S3 E13 “Avatar: the Last Airbender” — A secret tunnel to the end of 2020


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This is one of the most anticipated episodes on Loud Murmurs for Afra, Izzy, and Ina, who share a (un)healthy obsession with the Nickelodeon cartoon “Avatar: The Last Airbender.” We’ve also invited a special guest, Eris Qian (Zhuoyang), New York-based director and playwright, to talk about why we love the show so much.

It’s not just us. The 15-year-old cartoon is having a moment, a “stunning second life” as a recent New Yorker article put it. In May, “Avatar the Last Airbender” became the most-watched show on Netflix.

The show’s adventures, friendships, failures, redemptions, and the characters’ struggle for morality in a chaotic world feel more real than real life in 2020.

If you haven’t watched the show, go watch it before listening to this episode because lots of ~spoilers~ and simping a certain character whose name starts with “z.”

May ATLA be your secret tunnel through 2020.

In this episode, we talked about:

  1. Avatar’s world-building: Pan-Asian culture
  2. Cultural appropriation vs. appreciation
  3. Our favorite characters and scenes
  4. What we love and don’t love about ATLA’s portrayal of women (the “ideal woman” trap)
  5. Why does ATLA remind us of Wuxia (武侠) novels and “Journey to the West” and 明清章回小说
  6. Explanatory comma or no explanatory comma? Eris Qian talks about what it’s like to tell an intimate, personal story when your audience finds it “foreign”


The Stunning Second Life of “Avatar: The Last Airbender”


Official timeline of ATLA and comic books:


Zuzu’s rap debut (no)



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