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Erin post-watches: The Newsroom + Legend of Korra June 28, 2012

Posted by Erin Ptah in Erin Watches.
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The Newsroom: Episode 1 is available on YouTube! There’s been a DW comm awaiting it for a while: . My first-episode reaction post is up there.

In related news, the Sorkinism Self-Plagiarism Reel:

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Legend of Korra: …augh.

(Spoilers follow.)

That narrative had so many dropped balls, it’s ridiculous. I kept thinking they would be dealt with, maybe next episode, okay, maybe the episode after that…and then, nothing.

The whole complicated struggle with the Equalists petered out into “run by a bad guy, whose death will be presented as the narrative victory.” Katara, in spite of being the only other bloodbender and the one Gaang member not seen in earlier flashbacks, was actually not there during Yakone’s trial, instead of being saved for a later Big Reveal. All the early emphasis about Korra learning to be flexible and calm gets thrown away when she abruptly masters airbending in order to beat up the bad guy. And once the big battle is over, her chance to reflect on the loss of most of her bending, what it means for her future as the Avatar and her ability to balance the world, and her final meeting with Aang and triumphant connection-with-spirit-world + attaining the Avatar State + regaining all-her-bending + learning to energybend and heal everyone else…gets compressed into about four minutes, a quarter of which is eaten up with yet another narrative timesink of a love-triangle scene.

Honestly, the thing it reminds me of most is Glee. Interesting setups, flashes of brilliant character moments, the seeds of something great…and then everything from characterization to plot progression gets dragged around in service of the next unearned Big Dramatic Moment.

This is what the last scene should have been, for serious.

And this is an intelligent summation of a lot of my feelings:

I stand by the creators are amazing directors, amazing concept artists, amazing producers, but wow are they terrible writers. They have absolutely no understanding of dramatic convention, and so the first season of The Legend of Korra suffered greatly from terrible execution, and the core ideas were so good it should’ve been a gamechanger. It should’ve been the most brilliant thing on television and instead we were given a 12-week narrative case of blue balls.

The post then goes on to list a ton of specific examples, to which I can only nod and point and say “Yes. This.”

Will be sticking around for the next season, mostly because of pretty fight scenes and stunning scenery porn and and Korra (and Lin) being hot. Again, not all that different from Glee, where I’m still planning to watch as of the start of next season for the pretty songs and the fact that they still include an amusing one-liner once in a while. And in both cases I expect to be mentally rewriting huge swaths of the rest of the canon to make it fun.

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Comments»

1. seagullsong - June 29, 2012

oh Legend of Korra. I wanted to like you so much more than I actually like you. But, as you say, I can’t help sticking around for more.


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