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12 July 2010 @ 02:26 pm
A:TLA (no, the real one)  
Anyone who's read my SGA AU fic "Damper" may be surprised to hear this, but until yesterday, I knew next to nothing about Avatar: The Last Airbender. I knew there was serious race!fail in the casting of the movie**, and I've seen passing reference to the bending of substances, but that's about it. I may have seen an image of a kid with an arrow on his head once or twice, but that was without context.

As of yesterday, that's changed; I've now watched the first eight episodes and will continue through the series as time permits.*** It's not bad, so far, as animated series for kids go; I don't love the casual attitude to the destruction of ordinary people's property (as opposed to damage done in battle), nor the entitled attitudes of the leads (especially in the earthbender town — they wreck the place and then demand to be let go unmolested, wtf?), but they don't flinch from darker themes and I do like the variety of cultures and worldviews.

I also, to my surprise, kinda like Sokka. He's a jerk, but he rocks the deadpan snark, and he's obviously got a growth arc. I like the jerks who grow (says the Rodney fangirl, to no one's surprise).

I think I'm glad I didn't know anything about their worldbuilding before, though. I rather like the world I've got going in "Damper", and I'd hate to have had that influenced differently. (In fact, that's part of why I waited, once I got a comment mentioning a slight similarity — I didn't want to be influenced or to scotch any plotlines due to fear of similarity.)

I'm also amused to find, as I remember to go to DW to post, that the most recent [community profile] fandom_icons post is A:TLA icons. It's meant to be! (heh)

** I feel kind of let down, in an obscure way. There's not much sacrifice in boycotting a terrible movie.
*** Pause for hysterical laughter.

Originally posted at Dreamwidth | Comment | comment count unavailable comments
Essie: BSG - Roslin Grinsentientcitizen on July 12th, 2010 08:10 pm (UTC)
I think I forgot, in my flaily rage about the movie, that it would mean a resurgence of interest in the TV show. This is the third post I've seen about someone who didn't especially like the movie starting to watch the episodes, and it couldn't make me happier - I loved the cartoons so very much, and I was genuinely afraid that the movie would put potential new fans off watching them. :) You'll have to post about your impressions as you go on! I'd love to continue hearing what you think, as you keep watching.
michelel72: DW-SarahJanemichelel72 on July 15th, 2010 01:05 am (UTC)
Well, I'm now 80% through the first season, and I'm quite liking it. Sure, it's meant for kids, and some elements are still bugging me (most especially the coincidence plotting, which is just a hazard of the genre), but they're nicely subversive, too. Brokering a peace by lying to two groups of people that their foundation story is misinterpreted? Heh. Sokka's championing of science over faith is a very nice touch, and I adored the escape sequence with the bamboo ladders — both that it was brilliantly innovative and that, in the end, it didn't quite work. Intriguing stuff!
valleyavalleya on July 13th, 2010 06:07 am (UTC)
I am currently on Book 2 of the series after having seen the movie on the 4th of July with family. Netflix has the series streaming through the wii console and we've been watching a few eps every day. The variety of scenarios and the imagination involved have tweaked my own interest. I'm having fun with the cartoons, which surprised me.

It's nice to hear others are enjoying it, too.
michelel72: SGA-Rodney-LaserEyesmichelel72 on July 15th, 2010 01:07 am (UTC)
I really like certain elements, not just because they're cool on their own (Sokka defends science, Aang doesn't eat meat) but because they're worked in naturally and casually. Science just is reliable; Aang just doesn't eat meat. They don't forget that these are kids, sometimes petty and selfish, which is a brilliant counterbalance to their otherwise mature attitudes and quick thinking. It's a lot of fun — I'm glad you're enjoying it, too!
schneefinkschneefink on July 16th, 2010 07:26 pm (UTC)
Yay, another A:tla convert! xD
I started watching at the beginning of Book 2 and haven´t caught up with the beginning yet (for... mysterious reasons. I really should!). I like Sokka, and I was so relieved that they had someone who wasn´t a bender and was still a very good warrior. But my personal favourites are Toph, Iroh and Appa &hearts
(As for Sokka and Rodney, someone else also saw the resemblance!)

In "Damper", imo you succeeded 100% in making it its own world. Elemental magic is also widespread enough in fantasy books that I didn´t immediately look for comparisons, only later, after the second or third read. (I´m still pondering that glider.)
michelel72: SGA-Rodney-LaserEyesmichelel72 on July 17th, 2010 03:42 am (UTC)
Aww, that fic is fun. And Sokka is totally Rodney ... except for Yue. He snogged the glowy ascended princess! He totally pulled a John! (hee!)

I can recommend Book One; as a writer, I'm pleased that I wasn't able to call nearly as much plot development as I expected. I always appreciate narratives that work well while surprising me.

I think I still like Sokka best, though, along with Katara. And Momo and Appa, hee.

And I'm glad to hear you think my world was different enough. I think you were the one who first mentioned Aang's glider to me, which made me wonder how similar things were; John's "Chinese-fan style wing" could be considered similar, though I hadn't decided just how large it is and whether it's functional or merely representational. (I do have thoughts of a scene in which John finds Rodney atop a building, one of John's favored brooding spots, and Rodney tells John to "take a flying leap" — which in their world isn't just a turn of phrase!)

I have to say, the finale made me grit my teeth, though, but just at the whole "duplicated idea" thing. A bit to do with favored sisters and such ....
schneefink: a:tla group hugschneefink on July 17th, 2010 02:23 pm (UTC)
No spoilers for Book One, please! They´re hard to avoid, but I still don´t know why it´s important that someone punches a fish.

The "flying leap", I can´t see it happening literally. A person is quite heavy, and you´d need a small tornado or a really strong wind to lift someone, which would be dangerous for other people around. Paragliding or parachute jumping would be fun, though. (Or a glider *cough*)
...wait, John has a wing? I read this as him having fans... Off to reread.

Duplicated idea? I wasn´t really satisfied by the finale, either, mainly because I think Azula deserved better, but I don´t think I get what you mean.
michelel72: ATLA-Sokka-CrookedSmilemichelel72 on July 18th, 2010 03:44 am (UTC)
I actually did try to avoid being too spoily about Book One, not sure how much you knew — I mentioned the glowy princess only because I've already seen her within the first five episodes of Book Two, and Azula is clearly a major character. I just meant that the Azula/Zuko dynamic was spelled out in a way that reminded me of something I'm working on ... I'd assumed that dynamic was clear for the rest of the series, but I won't go into it in case it's not. Heh.

And, no, John has a "wing" that collapses in a style very similar to a fan, though I had imagined it being bigger than a fan. I just haven't settled whether it's big enough for him to actually use it glider-style. It's possible he's into something similar to BASE jumping/paragliding, since he does have some amount of control over air energies, so he can generate winds, modify air gas composition, or thicken/evacuate a given air pocket. (But no, I don't figure he can just float or anything. Heh.)

Edited at 2010-07-18 03:45 am (UTC)
schneefink: a:tla group hugschneefink on July 18th, 2010 09:59 am (UTC)
Yue is in Book Two? Huh, my bad. Apparently I missed that. The first episode I saw was the one with Toph, which is why it´s difficult to imagine the group without her.
I still don´t know what you mean about Azula&Zuko, and now you made me curious. Hmph. As long as I get to read it when you´re finished. ^^

Not only possible, but very likely, I´d say! More fun than helicopters. :)