Bending boundaries in television

Nickelodeon

The Legend of Korra is a Nickelodeon cartoon that is the sequel to The Last Airbender. The series takes place in a world where there are four elements: fire, water, earth, and air. Some people in this world are born with the ability to master and bend an element; however, only the avatar can bend all four elements. This brief introduction does not give the series the props it deserves (in fact it even makes it seem a little childish). However, in my opinion, it is one of the best television series aired so far.

Besides having a great plot and 100% on Rotten Tomatoes, The Legend of Korra has awe-inspiring themes for a so-called “children’s show,” focusing on gender, race, and sexual identity. For example, it has had a feminist angle from the start, with Korras as the main heroine/avatar of the tale. Furthermore, the plot addresses recurring themes in modern society such as combating weapons of mass destruction, PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder), and fascism, all the while embracing the Buddhist tenets of balance.

At the end of the original series The Last Airbender, the main character Aang, played by a male, kisses his female crush, Katara. Cliché? Yes. However, the Legend of Korra breaks boundaries in animation history when Korra falls in love with another girl, Asami, as they go to the spiritual world together. In the beginning of the series, Korra also dates a male figure for a while. So it seems that the brilliant creators of this series have created a bisexual couple to show viewers that sexuality is not only about being homosexual or heterosexual.

However, in leaving many liberals with smiles on their faces, the series did receive a lot of criticism from conservative critics. In fact, some sources state that the final scene in the series should have depicted a kiss between Korra and Asami, but was cut out by Nickelodeon.

This left many lovers of the show (including myself) insulted, for it seemed unreasonable to cut a scene from a show because of challenging themes, especially after the creators had previously earned Nickelodeon a Primetime Emmy for The Last Airbender and a 9.2 rating in IMDB (12th place for best show ever made), which was its own piece of brilliance.

This series is so revolutionary and represents such a huge leap forwards for television history that it deserves more attention. I urge everyone, no matter how conservative or liberal, to watch this show.