tb-two* photo galleries
Just about everyone knows someone who has been bullied, in ways big and small. Understandably, though, many victims are reluctant to speak about their experiences. We found some who aren't.
BY MAX ASAYESH-BROWN, St. Petersburg High
Grade: *****, 5/5 asterisks
It would seem that as far as good television is concerned, once you get it right, it doesn’t happen twice. Friends put spinoff Joey to shame. Knight Rider 2010 was just plain ridiculous. I don’t think I need to mention The Cleveland Show, but I just did. Past evidence shows that when producers get greedy and ask for more, it ends in disappointment. But Brian Konietzko and Michael Dante DiMartino never cease to amaze me.
It’s been a few years since the short-lived Last Airbender series came to a close, but fans and the show’s network remained relentless enough to nudge the animators into a 26-episode spinoff (its initial release intended for Thanksgiving 2011). The new serial, The Legend of Korra, centers on Korra, the successor in a cycle of “avatars” able to control all four elements in accordance with Chinese martial arts movements.
Taking place some 70 years after The Last Airbender, the Korra civilization is parallel to mid-1920s America, and a new form of antagonism fuels the show — a cult of rebels opposed to the manipulation of elements, known as the Equalists.
Like its original subject matter, Korra winds short humor with an intensely interesting plotline you wouldn’t expect in a cartoon. DiMartino’s and Konietzko’s brainchild of a universe is riveting, with sights reminiscent of V for Vendetta insurgents to competitive bending matches complemented by the signature fluid artwork. Expect multiple plot-enforced dimensions that keep it far from boring. Watching Korra learn airbending from her predecessor’s son is as exciting as a chase through Republic City on a massive polar bear-dog. I can’t say the show holds much value to those who were not fans of the original, but the die-hard fan-bloggers who couldn’t let Aang go are guaranteed a delight.
Airs Saturday at 11 a.m. on Nickelodeon; also available at www.korranation.com