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    The Last Airbender’s New Showrunner Had A Myriad Of Emotions Coming On Board

    We’ve seen some really incredible adaptations this year. “The Last of Us” managed to deliver an experience that was just like the games, while adding enough changes to make the story hit harder and stay fresh. On the animation front, “Pluto” and “Scott Pilgrim Takes Off” are masterclasses in how to reinvent beloved stories and translate them for a new medium. The latter especially found the right balance between offering a recognizable experience for longtime fans and delivering a fresh new take.

    When it comes to “The Last Airbender” live-action series, it is hard to see how this show can justify its existence. It doesn’t seem to be changing the original or expanding it in a significant way (other than seemingly showing us an unnecessary genocide that happens off-screen). Showrunner Kim has an answer. As he told EW, one thing that appealed to him was “being able to bring this story to a new generation.”

    Now, that answer doesn’t inspire a lot of confidence. After all, this is still a show for young audiences, so why would you think young audiences are more inclined to watch a gritty TV show than an actual cartoon? Netflix’s “One Piece” worked because it offered an easier entry point to its vast and impenetrable world than the anime or the manga, but when it comes to “The Last Airbender” the only barrier seems to be that it is an animated series. The “new generation” that can be enticed by the live-action remake seems to be people who foolishly think of the medium as kids’ stuff. 

    Whether “The Last Airbender” is successful or just another example of how this story simply does not translate into live-action remains to be seen. We’ll find out when the live-action series premieres on Netflix on February 22, 2024.

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