deadpan voice that ironically, he employed Combustion Man to kill the last Avatar.Season 3 is follows Korra and the Avatar Team as they travel around the Earth kingdom. It's very reminiscent of ATLA's general format of the Aang Gang traveling the world and it works so well on Korra too. The Avatar Team don't hop around city to city near as much as the Aang Gang but it's so refreshing to explore newly established world in
Legend of Korra
. The different locations keeps the show interesting with the plot forever moving. The show is really managing to avoid last season's mistakes.
The Avatar Team even venture to a clan of metal benders where
's sister governs. We get a some more insight into Lin, who is easily one of the show's most interesting characters. Lin's compelling backstory was very much appreciated considering that otherwise, the show isn't doing much character development for the core Avatar Team with Korra, Mako, Bolin, and Asami.I don't know about anyone else but I always get a little sad whenever Legend of Korra mentions the Aang Gang's failings as parents. I know no one is perfect and it's not exactly surprising that Toph was so lenient with her children, after her own strict childhood upbringing, but man, so many unsatisfied children from the last Avatar's generation.
Again, the show seems to have realized its mistakes in season 2 and really stepped it up in terms of creating interesting villains. The
team are mysterious, dangerous, and so interesting to watch in their attempt to bring upon a new world order. Unlike Unalok, Zaheer manages to be a fascinating and more well rounded character as he points out the the flaws in the kingdoms' governments. I hope to see more of the team's interaction beyond just capturing Korra and dissolving the kingdoms.
When we aren't watching Korra battling the Red Lotus team, we get a look into Tenzin and his attempt to revive the
, now that harmonic convergence has generated new Airbenders. Tenzin and his family have always been the consistently entertaining element of the show and they throughly remain so. Bumi and Meelo continue to provide silly shenanigans and Jinora and Tenzin balance things out with their more reasonable attitudes. I'm very interested to see the emergence of a new Air Nation because the airbenders have been rare figures in the Avatar world and now, there are dozens. It certainly changes the playing field for everything.
And of course, the cute
Jinora and Kai
gifs on Tumblr didn't disappoint at all. Watching these two teenagers develop their affection for each other is ever so adorable. Jinora and Kai's slow development over the season as individual characters and a potential couple has easily become one of the show's most well written story-lines.
The new season is not without its faults though. I'm so glad that there's no longer that ridiculous Mako/Asami/Korra love triangle to deal with even though I wouldn't be surprised if hints of Mako and Korra reunion were to be dropped soon. It seems like the only romantic relationship the show is featuring this season is the budding relationship between Jinora and Kai and that's more than fine with me. The lack of romantic relationships within the Avatar Team should mean more time to devote to character development.Yet, there's hardly been any significant character development for the characters in the Avatar Team. Bolin and Mako were able to reunite with their long lost family in Ba Sing Se but other than providing a nice heartwarming moment, the brothers, especially Bolin, don't seem to be really growing as characters. I can see potential development for Mako in him learning from his mistakes in romantic relationships and choosing to focus on his detective career instead but we'll have to see how that pans out.As for Asami, her character development stagnated in season 1 and it's still not going anywhere now. She has served either as a romantic prop for Mako or a plot device whenever her corporation dealings are needed to move the plot along. I feel like Asami has never been given any distinct character traits. She's merely there to provide a few lines every episode. I want so much for her to grow as a character though. Perhaps her time alone with Korra will finally create some good character moments.
I am pleased to see Korra increasingly settle into her role as the Avatar though. She's not perfect and her gung-ho way of doing things is dramatically different from sweet Aang's but it's perfect for her character. I envision Korra's development this season will be to consider the ratifications of her actions as the Avatar and I look forward to seeing it.All in all, season 3 of The Legend of Korra has been a pleasant surprise. It's a definite improvement over the previous seasons. It's funny, cute, compelling and more like the show I always expected from these writers. If you haven't caught up with season 3 yet, definitely do it! And if you're not at all familiar with the show or its Avatar: The Last Airbender, I demand you watch at least ATLA because it's simply amazing.
THE LEGEND OF KORRA, SEASON 3: [rating=3]
Screencaptures are from
. The Legend of Korra series and all images of the show are owned by Nickelodeon. Episodes of The Legend of Korra are available to watch on