Good morrow, my dear bloggerly chums!
In the past couple months, my sisters and I have been watching a lot of a certain children’s television show and becoming WAY too invested in the lives of animated fictional characters.
But what else is new?
I had been hearing about this show for a while. And it didn’t look super interesting to me? Everyone seemed to love it for some reason.
This didn’t increase my desire to watch it.
Then my cousins showed us this clip:
I admit, after that my interest was piqued. The musical value of this show was clearly unparalleled.
But still, I didn’t pursue the show further.
Then, Avatar: The Last Airbender popped up on Netflix, and I guess we were bored or something, because we decided to give it a try.
I was skeptical, to say the least. I mean, what was it about this show that made EVERYONE go crazy about it? It couldn’t actually be THAT great.
It kind of was.
And so, here I am, 61 episodes later, ready to tell you about how wonderful the show that everyone says is wonderful actually is.
Yeah, I’ll be that annoying person that won’t shut up about this show now. You’re welcome.
I have compiled a list of ten things about the show that make me love it. HERE IT IS:
1) The Music
If the above clip told you nothing of the powerful melodic and lyrical excellence of the music in this show, then I don’t know what to say to you.
But in all seriousness, I really enjoy the fact that there are characters that actually sing. Even just a little bit. Because singing is great. The music is often a source of humor, but it has its emotional moments as well. I mean, let’s be honest, Uncle Iroh just about killed us all with “Leaves from the Vine.”
Also the instrumental/soundtrack music is pretty great as well. My sisters and I were always bouncing on the couch during the credits.
2) The Characters
Okay, guys, so there are so many characters to love. There are a couple really impressive character arcs in there, as well as just some super lovable side characters that are entertaining to watch (cough, cough, the secret tunnel people). …Or possibly just super heartbreaking (cough, cough, Ursa.)
I don’t even know what to say without giving anything away, but there are some really wonderful character dynamics throughout the series that build on each other in a very satisfying way. I really appreciated how the writers invested in several non-romantic relationships in the series. (Unfortunately the romances exist too, but nothing is perfect. Honestly, though, the children romances disturb me, okay? THEY ARE ALL CHILDREN.)
I could write a whole post just screaming about how much I love all the characters IROH. SOKKA. ZUKO. TOPH. MAI. APPA. AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHH!!!!!
But that might be obnoxious and not very intelligible?
3) The Plot…And Genre Bending
So obviously there are several blatant filler episodes- some of which are better than others. But the overall plot arc of the show is fairly decent. It helps of course that the characters are so engaging, but the plot itself is quite good with some decent history and a fascinating world to play off of.
I would actually prefer it if there wasn’t so much filler, but the fact that the plot managed to stay intact despite all the filler is kind of impressive to me….
…Also the fact that somehow the plot worked despite the fact that the episodes managed to range from High Fantasy/Mythology to Teen Beach Drama??? HOW???
I’m not really over that.
4) The World
Honestly I find the whole Avatar-being-reincarnated-thing to be kind of creepy, but the whole element bending concept (WATER. EARTH. FIRE. AIR.) and the four nations with their own cultures and traditions??? It’s so GREAT. I’m a total nerd for fantasy world-building, and I was sucked into this world without really realizing it. Maybe a little too sucked into it… But hey, it’s cool.
5) The Aggressive Sound Effects
We totally made fun of these, but at the same time they are kind of endearing. Everyone in Avatar has musical eyebrows, just accept it.
6) The Humor/Drama Balance
This show has some dark stuff honestly.
WHICH I LOVE. BRING ON THE DARKNESS.
(Um….er…) But it doesn’t at all let itself get bogged down by that and start to take itself too seriously. The humor is prevalent throughout. Aang is the Avatar, humanity’s last hope and all that, which is some weighty stuff, but that doesn’t change the fact that he’s also a twelve-year-old kid. So he still acts like a twelve-year-old kid.
But really, sometimes the serious moments are made more real by the presence of a joke or two. Real life is like that.
7) The Siblings
Sokka and Katara have their squabbles (many of them), but when it it comes down to it they really care about each other and you can tell that they are close. Some stories seem to completely disregard sibling relationships as unimportant/nonexistent and it makes me SAD. I don’t actually have any brothers, but Sokka and Katara seem like a pretty solid depiction of brother-sister love to me.
Zuko and Azula, on the other hand, take sibling rivalry to an unhealthy extreme. But it’s great.
8) The Weird Hybrid Animals
For some reason I love how practically every animal is a weird cross between two or more animals? I don’t know what makes that so magical. But it is.
HOW COULD YOU RESIST THIS TURTLE DUCK?
Also the pig rooster is something to behold.
9) The Disguises
Aang dresses up as a grandpa one time. It’s beautiful.
There are several opportunities for the characters to disguise themselves, and it’s just a lot of fun. They get so into it.
10) The HUGS
THE HUGS, GUYS. I’m 100% here for the hugs.
Affection is a super important part of life and I’ve noticed that not enough movies/shows give us non-romantic affection. The hugs are lacking. Or, when we do get non-romantic hugs, it’s only when someone is about to go on a doomed to fail quest or something super dramatic like that.
People can hug under less dire circumstances, guys.
And in this show they DO. There are guy hugs. Girl hugs. Group hugs. ALL THE HUGS. And not just when someone is about to die. They just…give each other hugs. Because everyone needs hugs. I love it so much.
Here I have just spent an entire blog post praising this show. Which is kind of bizarre. Does it have it’s flaws? ABSOLUTELY. Is the dialogue sometimes painful? INDEED. Were there annoying parts? THERE WERE. Were the romances cringe-worthy? ALL THE TIME.
Was it technically made for like…nine-year-olds? OKAY YES IT WAS. But STILL.
Stellar music. Complex characters. A worthy plot. A fascinating world. Aggressive Sound Effects. An Admirable Balance of Humor and Drama. Siblings. Turtle Ducks. Humorous disguises. ALL THE HUGS. What more could one want?
Have you seen Avatar: The Last Airbender? Are you as obsessed with it as I am? Do you get skeptical when everyone goes crazy about something? What is a show that you didn’t expect to like as much as you did? What would be the best animal hybrid? Do you like seeing hugs in stories? I would love to hear any of your thoughts in the comments!