Wednesday, July 30, 2014

The Korra conundrum

For the last month I've received a message from my wife on a near-daily basis.
My Korra picture. 
All the message has said is "Korra's not up yet".
See, Katie and I are huge Avatar the Last Airbender and Legend of Korra fans, to the point where we even have a fan-made picture of Korra hanging in our living room. However, this season Nickelodeon decided not to upload the episodes to their website as they have the last two seasons, instead airing them on cable only. A couple weeks ago, they announced that for $5.99 you could download the season thus far, all five or six episodes, but that seemed like a rip-off to us, and since we weren't getting cable anytime soon it seemed that we would have to miss Team Avatar in another thrilling adventure.
Then last week the whole thing was turned upside down.
First they're was an announcement that Legend of Korra was cancelled. Before anyone could make a tribute video like they did for Young Justice, they announced that Korra would be moving exclusively to online distribution.
Turns out that Nickelodeon was having trouble catching an audience for the show while it was on TV.
And this is my not-surprised-face.
Here's the real problem: the Last Airbender franchise has long ago shed it's "made for kids" skin in favor of a teen to adult focus, though it's still appropriate enough for kids. This is another instance when the words "Mature" and "Adult" don't work, because that usually indicates that people are having sex all over the place, which is not the case at all. Let me ask you this: Would a story line about two middle-aged sisters reconciling their long grudges over who better got mom's attention when they were young adults be a good story for say a nine-year-old?
Anyhoo, the fact is we live in 2014, and the people who are the biggest consumers of shows like Legend of Korra and the like are not going to be into having to be home at a certain time to catch their show. They want to watch it from work, or late at night, or while playing a video game like I do, so the internet is the only real way to distribute this series.
I wonder, if back in the day more people had high-speed internet like now if shows like Firefly would've found a better home online and lasted longer, rather than having the plug pulled on them because they weren't catching a wide enough audience. I wonder if some newer beloved shows could've lasted longer if they weren't nailed to a time slot but were instead nailed to a website, like Young Justice.
So in the end Katie and I spent our Saturday morning catching up on our favorite water bender as she fought against the forces of evil, spellbound by what can only be described as good TV, with the knowledge that next weekend we could do the same thing...
... As soon as they upload the next episode.

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