Not only am I an avid book reader, I'm also an avid TV watcher. And every once in awhile, I get really into a show that contains all the elements of a great YA novel. These aren't shows adapted from books, they're just brilliantly written scripts and scenes. This will be a once-in-awhile kind of feature, one that I'll post when I discover an amazing television show that YA lovers absolutely need to watch.
The Legend of Korra (Nickelodeon)
I watch a lot of cartoons. A lot. So trust me when I tell you that not all cartoons are childish and immature. That's a judgement that makes me want to kick people in the head. The Legend of Korra is appropriate and can entertain small children, but its story and world is clearly built for an older audience. Where its prequel series, Avatar: The Last Airbender is more middle-grade, Korra is definitely YA all the way. Four episodes in and it's already got young, mature and strong characters, a creepy villain, a solid story and even a hint at a little romance.
In Avatar: The Last Airbender, twelve-year-old Aang was unfrozen from an iceberg he had been trapped in for the last 100 years. He is the Avatar - someone who can control all of the elements (fire, earth, water and air) - and his disappearance has allowed the Fire Nation to rage war against all other Nations, sending the world into death and destruction. He and some friends he meets along the way head out on a journey to stop the Fire Nation and bring peace to the world.
Flash forward seventy years to The Legend of Korra. Aang has passed and it's time for the new Avatar to emerge. She's a snarky, loud, fearless water-bender named Korra. She leaves her tribe and travels to Republic City - founded by Aang and Fire Nation leader Zuko - to properly continue her Avatar training with Aang's son, Tenzin. She meets some friends - brothers Bolin and Mako - and finds herself caught in an evil plot to eliminate all benders powers by a masked figure named Amon.
The series is about her adjusting to life as the Avatar in a new place. Korra is such an admirable character but the creators knew that everybody - especially teenagers - have flaws. She's hotheaded, rebellious and often acts without thinking but I love her SO STINKING MUCH. The story can be kind of dark at times, but there are tons of characters that provide a comic relief. (Bolin, Tenzin's children and even Korra herself has me cracking up at times)
It's like an epic fantasy novel in animated form. Action. Magic. Romance. Kick-ass characters. Hilarity. EVERYTHING. It's so addicting. It's so good. I usually sleep in til 12:30 on weekends but I've been getting up extra early just to catch the new episodes every Saturday.
And, if you need a bit of extra incentive, I want to bring up the awesomeness that is MAKO. Some people say that cartoons can't be attractive but seriously ...
YOUR ARGUMENT IS INVALID.
The Legend of Korra can be seen on Nickelodeon every Saturday at 11 AM.