Culture Feature

America Is the Fire Nation from “Avatar: The Last Airbender”

And Zuko's arc represents transformation from complicity to active allyship.

Zuko from Avatar

Addicted to an illusion of its own greatness. Motivated to violence by the belief that the rest of the world would benefit from colonization. Willing to go to war to achieve its goals.

These words could describe America. They could also describe the Fire Nation in Avatar: The Last Airbender.

Avatar: The Last Airbender is a kids' show that aired on Nickelodeon from 2005 to 2008. It tells the story of a world of four nations, each with sovereignty over a specific element: Earth, Water, Air, and Fire. Throughout the show, we get to see the many ravages of the Fire Nation's 100-year war, which has devastated the environment, enraged the spirit world, and created thousands upon thousands of refugees.

The show begins in a world in which the Fire Nation has launched a massive war in an attempt to colonize the world. Most of the Earth and Water kingdoms have been overtaken, and the entire race of Air Nomads has been wiped out—all except one.

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TV News

Netflix's Live-Action "Avatar: The Last Airbender" Is Probably Ruined

Hopes for a decent live-action series based on a beloved cartoon are always too good to be true.

Nickelodeon Movies

While live-action adaptations of beloved animated series are typically horrendous, fans of Avatar: The Last Airbender were tentatively excited for the upcoming Netflix adaptation.

Even after 2010's universally loathed live-action The Last Airbender movie directed by M. Night Shyamalan, fans held out hope that when Netflix announced a new Avatar: The Last Airbender live-action series, this time would be different. After all, series creators, Michael Dante Dimartino and Bryan Konietzko, would be helming the project.

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TV Features

"The Legend of Korra" Is Now on Netflix: Best Sequel Ever?

While some fans of Avatar: the Last Airbender have balked at the sequel series, they're just wrong.

For longtime fans of Avatar: The Last Airbender, it's been a delight to see the series gain so much recognition since it arrived on Netflix this summer.

So much so that a live-action Avatar series is now in the works (though the original creators recently cut ties from the project...) and has fans crossing their fingers so hard they might fall off.

Not many children's cartoons about people with magic powers can break through to a mainstream adult audience quite the way "the Aang gang" has managed to—but not many deserve to. The depth of character, the charming humor, the moments of genuine heartbreak, and the impressive artistry of the animated action combine to make one of the best animated shows of all time.

With so much to live up to, it's almost a given that a sequel—much like the train wreck of M. Night Shyamalan's film adaptation—would end up disappointing the fans. And yet... The Legend of Korra, available on Netflix starting August 14th, might be even better than its predecessor. So why have so many fans turned against it?

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