Don’t let the god-awful movie taint your opinion of the source material: Avatar: The Last Airbender was damn good, especially for a children’s show. Sure, it was derivative in some aspects, but the eastern-inspired series was one of the most original content put on children’s television last decade. I watched the first season during its original run in 2005, and the series ushered me not only into my teenage years but into a greater view of television as a medium. Sure, it had moments of utter silliness, but it was actually an emotionally mature show, and it really opened up my eyes to the nature of real serialized storytelling.
I didn’t watch beyond that first season, though my respect for the show did continue. Its finish in 2008 actually saddened me a little, perhaps with the realization that there might never be another children’s show that carried such a gripping and well-realized storyline. After all, it aired on Nickelodeon, with popcorn contemporaries that might have been entertaining, but certainly not as remotely intelligent as Avatar: The Last Airbender.
Now, it seems that the younger television audience might once again be getting some meat and potatoes on their television plate instead of empty carbohydrates. An announced sequel series will be following the “next generation” of the characters we met — including Aang and Katara’s son, who won’t be the protagonist but will be a mentor figure to Korra, the waterbending new avatar. According to UGO:
“The story sounds familiar, though comfortable in the Avatar universe. Korra, when we meet her, has mastered three of the elements – water, fire and earth. Her mission, to learn the powers of air. Hey, that’s what Aang specializes in.
“Rumors had it that Aang would mentor Korra, despite one of the series’ established rules: only one Avatarr can exist at the same time. Good news, we were wrong. It’s Aang’s son Tenzin who will take Korra as his pupil.
“But all’s not well, as the training brings the two to Republic City, the “epicenter of the modern “Avatar” world.” It’s a steampuunk urban-space inhabited by bender and airbenders alike – for now. An anti-bender movement is on the rise.”
Whoa, wait a minute! That actually sounds intelligent!
The Legend of Korra will premiere on Nickelodeon in 2011.