Because the romance plot was much more important
Sometimes I think about how amazing Korra could have been and I cry deep in my soul.
This seemed like only yesterday, and now:
They got married, had a beautiful family and…and-
and Aang neglected two of his kids to the point of them still being very bitter and upset about it years later >8I
“you want to go toe-to-toe with me, pretty boy?”
Still more sexual tension established in these three seconds than Makorra established throughout all of season one.
no one can argue that one damn
Yeah, I can’t argue with that.
You know you failed with your main romance when your minor character has more chemistry in one scene than all of their scenes added together.
This is a good point. It seems like they were going for the “belligerent sexual tension” angle with Makorra, but they failed at that because:
1.) It’s unclear sometimes if all the random bitching is supposed to actually be sexual tension or just a case of two people who can’t get along very well. Or, at least it was at the start of the show until we find out it’s a terrible attempt to create sexual tension in episode 5.
2.) They have the badly written belligerent sexual tension, and then they try to tell the audience that it’s true love. They then proceed to shaft half of the Krew to make Makorra work and have them give each other shallow compliments late in the series. Um no. Just no.
Makorra doesn’t have much going for it other than sexual tension and they couldn’t even get that right. Tahnorra has way more sexual tension in this one scene then Makorra had all season. While sexual tension doesn’t equal love, this one scene still has more chemistry than Makorra even had.
And admit it, you all wanted Korra to “punish” Tahno for his bad behavior.)
On a non-sexual tension related note, that scene where Korra talks with Tahno at the police station also made Tahnorra have more basis for being a romantic relationship than Makorra since it’s a real conversation where Korra manages to feel empathy for another person, which happens all to rarely and often doesn’t stick. And if you don’t like shipping, there’s still more of a basis right there for a friendship than there is for Mako and Korra being friends.
(Mako was willing to end Korra’s friendship in episode 7 because he thought she was petty enough to throw an innocent man in jail so she could potentially date him and Mako tried to use Korra’s feelings for her to manipulate her into doing what he wanted. Clearly there are strong bonds of trust between them and it’s in no way an unhealthy relationship where manipulation and distrust are the defaults.)
Honestly, Tahno himself is a wealth of wasted potential.
I think a character like him is needed to be the Commander Contrarian of the group, someone who could help Korra realize that being the Avatar doesn’t mean you’re better than everyone. Plus, think of all the character growth he can go through in the series.
Plus, it’s always nice to have that one sarcastic person in the group.
I think that the “belligerent sexual tension” dynamic is rather difficult to strike a balance with, but from what I think I’ve found a list of what successfully compatible implementations of it employ.
1: As stated before, there needs to be a strong balance of fighting and meaningful moments of friendship/love/respect. While its acceptable for the latter to tip the scale more in its favor, if the former becomes too prominent, the couple may start to become painful to watch.
In the case of Makorra, the problem here is all too obvious. Mako and Korra barely do anything BUT argue and have practically no moments of meaningful understanding and respect between them to counter all of the nasty bile being thrown back and forth. In fact, its very clear that Mako doesn’t even seem to like Korra much as a person, let alone as a girlfriend he cares about deeply (LOL).
2: When the couple DOES fight, the fighting should not be about things that are integral to a healthy relationship between people unless its a penultimate moment between the two that is taken seriously and previous buildup has already been established. The couple’s arguments should not ALL revolve around how they can’t even have a civil conversation (yet they ramble plenty about how IN LURVE they are), talk to each other about their problems, or be in the same room together without blowing up.
Part of what makes a good “belligerent sexual tension” relationship so entertaining is that the two characters are typically more alike than they will admit. Arguments where the couple bicker about little things, challenge the others opinion, and poke fun at each other’s faults give the observer the impression that they understand one another’s point of view. The two characters KNOW each other, which is what allows to stand on equal ground. When they banter, it has to be clear from the structure of the conversation that they are deriving some underlying sense of enjoyment from it, whether it be from a similar sense of humor or enjoyment of the other’s company.
3: Preferably, the sexual tension between the two characters should be obvious from their first few interactions. BOTH must show attraction to the others presence through their body language and they way they speak.
When Mako and Korra first meet (note that all of these interactions I’m using as examples come before episode 5, since this was our supposed buildup), Mako is initially dismissive of her, but his body language supports actual disinterest in Korra. He is turned away towards the locker, doesn’t even look at her face, and is generally standoffish and uninterested until she impresses him. And even when she does gain some of his approval, during the ship tease moments (the sleep cute moment and rescuing Bolin) he does not blush around her, stumble over his words (with arguments or compliments), or actively seek out her company. I’m comparing this to his initial reaction to Asami, which set the bar for how we assumed Mako would react around a girl he likes. His face barely shows any inkling of attraction in comparison to Korra’s when they leap away from each other or pretend to be a couple to fool the guards. In fact, he openly makes a few comments about supporting Bolin with Korra (and suddenly acts jealous ONLY WHEN Bolin tries to ask Korra out, which harbors all kinds of unfortunate implications). His attraction was wholly unclear until it comes out of nowhere in episode 5.
Therefore, the writing of the couple sucks and the incompatibility of these two bleeds through the screen during every interaction. -_-
Oh man, it’s been a while since I’ve seen this post!
But yeah, belligerent sexual tension can be hard to do. With Korra and Tahno, while I don’t think they would form a relationship right off the bat they would probably do it.
Still, it’s more appealing because it’s equal on both sides and I think that’s why BST can work at times. And like you said, it has to be over trivial things like maybe sports or favorite foods.
As was said by many others, the Legend of Korra was a major disappointment in terms of its female characetrs. For a show that starred a girl as the titular protagonist, it greatly lacked women in Book 1. In Book 2, we got a few more female characters…along with a legion of male characters, both new and recurring. With so few female characters to focus on, you would think that, surely, Konietzko and DiMartino would put their energy into developing the few at hand.
Not really. But I guess we sort of expected improvement, anyway? After all, these are the creators of Avatar: the Last Airbender, a series that cherishes and empowers women; maybe they’ll do better next time they try their hand at writing something on their own. Moreover, more writers! Perhaps now that they are working in a team, most of their bad ideas can be filtered out!! Right???
Long-winded, exasperated rant under the cut.
moment of silence for the unabashed, orgasmic excitement and unbelievable creativity in the LoK fandom during the first half of the first season.
The last one is making my head spin.
if the main villain in book 3 turns out to be yet another middle-aged dude who is an abusive father with a god complex, i’ll unhinge my jaw and literally eat bryke alive
You’ve all be so brave and strong.
A:TLA was hugely influential for me. I was in my late teens when I first watched A:TLA and was…