My head is buzzing with delight after reading Netflix’s latest, subtle, announcement that Avatar: The Last Airbender will now be given new life as a live action series. It’s only been a few days since the release of Aaron Ehasz’s, one of the authors for the Avatar comic books, new series, The Dragon Prince. I haven’t even gotten to watch this new show yet, and now I get news of a refresh on Avatar!
It’s been since 2008, since the end of the original cartoon series from Nickelodeon. The original did a fantastic job at interweaving childish entertainment with adult humor that made the show enjoyable for teens, adults, and children alike. I began watching the show as a child and grew along with it. When the series ended I was a young adult. For me it was obvious that the show grew older as it progressed along through its three seasons. It lost much of its childish charm and delved into a darker story and dealt with a lot of real issues such as life, death, love, and loss.
To me that is what made the show irresistibly charming as a young adult.
Being a fan, I was excited when it was later announced that M. Night. Shyamalan would be bringing the series to the silver screen for the summer of 2010. Wanting to believe, I insisted that the movie might be good due in part to the fact that the original creators, Bryan Konietzko and Michael Dante DiMartino, would act as Shyamalan’s advisors, or so Nickelodeon advertised. In the end they had little to do with the outcome of the move and unfortunately the movie took everything that was charming about the original series and threw it out the window. I’ll try not to be too mean, but the movie was absolute garbage that had many disappointed. Shyamalan’s career took a big hit as the director who did not come out with another movie again until The Visit in 2015, which actually turned out to be a very good movie. Lesson learned, Shyamalan. Stick to what you know.
As a fan myself, and thanks to the disappointment in 2010, unfortunately I look on this with regrettable skepticism. I am a cautious creature after having learned my lesson the first time around. The show has no small feat ahead of it as the original series ended after a total of 61 episodes dispersed into 3 seasons. Luckily they have a lot of fluff episodes that they can afford to lose, however I hope they keep the childish charm that the original series had. Additionally I hope they allow us, as the viewers, to grow as the show progresses into the epic final season.
The fandom for Avatar has been dead and silent since the end of the sequel to the original series: Avatar: The Legend of Korra ended back in 2014. The show was another huge hit for the original creators, Bryan Konietzko and Michael Dante DiMartino, as it took on a different view of the universe in which the story is set in.
I have to believe in my heart of hearts that something good can come out of this. Regardless, I am eager to see where things go. So let me know what you think in the comments below. What are you thoughts on this latest development?