We all have guilty pleasures. Some involve chocolate. Some involve TV. The one I'm going to write about is my love of a kids cartoon. No, not Tom & Jerry, which I watched a lot when I was "little", which means it was a long time ago. But I'm talking about a cartoon on Nick that just ended called Avatar: The Last Airbender.
It shouldn't be too strange that I like something like Avatar. When I was about 12, I played the original Legend of Zelda, and I loved it. I've grown to really enjoy the fantasy genre. I guess it is because it draws me away from real life, which is demanding and stressful. I'm reading Lord of the Rings for pretty much the same reason. That's about an impossible journey to the heart of evil and how good wins. LOTR has an amazing mythology and incredible backstory to accompany the great writing.
But the funny thing is that I can watch a kids show that the whole premise is that a 12 or 13 year old boy will one day be able to defeat someone who is 3 to 4 times his age, and actually not get bored out of my mind. Yes, it's silly. Yes, it's hokey. I acknowledge that. During the series finale's epic battle between Aang, the hero, and the evil Fire Lord (or Phoenix King), my wife was laughing at the craziness of it all. My kids love the show, and it's something we can bond over. Of course, it's not cool when my kids try to "firebend" on each other. There is a little violence, but it is definitely a PG (or Y7) rated show. It also has a loyal following which includes other adults as well as the usual target demographic.
Watching Avatar reminds me a lot of Star Wars: Small group of good guys fight against the large evil empire. People can manipulate matter by will. Good wins in the end. The hero at one point abandons his training to help his friends that he saw in a vision. Avatar was only 3 seasons long, and the original Star Wars was 3 movies. The second season ended with the heroes re-grouping and making plans.
So, if the idea of an Asian inspired world where a good underdog fights against the evil enemy sounds good to you, don't be ashamed to watch it. And, it's OK to like it too. Just don't take it too seriously.