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Keerti Patil
Avatar the Last Airbender Live Action is now out on Netflix

Many years ago, in 2005, Nickelodeon debuted the hit TV show, Avatar: The Last Airbender. Since its release, the show has amassed a massive following of fans and supporters, all of which longingly hoped for a live action adaptation. In 2010, their wish came true with the ATLA movie, but the vast majority of fans were greatly disappointed with the adaptation due to its poor content. However, come February 22, 2024, that finally changed. 


Netflix released the first season of the widely anticipated Avatar: The Last Airbender live action show, and ever since, its fans have grown in number. The new show has garnered great amounts of feedback both from very old fans, and from the new ones too. 


ATLA is a cartoon set in a world divided by four different powers: water, earth, fire, and air. Our main character, Avatar Aang, sets out on a journey with his friends, Katara and Sokka, to master these four elements and return peace to their world, henceforth ending the war and bringing about harmony. Aang and his team face endless adversaries from their main enemies, the Fire Nation, but they work through it together. 


“Avatar is the series with everything,” says Seminole High School junior Raylee River Sehrer. “Redemption arcs, accuracy in both culture and customs, compact storyline, lovable main and side characters, even memorable filler episodes. It’s legitimately got everything. The list goes on.” 


There were a lot of concerns when the show was greenlit — old fans were worried that the casting would be inaccurate, and the story would get ruined in its process. However, as the cast of season one was revealed, supporters were more satisfied than they were upset. The cast was diverse and full of actors that fit their role perfectly, and it was only proven as much when the season was released. 


“Watching the first episode, I can not even begin to describe my excitement,” comments Sehrer. “Compared to the movie, the animation and special effects were absolutely wonderful, and seeing those characters that I grew to love all those years ago be adapted into actual people was even better. The production was amazing, and I’m honestly still kind of surprised at how good it was.” 


While the new series has been widely enjoyed, some fans do believe there have been some aspectsthat could’ve been dealt with or handled differently. 


“They compacted everything into just six episodes,” remarks SHS senior Abigail Grabowski. “The original first season was around twenty episodes, and since they removed so much, a lot of information was forgotten, and a lot of the filler episodes that developed characters were just canceled. On top of that, they changed some of the finer details of the plot, like coming across side characters earlier than they were meant to, or presenting the main villains a whole season before they were supposed to be.” 


These changes left some fans disappointed and feeling a little unfulfilled. Even so, there were other things that made up for it. 


“The differences were surprising, but I can see why they made them. Everything is moving a lot faster and it’s kind of exciting,” says Grabowski. 


The new ATLA show is a long-awaited addition to the Avatar franchise,, and while it has its discrepancies, the vast majority of fans have enjoyed this new adaptation of the old cartoon, and are excitedly awaiting the release of season two. With its stunning animation, diverse casting, and wonderfully amazing storytelling, it is sure to be a show of the decade. Whether you are an old fan or someone new to the world of Avatar, this series is not something to be missed! 

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