Discovery Project

Remake of childhood favorite has some audiences getting bent over the latest Avatar: The Last Airbender.

On Feb. 22, the live action remake of long-time beloved animated show Avatar: The Last Airbender premiered on Netflix. This means that over the weekend, social media platforms were flooded with trending Avatar-related content both new and old. The animated series originally aired in 2005, but has since seen two live action remakes, with the first generally accepted as a disaster. Across Youtube, Instagram, TikTok Twitter, and countless other media, audiences have been sharing their mixed opinions on a childhood favorite. 

Many viewers experience nostalgia watching the remake.

The Fans Response to the Show

With such a dedicated fan base, the show was immediately guaranteed viewership with curiosity on how their favorite childhood series would come to life. However, this also means that the show was subject to much automatic criticism and comparison to the animated original. Many creators and influencers have posted edits with side by side comparisons as well as a split frame of the show and themselves streaming with reviews and thoughts on the series. A common format was frame by frame scene comparisons to the original. Several fans created these while expressing excitement or disappointment.

The Series Received Muddled Reviews

Some argued that it was not a shot for remake due to it being a different medium telling a different story, while other die-hard fans felt that their expectations hadn’t been met and that the show didn’t do the story or characters justice. Some felt like it was too serious for a children’s show and rushed in how elements of the story had been reorganized and not as well thought out, while others felt that character development was better in the Game-of-Thrones-esque filming style. 

The Show Has Strong Social Media Presence

Hashtags like #avatarthelastairbender, #avatarthelastairbenderedits, #avatarthelastairbendermemes, memes and videos of cosplayers recreating their favorite characters’ looks have flooded social media. Some of the top social media influencers discussing the topic were Liam Saul @liamlovesmovies, Berkan Dincer @bigscreenberkan and Riz Haider @culturekiingdom. Each of these accounts have a following of 20-70 thousand and regularly post content that primarily focuses on entertainment and media from popular culture. Well-known YouTube movie reviewer Alex Myers also posted his take:

All in all, a tv show like this with an animated predecessor is bound to have mixed opinions as many other live action remakes before it have experienced. This trend of recreating animated classics shows no sign of slowing down due to its reliable formula for guaranteed audience attention.