Tearbending in excitement
January 17, 2012 12:03 PM   Subscribe

Hopefully you've already seen the sneak peak, and maybe you saw the leaked opening credits. With a 2012 airdate now promised (Twitter, Nickelodeon 2012 teaser), several scenes have been recently leaked (MAJOR SPOILERS) from the first episode of Avatar: The Legend of Korra. (Previously.)
posted by kmz (34 comments total) 16 users marked this as a favorite
I've heard third-hand rumors that the leak site above has unwanted popups, but I didn't run into anything. io9 has some of the clips too, but I've found Gawker's video player to be flaky, and they're missing one of the scenes. There's also this compilation on Tumblr, but it has an embedded music player that likes to play over the clip, and it's missing the slideshow.
posted by kmz at 12:04 PM on January 17, 2012

Stealth mountain.
posted by emelenjr at 12:07 PM on January 17, 2012 [7 favorites]

*headdesk* I can't believe I did that.
posted by kmz at 12:13 PM on January 17, 2012

I thought for sure the 'sneak peak' link was to the SM twitter account, and laughed. Alas!
posted by notmydesk at 12:32 PM on January 17, 2012

posted by Greg Nog at 12:49 PM on January 17, 2012 [7 favorites]

FUUUUUUUUUUUCK YEEEEEEEEEEEEESSSSSSSSSSS indeed. Avatar is my second favorite animated series ever (behind Batman: TAS); my big work pastime is to play it as often as possible on all the TVs in our breakrooms and then start gushing about it when people ask what I'm watching.
posted by maqsarian at 1:01 PM on January 17, 2012 [1 favorite]

You understand, Greg Nog, that I had to favorite your comment as you somehow inscribed my exact thoughts. There was no choice.
posted by six-or-six-thirty at 1:02 PM on January 17, 2012

I'm gonna distill all my feelings about this down to their essence:

posted by Mister Moofoo at 1:08 PM on January 17, 2012

I'm so utterly excited about this. I finally convinced my wife to watch the original, and she thoroughly enjoyed it.

I really hope they keep the feel of the show going; I still have that movie to forget.
posted by SNWidget at 1:09 PM on January 17, 2012

The idea behind the soundtrack is "What if the Chinese had invented jazz in the 20s instead of Americans?".

Just one more reason to be excited.
posted by vogon_poet at 1:17 PM on January 17, 2012

When the airship showed up in clip three I started flapping my hands and making high pitched noises. CAN'T. WAIT.
posted by dustyasymptotes at 1:18 PM on January 17, 2012

I somehow never watched the original ... I'm guessing from the enthusiasm here that it's worth the time? Off to Netflix I go.
posted by jbickers at 1:20 PM on January 17, 2012

They didn't have blue skin. Weird.
posted by Vamier at 1:35 PM on January 17, 2012

I somehow never watched the original ... I'm guessing from the enthusiasm here that it's worth the time? Off to Netflix I go.

The first season is a bit slow to develop the conflict. The last season is a bit rushed. But once you get hooked, it's incredibly good. (And surprisingly dark in places given the target audience.)
posted by CBrachyrhynchos at 1:39 PM on January 17, 2012

This is the kind of thing that fandom gifs are for because CAPSLOCK SQUEE IS TOO INADEQUATE FOR MY EMOTIONS MY EMOTIONS MY BODY IS READY BRB FLAILING /ohnotheydidnt

It looks fantastic but 1) I have no idea how there can be a multi-season story and 2) I don't trust Nickelodeon to do right by this show. The way they aired season 3 of the Last Airbender was ridiculous - weeks/months between episodes, foreign countries airing episodes before the US and then releasing novelizations months before airing the final episodes, not to mention burning the last five episodes for one random week in July.

Just give it a normal schedule. And air it before Belgium supposedly does in Fall 2012.
posted by zix at 1:52 PM on January 17, 2012

Vamier, I respect you as a fellow human being but you watch your foul mouth.
posted by cheap paper at 1:53 PM on January 17, 2012

It doesn't do everything perfectly; the first season is slow to develop and the third season starts off with a bunch of irrelevancies and then rushes the resolution. But the characters are beautifully developed and when the storytelling is good, it is spot-on incredible. Plus the way they translate the style of East Asian martial-arts cinema into a world where people punch each other with fireballs, tidal waves, tornadoes and boulders is deeply impressive. (And the fact that the episode best showcasing that attention to detail does so while splitting time with a hilarious pro-wrestling parody may be even more so.)
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 1:56 PM on January 17, 2012

This is the kind of thing that fandom gifs are for because CAPSLOCK SQUEE IS TOO INADEQUATE FOR MY EMOTIONS MY EMOTIONS MY BODY IS READY BRB FLAILING /ohnotheydidnt

I agree.
posted by kmz at 1:57 PM on January 17, 2012 [8 favorites]

I excitedly clicked on the "Avatar: The Legend of Korra" link hoping to find details for the next James Cameron movie. I guess I'll have to wait until 2016.
posted by 3FLryan at 1:58 PM on January 17, 2012

I had trouble getting a couple of the videos to load, but what I did see made me so fangirlishly excited that I nearly missed my bus.

As a character, Korra looks like a lot of fun - looking forward to seeing more!
posted by belissaith at 1:58 PM on January 17, 2012

A friend just asked if he should watch the original 3-season series, especially given his general ambivalence about Western animation aping anime. I wrote this e-mail to him, and am putting it here for anyone who might want to give it a whirl:

So okay!

Here's my basic run-down:

It's structured like a pretty basic kids' show (or really, kids' JRPG) -- scrappy heroes set out to defeat evil with the help of a Chosen One. And indeed, the first few episodes are a little bit episodic; the humor is really hammy and slapsticky, the plot seems to truck forward solely for the sake of advancing itself, the characters don't struggle with their decisions much more than you would by pushing the A button when you're asked if you're up for retrieving the Lost Ice Sword of Lost Ice


After those few episodes (which, unfortunately, are kind of necessary for the exposition and setup), the show starts approaching its characters like actual people with actual motivations, and it ends up being as well-written as almost any adult show I've seen. It continuously brings up tropes that are standard in kids shows, but avoids the pat responses one usually sees, and often ends up considering all possible answers to questions like, say, the acceptability of lying, or violence, or treason. It reminds me kind of a lot of the first couple seasons of BSG in that way.

But unlike BSG, it's very clear that the writers know where they're going, and despite the rushed ending due to Nickelodeon not renewing the show past Season 3, I never felt like I was bait-and-switched away from a wirter's main outline. Throughout, there are lots of running jokes and slow builds that make the whole thing feel like a coherent whole, much more so than most episodic television shows (the only show I can think of with more rewarding callbacks to previous episodes is Arrested Development). And there's a very tight consistency to the way the world of the cartoon (both in terms of the characters' emotions and in terms of the worldbuilding aspects) works. Both edbles and I gushed to each other that what we really loved about the show is that it knows what questions you th viewer have about its universe's internal physics, leaves your question up in the air for like half a season, then tends to resolve the question in a fantastic spectacular payoff.

The anime thing is, I think, sort of a red herring; one of the things I like about the show is that while the art and animation feel very Japanese, the writing and timing of the jokes feel incredibly American. I've never been a giant anime buff, and even more after I finished Avatar, I felt totally let down by the alien sense of comedic timing every time I tried to watch some. To the degree that anime influences the show, it's largely as a referential base that sets the expectations the show subsequently plays around with. Like, there's this bad-boy character that's clearly a mix of Spike from Cowboy Bebop and Mugen from Samurai Champloo, but ultimately the show's like, "hey this dude is actually kind of a dick, huh"

Essentially, I think it's the best kids' show that's ever been made. Again, the first few episodes are a little lackluster, but after that, it's three seasons of addictive awesomeness. I'm usually apathetic enough that I ration shows out over a while, and I tore through the entire series in less than a month, excitedly chattering to my friends about it whenever they would let me. It's smart and it's funny and the art's hella pretty.
posted by Greg Nog at 2:01 PM on January 17, 2012 [12 favorites]

Oh, and the link in my comment goes to a comment that you might could read but the rest of the thread is full of spoilers so CAREFUL, CHILD
posted by Greg Nog at 2:09 PM on January 17, 2012

Some things I liked about A:TLA (possible oblique spoilers):
1) Adolescent characters that actually go through adolescence over the course of the story.

2) Not all plot threads get a nice Scooby Doo happy ending. For that matter, not all episodes have a happy ending.

3) All four nations appear to be complex, with their own unique flaws and assholes. The show quickly undermines the initial prejudices of the main characters and viewers.

4) Some of the themes got to be much darker than I expected: betrayal, treason, genocide, wartime appeasement, sexism, relationship abuse, mental illness, and an extended debate about justifiable violence.
posted by CBrachyrhynchos at 2:23 PM on January 17, 2012 [1 favorite]

third season starts off with a bunch of irrelevancies and then rushes the resolution

The pacing of season 3 was definitely off, and the finale had a few issues, but goddamn if the finale wasn't still just an incredible work. The scene where [Spoiler] fights with [Spoiler], with all the emotional resonance built in to that, with the gorgeous and heartbreaking score in the background, and the beautiful fight animation... brings a tear to my eye just thinking about it right now.
posted by kmz at 2:24 PM on January 17, 2012 [1 favorite]

Sneak peek. PEEK.
posted by kate blank at 2:41 PM on January 17, 2012 [2 favorites]

sneek peek. got it.

posted by maqsarian at 2:49 PM on January 17, 2012

You know what excites me most about this? The fact that when it airs my 12 year old and 17 year old sons will sit down with me and we'll all enjoy it together. Not going to be many more moments like that.
posted by Biblio at 2:51 PM on January 17, 2012 [3 favorites]


I shouldn't have watched, shouldn't have tortured myself with the wait. But OMG OMG OMG I LOVE Korra! And, when I saw the Masters... I teared up. Wanted to jump in the screen to hug who I saw.

Very little makes me squee. This does.

I agree. - kmz

Yes, just like that.
posted by _paegan_ at 3:06 PM on January 17, 2012

So, I'm totally holding myself back because Avatar was one of my favorite shows of all time and I don't want to ruin anything for myself yet, but I gotta say that I'm suspicious of having people fighting for equality as the villains. I don't want anti-commie propaganda or whatever. I'm sure that in the wash, this will be handled well, but I'm just a little anxious over it because I loved the first one so much.
posted by klangklangston at 3:29 PM on January 17, 2012 [1 favorite]

I think I am in love with Korra already. And ahhhhh I am so excited! I can't wait to see all the no doubt awesome worldbuilding surrounding Republic City. And metalbending policemen!
posted by yasaman at 7:43 PM on January 17, 2012

the Lost Ice Sword of Lost Ice

posted by obiwanwasabi at 10:59 PM on January 17, 2012 [1 favorite]

YESSSSSSSSSS yesyesyesyesyes. Hi Greg!
posted by edbles at 6:03 PM on January 18, 2012

I wrote that before looking at the teaser and it looooookksss sooo good. I need to echo all the OMG OMG SQUEEing. I like the future-y ness and the polar bear and the urban enironment and the fancy ships. I AM EXCITEDFACE ABOUT THIS.
posted by edbles at 6:12 PM on January 18, 2012


posted by Greg Nog at 6:46 PM on January 18, 2012

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