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Legend of Korra season 3: Electric Jamboree

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  • #16
    I'm not honestly sure that I could choose between season one and two. They both had different failings. Season two captured the globetrotting feel and had less Sportland Sports, but regressing Korra's character and repeating the love triangle just made it worse the second time around.


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    • #17
      It's interesting to note what depths people see in Korra's character arc. I mostly view it as wasted potential (I view a lot of things in the Legend of Korra as sadly wasted potential; oh, that first season had such promise), but it's interesting nonetheless.
      There's a scene in Korra Season 2 where Aang's three kids are doing something and the writing very quickly sketches out that the two bending siblings have a connection not shared by the non-bender, and the two non-Aang faves have a connection not shared by Tenzin, and that these bonds probably run very deep and inform a lot of their interactions. Then nothing is ever done to capitalize on this.

      It was then that I realized their writer's room white board prolly looks all "1. Introduce Interesting Elements 2. ??? 3. Narrative Satisfaction!"

      at the end of the day, a cartoon aimed at teenagers.
      Don't do that. Please. Target audience sets some limits on allowable content, but has nothing to do with allowable quality.

      I mean, yeesh, it's sentiments like that which lead to the continuing dreck of "You should feel embarrassed for enjoying [YA/Comics/Cartoons/Genre-Fiction/RPGs/etc.]" articles.

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      • #18
        In the end, the Big Problems (TM) with Season One and Season Two come down to one word: Pacing.

        In Season One, this was a result of the sudden expansion of Korra from a miniseries to a full-blown saga, with things feeling simultaneously rushed and protracted in places. The worst example, of course, was the last two minutes of the first season, which managed to utterly unmake all the character development Korra had over the rest of the season.

        In Season Two, this was an example of the creators not seeming to know where they wanted to go. At one moment we might be following Tarrlok and his GREAT IDEAS about spirits (and boy did his character swallow the villain ball in the second half of the season), then the wackiness of Varrick would show up, and then it's time for a serious police investigation, before we wrap up with that fucking love triangle. It took half the season (and the story of Wan) for things to finally kick into gear, but by then Korra had lost a lot of its fans.

        However... I still think it's a good series. Korra's fun to watch when she's not an idiot, Mako and Bolin got some decent character development, I'm really excited to see what Asami does, Desna and Eska are wonderfully deadpan, and every scene with Varrick is still joyous. The fights are still top notch, Amon is a genuinely terrifying villain (and his backstory was a lot easier to swallow on a second viewing), I loved the stuff with Tenzin and his family, and pro-bending is still awesome and I will fight anyone with knives who says otherwise.


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        • #19
          pro-bending is still awesome and I will fight anyone with knives who says otherwise.

          In lieu of knives...maybe explain the appeal? Like, if I'm the budget guy and I say we have enough animation bux for X scenes of pro-bending or X scenes of general bending combat, why might I be persuaded to allocate money to the pro-bending side?

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          • #20
            Originally posted by Side Item View Post
            Don't do that. Please. Target audience sets some limits on allowable content, but has nothing to do with allowable quality.
            You're right, I could probably have phrased that better.

            What I meant to say is that the point of the show is to provide light entertainment. It's not there to educate you or influence your philosophical outlook, although it might do both of those things. I think it's unrealistic to demand a great deal of depth from something that isn't really meant to make you think hard about it.


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            • #21
              Originally posted by Gonzo View Post
              And last... Say what you will about the Legend of Korra, but in a world in which cheap ass creators are terrified to push stories further, a world in which every now and then we get PREQUELS or MIDQUELS, we have to admit the Legend of Korra has balls to show us the world beyond Legend of Aang. Not many creators have the courage and talent to do so. I applaud their decision and enjoy the story they show me, not the one I "think I could have done better".
              I get what you're saying, and it's why I was hugely enthusiastic about LoK... right until the Season One finale. But there are things I just can't forgive. Simple as that. I'd also like to kindly ask people to stop implying that those who criticize LoK do so because of comparing it to TLA. Maybe some do, but I don't. I judge it on its own merits, and they're lacking.

              Originally posted by MrInsecure View Post
              In Season Two, this was an example of the creators not seeming to know where they wanted to go. At one moment we might be following Tarrlok and his GREAT IDEAS about spirits (and boy did his character swallow the villain ball in the second half of the season), then the wackiness of Varrick would show up, and then it's time for a serious police investigation, before we wrap up with that fucking love triangle. It took half the season (and the story of Wan) for things to finally kick into gear, but by then Korra had lost a lot of its fans.
              Unalok, not Tarrlok. Tarrlok was from Season One. Not that I blame you, since those guys are kind of interchangeable.

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              • #22
                Originally posted by Crumplepunch View Post
                Now would probably be as appropriate a time as any to post the comic I drew immediately after seeing the Season 2 finale.



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                • #23
                  Originally posted by Side Item View Post
                  [/I] In lieu of knives...maybe explain the appeal? Like, if I'm the budget guy and I say we have enough animation bux for X scenes of pro-bending or X scenes of general bending combat, why might I be persuaded to allocate money to the pro-bending side?
                  One of the things the Avatar series has been good about has been showing how bending can be used in non-combat, utilitarian ways: earthbending and waterbending are used to travel quickly across the ground or sea, firebending is used to forge metal, lightningbending is used to power electronics, and so on. It goes a long way to flesh out the world, and show how bending affects society as a whole, rather than just being a bunch of flashy fighting techniques.

                  But one thing that was often missing was entertainment and leisure, and something like the pro-bending league makes a lot of sense in the newly industrialized world of Avatar, sort of an extension of the earthbender wrestling league from the first series. It's also an interesting way to show off bending in a highly controlled scenario, where the characters have to come up with new and interesting ways to fight within the constraints of the rules. Now, there is a caveat to this: pro-bending is best as a "sometimes" food, so to speak. Too much, and it will get boring, but I see no reason not to give us the occasional pro-bending match to add variety to the various fights.
                  Last edited by MrInsecure; 06-09-2014, 06:22 PM.


                  "We do not quit playing because we grow old, we grow old because we quit playing." - Oliver Wendell Holmes

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                  • #24
                    Apologies for the wall of text, posting from my phone. Will edit later.


                    "We do not quit playing because we grow old, we grow old because we quit playing." - Oliver Wendell Holmes

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                    • #25
                      Originally posted by MrInsecure View Post
                      One of the things the Avatar series has been good about has been showing how bending can be used in non-combat, utilitarian ways: earthbending and waterbending are used to travel quickly across the ground or sea, firebending is used to forge metal, lightningbending is used to power electronics, and so on. It goes a long way to flesh out the world, and show how bending affects society as a whole, rather than just being a bunch of flashy fighting techniques. But one thing that was often missing was entertainment and leisure, and something like the pro-bending league makes a lot of sense in the newly industrialized world of Avatar, sort of an extension of the earthbender wrestling league from the first series. It's also an interesting way to show off bending in a highly controlled scenario, where the characters have to come up with new and interesting ways to fight within the constraints of the rules. Now, there is a caveat to this: pro-bending is best as a "sometimes" food, so to speak. Too much, and it will get boring, but I see no reason not to give us the occasional pro-bending match to add variety to the various fights.
                      Agreed. If it had been done better, pro-bending could have been a great conduit for Korra's character development. It started out this way - instead of brute-forcing her way through the opposition, which was her first instinct, she had to use tactics and play within the rules. Unfortunately, nothing came of it, in the end.

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                      • #26
                        Originally posted by Morty View Post

                        Agreed. If it had been done better, pro-bending could have been a great conduit for Korra's character development. It started out this way - instead of brute-forcing her way through the opposition, which was her first instinct, she had to use tactics and play within the rules. Unfortunately, nothing came of it, in the end.
                        They just never had enough time in the first season.



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                        • #27
                          Originally posted by Kyeudo View Post
                          They just never had enough time in the first season.
                          Are you... are you saying there wasn't enough pro bending?


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                          • #28
                            You know what? Yeah, I'd have liked to have seen more pro-bending. As in, I would have liked for there to be more time to explore Korra's growth through doing something vaguely normal, I'd have liked for there to be time to mix up the way the matches worked so the benders could cut loose, like a match on a stone platform where earthbenders were forbidden to attack and are instead tasked with building and repairing a fortress to protect their teammates. I'd have liked more time to explore the background and implications of the sport.

                            Part of the problem, I think, is that any time pro bending turned up, it was "welp, time for a match now now now" with maybe a little pre-match dialogue. Too often it was really just an excuse to fit an action scene in, and it could've been more than that.
                            Last edited by Imrix; 06-09-2014, 06:40 PM.


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                            • #29
                              Originally posted by Crumplepunch View Post

                              Are you... are you saying there wasn't enough pro bending?
                              Yes. Imrix got most of it already, but I'd like to add a few things. Pro-bending was something that let the show put in some action scenes without needing to have kung-fu assassins always attacking the Avatar. It could have given them a small tournament arc if the matches had been better detailed so that they could show some actual struggle like a good sports movie. It could have given them a vehicle to develop some good character traits in Korra and could have let them move the Korra/Mako/Asami love triangle along more naturally through some teammate bonding.

                              Pro-bending is so derided only because we didn't get to explore it's potential because the plot had to run in half the time it should have.



                              Dead But Not Gone: Ghosts
                              Ghosts: A Revision (2nd Edition)
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                              Upon the Rock of Tradition: The Memorial Exalted
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                              • #30
                                Originally posted by Imrix View Post
                                You know what? Yeah, I'd have liked to have seen more pro-bending. As in, I would have liked for there to be more time to explore Korra's growth through doing something vaguely normal, I'd have liked for there to be time to mix up the way the matches worked so the benders could cut loose, like a match on a stone platform where earthbenders were forbidden to attack and are instead tasked with building and repairing a fortress to protect their teammates. I'd have liked more time to explore the background and implications of the sport.

                                Part of the problem, I think, is that any time pro bending turned up, it was "welp, time for a match now now now" with maybe a little pre-match dialogue. Too often it was really just an excuse to fit an action scene in, and it could've been more than that.
                                Well, sure. If The Great Divide was some deep insight into the nature of the Avatar's wisdom and a development of Aang's character, I'm sure it would be remembered as a classic. If it were good, it would be good. I'm not sure time is the issue.

                                Originally posted by Kyeudo View Post

                                Yes. Imrix got most of it already, but I'd like to add a few things. Pro-bending was something that let the show put in some action scenes without needing to have kung-fu assassins always attacking the Avatar. It could have given them a small tournament arc if the matches had been better detailed so that they could show some actual struggle like a good sports movie. It could have given them a vehicle to develop some good character traits in Korra and could have let them move the Korra/Mako/Asami love triangle along more naturally through some teammate bonding.

                                Pro-bending is so derided only because we didn't get to explore it's potential because the plot had to run in half the time it should have.
                                I am sceptical. Tournament arcs in shows always feel like boring filler to me, and this one was running on the tortuous side already. If there were any more, regardless of underdog-sports-movie framing, I don't think I could have even finished it.

                                And really, now more time for the love triangle. I'm not sure we can agree on anything.
                                Last edited by Crumplepunch; 06-10-2014, 11:41 AM.


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