The first season of The Legend of Korra is good. Unfortunately, it's that hair-pullingly frustrating sort of “good” that constantly reminds you it had the potential to be so much more. Keep that in mind, as my review is going to sound far more negative than my actual opinion of the show, which is fairly ambivalent. Throughout the development of the show, the creators talked a big game about how Korra was going to tackle more mature themes and feature a more nuanced conflict. They failed in providing this. Utterly. The problem is, the set up was all there: the people of the city rising up in anger, lead by an extremist of dubious morality. A politician more concerned with milking the conflict for his own benefit than actually helping things. An Avatar who's idea of “problem solving” is “head butt it and throw it through a window”. And by the end Amon is so clearly evil that the only real “ambiguity” to his defeat is the question of whether it's more surprising he didn't have a handlebar mustache under that mask or that he didn't shout “Curses! Foiled again!” when he was defeated. Tarrlok, who could have been used to raise some really interesting questions about the balance of freedom and security, descends almost immediately into puppy kicking villainy. Korra solves the problem by throwing Amon through a window, though at least she didn't headbutt him. In the end though, it really comes down to how the Equalists were portrayed. Giving them legitimate problems could deliver a lesson on how, in situations like this, just beating them up is attacking a symptom of the problem, and not the problem itself. Korra could learn one of the first things Tenzin says she needs to, that “being the Avatar is about more than fighting.” Instead, however, they're just a bunch of deluded idiots and hatemongers who deserved everything they got. In the end, instead of Grey And Gray Morality, we end up with Black and White and Black Morality, with Korra standing between Tarrlok and Amon as the shining light to their darkness. Where's the nuance there? All in all, it's popcorn entertainment. If you don't think about it too hard and don't go in expecting too much, it'll keep you occupied for a few hours. The problem for me is that, as a fan of the original, I came in expecting so much more than this, and was sorely disappointed by it.
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