Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Avatar: The Last Airbender - Season 2

Avatar's second season goes along much in the same way as the first, with a few little changes here and there. It didn't seem to have quite the same amount of embarrassing moments, but not quite the same amount of awesome moments either. It's still a good fantasy action show that succeeds based on its characters. There was always a good chemistry between the Avatar and the two siblings, and the addition of a fourth human party member is a nice one, even if they seem to dip into the well of blind jokes a little too often. They're all fairly funny and capable fighters, and although the constant teasing of their various crushes is a bit irritating as always, it doesn't really get in the way. The primary antagonist from the first season was a somewhat sympathetic character, at least more complex than you'd expect from a kid's cartoon, and his role changes even more as he wrestles over who he really wants to be in season two. At times he can be a prick, but his evolution is one of the series' more interesting aspects.

I'm not quite sure how I feel at the overall direction of the plot in comparison to the first season. There's a greater sense of continuity as the characters are clearly moving on a set path towards a goal, instead of hopping from place to place in various one-offs as the plot moves in jumps and starts, and usually I like that. It's just that some of plot points are more frustrating than I'd like and while the story is interesting, it's the unique and exciting action sequences that drew me into the series, and they're slightly stifled in this season. It's not a big problem though, as things keep moving forward at a generally quick pace and there are still some great scenes. They also do some things that are a little darker than I expected, showing the seedy underside of the earth benders and further driving the point home that things aren't purely good or evil. I'm in a hurry to watch season three and see how the tale ends.

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