In Honor Of The Netflix Avatar The Last Airbender Show, Here's Bad Ramblings On The Original

The new show starts tomorrow, so it would be a good idea to get all of the bad ideas about how the original show can be improved or ruined here and now.  I don't mean bad takes or hot takes or political anything, just deranged ravings that have probably never been said before, as this is potentially the last time such a thing can be done without the influence of the new work.

First:  Appa and Momo are clearly the same species, given that they both fly, seem to be the only extant iterations of their sort of being, and come from the same Air Temple as Aang.  The show is titled as though Aang's supposed to be the last airbender, but clearly Appa is airbending and probably Momo is as well, so the only logical explanation is that Appa doesn't count because Appa has "First Airbender" status for being of the species that were the original airbenders and Momo doesn't count for being of the same species as Appa.  I took logic classes in school, this makes sense.  It's called induction.
Furthermore, the two most compelling explanations of how a flying lemur and a six-legged buffalo-thing can be the same species are (1):  the lemurs are a larval stage and the buffalo-things are the adult stage or (2) the lemurs are the adult stage and the buffalo-thing is an ootheca/cocoon/pre-larval mass that eventually bursts into many lemurs.  The difference is whether Momo looks at Appa and thinks "Mommy?" or "Little brothersisters!"


  • edited 2024-02-22 00:58:58


    As you can see, the visual evidence is incontrivertible.  The ootheca of whatever-the-heck-species-produced-that-which-is-pictured-in-this-stock-image is indistinguishable from a flying buffalo monster drawn by some anonymous person with an awesome hat.  This implies that the unknown flying species is possibly a form of mantis (which makes sense, as the praying Mantis is a most pious insect and would gladly hang out with monks), or roach or something (which makes sense, as roaches run away from light as a survival strategy and running away from light-sources is the chief survival strategy of the characters in the original A:TLA.
  • Second: People on the internet are saying that the new show's going to be bad/good and ruin/elevate the thing forever, but I would have ruined/improved it much faster if those stuffed shirts at Netflix had followed my simple plot-improvements.

    (1):  Ditch Zuko and Iroh.  Sure, Zuko's arc is good enough that people praise it all the time, but that just means that any attempt to recreate it is going to be compared to something generally agreed to be That Darn Good, so any effort spent thereby is automatically wasted.  Also, without the charm of animation or the talent of voice actors, a lot of the appeal is lost and must somehow be regained, and I don't quite see how that's possible.  Imagine trying to do the same to a classic Looney Tunes short.  "But Rozzy" you say, "The appeal of such always came from voice acting and animation!"  and thereby you have been forced to acknowledge that Writing is not the sole wellspring of appeal or quality, and have attained wisdom.
    Given that the reboot cannot win from a writing standpoint, and it cannot win from a not-writing standpoint, the inclusion of such characters is a burdensome obligation which cannot benefit the new show, and the exclusion of such characters opens up a lot of screen-time, much of which could include hats.

    (2)  Ditch Toph.  The show didn't have her for a whole season, so she clearly isn't necessary.  They didn't even bother to give her an episode where she went and had an adventure with Zuko, that's how disposable she is.

    (3)  Ditch Earthbending entirely.  Earth was only ever included as an obligation, and the Earth Kingdom contributed jack to the Day of Black Sun.  Heck, given how Azula figured out about the invasion, the Earth Kingdom's contribution in this regard is negative.  You can't remove airbending from the premise, it's too fundamental.  Same with Firebending.  Waterbending is the main magic of our good guy side from the start.  Again, the main cast didn't need to include any earthbenders for the entire first season.
    I mean, does anybody really watch the show and go "Oh boy, Earthbending!  That's my favorite element!  I can't wait to see some prime Rock-Dirt shenanigans!  Earthbending ain't nothing, yo.  The kids don't like it.  This entire time, everybody's just taken earth for granite.
  • Touch the cow. Do it now.
    what about the movie
  • what about the movie

    I advised M. Night Shyamalan on that one.  He refused to give everybody hats, but incorporated many of my ideas without paying me, just like those STUFFED SHIRTS AT HABGSGRO.
  • Touch the cow. Do it now.
    I knew it
  • edited 2024-02-22 02:47:06
    (4):  You know that one episode at the Northern Air Temple that people talk about all the time (so it must be great)?  Go even further with the "The Avatar must accept all peoples", "The Avatar must accept change", "The duties of the Avatar are mutually incompatible with the duties of being the final Airbender", and "You have to let go of your past or it will define you forever and dwelling on the terrible things people have done to you makes you a heartless monster" themes by incorporating them into the Appa Gets Stolen arc.
    Like, have the sandbending nomad guys bring out paperwork showing that Appa is legally theirs now, and Aang goes from "WHERE IS MY BISON" to "Crud, these papers are notarized as beans".  They never get Appa back, and learning to stop being unhappy about that is an important stepping stone in the journey to be a good avatar and not be aangry.
    Fortunately, Momo lays Appa II, who bursts into hundreds of lemurs in the finale as a beautiful spectacle of the cycle of life.
  • edited 2024-03-01 02:50:57
    They can't get the papers to contest the paperwork because those papers are in the library and they're not allowed there anymore.  This will teach the children watching an important lesson to not violate their Magical Library Privileges (a thing I think we share an appreciation for, both being magical librarians).

    This will also be a character moment where Aang accuses Toph of never having liked paperwork.
  • (5):  Have the waterbenders from the Southern tribe be unable to bend fresh water, and the waterbenders from the Northern tribe be unable to bend salt water.  It never made sense that the same thing worked on both.  Also have the seas around the north pole be fresh and the seas around the south pole be salty, because they're POLAR OPPOSITES LOL I AM SMART.
    Then have the swamp guys bend the otherwise-impossible-to-bend brackish water of the swamp, for a perfect "oh yeah, I guess there aren't only two versions of this" realization.  Also the Fire Nation uses brackish water for many purposes when they don't want it used against them, so when they show up again during the eclipse it's all "OH SNAP".
    Also the audience has a "oh crap, blood is technically sort of like salty body-water" for the bloodbending episode.
    The fans will love this and not think it's stupid and convoluted I SWEAR GUYS.  It will totally make up for the lack of Earthbending or metalbending.
  • 6: Hv th chrctrs spk nl n cnsnnts.  Vwls r s 2010's.
  • edited 2024-03-04 03:30:53
    7:  Okay, so, the Fire Nation, being a volcanic island chain featuring (as far as we know) exclusively stratovolcanoes, would be more geologically similar to Japan than to Hawai'i (which is mostly shield volcanoes).  Stratovolcanoes tend to give silica-rich and iron-poor rock, shield volcanoes tend to give iron-rich and silica-poor rock.

    Wouldn't it be a cool bit of worldbuilding if the Fire Nation, like Japan, had insignificant-to-minimal-to-nonexistent deposits of quality iron, copper, gold, silver, coal, and oil, and that which we see them use is largely taken from their colonies in the Earth Kingdom?  (This is, of course, assuming we don't ditch Earth altogether).  If volcanoes are both earth-associated and fire-associated, then if we have to divide them then it feels like fire would thematically get the more smoky/pointy and explosive stratovolcanoes and earth would thematically get the more steadily-flowing/round shield volcanoes and the other types of volcanoes would-SHUT UP I TOOK GEOLOGY IN SCHOOL I'M SMART GEOLOGY IS COOL AND WE NEED TO INCORPORATE IT INTO OUR STORIES SHUT UP SHUT UP PEOPLE WILL LOVE IT WHEN WE DEDICATE AN HOUR-LONG EPISODE TO THIS
  • So, I saw the first few episodes of the new show.  It's pretty good, I like it.

    By not doing the episode The Northern Air Temple, it's automatically achieved massive props over the original in my book.  It also has lots of helmets and hats.  I'm a simple Suchian, I like what I like.  The fwoosh-fwooshes were fwoosh-fwooshy, the baff-shwoooms were both bafffy and shwoomy, the vwomph-bwomphs were vwomph-bwomphy.

    It's a shame that the internet is so obsessed with "good writing" that it can't appreciate THIS GLORIOUS HAT: image
  • Touch the cow. Do it now.
    that is an impressive hat
  • edited 2024-03-12 21:58:42
    "But Rozzy, the main pull of the animated show was always the characters and writing!"
    No, the main pull of the show was originally the road-trip-through-a-fantasy-world setup, the potential for cool fight scenes, and the kid-show humor.  People didn't start saying "Oh dang, these characters, yo!" until season two, and they didn't start talking about how great the plot of the first season was until they needed a way to dunk on the movie without insulting the show.

    It just bugs me that when it comes to television the only way the fandom knows how to say "this show was good" anymore is to talk about it like they're talking about The Sopranos or The Wire or something.  Is it any wonder that their favorite PG Cartoon with 20-minute episodes got turned into a PG-13 Live Action miniseries with hour-long episodes?
  • Kurosawa never had the best scripts for his movies.  He had loads of competitors who had better scripts and better scriptwriters and treated the scriptwriters they did have better, whose movies ended up not being nearly as respected as his.  The critics of his time noted the weakness of the writing, but also noted that such did not matter.

    This could only have happened when film was a relatively new medium, and exploring-visual-possibilities/aesthetic-creativity/cinematic-inventiveness seen as a valid end in and of itself.
    Star Wars was at the tail end of this era, the backlash against the Star Wars Prequels marked the final victory of scriptwriters and "good writing" over every other aspect of cinema, and the fact that sixty kazillion ten-hour long tedious Youtube videos exist to explain to you why the latest media is garbage because of bad writing and basically none exist to analyze aesthetics in any in-depth way speaks volumes of the internet's perception.

    I'm not saying that the new Avatar show is equal to The Hidden Fortress, I'm saying that if it were it wouldn't matter if it were because we've been taught that visual marvel is soulless and decadent, meaningless (especially if CGI), Michael-Bay stuff for people who don't understand what makes fiction good or compelling.
  • don't people also think the original cartoon looks better than the remake as well?

    I have no horse here since I have never liked Avatar for unrelated reasons but I was also of the impression that people thought it looked bad or at least not as good as the original.
    Ali_Roz said:

    It just bugs me that when it comes to television the only way the fandom knows how to say "this show was good" anymore is to talk about it like they're talking about The Sopranos or The Wire or something.  Is it any wonder that their favorite PG Cartoon with 20-minute episodes got turned into a PG-13 Live Action miniseries with hour-long episodes?
    I mean, ideally the visual and narrative aspect should compliment each other in some way. I agree that a lot of the discourse about "good writing in media" is overly narrow, but I don't really think "people are too hard on things that look nice but are badly-written" is why.
  • don't people also think the original cartoon looks better than the remake as well?

    I have no horse here since I have never liked Avatar for unrelated reasons but I was also of the impression that people thought it looked bad or at least not as good as the original.
    I think it's kind of a Top Gun thing (if we'd had fifty Top Guns since 2008 and no superhero movies in the last thirty-five years, people would have reacted to a solidly-made superhero movie the way they did to the new Top Gun) where (at least some) people are satiated with the big-budget live-action miniseries form and want to encourage animation.

    Of course, this doesn't extend to appreciating the animation of The Legend of Korra, because that show had "Bad Writing", and thus the off-model frames or visual-inconsistencies-between-episodes aren't forgivable in the way they seem to have been for the original.
  • Alright, having seen the other four episodes:  It's good, and the internet's just whack.  It gets better as it goes and by the end is at least as good as the first season of the cartoon was at its end.

    They're clearly banking everything on Season Two being as good as possible, given how much runtime was setups which were originally from Season Two in the cartoon.  Heck, a surprising amount of early Season Two non-setup-stuff is in the live-action's first season, presumably to free up time so the live-action's second season will have less ground to cover.

    If they manage it, the fans just might forgive (what they see as) the first season's flaws in light of the second season's strengths (as they did with the cartoon).  If they don't, it'll be good to know that this trip was a complete waste of time for everyone.
  • edited 2024-04-04 02:01:40
    Also, I have just about HAD IT with people complaining about big budget studio animation being disrespected by being remade into live action.

    It's is a high-status form, and acknowledging that Live-Action has a higher status doesn't change that.  Lackadaisy, the best webcomic of them all, stopped updating over 1,447 days ago to become a pretty-darn-good animated show, at a time when the webcomic medium needed it more than ever.  And Lackadaisy wasn't even finished!  You dingbats got three seasons, a full plot run through to its end.

    Dune II, one of the most important and influential video/computer games of all time, arguably more important to its medium than Dune was to literature or even Sci-Fi, got entirely overwritten by the new movie and nobody complains about that.  Heck, nobody ever talks about how good the new Dune board game is.

    Live Action > Big Budget Studio Animation > Book > video/computer game > Board Game, and everybody's complaining that Animation is disrespected and unloved.
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