So I was so hyped up about the premiere of LoK Season 2 last week even though I was so utterly disappointed by how the first one concluded. I hoped that the series would somehow pull itself back together again after cringe-worthy conclusion of what was supposed to be the legacy of its predecessor Avatar: The Last Air Bender.
However, after watching episode three right before I started writing this, I realized that it probably won't be able to live up to its hype.
First, let me say how much LoK made me cheer back when it first aired. Season one's pilot episode was amazing! The presentation of Republic City, the introduction to this feisty and tough new Avatar, and the whole theme and tone of the series truly made me look forward to how this whole new era would unfold. However, as the episodes came and went, that high from the pilot did not just plateau, it crashed. Characterization just went to the dumps, the plot became a mess, and the... sport... that Korra and co played just faded into the background despite the fact that it was one of the key attractions for the series.
Isn't it sad that the sport had disappeared enough that I don't even remember what it was now?
Oh, pro-bending... I think. But you get the point.
I stuck with it to the end though because, damn it, Korra is badass. You just don't see a character like her often and I've always thought that she is very a good contrast to Aang, who I also adored in the first series.
Anyway, enough about season 1. It was great, then it sucked at the end in a manner that was almost insulting to the series it descended from. Season 2 is with us now and I thought that with the audience discontent all over the internet, it would somehow salvage the poor way LoK has been handled so far.
I was terribly wrong.
The Pilot episode was chaotic. And not in a good way. It honestly felt more like a collection of scenes that we're supposed to piece together instead of a nicely flowing introduction chapter. One moment we're in Republic City with the pro-bending match ups, then we see Mako (trying to look cool by) riding a bike chasing some hooligans and then-- actually let's pause here because I want to ramble about that utterly unnecessary scene with Mr. Lead Guy. I've probably forgotten what the hell he was doing at the end of season one (because I tend to purposely ignore characters that annoy me) but when did he become a cop? No matter, I found the chase rather bland and sort of like a badly reproduced FFVII: Advent Children bike chase. And, for what? To make Mako look cool? Well I guess it sort of worked... until he opened his mouth with a cheesy line that sounded like it was from a long-running law enforcement drama series I wouldn't bother naming.
And I seriously can't believe he practices those facepalm-inducing lines on Korra.
Anyway, back to the chaos of the pilot. I found that most of the scenes didn't quite fit in with one another, sort of like a story from which certain scenes and paragraphs were cut off to make room for unnecessary nonsense
like those Makorra scenes. At least Bolin was a bit more entertaining this time around unlike in season 1 when he was just shoved into the idiot role after Mako and Korra smooched. Even comical relief characters need growth and screentime to be effective, y'know, so I'm glad that we see more of him.
But what is with all these Water Tribe villains popping out of nowhere? And why do they all seem to look alike? And spirits, portals, and gates? I bet you that Korra's Uncle is summoning evil spirits from the spirit world ala Mediv or Gul'dan from Warcraft. Of course, the plot is just starting so I'll refrain from ranting about it too much until I have more information. Although I highly doubt this series could surprise any of its audience, especially those who have watched Aang's adventures in the first story.
The characterization of the cast is still rubbish in my opinion. Though it is expected of Korra to be brash and rebellious, the way she has been treating her father was almost inexcusable, especially because she -knows- that she doesn't know the whole story. She still feels so damn out of character whenever she's talking to Mako. I doubt that'll change though so I'll just...ignore it. Speaking of Mako, so far, he has become worse than how he was in season 1. At least back in season 1, he had that sort of mystery and sense of responsibility... sort of. Now, it feels like he's just there to annoy viewers who dislike him, especially with those cheesy lines.
Oh, actually, he said something in episode three that shocked me. He likened a relationship to a leech that must be pried off if a guy doesn't want to be in it anymore and goes on to saying "a lot of guys do it." Really, Nickelodeon? Really? What kind of example is that to young guys out there? I am aware that the characters have their flaws and, yes, Korra has a major flaw of being full of herself, but... really? Relationships--no, girlfriends-- are leeches? And that was said by the lead guy. It almost begs to be interpreted that he thinks Korra is a leech. Hell, he was probably talking about Asami too, who had never caused trouble aside from defending and/or questioning what was supposed to be her relationship with him back in season 1 when he went and cheated on her with Korra.
Seriously, that asshole must die... or just be deleted.
No one would notice.
At least Aang's children kind of saves the series... somewhat. I like their dynamic even if it sort of sounds childish with the way they argue to each other. I certainly understand Bumi and Kya's bitterness towards Tenzin. Favoritism tends to tear siblings away from each other and, in their case, that was topped of by their ability to bend. So far, I am drawn to Bumi the most. He's the eldest and the only non-bender out of the three. The poor guy must have grown up knowing that he was somewhat of a disappointment to his world-renowned and talented bender parents. However, Kya's case hits closer to home, being forced to take care of their lonely mother and giving up her own dreams and passions to do so, only because she is the only woman. Admittedly, I like how the series touched upon that gender role expectations.
I can probably complain about this series all night but I'm too tired to type any longer than this rant. There are good and bad points in LoK but the bad significantly outnumbers the good, and that saddens me. Where are the impeccable characterization and character development I loved in the first series? Where is the consistent and satisfying sense of continuity? And, what happened to lead characters who are supposed to be good models for the viewers? Why do we have a douche bag as the lead guy?
At this point, I'll probably just wait for the season to finish and watch all the episodes in one go. It saves me the agony of watching the main cast fail when they could have been great characters. Hey, maybe a miracle would happen and they might end up being great, but I'd rather wait for the series to get to that point and then watch rather than keep following the episodes and just be infuriated that if it never happens.