TV Review: The Legend of Korra Book 2 Premiere

Book 2 avatar the legend of korra 35087722 1280 720 1024x576 TV Review: The Legend of Korra Book 2 Premiere

It’s no secret that I was not a fan of the first season of The Legend of Korra, in fact I thought it was an atrocious pile of dog shit that I wouldn’t force my worst enemy to watch even if he slaughtered my entire family while laughing in my face about it. But since I am a big fan of the Avatar TLA universe and a glutton for punishment, I decided to give the second season a fair chance and I was genuinely excited for it. Now that the premiere has come and gone, I know the question on your minds is “Ivan! Is this season one all over again or is it actually less shitty now?” Well in some places yes…. and in other places no…

The story begins six months after the defeat of Amon and the Equalists. The Council which governed Republic City has been disbanded in favour of a president being selected as its sole leader, why you would do this instead of keeping the old system which gave nearly everyone a voice in the government is beyond me, but I digress. Almost every character is in a different position now then where they were previously.

Mako has become a fairly successful police officer, so much so he mentions Lin Beifong possibly making him a detective soon. Korra is doing…. jack shit and has essentially been ignoring her training, has learned nothing from her experiences with Amon, has a massive chip on her shoulder all of a sudden and has become quite a bitch to everyone (more on that later). Asami is now leading a nearly bankrupt Sato Industries following her dads arrest and is trying to save her company by meeting with a business partner in the Southern Water Tribe in order to sell her planes. Why she doesn’t just sell the plane tech to the military…. because the plot needs her too make stupid business choices? Finally we have Bolin who is the new leader of the Fire Ferrets and following Mako and Korras departures the team is a big joke and is failing miserably.

At the same time angry spirits have been attacking Southern Water Tribe ships and its up to Korra to figure out why this is happening while dealing with some pretty bad blood between her uncle Unalaq, the leader of the Northern Water Tribe and a staunch traditionalist and her father, Tonraq, a man who believes man meddling in spiritual affairs is a bad thing gives us the main conflict for the season.

The main conflict is actually fairly interesting and I like that it’s more personal for Korra because her own family is kind of the driving force behind it and are its main players. It’s a case of traditionalism and spirituality versus progress and materialism and Unalaq and Tonraq both act as the representatives for these two ideologies. Both of these guys think they’re right and it could have made for a great and personal battle for Korra to deal with, but two things bring it down.

Firstly the writers clearly favour Tonraq in this debate, his whole statement is if man messes around with the spirits nothing good can possibly come of it and the two should be kept separate, save for the Avatar, and then the show goes out of its way to pretty much side with him and showcase that man meddling with the spirits is a bad idea and you shouldn’t do it. The second thing which brings it down is Unalaq himself, this guy is so obviously the villain I swear to God if he has a moustache he would be twirling that shit 24/7.

Sure there were a couple of points where it crossed my mind that he may actually, genuinely want to help Korra and isn’t just using her to advance his own agenda, but the ending of the second episode pretty much proves he’s essentially the Avatar equivalent of Palpatine, except he’s no where near as cool or threatening as Palpatine was. If they went with the Ozymandias or Aizen route with him where he came off as a nice guy and you really got to like him THEN he was revealed to be the manipulating scum bag it would have been an awesome reveal. But this guy has the subtlety of the Death Star, the words I AM THE VILLAIN are practically written on his forehead.

Tonraq was actually a pretty like able character, he’s a man who made some pretty bad mistakes in his youth which cost him dearly and it shows why he didn’t want his daughter to go out in the world like the other Avatars did. I still think keeping her locked up was a pretty stupid decision on his and Aangs part, but here we see why he’s been so afraid of her going out and it makes perfect sense.

The two characters who really got better for me this time around were Bolin and Mako. Bolin was really damn funny in these two episodes, in the first season his humour just didn’t work and it felt really out of place with the whole deathly serious situation they were in. Here things don’t escalate to that level as quick and he gets a chance to act like a regular guy in regular situations which results in some pretty hilarious situations.

Mako was surprisingly like able here and I was on his side, he acted like a good boyfriend by telling Korra he would support her no matter what she chose to do and I thought that was what a good boyfriend would tell his girlfriend in a situation like that, sure if the writers could have done this without making Korra a completely unlikable bitch I would give them even more props, but hey I liked Mako and that in itself is an accomplishment.

Now let’s get to the biggest problem I had with the premiere and that is Korra herself. The problem with Korra in the first season was that she never thought things through, she always followed her gut and it always ended badly for her, then at the end of the episode she would apparently learn her lesson only to do the same fucking mistake next episode. She had no lasting character arc at all and it really hurt her character.

You would think the writers would fix this, they don’t, in fact Korra is worse here than she ever was before. She again makes the same fucking mistakes as before where she just goes by instinct, doesn’t think things through, acts like a selfish bitch and here she thinks she doesn’t need Tenzin anymore, she’s sick and tired of him actually giving her good fucking advice and she is hell bent on doing things her way.

News flash dumb bitch, YOU’RE WAY DOES NOT WORK!!! Your way got you captured by Amon and nearly cost you your bending, nearly caused the deaths of you, your friends and thousands of civilians at the arena, got you captured by Tarlok and nearly kept his prisoner for the rest of your live, captured by Amon and cost you your bending making you give up on life and nearly commit suicide until Aang Deus Ex Machinad away the problem! YOUR WAY DOES NOT FUCKING WORK LADY!

But here instead of acting oblivious to her piss poor judgment skills like she did before, she acts like her piss poor judgment skills are amazing and she is above taking any advice from Tenzin, her mentor and close friend who’s been with her through all of this and she treats him like dog shit. The way she talks to Tenzin was disgusting and what she does to him at the end of the first episode made my jaw hit the floor, I could not believe she had the balls, I repeat the balls to do that to him after everything they went through.

The way she treats her father is also fucking disgusting and disrespectful, her father is one of the few voices of reason in this whole situation, along with Tenzin, and she treats the guy like complete shit! She constantly keeps telling him and Tenzin she is sick of being told what to do, but if she had a brain cell in that empty skull of hers she would listen because 1) her ability to judge a situation and how to handle it ranges from crap to dog crap and 2) THEY’RE COMPLETELY FUCKING RIGHT BY THE END!!! Then she does something to her dead near the end of episode 2 that made me punch my computer screen in an attempt to hopefully knock some goddamn, and much needed, sense into her.

Her interaction with Mako also didn’t exactly do her any favours, Korra constantly bitches and complains about how she gets bossed around and how she’s smarter than everyone and doesn’t need any help or guidance whatsoever, then she asks Mako for his opinion a few times. Mako does the right thing and essentially tells her “I’m not gonna stand here and boss you around, I’m going to support you no matter what you choose. “ Right there I gave Mako major props and what does Korra do, she gets pissed off at him for not telling her what to do…. WHAT?! Are yo- WHAT?!

Dear god has the writing for Korra taken a nose dive, but I guess I cant expect her to have learned anything since anytime she did anything wrong last season the universe came around to Deus Ex Machina the problem away some how, this just makes me wish she lost her bending and they kept that angle so she could learn some fucking humility already and actually progress as a character.

The B story line with Tenzin and his family was actually what I liked most because the writing for the kids and the adults is spot on, Tenzin is still trying to keep himself calm with his insane children while at the same time dealing with his equally hyperactive siblings Kya and Bumi, I thought they’re dialogue and interaction was pretty hilarious and once they got to the Southern Air Temple more hilarity ensued, along with some cool history lessons.

The animation was surprisingly sub par, the backgrounds looked just as good as season one and the action scenes still looked great but the character designs just lacked any and all detail. It was as if all the detail had been sucked away and we were left with the bare minimum, not to mention they characters looked wildly different from scene to scene, they looked really disproportionate at points and there were some pretty out of place anime faces here and there.

The action, while it looked great, was just eh. The way the spirits fight looks cool at first but they all essentially fight the same way by zig zagging around the benders then using whips or tentacles to throw them around, they got pretty boring fairly quickly and they don’t even look threatening. They look like something a 9 year old drew and they just tossed in there, I really hope we get to see some genuinely scary and unique dark spirits and soon.

Overall the premiere was kind of mediocre, it had some great characters here and there, it improved on some things like the humour, Mako and Bolin but then it took several steps back by making Korra a completely unlikable bitch, already sabotaging a potentially awesome conflict between Tonraq and Unalaq by making the latter an obvious, moustache twirling bad guy and some really disappointing animation and fight scenes. Though I will say it’s an improvement over the first season… which is like saying being murdered by a mini gun is more pleasant than being murdered by a chainsaw.



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