Nickelodeon aired the finale of its animated show The Legend of Korra, online on Friday. Vanity Fair claims it’s “the most subversive television event of the year,” and it “could have the power to change children’s TV forever. Yes, really.” So what makes the show so different, so special?
Nickelodeon pulled the adventure show about teenagers with supernatural abilities off TV earlier this year and screened almost the entire last two seasons online exclusively. The Legend of Korra was considered too risque and adult for its Saturday morning slot. Some Nickelodeon execs were worried about turning boys away with the female lead, Korra. She’s muscular but not disportionately curvy in the stereotypical mold, and she doesn’t wear tight cat suits and thigh-high boots. And at the very end of the finale, Korra didn’t walk into the sunset with the heroic boy but she walks away with her best female friend, Asami. Some critics assume that last image was to evoke Korra’s sexuality. Vanity Fair wrote: “if you think this final shot was denoting mere friendship, you’re kidding yourself.” It reminds of us of that final scene in Thelma and Louise, right before they drive off the cliff together. Thelma and Louise became a symbol of feminism for many. For others it was laden with lesbian subtext. What do you think?