[TV REVIEW] Revisit childhood nostalgia watching Avatar: The Last Airbender


Screen Capture: Avatar on Netflix

Go back to watch this show with nostalgia for youthful summer mornings. Avatar: The Last Airbender does not disappoint.

It has been 15 years since Aang first busted out of the iceberg and onto Nickelodeon television screens, but since his show has been put onto Netflix, the story of Avatar: The Last Airbender has been brought back into the lives of nostalgic young people. Netflix released all three seasons May 15 of the animated children’s television show. Avatar has experienced a miniature explosion in popularity years after it’s debut. Across social media people are sharing their fondness of the music, being inspired by the art, and reminiscing on their not-so childhood crushes on Prince Zuko. The show has really shown its ability to stand the test of time.

The show is split up into three seasons each with 20 episodes, except for the final season with 21. Each episode runs 24 minutes. That’s a lot of Avatar, but it’s completely worth it. Although it’s a children’s show it doesn’t hold back from hard-hitting storyline. There are heartbreaking moments, but the show always seems to bring a wonderful childlike vigor. The writing isn’t always elegant, as characters often make choices just to push the story in a certain direction. Viewers can’t always be sure what lessons characters will stick to or completely forget. Those moments can remind you that this is a kids’ show from 2005. Yet they don’t ruin it whatsoever.

Avatar: The Last Airbender does not disappoint. Unlike 2010 movie The Last Airbender — that one disappoints hard.”

Avatar influenced shows to come such as Adventure Time, Steven Universe, and She-Ra and the Princesses of Power. In the 1990s and early 2000’s children’s programming began to go through a major change as writers increasingly replaced cheap gags and repetition with quality storytelling. Although Looney Toons has its merits, the plotlines that arose after were increasingly complex. In Avatar: The Last Airbender they don’t shy from topics such as sexism or classism. Sokka, one of the first protagonists introduced in the show, makes sexist statements. He comments on how since he’s a boy he should be the one doing the rough and tumble, and brushes off everything his sister does as frivolous and feminine. The show makes a fool of him for this. Even if the writing can seem lazy at times, it’s also smart.

Go back to watch this show with nostalgia for youthful summer mornings. Avatar: The Last Airbender does not disappoint. (Unlike 2010 movie The Last Airbender — that one disappoints hard.) If you’re wondering whether to give it watch without those past memories, give it a try. It’s a classic.

Rating: ★★★★☆