Monday, September 23, 2013

Korra: Flawed Protaganist or Obnoxious Brat?

Don't look at me like that, Korra.

 I'm kind of an odd duck when it comes to Legend of Korra, in that I've never seen Aang: The Last Airbender. I know, I KNOW. You don't have to sell me. I'm perfectly willing to believe that it was the most awesomest and that my life is poorer for not watching, okay? I'll get around to it...sometime.

But if there was a question as to LoK being able to appeal to a wider audience than ATLA fans, then in my case, the answer is a resounding yes. I know the bare bones of Aang's story, which is really all the background I needed going in to this sequel.

 I loved LoK and its eponymous heroine from the beginning. I loved Korra's bull-in-a-china-shop approach to politics, I loved her aggressiveness, I loved that she had zero interest in "being normal," unlike so many teen superheroes (including my beloved Buffy). I loved that she could be kind of a jerk and had a tendency to trust the wrong people, especially if they flattered her. So why have I been finding her so insufferable in Book 2?

Because Korra has apparently not learned a thing. Seriously, how is it that she has experienced zero personal growth since the very first episode? Uncle Unaloq might as well have "Tarrlok 2.0" tattooed across his forehead. It's a good thing if your hero is flawed, not so much if she's a goddamned idiot, which is how she's coming across to me.

Okay, she's been sheltered and isolated. She resents that, fine. She a teenager, so she's going to be self-centered. I get it. I just don't enjoy watching it. I don't know, maybe I've reached an age where I'm just not going be sympathetic to teenagers acting like entitled assholes over their parents' obviously well-intentioned (if misguided, true) attempts to do the best they can for them. When Korra responded to her father's agonized confession of how he was banished from the Northern Water Tribe with a big, self-absorbed tantrum, I thought, "Brat. You deserve whatever mess your shady uncle is going to involve you in." I doubt that was the show's intention

I have hopes, from the end of "Civil War, Part I" that with the arrest of her parents, Korra will catch a clue. I want to like her again.

(Oh, and this post is about Korra, but I have to say it, fuck Mako. I hate that douchebag so much. I may be mad at Korra, but she still deserves way better.)


  1. On the one hand, the show does acknowledge that she has flaws (compared to Mako), on the other hand it will insist that she's grown into a better more mature person despite being preceded by her backsliding (such as insisting that she grew past thinking that she's worthless without her bending when it was pretty clear she was going to jump & would have if Aang didn't show up).

    1. I read that a little differently, actually. Aang didn't show up until after she had decided not to jump and thus live without her bending. I liked that - it's why I wasn't screaming "deus ex machina!" like so many others.

      But, yeah, I don't see how she's changed or matured at all despite all that and learning to airbend and that's a big problem.

    2. I suppose. It's just that the scene goes too fast for my liking. To me, it would have been better for her to be walking away before Aang showed up (Just take out Amon's Mako worship, as well as Bolin's scene where tries to cheer up Korra only to be chewed out). As it stands, I thought she wanted to let out more tears before her jump.

      What I think the problem is, and that both Bryke & the fans believe is that character development means to make a character perfect, when looking at say the First Season of Gargoyles, a character can grow while having some flaws to work with in new situations.