The Legend of Korra Hits Netflix Screens


This is a show poster of Legends of Korra with Avatar Korra and her companions, Mako and Bolin, along with her airbending mentor, Tenzin.

On Friday, August 14, 2020, all four seasons of The Legend of Korra released for streaming on Netflix. Although the show has been readily available on DVD, Blu-ray and small online streaming platforms for quite a while, fans have long-awaited its availability on a big, higher-quality streaming platform. Nearly 12 years ago, after the acclaimed show Avatar: The Last Airbender aired on Nickelodeon to an outstanding critical and fan acclaim, viewers were thrilled to encounter a show that expanded the realm of Avatar characters and themes. However, The Legend of Korra is not nearly as holistically loved, even with an underlying essence of the first show, often leaving new audiences baffled on what to expect. 

Catered towards a slightly older audience (12+), fans that grew up loving Avatar would be able to savor this substantive show at exactly the right age. More mature teenage storytelling takes place through complex themes, drastic character development, and messy romance. The show fully fleshes out relatable adolescence with awkward love triangles, heartbreak, and confusing breakups. 

(Read the Avatar review/summary here)This spin-off series is set 70 years after the events of the preliminary show and follows Korra from the Southern Water Tribe, the next Avatar after Aang. Korra’s quest to master the art of airbending under her mentor, Tenzin, leads her to discover companions Mako, Asami, and Bolin in Republic City. Korra must battle emerging dark forces threatening to annihilate Republic City, the four nations, and spiritual balance, all while still learning her place and power as the Avatar. 

Despite the limited creative freedom given to the creators, they still managed to thematically evolve upon Avatar and its existing universe in a tangible and satisfying manner. The Legend of Korra brings to life fresh conflicts, relationships, characters, and villains. All the while, fans will still feel a trickle of lovely nostalgia upon watching known settings, seeing familiar creatures, meeting old characters, and re-watching the magic of element bending.  

However, the most vital insight and suggestion I can provide viewers as they step into the show is to never compare it with Avatar. Even though the show is a sequel that creatively extends the boundaries of Avatar, it is beyond imperative to note that the two shows are significantly different. The moment one begins comparing Appa to Nagga, Sokka to Bolin, and Korra to Aang, The Legend of Korra begins to feel a lot smaller than it really is. Creating a sequel that lives up to such an exceptional show like Avatar is one of the most difficult tasks. Thus, only by mentally detaching the show from Avatar and quitting the comparison game can viewers truly have a fresh opinion and experience.

The Legend of Korra is saturated with a colorful variety. Loveable characters with easy humor and hilarious quirks have viewers giggling from non-stop entertainment while spunky villains both scare and enthrall them with nefarious schemes. The show is beautifully doused in a thousand shades of its universe, whether it be whimsically bright or savagely dark. 

The show is dense with crisp animation and narrative substance. Although she is not as powerful and charming as many would like her to be, the highly progressive drama and action are further amplified by a tenacious female lead, defying insidious gender norms severely rooted in animated media.   

The Legend of Korra is undoubtedly brimmed with entertainment. However, the quality of each season is inconsistent. After a captivating first season, the second one was highly criticized and severely disappointing due to a slow beginning, confusing ending, and weak character choices. Korra makes unreasonable decisions, holds an obnoxious ego, and is simply not likable as a main character throughout the second season. Season three distinctly stood out to be one of the best because of petrifying yet powerful villains, along with a consistently riveting story arc and thrill. Unfortunately, performance once again sloped down in the fourth season. 

Despite harsh comparisons to its previous show, with an epic 93% on Rotten tomatoes, an 82% audience score, and 8.4/10 on IMDb, the overall ratings of The Legend of Korra never failed to impress!

I would rate this show an 8.5/10. Quarantine viewers itching an exhilarating watch will be thrilled to binge this refreshing series. There are downs and there are ups, but weaving together all threads of the show, it concludes leaving you full and smiling.