I see that the Hollywood recycling plant is adding another shift, this time a yet another attempt to squeeze more money out of Avatar: The Last Airbender. For those keeping score, this is the second attempt at a live-action version, the first having been utterly awful.
Never fear, in spite of the original creators exiting this show, Netflix’s attempt will be a “new benchmark in representation” which is weird, because the original concept was set in Asia. I guess Asians really are now honorary white people who need replacing in the name of “diversity.”
What’s particularly funny is that if we want movies that “look like the world,” most of the actors should be Asian. Truly “diverse” movies would essentially be joint Shanghai/Bollywood productions. Weird that so many colleges seem to think Asians are over-represented.
But enough about the moral bankruptcy of racial apartheid, let’s focus on creative bankruptcy.
Woke Sequels Always Fail
The phenomenal success of The Last Airbender naturally resulted in a sequel, 2012’s Avatar: The Legend of Korra.
It was woke in all the expected ways, featuring a Stunning, Brave and also Strong Female Character, the titular Korra. Korra was the new avatar, and unlike Aang in the original, she is born into a life of luxury, groomed to for her role as the Defender of Everything. She is, in short, a Mary Sue, but a very unusual Mary Sue. You see, unlike the conventional version, she screws up everything she does.
Don’t get me wrong, she still lords it over the supporting characters, who are one-dimensional and exist only to praise her (or need her help), she’s just really lousy at her job.
Over the course of two seasons, she will completely destroy the setting of the Avatar series. I’m not going to go into spoiler details, but just know that all the main touch-points of the original show, which emphasize antiquity, respect for tradition, maintaining cosmic order – are completely trashed.
Failure Mary Sue Can Do No Wrong
After the unique and fascinating Avatar setting has been reduced to rubble, we’re told that’s okay because like all woke people, the show’s theme is: “Who needs that dumb old stuff anyway? Korra is soo stunning and brave!”
I kid you not. In the original series (and any other well-written entertainment) the hero will encounter adversity and sometimes fail. This usually is sets the scene for them to grow, learning from their adversity. The archetypal live-action version of this is The Empire Strikes Back where the cocky Luke gets his butt kicked by Darth Vader and needs his friends to help him.
The same thing happens over The Last Airbender’s three wonderful seasons, where the various supporting characters each step up and help Aang complete his journey. This often requires Aang to humble himself and in the process teaches the vital lesson that even top-level performers need help because no one is perfect at everything. A corollary to this is that even seemingly weak (or disabled!) people might have a vital skill no one else has. Everyone can be good at something.
This is a great lesson for children. Korra throws it out the window.
She also runs into adversity, and failure looms, with horrific consequences. Just when you think: “Ah, so this is when she realizes she needs help, and turns things around,” the show lets the consequences happen and then paints a big happy face on the failure. Imagine if Superman let Metropolis get nuked through his own arrogance and the comic’s narrative was: “Well, you did your best and we hated that old town anyway. You’re still the best!”
There’s a reason no one is clamoring to make a live-action version of that shitshow.
The Rise of Pedo-Friendly Kids’ Entertainment
One of the many remarkable creative achievements of The Last Airbender was its sensitivity to coming of age issues. The characters are teenagers, and like teenagers they develop crushes and experience jealousy and betrayal. In our present age, there’s an increasing effort by Hollywood to sexualize children, but The Last Airbender held the line.
The romances were both age-appropriate and understated. Since the characters visibly age over the course of the show, the romantic element is introduced later on, when they are mature enough to handle them. Well, try to handle them – their added complexity enriches an already fascinating and engrossing plot.
Korra’s relationships were flat, despite the characters being young adults. This shouldn’t be a spoiler, but there was some commotion about a hinted same-sex relationship in the show’s final scene. Frankly, I think it was the producers trying to juice additional viewership since the show was a flop.
At his point, I assume that any show involving child actors – particularly from Disney – is exploiting them. I also assume that the show itself will be an attempt to groom viewing children to accept perversity and abuse as normal. Thus, contra my colleague, I don’t think Hollywood assumes live-action movies are necessary to make money. We know that animated films can be hugely popular and make massive profits.
Their problem with animation problem is that you don’t need the voice-actors on set. In fact, many actors who do children’s voices are full-grown adults, often quite advanced in age. No, the predators want to have actual kids on a set to accomplish their vile deeds. Don’t get me wrong, the finished product will also be vile, and that’s because the ‘creative energy’ is being directed elsewhere.
A Line of Failure Stretching From The Fire Nation to Afghanistan
By the way, I think it’s no coincidence that the message that Special People can fail all over the place and yet remain Special People is so prevalent today. We have “experts” who lurch from one disaster to the next and never pay any price for it. In Hollywood, woke directors and writers have trashed valuable properties with such destructive zeal that you have to wonder if they’re doing it on purpose.
Similarly, the speed with which our country went from surging prosperity to lockdown and military defeat is positively stunning.
Korra and the certainty of the Woke Aang won’t necessarily be the cause of this, but they are certainly an effect. Note well that while Aang was prepared to pay for failure with his life, Korra concludes her trail of destruction with a nice, relaxing vacation.
Maybe she had an ice cream cone as well.