Knocking Them Down
“You can’t knock me down!”
It’s been over a month since ‘The Legend of Korra’ ended its first season and during this time I’ve reflected on many aspects of the show. The stuff I liked and the stuff I didn’t like, but during all this reflection I keep going back to this line. “You can’t knock me down.” Now, this line isn’t from ‘Korra’ it’s from its predecessor ‘Avatar: The Last Airbender.’ But it clearly illustrates to me what is alternately the most disappointing and infuriating failing of the first season of ‘Korra’. And that’s the writing of the female characters.
When Katara said this line in the original show it was a moment of defiance and empowerment. It was tailored to Katara in that specific moment but in my mind it became one of the biggest mission statements for female characters in the show. In ‘Avatar’, the female characters had agency, they had development, and they had power that was manifested in many different ways. Some were love interests but being a love interest wasn’t ALL they were. They made mistakes. They fell down but the narrative allowed them to rise and be better than they ever were before. Even Azula, who ended the show broken, wasn’t that way because the show was being cruel or careless to her character. It was the natural ending of her arc that the show had been crafting for two seasons.
The key reason why ‘Avatar’ succeeded where ‘Korra’ failed is that there was a clear respect for the narratives of ladies in ‘Avatar’ that is just not there in ‘Korra.’
Thoughts on Korra, Episodes 11 & 12
Honestly I enjoyed the finale a lot, but these are some good thoughts that are worth looking at.
I know I said I was going to wait until later to write this up, but I don’t think my opinions on it are going to change at all and I just need to get this off of my chest.
I assume that this is going to be a take on these episodes that dissents with the majority opinion of the fandom.
But I want everyone whom I disagree with to know that I don’t judge you for not thinking as I do, nor do I think your opinions are invalid. My friends here are my friends here, and a difference of opinion will not change that for me.
And Sam, I’ll definitely still write you that one-shot. A promise is a promise, and I keep my promises. I hope we can still be friends following this— I still think you’re an awesome dude.
That said, here we go.