TV REVIEW: Avatar The Last Airbender

Directed by: Michael Goi

Review by: Drew Hoffmaster

Rating: ⅗ stars

In 2010, an attempt at a live-action version of the action-fantasy TV show Avatar: The Last Airbender was a critical flop. Against all odds, however, Netflix’s 2024 live-action remake of the show was a success. Complete with a $120 million budget and stunning visuals, creator Albert Kim brought an amazing new spin on the story of Aang and his friends adventuring to get to the Northern Water Tribe.

Netflix did an excellent job compressing 20, 22-minute episodes into eight, hour-long episodes. Managing to cover every necessary plot point from the original season one, the series still captured Jet’s vigilantism and Zuko’s growth. In addition, Netflix scattered many callbacks to the original series which helped give it the same charm and kept it light-hearted like the original series. The visuals and special effects were also done extremely well. The variety of different types of Asian architecture-inspired backgrounds and sets helped make the world feel more real and authentic.

However, the series still had a few issues. My first gripe is how they included multiple aspects from the original animated series that should not have been in season one, such as the addition of character introductions and the omission of important character arcs. These made the story feel inconsistent and unfaithful to the source material.

It is extremely tough to turn an animated series into a different form and keep everything the same. Nevertheless, Netflix still managed to capture the original feel of the animated series, crafting an enjoyable show that was fun to watch.