My reading has slowed pretty dramatically the last three weeks because, like always, I’ve gotten addicted to a new tv show. I love tv on DVD or from Netflix, but try not to start new shows because I have this personality where if I start one I cannot stop watching it even when I have more important things to do.
The last show this happened with was Damages. I basically stopped doing anything for three days and watched an entire season. It’s that good.
The current show is Avatar: The Last Airbender, an Americanized anime series that originally played on Nickelodeon and was just recently made into a (controversial) feature film.
The show takes place in an alternate world where there are four nations, each based on one of the elements – water, earth, fire, and water. Certain people in each nation, Benders, have power over their element. And there is one person in the kingdom known as the Avatar who can master all four elements. The Avatar’s job is to keep balance between the four nations.
100 years ago the Avatar disappeared and the Fire Nation attacked the others, wiping out all the Air Benders and almost taking over the world. Then, two Water Nation kids name Katara, a Water Bender, and her brother Sokka, a warrior, discover the new Avatar, a 12-year-old named Aang who has been hiding. The group sets out to try and save the world from the Fire Nation.
This is a version of the movie trailer made from clips of the show that’s pretty good, I think. I hate the narration though. I wish I could have found the opening of the tv show for you, but my Google skills aren’t great today, I guess.
I was a big fantasy reader when I was younger – The Dragonriders of Pern; The Song of the Lioness Quartet; The Dalemark Quartet; the Dragon Prince, Dragon Star and Exiles triologies. My favorites were always books about kids with special powers and the way they grew up learning to use that power.
But above that, I think The Last Airbender is awesome because of the way it builds a really complete fantasy world. Each Nation has traditions, and the Benders use a specific form of martial arts to do their bending. It’s fascinating to watch.
I have no desire to see the film, however, because of the controversy over “racebending.” As this post from Racebending.com clearly shows, the casting for the movie made no effort to embrace the multiculturalism of the show and cast mostly white actors for clearly diverse roles. That’s disappointing. Plus, friends who saw the movie said it was just awful.
But the show is awesome, and all three seasons are available on Netflix Instant Viewing. So go watch it (but I hope you don’t get addicted like I am!).
Any other Avatar fans out there? What the most recent tv show you got addicted to? Am I the only person who gets sucked into past tv seasons like this?