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Reviews Comments: Good, but not God's gift to western animation Avatar The Last Airbender whole series review by Eagal

On the whole, it's an average series. Was it good? Sure. Was it great? No. It wasn't perfect, and that's fine, nothing is.

Good humor, good action, great animation and pretty good voice acting. I'm told they did their work on asian cultures reference in the series.

There's lots of padding and unnecessary episodes (The Great Divide), main characters swing in and out of likeability (Katara). Many plot elements plainly exist solely for the sake of the characters they relate to and contribute nothing to the setting or the story, which is just as well because they completely disappear without a trace once they serve their purpose (Katara vs "NO GURLZ ALOUD! D=<") and alot of characters that really have no reason for or logic behind existing (Hama).

But over all a decent series. 6/10

But the resolution of the series forced and unnecessary. Aang dithered. And that's not a word I often use, but it's oddly appropriate.

Confronted with the harsh reality that not everything can be magically solved at the end (Pffahahahahahaha), Aang tries to consult the preceding Avatars on how to rationalize the need for violence with his airbender upbringing. But they don't tell him what he wants to hear so asks a lion turtle that's there for some reason instead. The lion turtle spouts some BS or other that would have counted as foreshadowing if it hadn't been brought up in the eleventh hour.

Middle middle middle. Aang beats Ozai.

Now, if they wanted to a point of violence not being the only answer (never mind that it was for the entire rest of the series including right up until the actual resolution in question), that would have been fine. Maybe Ozai doesn't need to die to be stopped. Fine, I can get that.

Problem is, they didn't do that. They actually made a point of promoting Aang's use of violence as a final solution and went out of their way to reinforce that message, explicitly calling him selfish for not wanting to do so.

Then they turn around and have Aang spare him. Because...reasons. And it's all good. Before this they don't even try supporting Aang's position. They're against him at every turn right up until he spares Ozai and then all of a sudden he's totally in the right. Grey area? No. It's just "Ozai needs to die. Period." then "Aang's right for unspecified reasons! Ozai doesn't need to die!"

Comments

  • xivxav
  • 31st Dec 13
While I can absolutely agree that the Lion Turtle was a load of bullshit (seriously, what was the point of giving Aang such a moral dilemma if you were just going to give him a Get Out of Jail Free card like that?) I would argue that you shouldn't let it ruin the series for you because A:TLA was always a show that was all about the journey and not so much the destination. Sure, the overall arc is that we have to stop the Fire Lord and Save The World and so on, but Ozai is a cardboard cutout Evil Overload (easily the show's most boring villain, bar none), his plan is so generically villainous it's almost not worth even mentioning, and the fact that Aang will eventually defeat him is a foregone conclusion from the very first moment. Clearly, this plot is not the show's forte.

Instead, the show's strength comes from it's characters, which is why "plot elements [that] plainly exist solely for the sake of the characters they relate to and contribute nothing to the setting or the story" and "unnecessary episodes" (I'll give you the Great Divide, though. That one's legitimately awful) are included. Sure, they don't build toward the overall plot, or at best are tangentially related, but they're character building moments. It is also why, although I'll readily concede that there are problematic plot points in the series, I will fight you to the death over the notion that Hama has "no reason or logic for existing". Yes, she's a minor, one episode character, but the amount of thematic oomph they pack into her story in such a short period of time is nothing short of incredible.

Not only is Hama's a story about the suffering caused by loss of home and heritage, but her relationship with Katara is extremely important because (metaphorically) she is Katara if Katara were to allow herself to give in to her anger and lust for revenge over her mother's death. So while Hama herself only appears once, her influence extends further into the series, culminating in Katara bloodbending in her "Dark Night Of The Soul" episode The Southern Raiders, when she finally has to face down that anger and choose not to let her desire for revenge make her betray her principles. Hama is an incredibly important character, despite her small amount of screen time.
  • MiinU
  • 31st Dec 13
I sorta skimmed the review (I'll read it thoroughly later, when I have the time), but there's two things I wanted to point out.

First: the Lion Turtle wasn't thought up at the last second. It was referenced at least four times prior to appearing.

- The first two references were in The Library episode (from Book 2: Earth), 1.) Pofessor Zei mentions it offhandedly 2.) and when Aang was showing Sokka the Lion Turtle drawings he found, while they were in the Spirit Library.

- It referenced indirectly, in Sokka's Master, where there were Lion Turtle buttresses at Piandao's estate.

- When Zuko was teaching Aang how to roar, he specifically tells him to "roar like a Lion Turtle".

So, yes, there was a precedence for it finally making an appearance, given it was alluded to four times, starting in Book 2.

Second: The decision to spare Ozai was hardly a "get out of jail free" card. It was the hardest decision Aang had to make because the rest of the world wanted him to kill Ozai, which went against everything he'd been taught as an Air Nomad. The Lion Turtle told him that to bend another's energy, that his own had to be unbendable, or he'd be corrupted. If Aang had submitted to the rest of the world's demands, that would made both his will and his energy bendable.

The point the Lion Turtle was making was: Aang was the Avatar, not those people that wanted Ozai dead. Likewise, he was the world's mediator. Not them. Therefore , instead of listening to them (or his own past lives) he needed to decide how to resolve the issue with Ozai for himself, whichever way he decided to handle it, and let it be final (i.e. decisive).

In the end, Aang stayed true to his beliefs, which is one of the hardest things anyone has to do. Thus, exemplifying that his will/energy was unbendable, which made it possible to energybend Ozai.
  • Eagal
  • 31st Dec 13
First: the Lion Turtle wasn't thought up at the last second. It was referenced at least four times prior to appearing.

Not that I ever said the LT was thought up at the last second. What I actually said was that his contribution was.

On the subject of Aang's bendability...poppycock. It's his job to save the world, whatever that may entail. They spent three seasons building up to it. They spent an entire episode hammering it home by pointing out that whatever the Airbenders may have taught him it amounts to exactly dick because he's the Avatar and his duty is to the world.

"Selfless duty call for you to sacrifice your own spiritual needs". Aang was willing put the entire world in danger because he was too selfish to let go of his own desires and do what it takes to keep the world safe.

The Lion Turtle spared him from having to make that decision by giving him a way to accomplish both goals.

And from a purely technical standpoint, even agreeing that Aang's decision was somehow not complete bunk, energybending would still be a get out of jail free card. What is it but something that will get one out of an undesired situation?
  • MiinU
  • 31st Dec 13
"On the subject of Aang's bendability...poppycock. It's his job to save the world, whatever that may entail."

Okay, so where's the problem? 'cuz unless I'm mistaken, he did that.

Saving the world did not require him to kill Ozai. That was what the rest of the world was willing to accept and expected to happen, but that didn't mean it was the only way it could be done.

"The Lion Turtle spared him from having to make that decision by giving him a way to accomplish both goals."

"Where there's a will, there's a way." And the one he used existed, since before the time man first learned how to bend the elements.

I also fail to see why accomplishing both goals was necessarily a bad thing, since Ozai didn't have to die. That's like saying the only way for Superman to save Metropolis is to kill Lex Luther, and we know that isn't the case because of all the times he's done it without having to resort to lethal force.

If you're still not convinced, there was a precedence for energybending to. Just look at Ty Lee.
  • xivxav
  • 31st Dec 13
The problem with energy bending isn't whether or not it was difficult for Aang to accomplish, but that for several episodes up to that point the show had been telling us that Aang had to make this difficult choice between his personal beliefs and what others would see as "proper justice" for Ozai. Neither was necessarily right or wrong, and it seemed that Aang would be made to weigh the costs and benefits, both personal and societal, of both and come to a decision. Instead, through the Lion Turtle and energy bending, he's given an option (never before discussed) that allows him to have it both ways and this choice we thought we were building up to is rendered moot.

That is the Get Out of Jail Free card. There's no real decision to make or dilemma to face when there is a clearly superior option presented.
  • MiinU
  • 1st Jan 14
"Instead, through the Lion Turtle and energy bending, he's given an option (never before discussed) that allows him to have it both ways."

Wanna bet?

the Lion Turtle: "Before man learned to bend the elements, they bent the energy within themselves."

from "The Guru" episode (Book 2: Earth) Aang: (to Guru Patnhik) "So chakras are like pools of of energy swirling around in our bodies?" Patnhik: "Precisely."

...and who was it that could temporarily block those chakras, to take away someone's bending?

from "The Chase" episode (Book 2: Earth) Katara: (to Toph) "Back there, in Omashu, one of those girls did something to me that took my bending way. That was scary."

fast-forward to the end of Book 3 Ozai: (weakly) "What did you do to me...?" '''Aang: "I took your bending away.] You'll never firebend again."

As you can see, energybending was setup well in advance.

"and this choice we thought we were building up to was rendered moot."

No, it wasn't.

Aang wrestled with that decision throughout the series, he was just trying to hide it because he didn't want to deal with it. He even said so, while they were on Ember Island. The closer it came to the day of rekoning, the harder it became for him to put it out of his mind, because he knew what the world was expecting of him and didn't want to have to go through with it.

The decision to kill someone is hardly an easy one, especially not for a 12 year old.

That's why Aang blew up when Sokka and the others kept pressuring him about it: (at Katara) "When YOU can think of a way that I can defeat the Fire Lord, WITHOUT having to take his life, I'd LOVE to hear it!!

Remember that? Aang was basically saying, 'get off my back, I know what the rest of the world expects me to do, but I can't! I'm not a murderer! I'm supposed to be the guy that brings peace an harmony!'

That's why he appealed to the collective wisdom of his past lives and, during the battle with Ozai, he was still wrestling between the justice the world wanted, and his own personal beliefs. Aang had two opportunities to kill Ozai, and he couldn't go through with it either timenote .

Suffice to say, he spent a considerable amount of time warring that decision. Was he going to be the Avatar, or the Ozai's executioner? In the end, he chose to be the Avatar, dispensed the justice he deemed appropriate, and the world was saved.
  • MrMallard
  • 1st Jan 14
I have to agree, though I did enjoy the conclusion to the series. This was the Start of Darkness for Bryke, the first cop-out ending in a continuing line of cop-out endings.

Still, in both the series proper and the series finale, the show was better than Legend of Korra in regards to pacing and character writing. Flaws and all, I would pick this series 9.5 times out of 10 over Legend of Korra - because while not every episode in the series is great, there's still a majority of great episodes. Not once in any of the three seasons is a whole season "redeemable" because of one great episode - there's at least 5 or 6 great episode per season, and even then the majority of episodes are pretty good.

So it's not perfect - it's still one of the best shows Nick put out in the Noughties, and in the end it will never be as bad as Legend of Korra.
  • uncannybeetle
  • 1st Jan 14
I think they could have done much better in introducing and explaining the Lion Turtle, but other than that I have no problem with the ending. It helps that there were 3 other major battles going on at the same time, so it's just one aspect of the ending.
  • marcellx
  • 1st Jan 14
Personally I didn't like the whole deal with the lion turtle as a whole. Regardless if it was talked about more, the end result is that instead of giving Aang a third option, it felt more like it gave him a coup out way out.
  • xivxav
  • 1st Jan 14
@Miin U

"That's why he appealed to the collective wisdom of his past lives and, during the battle with Ozai, he was still wrestling between the justice the world wanted, and his own personal beliefs"

I know that. I said that. You're not listening to me. The problem is that all that struggle and all that angst lead nowhere because at the eleventh hour Aang is simply handed a clearly superior choice that allows him to have his cake and eat it, too. At that point, there is no longer any decision to be made, because taking Ozai's bending is now clearly the correct option.

None of the characters are aware of this power's existence prior to the Lion Turtle telling Aang about it, so neither are we as the audience. Whether or not you can justify it within the universe is irrelevant to whether or not ultimately it is a cop out to Aang's struggle over killing Ozai.
  • MiinU
  • 1st Jan 14
"Whether or not you can justify it within the universe is irrelevant to whether or not ultimately it is a cop out to Aang's struggle over killing Ozai."

It sounds, to me, like this a case of Sour Grapes, 'cuz it sounds more like you'd have preferred it if he had to kill Ozai, because learning there was a third option does nothing to take away from the mental anguish he endured before reaching that point.

It'd be different if Bryke simply pulled it outta nowhere, but I've shown you clear evidence that they had planned for it, with all the callbacks to earlier parts of the series. Energybending was alluded to as early as "The Guru" episode, during Aang's discussion with Patnhik, and it was alluded to thanks to Ty Lee's chiblocking. Both of which were first brought up back in Book 2.

"At that point, there was no longer any decision to be made, because taking Ozai's bending is now clearly the correct option.

First: I disagree. Because Aang could have killed him twice, during their battle. He had his first chance, when was about to redirect Ozai's lightning back at it. Had he done it, he likely would have killed him and the look on Ozai's face made it clear he aware of it. Aang chose not to and redirected it elsewhere.

Had his second chance, when he cornered Ozai while he was in the Avatar state and his collective consciousness was crying out for his blood. Aang refused to give in to them and willed himself out of the Avatar state. Because he was determined not to do it. Both times, he made a choice.

Sparring Ozai's life doesn't somehow make all of that vanish, as if none of it ever happened. Aang was struggling with a decision and he chose to stay true to his beliefs both times he was presented with either killing him, or letting him live.

Second: Taking away Ozai's bending was not the "correct choice", as you put it. Whichever way he chose to handle it, it would have been accepted as the proper and correct one, since he was the world's Avatar.

That's why Iroh told Zuko and the other's that Aang had to be the one to deal with Ozai, rather than him. The Avatar is the world's mediator... not a saint. None of them have ever been perfect, but each served according to their ideals and what each of them thought was best. Aang was no different (and neither is Korra).

All of that said, copping out would have been giving in to what the rest of the audience expected/wanted him to do, commit murder.

Ozai was already beaten and was no longer a threat at that point. Even when he made that last attempt to attack while Aang's back was turned, Aang sensed Ozai's approach and calmly parried both strikes, before immobilizing him. That alone showec there was no need to kill him. All that was left, at that point, was to pronounce sentence. Aang decided to ensure Ozai would never threaten anyone again, by taking his bending. Not his life.

  • xivxav
  • 1st Jan 14
"It sounds, to me, like this a case of Sour Grapes, 'cuz it sounds more like you'd have preferred it if he had to kill Ozai, because learning there was a third option does nothing to take away from the mental anguish he endured before reaching that point."

No. Don't make assumptions about what I do or don't think or feel. Hell, energy bending could have worked as a solution to the problem if Aang had actively sought it out. If, for example, in his refusal to kill Ozai he had gone out looking for another way to bring him to justice, discovered some mention of the power somewhere, and had gone searching for the Lion Turtle to have it teach him the technique. Instead, Aang is passive in this choice. He mopes around and whines about it for awhile and then the solution comes and finds him. Where does the Lion Turtle come from? How does it know Aang is in distress and to seek him out? How does it know what the nature of his problem is and that it can therefore help him? Because spirits?

That's why, to be blunt, I don't care if there were some little hints to this power being possible, I don't care if you can justify it's existence in the universe. Foreshadowed or not, it's a poor story-telling choice on the part of the writers because it solves the problem for Aang instead of having Aang solve the problem himself.

"Sparring Ozai's life doesn't somehow make all of that vanish, as if none of it ever happened. Aang was struggling with a decision and he chose to stay true to his beliefs both times he was presented with either killing him, or letting him live."

Or, he knew that he had a third option that would allow him to both keep to his own beliefs and bring justice on Ozai. Again, there's no real choice here anymore. He knows that he has a "weapon" of sorts in his arsenal that will allow him to have it both ways. He knows there isn't any need for him to sacrifice his own beliefs at this point. I'm not denying that there's angst and struggle here, but instead that it all rings hollow in the end because of the way that energy bending is applied as a narrative device.
  • MiinU
  • 1st Jan 14
"No. Don't make assumptions about what I do or don't think or feel."

Duly noted. But that's honestly how your post came across, to me.

That said, Aang didn't have time to go off on another journey for a power he wasn't consciously aware of, with Sozin's Comet fast approaching. Even if he had been made aware of it sooner, he still had to master the four elements, in addition to mastering the Avatar state. Where was he gonna find the time?

It was foreshadowed several times, but Aang didn't become aware that he could do that until the end of his fight with Ozai, just as Toph wasn't aware she could bend metal until she found herself in a situation that prompted her to finally try it. Prior to that, she thought it was impossible (From "The Drill" episode - "No way! I can't bend inside that metal monster!").

I can think of more than a few stories where characters don't become fully aware of certain capabilities until the situation requires them to come to the realization that they possess those abilities (though some are written better than others).

"Or he knew he had a third option that would allow him to both keep to his own beliefs and bring justice on Ozai."

Okay, if that's all itbwas, why'd he bother to fight Ozai at all? Why not simply energybend him from the word "go" and call it a day?

It didn't seem like Aang was fully aware of what the Lion Turtle meant, until the moment he he immobilized Ozai. Similar to how Neo didn't fully understand what Mropheus was trying to tell him about The Matrix, and how he wouldn't have to dodge bullets, once he finally realized who he was and what he was capable of. Neo didn't come to that understanding until he was lying dead in that hallway and realized he didn't have to be, because the rules governed by The Matrix didn't apply to him.

Likewise, Aang told the Lion Turtle he didn't understand what it was getting at, which is why it touched him on the forehead and told him he would, when the time was right. Aang didn't have that epiphany until the moment Ozai tried to attack him while his back was turned.

Compare Neo effortlessly parrying Agent Smith's strikes, with one hand while clearlypreoccupied with the thought 'Ah, now I see. So this is what Morpheus was talking about' - to Aang calmly parrying Ozai's first strike while his back was still turned, then parrying the second one just as easily and immobilizing him. That was likely the moment when he finally understood what the Lion Turtle had been trying to tell him and acted on it.
  • Aldo930
  • 6th Jan 14
Thank God, somebody gives a thought that isn't blind praise for this overrated goddamned series!

I never liked it, and I never knew anyone who did when it was on. Catscratch, Back at the Barnyard and The Mighty B! were superior to this.
  • MFM
  • 6th Jan 14
People generally make friends with others who have similar tastes to them.

More news at 11.
  • Aldo930
  • 7th Jan 14
Let me rephrase that - I never knew a single person, at all, who liked it when it was on. Nobody I knew, friend or enemy, ever said they liked it.
  • doctrainAUM
  • 7th Jan 14
I mostly got into the show because some of my classmates would mention it quite often. So, who knows?
  • son
  • 8th Jan 14
@Aldo930

And as we know, personal anecdotes represent the rule. As an added point, I loved Back at the barnyard too, but it wasn't superior to Avatar the Last Airbender. More on this below.

@the review (and like-minded comments)

I don't like Harry Potter, I haven't read the books and never finished the movies. However, I will say that it's a good series, worthy of the adoration because of the detail and effort behind it. You don't have to be a fan of a work to give credit where it's due. Same with Star Wars, I've seen all the movies and watched the Clone Wars but I've never really got into it. But I'll give it credit where its due as well.

  • Aldo930
  • 10th Jan 14
I will admit my experience may be different from others, but I was the show's target audience and I hated it.

I want to know what exactly made this show so special. What, exactly, did people get out of this show that you couldn't get anywhere else? Good humor? Watch a comedy. Great animation? Yeah, also all over the place. Good action? Other shows are out there.

Why do people treat this as the best damned thing ever when nothing it does is special?
  • son
  • 10th Jan 14
@Aldo930

Like I said, there are works of fiction that I dislike but I can respect and see why it's popular. I too am a part of the target demographic for Avatar (and well as Star Wars and Harry Potter).

What makes this series so popular is not just one thing, (action, animation, themes, comedy) but the entire complex franchise as a whole. The deep complex stories (or potential stories) that come out of the Avatar world. Same can be said for Star Wars (I tolerate it, I like the video games, but I'm not a big fan), Harry Potter (dislike), Star Trek (I tolerate it... sort of), Legend of Zelda (I was the freak in high school who never played it) and many others. While I'm not a fan of these series it would be incredibly ignorant of me to ask "what does it offer?"

Honestly this was the first "big series" done by Nickelodeon (I can only think of Space Cases as far as comparable scope). Avatar is a genuinely well put together series, the issue you have is that it's not particularly unique. You don't have to like something to respect it and give it credit.
  • Aldo930
  • 10th Jan 14
There are a lot of genuinely well-put together series I like that don't have as much of a following as Avatar.

What I want to know is what exactly makes it better than any other show that Nickelodeon made in the mid-00s? Part of the appeal, I think, lies to the fact that it had an animesque art style. I hate the art style that most anime uses. I prefer a more Tezuka or early Tatsunoko style.

Oh, and I can honestly relate to having never been into any of those.
  • son
  • 10th Jan 14
"What I want to know is what exactly makes it better than any other show that Nickelodeon made in the mid-00s?"

Compare other Nickelodeon shows made at the time:

Dramatic themes (albeit Y7 rating): As Told By Ginger (mostly teen drama)

Action: Danny Phantom, My Life as a Teenage Robot, the X's (mostly toon force)

Deep complicated universe: Sole representative in the mid 2000s.

Complicated characters: Sort of subjective. I can go on about the hidden depths in SpongeBob Squarepants, and be serious.

Overall, Avatar offered more than the other shows did. But I do agree that the Anime-esque art and Asian themes played a huge role. I know that Asian/anime themes are appealing to everyone.
  • son
  • 10th Jan 14
are NOT appealing to everyone.

  • Aldo930
  • 10th Jan 14
Compared to other Nickelodeon shows, yes. Compared to other shows out there, well, it fails even then.

I get the impression that the people who go on about how good it is are those who think that all other cartoons made at the time were crappy kiddie stuff. Which they were not. The creators of those shows tried as best they could to create something fun, and enjoyable, that people would like. But their shows get regularly disparaged, and Avatar gets put on a pedestal.

If you compare it to, say, Batman: The Animated Series or Kashi no Ki Mokku (both far more enjoyable, with better art styles), it falls flat compared to those two. Both had drama, action, complicated characters, deep themes, yet Avatar gets more lionized than those two. Especially the latter, which came out 30 years before, and still gets little respect.
  • doctrainAUM
  • 10th Jan 14
Avatar may not be the single most revolutionary show in American television of the 2000s, but that is no reason to be mystified about its success. Those other shows may just not appeal to those people quite as much, for instance.
  • Aldo930
  • 10th Jan 14
People will buy anything based on its looks.

While Batman: TAS became a success on its own merits, having a very cartoony art style, Avatar had an animesque art-style, which I feel is cheating a bit, since anime is an Internet-popular aesthetic...
  • MFM
  • 10th Jan 14
Especially the latter, which came out 30 years before, and still gets little respect.

I'm not sure why you'd be mystified by this, since you do admit Avatar uses an aesthetic that's "internet-popular;" I doubt the internet was a big thing in the early 70's. Speaking of:

Avatar had an animesque art-style, which I feel is cheating a bit,

What. Explain to me how something can "cheat" its way to popularity. You might not like the reasons that it got popular, but that's not even remotely the same thing.
  • MiinU
  • 10th Jan 14
Avatar had an animesque art-style, which I feel is cheating a bit, since anime is an internet-popular aesthetic...

Anime was popular before there ever was an internet. But, if you're saying that's the only reason for the show's following/success, I'd have to disagree.

Art style alone, without any meaningful content to compliment it, will only carry a show so far. The fact is, as a whole, Avatar had enough action, drama, and mature content that was presented well enough to attract a very large Periphery Demographic. And it was unlike most of what was airing on Nickelodeon at the time.

There's also the series painstaking attention to detail, to consider. How shows at that time - or even now - used motion-captured choreographed fight sequences based on real world martial arts? How many went so far as to hire Chinese calligraphers so that every poster and sign post said exactly what the characters were reading? Or had a cast and crew that visited and studied the locales they were basing the series' Constructed World on, for the sake of authenticity?

Simply put: with productions values and a level of commitment that high, the show was bound to be a success because the audience could see results of all that effort in every scene and every episode. And if you think I'm kidding, rewatch The Day of Black Sun pt.2 and set a timer once the eclipse begins, then stop it once the eclipse passes. You know how much time elapses? Just over eight minutes, in real time just like the real thing.

Contrast that with Ichigo's "11 seconds" of time, during his second fight with Grimmjow. Except those 11 seconds end up lasting over 5 minutes.

Avatar just has a whole lot to love and enjoy. So it's hardly a wonder that it's garnered the amount of praise (and awards) that it has.
  • MiinU
  • 10th Jan 14
I meant to write "11 seconds of mask time", at the end there.
  • Aldo930
  • 10th Jan 14
What I am trying to say is that some of its appeal probably comes from the art style; after all, if you're scanning the channels, you are bound to watch something that looks interesting. Come for the anime like visuals, stay for the show itself.

True, anime was popular before the net. If you look at early anime, though, they almost seem really cartoony in comparison to today's. They're also a lot better too. But I digress...

Mature content - As Told by Ginger dealt with a few things that weren't normally seen on Nickelodeon at the time - among them the episode about suicide.

Attention to detail - well, to name another show that did it well: CatDog featured a lot of attention to detail; the backgrounds are very well detailed, and there are even gags in the background for the careful viewer to notice. Ray Pointer, one of the directors, even said the production of CatDog was the hardest Nickelodeon had ever had because of the detail. But that show is not very well thought of, so I would say that there is a bias.

The Wild Thornberrys took care to get the details about animals and the cultures the Thornberrys visited right too - that show is also not very well thought of. Again, a bias is at hand.
  • MiinU
  • 10th Jan 14
[b]@Aldo930: There's isn't any bias, it's a matter of personal preference.

Each of those shows you named had one of the qualities I mentioned, whereas Avatar had all of them and did them exceptionally well.

CatDog may have attention to detail, like you said (since I never bothered to watch it, myself), but it doesn't appeal to as many people because it's a mainly Gross Out Show. For many people, that's a huge turnoff.

By contrast, Avatar is a high fantasy/adventure epic with comedy, drama, and martial arts, which is presented in a Miyazakiain art style. Which naturally appeals to a wider audience.

It also deals witha great number of mature subject matter, ranging from: genocide, totalitarian control and enemy occupation, brainwashing, revenge (as in, Katara hunting down her mother's killer and coming two steps shy of returning the favor) and keep in mind, this was a 14 year old girl who was about to kill an adult for a crime he'd committed years ago. Multiple characters are killed off, including two child characters (i.e. Princess Yue and Jett) on of whom died onscreen — on a network with strict policies against realistic depictions of violence against child characters.

And the sequel series continues the tradition, by upping the ante.

Likewise, CatDog is episodic, while Avatar tells an overarching tale which further adds to its appeal. Comparing the two would be like trying to compare [1] to [2].

When SF II, originally debuted, there wasn't much of a story behind it, aside from 8 people who were competing for the title of world's strongest for varying reasons. While KoF had an overarching plot that gradually unfolded in arcs, called "sagas". The fans loved it. It proved so popular, that many began playing just to see what the next major development would be. Capcom quickly took notice and began adding more of a plot to SF, beginning with the Alpha series.

Avatar's success is due to the sum of its parts, not just the art style used to present it, though it certainly makes it more attractive and enjoyable to watch.
  • MFM
  • 10th Jan 14
See, you're trying to oversimplify things. You keep arguing that one single factor couldn't be the reason for its popularity because other shows had it, when most everyone else is saying it was a combination of factors that led to its success. It wasn't just mature content or just attention to detail that got Avatar noticed; it was a combination of both of those, as well as a plethora of other things.

And if you're not trying to argue that, then I'm not sure why you keep using different shows that were supposedly unpopular to argue against it. Instead of using an unpopular show that just had attention to detail or just had mature content, you'd have to use an unpopular show that had everything Avatar did.
  • MFM
  • 10th Jan 14
Er, that was directed at Aldo. MiinU posted their comment while I was in the middle of typing mine.
  • Aldo930
  • 10th Jan 14
Yes, but that does it make it good?

As I said, I wasn't arguing that the animesque art style was the main reason; it was one reason some people would get involved, but certainly not all of them.

One show I would mention that had this and more was Tatsunoko's 1972 Kashi no Ki Mokku, a somewhat dark retelling of the story of Pinocchio that became rather mature at points - Pinocchio even tries to kill someone to become a real boy - and started out episodic but became more plot driven by the end of its run. And it had a better art style too. While one would say "It only ran in Japan, that's why it wasn't successful." Saban Entertainment adapted the show in 1990, it ran on HBO for a while, and aired on Fox Kids in Europe. A few tropers may remember it on their local Fox Kids channels. Saban managed to keep some of the dark maturity, even the death, while censoring some of it (the aforementioned episode was bowdlerized in English.) It could have become as popular as Samurai Pizza Cats. But it didn't.

Oh, and CatDog was not a Gross Out Show. I watched a lot of episodes and there was barely any in it. But that is another gripe for another time.

I also mentioned two other shows. What do you make of that?

As Told by Ginger especially was somewhat more serious than your typical Nickelodeon show. It did deal with mature subjects at times.
  • Aldo930
  • 10th Jan 14
I just realized that using a Japanese show as an example is a bad idea; Japanese shows are known for this sort of thing and were that way even in the 70s. Please wait while I try to think of a Western example.
  • MiinU
  • 10th Jan 14
One show I would mention that had this and more was Kashi no Ki Mokku, a somewhat dark retelling of the story of Pinocchio that became rather mature at points.

The fact that it never aired Stateside undoubtedly contributed to that, since American audiences were never given the chance to see it. It also may have been a victim of bad timing, since anime didn't gaining popularity outside of Japan 'til somewhere around the late 80's-early 90's - and became mainstream around the early 2000's.

However, there are top quality anime series today, like Scrapped Princess and Seirei no Moribito, that hardly anyone knows exists. It happens.

Avatar had the good fortune of airing on a popular kid's network, in an optimum time slot, at a time when there weren't any other shows like it to compete with, which helped it to gain notice. Aided further by an art style that was inspired by one of the most popular and influential anime artists ever.

The quality of the writing, World Building, and mature subject matter helped broadened its appeal. That's about the best way I can put it.

  • Aldo930
  • 10th Jan 14
I will admit to compare CatDog to Avatar is apples and oranges. I will admit to compare it to a Japanese show is a bad idea. But what is a show that was mature, featured continuity and was Western?

As Told by Ginger.

The show was very well-written; they could have gone the easy route and made the popular girl an Alpha Bitch, but Courtney was written as someone who actually liked Ginger instead of snubbing her.

Near the end, there was some sort of continuity involving Ginger's mother getting married.

Some episodes were rather mature - one dealt with suicide and another with caffeine addiction.

And yet the show was not very popular - amongst the people who really matter, the Internet folks.

The show may not have been as popular as thought... Keep in mind, the show apparently only got 3 million viewers when SpongeBob got twice that. And don't you put that "Kids are stupid" line on me.
  • MiinU
  • 10th Jan 14
@Aldo930 - From what I can see, As Told by Ginger seems like a somewhat more mature version of Doug''. Which isn't a knock against it, it's an observation, since the art styles are loosely similar and both shows dealt with similar issues.

That said, there's something you're still not considering: Avatar is an adventure series with Supernatural Martial Arts, whereas As Told by Ginger seems to be a cross between a teen drama and a sitcom. They're entirely different and appeal to different audiences.

A better question would be: "Why is Avatar so popular, while Seirei no Moribito isn't?"

Both series are very similar, featuring the same type of action, World Building, subject matter, and story telling. Yet the former is well known, insanely popular, and has won several awards, while the latter is virtually unheard of. Ditto that for Scrapped Princess which is such an obscure title that, if you were to mention it to fellow anime fans, the likely response would be either: "Scrapped what??" or, "never heard of it."

It doesn't mean either one is bad, or lacking in any way, compared to Avatar. In fact, I'd readily recommend both of them to anyone who hasn't seen them. All it means is, neither one (unfortunately) found an audience to appreciate them.

Since I've never seen As Told by Ginger, I can't say whether that was the case there, though with over 3 million viewers, I'd doubt it. At the very least, it has a cult following. So it had some measure of success, it just didn't take off the way Avatar did likely because it's a different type of series.
  • Aldo930
  • 10th Jan 14
I was actually referring to Avatar in the last sentence. The wording wasn't clear and I apologize.
  • doctrainAUM
  • 10th Jan 14
How hard is it for a show to equal Spongebob in ratings?
  • Aldo930
  • 10th Jan 14
Keep in mind folks... At the time the show was airing, I didn't know anyone who was talking about it.

I asked a friend what she remembers from the era. She remembers Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends and Camp Lazlo ... But not Avatar.

So, by the time the inevitable 00s nostalgia rolls around, expect talk about how awesome Catscratch and new SpongeBob were.
  • doctrainAUM
  • 10th Jan 14
As I said before, you're using personal experiences to say a show was overrated. Since all my classmates wre talking about it while it aired, I could easily say that it was an amazingly popular show, using the exact same logic you're using. In either case, it's flawed reasoning.
  • Aldo930
  • 11th Jan 14
Were you in the target audience at the time? I was, and I hated it.

Oh, and I shall fully admit that most of the arguments above were terrible.
  • MrMallard
  • 11th Jan 14
I honestly don't see the point of the Comments section any more. If it's the same for you, it's the same for everybody else. God forbid someone was a part of the fandom during the time they were in the show's demographic, it never happened to any of my friends or me so it must have never happened at all.

The arguments above are horrible. No-one's going to remember CATSCRATCH. I don't even know what Catscratch is, but I can remember Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends, Codename: KND, Teen Titans, Avatar, even Back At The Barnyard - what the hell is Catscratch? Could it be that your area's kids just liked those sort of shows better? In your area, Catscratch might go down as a memorable show, but I know that it sure as hell didn't air in Australia and no-one, in real life or the internet, has talked about it. Seriously, what the hell is this show? No matter what it is, I doubt it would be remembered by more people than Avatar.

You know what? This show was straight-up one of the best fantasy shows I've ever seen. It's got character drama, fluid animation (with a few flubs, but even Spongebob had animation errors in it's first seasons) and a damn fine fantasy world - name a show with an original fantasy world on par with that of the original Avatar. The show went into depth on more things than you'd expect - okay, it wasn't as dark as this As Told by Ginger show? It was still pretty damn dark for a kid's show. Zuko got maimed as a kid. Jet dies, though it's covered up somewhat because Nickelodian. Fire Lord Azula is one of the scariest things I've ever seen, the last few episodes fucked me up.

But you know what? It's not a goddamn darkness competition. And Avatar has flaws. The Lion turtle is alluded to indirectly, but it does come out of the blue with a relatively new and plot-busting power at the last second - even InuYasha, the definition of mediocrity according to our run-of-the-mill anime fan today (YMMV, mine sure as hell does), does better - he has to work hard for each of his powers, even if he got lucky with the Meido Zangetsuha. There's no tap on the head and boom, new power. But the bulk of the series is so good, and personally it's one of my favorite series (unlike that unpaced turdpile Legend of Korra, which pulls crap twice as bad out of it's ass each season finale) - and I get that you mihgt not like shows like this. And that's fine.

What's not fine is using the comments section of this review to wage your own goddamn war against the show with bullcrap such as this "Catscratch" nonsense and all these other less popular shows which never had a chance - okay, you feel those shows were better and Avatar got too much attention? Get a Tumblr and vent there. It's okay to feel that way, but to continuously regurgitate the same useless nonsense over and over again is irritating. "I was in it's target audience and I hated it" - more power to you, YOU DON'T HAVE TO KEEP REPEATING IT.

You know why I personally like the show so much? It has the action of a good action show, the comedy of a good comedy show and the fluid animation of anime, as opposed to also good but admittedly limited animationwise shows like Total Drama Island and Spliced. It combined each of those elements into one package which worked for me. There were shoehorned jokes, sure, but everything just fit together so well for me. And if you don't get that, then that's your business - you don't have to like the show because it's popular, and I respect your opinion. I concede that Avatar has flaws, and is not a perfect show.

But saying shit like this show will be forgotten in 10 years time, that other shows will be remembered more fondly (like Back At The Barnyard and... Catscratch) - that is unbridled, 100% bullshit, and I hate it.
  • Aldo930
  • 11th Jan 14
Whoa, whoa, whoa... Calm down.

The thing is, though, I honestly remember people talking about Catscratch - which you probably don't remember because it only lasted a season, and it may very well have aired in your country - and Back at the Barnyard. What I was saying was that it would not come up in nostalgic discussions of the period that often; I mean, half of the action stuff from the 90s isn't as popular as the comedies, maybe the comedies of my age will come up more often too.

After all, in discussions of the 90s what do you hear about? Ren and Stimpy, Rocko's Modern Life, the WB cartoons. Do you hear about the action shows of the time? I don't. Then again, maybe I should get out.

I would admittedly post a review to vent my frustrations about the show, but the thing is... A few years back I said, "Well, maybe I should give it a chance, not hate it based on the art style alone." And I watched a few episodes. And I found them incredibly boring.

I did not care for the characters, everything seemed too damned generic for my tastes... I'm sorry, but I could not sit through it all.
  • son
  • 11th Jan 14
"After all, in discussions of the 90s what do you hear about? Ren and Stimpy, Rocko's Modern Life, the WB cartoons. Do you hear about the action shows of the time? I don't. Then again, maybe I should get out."

No action shows specifically on Nickelodeon, but Batman the Animated Series (which you brought up), Spider-Man the Animated Series, Batman and Superman Adventures, Men in Black, Batman Beyond. Most of which was on WB, but they are action shows.

"And I watched a few episodes. And I found them incredibly boring."

After watching "the Great Divide" and maybe the first episode.
  • Aldo930
  • 11th Jan 14
I definitely didn't see "The Great Divide." It's been so long, and the episodes were so boring, I forgot what they were... but that wasn't one of them.

And I hate how you characterize me as someone who probably watched the worst episode of a show and hated it based on that. It'd be like if I talked to someone who hated SpongeBob and said "Oh, you probably just saw 'One Coarse Meal.'"

I didn't like the show, I found the other shows better, a lot of people I knew felt that way, that is that. I didn't care for the show, and that was how I felt, up until I found the Internet and found the fandom...
  • MrMallard
  • 11th Jan 14
That's fine, you don't have to like the show. Again, you liked other shows - that's cool, not everyone loves Avatar.

But your claims as to it's staying power really suck. That's all I'm going to say. The way you keep phrasing your arguments, such as "action shows from the 90's aren't as well remembered" annoys me because it seems to imply these shows don't have fans any more, that literally no-one remembers the action shows and just remember the goofy shows that slipped past the radar.

A lot of people still remember the numerous Batman cartoon series', there were one or 2 X-Men shows in the 90's (X-men: Evolution, and unless I'm mistaken and it was the mid to late 80's, the simply-named X-Men show), there was Spiderman. There were probably more which were forgotten, yes, but those shows still have followings - enough fans to maintain the trope pages, and they most likely still have followings on Tumblr. Every show, whether that be Batman Beyond or Rocko's Modern Life or even CatDog have been forgotten by over the years - a lot of shows are over 10 years old now, nearing 20 years old. And as it gets older, The Last Airbender may be forgotten too.

Because even great/popular shows fade out of the public eye eventually. But there'll always be a contingent that are like "Hey, you remember Avatar?", and even when it's close to 20 years old, it's going to pop up every now and again and people are going to say it's a great show.

And whether you like the show or not, you've gotta admit it's popular pretty much everywhere else - at the end of the day, Back At The Barnyard and... Catscratch are not going to be remembered quite as much as Avatar.

(though I will give you one thing - I HATE the Avatar fandom. The shippers are crazy. Kataang and Zutara are always at each other's throats, like the show is their goddamn life. There is a point where like of a show goes too far, and a lot of the "fandom" on the internet have crossed that point.)
  • son
  • 12th Jan 14
"I hate how you characterize me as someone who probably watched the worst episode of a show and hated it based on that. It'd be like if I talked to someone who hated SpongeBob and said "Oh, you probably just saw 'One Coarse Meal.'"

I feel justified in saying that because a lot of episodes were filler. If you weren't invested in the story/characters they would seem pretty dull. And as you said, you didn't like the characters.
  • Aldo930
  • 12th Jan 14
TV Tropes is probably the only place where there are that many fans.

I blame the damn show for making sure that no new Nicktoons would ever get accepted by the animation community ever again. The fandom especially is annoying because of their general putting down of other shows that were simply meant to be entertaining. Just because you like a show does not mean you have the right to put down things that people worked their heart and soul into.

It's a self-righteous, dumb attitude that needs to go away, and this is a problem in the animation community for good.

Oh, and this is another place where Batman: TAS did better: the show was episodic in the first place!
  • marcellx
  • 12th Jan 14
@Aldo930

In short, your taste/opinion is not a fact. Now before you jump on me over that statement let's review what you've said here. Several times you have outright said this and that show were better, superior, etc. (aka shows you liked) and didn't get all the praise.

Catscratch, Back at the Barnyard and The Mighty B! were superior to this.
If you compare it to, say, Batman: The Animated Series or Kashi no Ki Mokku (both far more enjoyable, with better art styles), it falls flat compared to those two.

You also don't seem to learn from your mistakes, you say ok I did that sorry, then go right ahead and keep doing it, you keep using personal examples as evidence. You say you didn't heard people talking about it, so assuming that's true, how much people of that demographic does a kid/teen/whatever knows, going by friends, family and classmates, I think still less than 100. While we can use the more accurate system of the ratings the show got, the people visiting and even participating on the shows' webpage, etc. etc. etc.

I will admit my experience may be different from others, but I was the show's target audience and I hated it.

And the pinnacle of it all, you keep on going about how you were the target audience and hated it. So what? you make it seem like a demographic has an almost hive mind. You didn't like it, and I'm pretty sure there are many others like you (take for example Gerjan) but an even greaters number of viewers in fact did, just as the opposite could be said about shows you or any of us liked but were less well received by others.

So to answer your question about why was it so popular, it's a matter of taste, a great deal of people happen to like/love it, you didn't, and there's nothing wrong with that, but you have to accept that the world doesn't revolve around you.
  • MrMallard
  • 12th Jan 14
Also, you think the Avatar fandom is only active on TV Tropes? Both Avatar series are huge on Tumblr, there's at least one active fan forum still operating and there's a relatively well-stocked wiki for the franchise. Back At The Barnyard might get a sporadic mention on Tumblr in it's tag, if that, but if you track an Avatar tag then there'll be well over a page worth of Tumblr posts made every day.
  • MrMallard
  • 12th Jan 14
Also - those shows are not "superior". Superiority is subjective, so while those shows might mean a lot to you, they mean jack and shit to pretty much everyone else.
  • Aldo930
  • 12th Jan 14
To clarify... And honestly, I haven't tried to insult you. Let's be civil here.

I keep going on about how I did not know a lot of people who liked it; I will instead try to point out that while the series is a big damned thing on the Internet, it barely made a splash in the real world - at least where I am so YMMV. The other shows I mentioned I did hear discussion about. And if you want a non personal example... I had found a page mentioning one of the show's season premieres was trounced in the ratings by Disney Channel sitcoms, I believe on a forum for the show. Ergo, if this is right, most kids - its target audience - preferred Disney Channel sitcoms to a deep, groundbreaking show. But then again, children are dumb - at least I can imagine someone saying that.

I don't use Tumblr. I therefore would not know about the heavy presence there.

Certainly superiority is subjective. The subjectivity is implied, I believe.
  • Aldo930
  • 12th Jan 14
And speaking of which, there seem to be very few people on the Internet who make their distaste for the show known. I suppose they're being silenced or something.
  • marcellx
  • 12th Jan 14
Don't you think at this point you're trying too hard.
  • uncannybeetle
  • 13th Jan 14
What qualifies as 'making a splash?' It averaged over 3 million viewers per episode over 60+ episodes and reached over 5 million for several episodes including the finale, won many awards including an Emmy, launched what has become a major franchise with a sequel series and even a live action movie, and is looked to as a gold standard in many categories more than 5 years after it ended and shows no signs of being forgotten anytime soon. What more did it have to do to make a splash? Win an oscar? Get elected president?
  • Aldo930
  • 13th Jan 14
Ahem... I said above. Its season premiere was trounced in the ratings by Disney Channel sitcoms. And to quote a post I found on Anime News Network: "Averaged about 3 million viewers when everything else was making twice that? The merchandise completely bombed and is non existent these days?"

And, may I mention, the same poster also said that the only reason it exists was because Nickelodeon was trying to get their share of the Toonami pie after their previous action block, Slam, failed miserably.

In which categories is it a gold standard in?

Oh, and the only reason it isn't forgotten is because no one ever shuts up about it.
  • MiinU
  • 13th Jan 14
@Aldo930 - "In which catagories is it a gold standard in?"

See for yourself: click the link and scroll down to Reception.

You see all those awards and nominations it won? If that isn't enough for you, click this link and scroll down to the customer review section, where you'll see 935 5-star ratings. Also note the three excerpts quoted at the top of that section.

The show has it's following for a reason. Just because the shows you prefer didn't gain the same level of success and recognition doesn't mean Avatar isn't deserving of its success.
  • Aldo930
  • 13th Jan 14
Awards and nominations do not mean a thing about how good something is. Keep in mind, Citizen Kane never won an Oscar.

What about all the detail I posted above?
  • MFM
  • 13th Jan 14
If you're going to mindlessly parrot a post on another site for your viewpoint, at least link to the post so we have proper context.

Awards and nominations do not mean a thing about how good something is.

...Okay? You keep shifting between "it wasn't good" and "it wasn't influential" and "it wasn't popular" depending on what best suits your viewpoint.

Oh, and the only reason it isn't forgotten is because no one ever shuts up about it.

And this just sounds like you dislike the show because you dislike the fanbase.
  • MiinU
  • 13th Jan 14
"Awards and nominations do not mean a thing about how good something is."

You specifically asked: "In which categories is ita gold standad in?" So I showed you each of the categories where Avatar was nominated and won awards in. Also note that it won the majority of those nominations.

Now you're sayong "it doesn't mean anything".

You can't have it both ways. If you ask a question and someone shows you undeniable proof as an answer - including where it's won back-to-back-back Annie Awards, an Emmy, and a Peabody Award. Plus, 935 5-Star customer reviews (and counting), I'd say that's an overwhelming acknowledgement of the show's overall quality.

And if you wanna talk about merchandising, The Promise, The Search, Avatar: The Art of the Animated Series, and the dvds themselves have all made the "Best Sellers" list at amazon.com (I can link those too, if you want). You may not like it, personally, but there is no denying that the series has earned its following.

As much as I love the series, there are other series I feel weren't given a fair chance, that I'd love to see gain the same type of recognition. But that doesn't mean I'm gonna trash talk another series simply because.
  • uncannybeetle
  • 13th Jan 14
Everything else was making twice that, huh? Know what Spongebob was averaging when it became a worldwide phenomenon? 2 million viewers. Avatar averaged a million viewers more than Spongebob did in its heyday. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SpongeBob_SquarePants.

It is considered a standard for character development, animation, voice acting, storytelling, fight choreography, and others.
  • Aldo930
  • 13th Jan 14
Merchandise aimed at its target audience, however? Where was that?

However - Avatar aired right about the point that SpongeBob became an institution (and went downhill, according to some). I don't know the numbers, but if someone could find them I would be happy to see how the two shows compared.

Everything you're saying seems to indicate the series failed with its target audience but was a smash hit with adults.
  • Aldo930
  • 13th Jan 14
  • uncannybeetle
  • 13th Jan 14
Single cartoons getting 10 million viewers on average?

Source for that kind of # or it's complete bs. Only Family Guy and The Simpsons pull those kind of numbers. Even South Park has been well under 4 million for the whole of the 2000s.
  • MFM
  • 13th Jan 14
See, I was hoping that the actual post cited some sort of source, and that you just cut it for the sake of brevity, instead of mindlessly parroting a statement where [citation needed].
  • MiinU
  • 13th Jan 14
""Everything you're saying seems to indicate the series failed with its target audience but was a smash hit with adults."

Did you actually read any of what I linked to? 'cuz all of the following says otherwise.

From the first link (under Reception):
  • "When the series debuted, it was rated the best television series in its demographic."
  • 2008 Nickelodeon's Kid's Choice Awards nominated for Favorite Cartoon (Won)
  • 2009 Kid's Choice Awards (nominated)

From the second link (under costumer reviews):
  • "Kids really love it, they watch the whole series."
  • "I watch it with my 7 year old son and my 5 year old daughter, and they both love it."

And, if you've ever seen vids of Bryke at various book signings, you'll see children, teens, and adults al lining up for the chance to meet them. The fact that it's attracted such a large Periphery Demographic is simply a testament of the series' quality and appeal. But the kids love it too.
  • Aldo930
  • 13th Jan 14
OK... Here are the ratings for some SpongeBob specials of the mid 2000s:

Pest of the West managed 6 million viewers. Atlantis Square Pantis managed 8 million viewers.

No details, unfortunately, are available for the other Nicktoons. The Mighty B, however, managed to attract 3 million viewers. Source is Wikipedia so remember, I cannot be trusted!
  • Aldo930
  • 13th Jan 14
I don't seek those things out, so I, again, have no idea if it's true.
  • uncannybeetle
  • 13th Jan 14
Specials are almost always significantly higher. That's why I didn't bring up Avatar's 19 million viewers in it's 'countdown to the comet' event. The Wiki link on Spongebob above states, and sources, that Spongebob averaged 2.2-2.3 million for several seasons in the early 2000s and was either the highest rated show on Nick at the time or virtually tied for the highest. Avatar averaged 1 million more than the best rated shows Nick had before it began. Maybe the Disney Channel shows rated higher. I'd believe that Hannah Montana or Kim Possible managed to average 5 or even 6 million for their best seasons.
  • Aldo930
  • 13th Jan 14
19 million? Source or bullshit. Was this spread over several days?
  • Aldo930
  • 13th Jan 14
It was spread over several days, I found out. So who knows how many of them were the same people tuning in each day?
  • uncannybeetle
  • 13th Jan 14
http://www.reuters.com/article/2008/07/22/idUS219148+22-Jul-2008+PRN20080722

It was a week-long event with 19 million total views which was widely cited as making it the most watched thing on television at the time.
  • uncannybeetle
  • 13th Jan 14
The finale had 5.6 million viewers. One other episode shown also was over 5 million and the rest were over 4 million.
  • Aldo930
  • 13th Jan 14
Thank you for the numbers. Now keep in mind, the SpongeBob events above managed to rake in more viewers and those were one night only.

And considering that this was a week long event, how many people were tuning in every day and how many just once? The 19 million total viewers may very well have been 5 million tuning in every day and a few only once.
  • uncannybeetle
  • 13th Jan 14
The events you've brought have had 9 million at the most, not over 19. Keep in mind that the finale was actually 4 back to back episodes, even though they are are counted as 1 for the purposes of reaching the 19 million viewers. Once you start to factor in episodes that aired immediately before the event, which is the only way to reach those numbers for a Spongebob event, the finale of Avatar alone reaches over 20 million, and the total for the event goes up to 35-40 million, because 5.6 million people watched each episode.
  • Aldo930
  • 13th Jan 14
Again - how many of the people watching just sat through the entire marathon? Was each viewer who watched one episode counted as part of that 19 million? It probably isn't the case that each viewer was different.
  • uncannybeetle
  • 13th Jan 14
The articles all say 'Sozin's Comet,' which is all 4 episodes. If they meant to count it per episode they would say 'sozin's comet part 1, the phoenix king,' followed by 'sozin's comet part 2, the old masters.' 99% of the viewers were the same through all 4 episodes, which is why it is counted as 5.6 and not 22.4. But to get a Spongebob event up to 19 million you'd need to count millions of people at least twice, probably more, because those same people would have been watching their own marathon.
  • Aldo930
  • 13th Jan 14
Should have clarified above - in total amount of viewers. But again - if 99% of the viewers were the same throughout those four episodes, I would also estimate the same is true for the rest of the week. Ergo... The 19 million viewers was probably much less, easily beaten by the SpongeBob specials above.
  • JackAlsworth
  • 13th Jan 14
Oh, and the only reason it isn't forgotten is because no one ever shuts up about it.

That's the only reason anything isn't forgotten.
  • marcellx
  • 13th Jan 14
Source or bullshit

Says the guy/girl who first used Anecdotal Fallacy over and over again and later went on to use what some random person on a forum said as evidence just because it was convinient to your side. I'm surprised this has gone so long since you're just desperately drawing at straws, what are you gonna come up with next.
  • VeryMelon
  • 13th Jan 14
...One guy caused all this?
  • Aldo930
  • 13th Jan 14
You know what? I am going to give up right here, right now. It's like trying to argue with yourself, nothing results but a headache.

I'll just say three things:

I did not find this show as great as you thought it was. I found it incredibly boring and the characters dull.

I do not think this show will be as influential as Tex Avery, Ren and Stimpy, or Batman: The Animated Series because most of the things it did have been done before.

I do not think the show was truly as popular as you all think it was; as I mentioned, the finale marathon could have had less viewers than 19 million because the same people could have been watching every day. The season premiere was beaten by a Disney Channel sitcom. A cult hit it may have been - a mainstream hit it was not.

So, that is why I believe this show ain't the hot shit you all think it is, and why I don't think it'll go down in animation history.
  • Aldo930
  • 13th Jan 14
^^^ I don't try to insult people, by the way, but now I think less of this show and its fandom. If you see a review written by me about this show, tell me how I'm wrong all you want. I don't want to hear it. I have heard it all before.
  • MFM
  • 13th Jan 14
Well, I don't think we could have worsened your opinion that much, considering you started this whole debacle by yelling about how this show was so overrated and how [show you liked] was better. :V

A cult hit it may have been - a mainstream hit it was not.

That's a pretty goddamn big cult if so.
  • Aldo930
  • 13th Jan 14
It just feels that way considering that it's everywhere on the net.
  • marcellx
  • 13th Jan 14
I did not find this show as great as you thought it was. I found it incredibly boring and the characters dull.

And that's completely ok, no one complained about that, you're trying to give too much credit to your own opinion on the other hand...

I do not think the show was truly as popular as you all think it was; as I mentioned, the finale marathon could have had less viewers than 19 million because the same people could have been watching every day. The season premiere was beaten by a Disney Channel sitcom.

Two things. One for someone who called bullshit above there you haven't given us much evidence that that is true, you haven't even told us the names of the sitcoms to corovorate, probably because as you said you got the information out of some random person on a forum. Two, even if that were true, that's a flawed way to corovorate popularity. Back then kid's sitcoms were still at the height of their popularity (they're looked down on now because when you take out the premises they're just re-hashing the same episodic plots. Oh I invited two girls to the same dance and I'm a, or have a friend who's a wizard/superhero/puppet/talking animal/alien/etc.) Season premieres of new shows do tend to have the lowest rating, that's why tv shows based on movies (Kung Fu Panda, Lilo & Stitch, etc.) used to do better on the pilots, they have a big reference on young audiences. That's why it's sequel The Legend of Korra was the network's most-watched animated series premiere in three years, it wasn't completely new anymore. People have already shown you the numbers, so I don't know what more do you want.

A cult hit it may have been - a mainstream hit it was not.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/False_consensus_effect

So, that is why I believe this show ain't the hot shit you all think it is, and why I don't think it'll go down in animation history.

Read Opinion Myopia

If you see a review written by me about this show, tell me how I'm wrong all you want. I don't want to hear it. I have heard it all before.

So you're saying you're stuck-up?
  • Aldo930
  • 13th Jan 14
You know what, you people keep goading me into this...

I haven't even seen the numbers. Nobody has given me any goddamned numbers. I gave you evidence that, for example, if you broke down the supposed 19 million views of the finale marathon we'd have no idea how many of those were the same people watching daily.

The quality of the kids sitcoms of the time does not have any effect on the point. The show, if it was that popular, could very well have beaten the sitcoms. But it didn't. SpongeBob, mind you, had better ratings for its specials.

I already mentioned this but it isn't groundbreaking in the way that Tex Avery, Hanna-Barbera, Ren and Stimpy or Batman: TAS were. All of them brought something new to the table and deserve their place in animation history. Avatar, though - I don't see what it brought to the table that would be considered new.

And again, I don't make judgements about your personality based on what you say. Why don't you keep the insults out of it? You're not making it any better, you know. At least the other people here are trying to educate me and don't call me names.
  • Aldo930
  • 13th Jan 14
The sitcom, by the way, was probably Cory in the House. This was on a forum for the show.

forums.avatarspirit.net/index.php?topic=8030.0

This is about the show's third season failing in the ratings.
  • Aldo930
  • 13th Jan 14
Oh, and the same page mentions that its second season usually broke 1 million regularly, 4 million at best! Not that popular, is it?
  • MFM
  • 13th Jan 14
You can't really say "No, I'm done," then completely go back on it and try to blame the other people. Nobody's holding a gun to your head and forcing you to continue replying.
  • marcellx
  • 13th Jan 14
Nobody has given me any goddamned numbers

Didn't you said above and I quote "thank you for the numbers"? If you want the numbers check wikipedia, or [[http://www.nytimes.com/2005/08/28/arts/television/28lass.html?ei=5090&en=2d9845c5b0133bb9&ex=1282881600&partner=rssuserland&emc=rss&pagewanted=all&_r=0 The New York Times]], Media Life Magazine (notice how it was the highest rated kids animated show), Animation Wold Network, Animation Magazine, News Blaze, take your pick.

SpongeBob, mind you, had better ratings for its specials.

SpongeBob aka the highest rated, longest running and Adored by the Network show? is you're logic, it wasn't the highest rated show, so that's evidence that it wasn't popular?

I haven't even seen the numbers. Nobody has given me any goddamned numbers. I gave you evidence that, for example, if you broke down the supposed 19 million views of the finale marathon we'd have no idea how many of those were the same people watching daily.

What "evidence"? you're Bias Steamrolling. So if viewer ratings, awards, sales, etc. are not good enough ways to stablish popularity then what is? (mind you, you've already been heavily critisized for Anecdotal Fallacy) Because we can use this same reasoning to say that no show is popular (say for example Batman: TAS), just like we can say that the only reason anything has not been forgotten is because everyone keeps talking about it.

Why don't you keep the insults out of it? You're not making it any better, you know. At least the other people here are trying to educate me and don't call me names.

What insults and what names?

The sitcom, by the way, was probably Cory in the House. This was on a forum for the show.

Exactly, like I said a show the audience already had reference to, in this case, That'sSoRaven, which even so it's a weird argument, Disney Channel had prioritized live-action sitcoms at that point, so I don't get what you're trying to say, did the show had to rate high even among different types of shows?.

Also See what I mean about bias, I read your link, and most of it is about people talking about how the series was being Screwed by the Network (which you apparently ignored). They talk about how they weren't advertising the new episodes to the point that people didn't "knew" new ones were out, Danny Phamton was another show that got a similar (actually worse) treatment. And this just doesn't just happen on Nick, Cartoon Network has gotten a lot of flack over this in the new milenium, a recent example is Young Justice, who got good ratings "when they bothered to anounce that, and when, new episodes came out" and even more so Fox is incredibly famous (and masively hated for) doing this, with the pattern of show it, screw it, cancel it, and uncancel it when the reruns boom on [adult swim] (Futurama, Family Guy and American Dad! say hi). Notice how the forum was when season 3 was starting while the highest rated episode, the finale (which they did advertise) had over five million viewers.
  • Aldo930
  • 14th Jan 14
OK. In the posting they talk about how the show was on Friday nights. Keep in mind, Friday nights are a very good night for children's shows - Cartoon Cartoon Fridays was massively popular, as you know. What I see is them trying to put it on a slot where kids will watch and then it failing in its timeslot. And keep in mind, I remember the Friday night blocks on CN; they didn't advertise the shows - they advertised the block.

When the 19 million viewers were referenced I simply thought that that was too high of a number; since this was an event spread over several days it was probably the same people tuning in each day.

The Fairly Odd Parents also got better ratings, I believe, and that show was never on that much.

Would someone tell me why the show was so popular at first and then massively suffered in the ratings? Apparently it was still on Friday nights.
  • marcellx
  • 14th Jan 14
In the posting they talk about how the show was on Friday nights

They said:

Kaiser Avatar: I've been saying it for a while, but this is Nickelodeon's fault. They did very little advertising for Season III, and aired it at almost the exact same time as they aired all their other new shows (which got hordes of advertising BTW.) Not only that but they seem to refuse to play Reruns of Avatar, so no wonder the Nick viewers don't know the show is back on. Hell, some of the people at my school thought the show can cancelled because they can't find it listed on the TV Guide.
airbending_master: You would think so. I remeber last year or even earlier this year I could catch Avatar everyday at 5:30 central and on Saturdays it came on back to back. Now, I have no idea what time it comes on except on Friday @ 7:30!!! What is up with that? I am so surprised by the lower ratings but hey I have faith in our show and things will get better. It has too or I will go balistic!!!!
Ju Dee: So Nick didn't do well in advertising Avatar, put a bad time to air the awesomeness of the new season, and we, who love the show have to support and worry about the ratings only so the show isn't in the danger's line.

Moving on.

The Fairly Odd Parents also got better ratings, I believe, and that show was never on that much.

Maybe not where you lived. Fairly Odd Parent was aired as much as Sponguebob, usually several episodes in succession, several times a day, with a marathon on every special premiere (up until the last Jimmy Timmy special). Executives of the network said they hoped it was gonna be the next Spongue Bob.

When the 19 million viewers were referenced I simply thought that that was too high of a number; since this was an event spread over several days it was probably the same people tuning in each day.

True, but 19 million divided by 4 are still pretty huge numbers.

And keep in mind, I remember the Friday night blocks on CN; they didn't advertise the shows - they advertised the block.

And in almost every advertisement they would tell you the shows they were gonna run that friday on the block (just like Toonami) and even then they still had individual advertisement for the shows.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TomiKzVP2jk

Would someone tell me why the show was so popular at first and then massively suffered in the ratings? Apparently it was still on Friday nights.

Again, no advertisement and bad/irregular airings. Let's say you liked both Ben10 and this series, even if you liked Avatar a lot more, since you didn't "knew" a new episode was airing, you would pick the one on Cartoon Network. That's why advertising is important.
  • MFM
  • 14th Jan 14
Keep in mind, Friday nights are a very good night for children's shows - Cartoon Cartoon Fridays was massively popular, as you know.

Talking about the success of a CN block apparently proves that that's a successful time slot for any show regardless of circumstances, apparently.

What I see is them trying to put it on a slot where kids will watch and then it failing in its timeslot. And keep in mind, I remember the Friday night blocks on CN; they didn't advertise the shows - they advertised the block.

What I see is them putting it on a slot where kids would normally watch, and then it failing due to kids not knowing about it or Nick not advertising new episodes properly. And keep in mind, I remember the Friday night blocks on CN; they didn't advertise the shows specifically they advertised new episodes for those shows in general while talking about the block, so viewers at least knew new episodes for those shows were airing then.
  • Aldo930
  • 14th Jan 14
Huge numbers, but not that huge.

For children it IS a good timeslot; after all, they have the next day off. That is why CN's Friday night lineups were so popular.

But why exactly did the network choose to screw over this series that had proven itself to be popular? Maybe if you had an answer, I would believe it.
  • marcellx
  • 14th Jan 14
But why exactly did the network choose to screw over this series that had proven itself to be popular? Maybe if you had an answer, I would believe it.

They were Screwed by the Network, the troupe itself says it best "Please try to avoid listing shows as being "screwed" just because of a disagreement over the reasons for their cancellation. Plenty of shows are canceled simply because they just weren't making any money even with the network backing it. This is about intentional sabotage (or at the least making decisions so stupid it looks like it was intentional), not "the mean network executives canceled my favorite show"." and "The answer to both of these problems, of course, is to screw the show over completely. Put it in a different time slot each episode, show it in the wrong order, bury it at midnight or in the Friday Night Death Slot, put it up against the other networks' strongest shows... do everything you can for it to build up a regular viewing audience that's not quite big enough to warrant the budget, but just big enough to cause some trouble when you cancel it for not "attracting the right audience." I gave you the famous example of the Fox shows, [adult swim] didn't make new episodes, they just aired reruns, and they advertised that they simply "had" the show. It appears that even with money on the line some executives are very petty, some have literally tried (and suceded) to get rid of popular and lucrative shows just because they personally didn't like it. So yes, this fenomenom happens so often the troupe had to divive itself into several subgroups because of all the examples it has.
  • Aldo930
  • 14th Jan 14
The difference is that this series was very high rated, as in the articles you posted. Why would they screw over this series that had proven itself to be high rated?
  • marcellx
  • 14th Jan 14
The difference is that this series was very high rated, as in the articles you posted

Difference? all examples I gave you were of high rated shows (before the screwing), which is a big part of the troupe, high ratings can't guarantee safety, look at all the popular shows that received this treatment when Cartoon Network wanted to force a shift to live action shows...over and over.
  • Awesomekid42
  • 15th Jan 14
So many comments...
  • Eagal
  • 24th Jan 14
I'm popular! =D

XD
  • BrightLight
  • 9th Oct 17
Oh for the love of...

I'm just gonna say that I agree with the OP reviewer.

Avatar is epically awesome! But it's not the best.

I'd give the "Best TV Show Ever" title to Transformers Animated.

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