Alright, it’s time to come clean. I’m obsessed. Again. This obsession problem isn’t new… I’ve been slain by a girl named Buffy, an orphan named Harry worked some serious magic on me, and the survivors of Flight 815 had me trapped on that island with them for a while too. Just when I thought the world of make-believe had become mediocre, my heart (and mind, and soul) has been hijacked once again, this time by Team Avatar.
I’m a woman of very little willpower. I had a small supply that I used to resist Polter-Cow and the TV Whore for many months. And this was no easy feat. See if you can read PC’s most awesome Avatar: The Last Airbender pimp and then Rae’s oh, and this other one from P-C and not run right home to mainline this show. But I held off, because I knew that once I started, obsession would likely be quick and unstoppable. Then a few weeks into the 2007 fall TV season, I realized that my schedule was full, but my heart was not. Sure Chuck makes me chuckle, and those Heroes can wow me, but the big hole left by the sudden departure of my Tuesday night ladies has been aching and calling out for something to fill it. I’m overjoyed to report that Avatar: The Last Airbender has answered the call.
Avatar is so much more than a show about a boy who’s saddled with the destiny of saving the world. It’s about growing up, making hard choices, finding family among friends. It’s filled with layered characters who care deeply, and are flawed as well as heroic. Aang is the Avatar, the last of the Airbenders, and the last hope for a world under siege. Upon returning to civilization after a 100 year absence, he befriends a girl with an inkling of power, and her brother – a boy with great wit and a desire to help fight in the battle. These new friends join him on his mission, vowing to help him however they can. Along the way, they meet many interesting characters, build up a slew of formidable foes, and their team grows and becomes a family. They learn how to control and wield their incredible powers, and they are forced to make some very difficult sacrifices along the way.
But it’s not just that this group of heroes is compelling, and it’s not just that they’re on a great mission, or that the Avatar world and mythology are so well planned and carefully crafted. It’s that this show makes me FEEL. And boy do I miss TV that makes me feel. I care deeply about Aang, Katara, Sokka, Toph, Appa and Momo. So much so that at least 2 episodes in season two made me cry. Serious, tears streaming down my face crying. But Avatar is funny too – I find myself laughing out loud almost every episode. And I don’t even know how many episodes I watched perched on the edge of my seat, holding my breath, with my heart pounding because of the action. And in case you didn’t already know, this is an animated program! I’ve never been so enraptured by an animated program, despite having enjoyed many over the years. I certainly never thought there’d be one that would suck me in like this. Sure signs that I’m hooked? I often find myself wanting to re-watch episodes as soon as they’re over. I think about the show and the characters when I’m not watching, and I want to convince others to watch it so they can experience the Avatar love (and then we can talk about it). And I actually worry about when the show might end. Oh, and the icons. I’ve been making Avatar: The Last Airbender icons like crazy. Sometimes I’m glad that Avatar isn’t done with live actors because I honestly don’t think my brain could take it.
The factor that pushed me from interested and enjoying Avatar: The Last Airbender in season 1 to being in love and obsessed with it in season 2, is the continuity. Not as noticeable in season one, the continuity really impresses in season 2. Characters that seemed like one shots return, and their story and past with our heroes matters. Right down to little details like the recurring Cabbage Man, Avatar has got some serious continuity. I’m now fighting the incredible urge to buy season 1 on DVD because of all the times I’ve wanted to go back and reference what they were talking about in season 2. G’ah! I can’t get enough Avatar!
Have I won you over? Or at least peaked your interest? If you miss caring about your TV shows, then you need to give Avatar: The Last Airbender a try. Want to catch this wave of TV joy yourself? There’s a few ways you can get caught up. Season 1 & 2 are now available on DVD. You can get series sets, or individual DVD’s depending on how you like ‘em. The season sets come with an extra disc of special features, and in theory should be cheaper than the individual discs, but I’ve found that I can get deals on the individual discs making them the more affordable option. You can make that choice for yourself though. Or you can download them from iTunes. I downloaded season one, but I enjoy my TV so much more on the TV than on the computer, that I bought the individual season 2 DVDs. Which I watched in a week. It seems my timing was perfect because the first five episodes of season 3 came out on DVD last week. I have episodes 6 & 7 recorded and my PVR is set for the rest of the season, so I will be watching in real time very soon.
Check it out, and then let us know what you think! C’mon… let the pimping get you too!