New ‘Avatar’ has boy problemsBy Oliver M. Pulumbarit
Philippine Daily Inquirer
The much-anticipated sequel to the critically acclaimed animated series “Avatar: The Legend of Aang” continues the mythic saga of the reincarnating titular character, set several decades after the original story’s conclusion.
In the latest show “Avatar: The Legend of Korra,” the new Avatar surfaces after Aang’s death as the rebellious teenager Korra—a competent waterbender (a person who has control over water and other liquids). Also trained in earthbending and firebending, Korra must now master airbending under Aang’s son Tenzin.
Korra’s world is a huge departure from the previous series. While the original show’s visuals largely drew inspiration from bygone kingdoms and cultures from all over the globe, the new series’ Republic City stuns with its merging of steampunk-era designs and distinctly Asian artistry.
The initial season, “Book One: Air,” primarily introduces Korra as the eager but impatient student who nonetheless learns more about her importance and duties when she discovers firsthand the various thrills and dangers of Republic City.
Her arrival and activities, however, are being monitored by the Equalists, a group of non-powered individuals demanding a bender-free city. Korra and her new allies face the threat posed by the Equalists’ masked leader Amon, who claims to be the survivor of a firebender attack.
Fans of the first “Avatar” will be pleased to see old characters return. “Korra” also immediately introduces descendants of the original heroes, who also distinguish themselves through the course of the first season. Previously unrevealed secrets of the older characters connect heavily to “Korra’s” current mythology, but new heroes and villains keep it fresh and accessible.
The Korra-Equalist conflict is reminiscent of the mutant-versus-human dynamic of the “X-Men” comic book and movies. Still, that new element to the drama is the next logical phase for this culminating world, which brings together “regular” people and those who openly wield their elemental powers.
As for Korra, she’s no gentle, focused Aang. While she’s usually smart and confident, she can be stubborn and reckless. Korra rectifies mistakes and learns from them, only to meet new challenges like boys and other relatable dilemmas.
“Avatar: The Legend of Korra” airs September 28 at 7 p.m. on Nickelodeon.
‘Ultimate Cake Off’
“Ultimate Cake Off” returns for a second season on TLC. The show, hosted by George Duran, pits teams of renowned pastry artists against each other, tasked with making themed cakes every week. The show airs Wednesdays at 7 p.m.
History Channel’s “Special Forces” provides a glimpse of the extensive training of Philippine Marine Corps Recon recruits. The episode airs on September 16 (11 p.m.), and September 30 (10 p.m.).
‘What I See’
Professional photographer Francisco “Paco” Guerrero, a balikbayan, explores parts of the Philippines in the weekly series “What I See,” airing Sundays (7:30 p.m.), Mondays (6:30 a.m. and 5:30 p.m.) and Saturdays (11 a.m. and 5:30 p.m.) on Talk TV.
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