|Surprised By Joy: The Avatar Finale
||[Jul. 20th, 2008|12:52 am]
Over-18 Avatar: The Last Airbender fans
--- NO SPOILERS UNTIL THE CUT ---|
Well, I'd better write my Avatar series finale reaction post.
Except, I don't know what to say. I need to watch it again to put the pieces together.
Instead, I want to talk in broad terms about the another narrative I experienced that affected me deeply, and how that experience differed from this one.
Some of you may be familiar with a series of illustrated books known as "Dinotopia." I read the first of these books -- a series by famous illustrator James Gurney -- when I was roughly 13. The art and story moved me deeply, and in the course of the one afternoon I spent reading the book, I fell in love, learned to fly, and found my true place in the world. And then the book ended, and I was devastated. I wanted so badly to be there instead of here. This is an experience I think is not uncommon among geeky kids. We love our stories a little too much.
As I got older, I stayed a nerd and got into all sorts of things, but nothing ever really transported me the way good old Dinotopia did. Only fifteen years later did I find something that would move me as deeply.
But not the same way. I don't want to live in the Avatar world (although that would be pretty sweet). Rather, what touched me about this was the simple fact that a narrative could surprise me again. That something wonderful might be right around the corner. That not everything can be great art -- but great art can come from anywhere. These characters will live in my head and in my heart forever, and the fact that the show itself was made -- which seems just so incredibly improbable in retrospect -- gives me hope for great things to come. Not just on TV or in comics, but in the world. Avatar has been a constant bright spot for me during its run, and its gift lingers even now.
Where Dinotopia pained me by highlighting what I lacked in life, Avatar has given me joy by showing me just what is possible in this world.
I hope to be surprised by greatness again, and now, thanks to Avatar, I know that it is possible.
Now with my spoiler-free and ridiculously overwrought gushing out of the way...
( Was it good? Yes. Yes it was fucking good. SPOILERS HERE AND IN COMMENTS.Collapse )
I'm going to go ahead and say it: Avatar is among the greatest television shows ever created, anywhere, ever. I consider myself a better person for having experienced it.
That is all.