Avatar: The Last Airbender (2005-2008) Season 1 TV Series Review

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Title: Avatar: The Last Airbender.
Season: 1.

Rated: TV-Y7-FV.
Number of episodes: 20.
Release Date: 2005.
ORIGINAL NETWORK: Nickelodeon.
Genre(s): Animation, Action, Adventure.
Created by: Michael Dante DiMartino & Bryan Konietzko.
Composer(s): Jeremy Zuckerman & Benjamin Wynn.
Cast: Zach Tyler Eisen, Dee Bradley Baker, Mae Whitman, Jack De Sena, Dante Basco, Michaela Jill Murphy, Mako, and many more!
My Overall Rating:

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

Growing up, I had the chance to witness one of the most exciting animated series to grace Nickelodeon’s TV network. It had such a colourful and vivid world with unique characters who somehow always inspired a positive and joyful outlook on life. While my memory of these characters and the story behind this series remained blurry to this day, mostly focused on the fun action sequences and humour, I decided that it was an excellent time to revisit this animated series created by Michael Dante DiMartino and Bryan Konietzko, known as Avatar: The Last Airbender. Despite trying to forget (emphasis on “trying to”…) the disastrous live-action movie adaptation by director M. Night Shyamalan back in 2010, an upcoming Netflix live-action remakes series is currently in the works and easily convinced me that there’s no better time than the present to refresh my memory of this franchise that gave way to countless comic book series, prequels, and sequels.

What is Avatar: The Last Airbender (2005) Season 1 about? Set within a world where individuals are able to bend one of the four natural elements (fire, water, earth, and air), every generation an Avatar is chosen to maintain the equilibrium within the world with their ability to manipulate all four elements. The first season begins with two teenagers from the Southern Water Tribe, Katara and Sokka, who accidentally stumble upon twelve-year-old Aang’s body in an iceberg near the South Pole, unleashing him from this prison to grace the world with a long lost Avatar, the last airbender. Having been frozen for over a century, fleeing from his responsibilities as the next Avatar from the Air Nomad, he discovers that the ruler of the Fire Nation has embarked on a journey of world domination. Aang thus sets off on an adventure with Katara and Sokka to learn to bend the other elements (water, earth, and fire) so that he could defeat the Fire Nation.

(c) Paramount Plus.

This might be one of the most remarkable animated series out there. It is perfectly accessible to a young audience, while it also offers plenty of excellent episodes for adults to indulge in, primarily through its excellent story-telling style and fundamental themes, from friendship to love. Through strong bonds between each other and youthful innocence, their adventure brings them to tackle larger societal and world issues surrounding war (oppression, discrimination, and imperialism). Their resilience also brings them to confront staggering dilemmas between good and evil, paving the way to situations where they must make difficult decisions that highlight the power of free will against that of destiny and fate.

With these young heroes, every episode also makes bountiful use of their alluring personalities and candid banter. Their journey across all four nations (Water Tribes, Earth Kingdom, Fire Nation, and Air Nomads), with this first season focused on their journey to the Water Tribes, also allows them to discover unique characters, young and old, who are pivotal to their understanding of the world, on top of serving as formidable mentors by learning quality life lessons from them. With Aang’s bouncy personality, Sokka’s sarcasm and comedy relief, and Katara’s rational and strong-willed decision-making, the trio learn to beautifully embrace each other’s strengths and weaknesses, inevitably making viewers cheer for their success. The parallel story arc focused around Prince Zuko, the banished son of the Fire Lord, who roams around the world with his uncle Iroh, trying to capture the Avatar to redeem himself in the eyes of his father also makes for a compelling narrative.

(c) Paramount Plus.

The art and animation of the series still hold up today, effortlessly bringing forth a bright and lively world. Despite the silliness of some characters or the sternness of others, the series brilliantly captures a divided world, divided mostly by the type of bending and the culture they embrace, from those who are close to nature to those trapped within customs that restrain them from remaining open-minded to the outside world. The excellent score also embellishes the countless scenes’ tones in this series, whether it’s to add gravity or ridicule. While most episodes are self-contained stories, the overarching narrative keeps these episodes connected, promising incredible character- and world-building. The growth of these young heroes as they fight together for a bigger cause is what ultimately makes this journey so addictive and entertaining.

Avatar: The Last Airbender (2005) Season 1 is a fantastic animated series introducing young heroes learning the ins and outs of a world at war as they prepare to fight for peace.


All episodes are available on select streaming services!

Have you read any comic book stories from this franchise?
Have you seen Avatar: The Last Airbender (2005-2008)? Will you?
Share your thoughts with me!

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32 thoughts on “Avatar: The Last Airbender (2005-2008) Season 1 TV Series Review

  1. I was such a fan of the show back in the day, I always made sure to watch the latest episodes. (Not that it’s not still excellent, I just imagined some character relationships to end somewhere else and haven’t rewatched it in a long time) The funny thing was that this was also around the time I had first started writing my own long-format stories and I had had this idea of a group of teens being able to control the elements, which everyone thought I had started because of Avatar, even though I had written it before the show released in my country haha

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It really was one of those shows where you just didn’t want to miss out on any new episodes! Hahahah I can only imagine the battle you had to have every time you needed to explain how you were working on this idea way before Avatar! Nowadays, it’s also a battle just to explain that we’re not talking about the movie with blue guys when we’re talking about Avatar! 😛

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I had the chance to witness one of the most exciting animated series to grace Nickelodeon’s TV network

    My good sir, we regretfully inform you that your post has wrongthink and disinformation. The bolded quote actually refers to Spongebob Squarepants, NOT Avatar: The Last Airbender.

    We here at the DHS: Board of Misinformation will be immediately contacting your prime minister about this egregious campaign of disinformation and hope to have you labeled a domestic terrorist within the next 48-96hrs. Please contact your local representative for more information.

    Have a nice day!

    ~Agent Bookstooge, Senior Internet Agent for the DHS: BoM

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Oh man, Spongebob was amazing too! I don’t know if it’s as good as it once was since the voice actor passed away though. And it’s funny that you went all 1984 on me here. I had just recently watched a crash course video on the whole doublethink concept for no particular reason. Does Agent Bookstooge still have his job or did he get exposed for what he was doing to the world now? 😀

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Is still spongebob still going? I had no idea!

        Well, the bureau of misinformation is a real thing here in the US. Thankfully a bunch of reps and senators are doing their best to defund it. When a government agency is created just to tell you what to think, that is scary stuff.

        Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s such a fun show, with awesome characters, an awesome story, awesome world. It’s high on my list of recommendations for kids growing up, especially. And Spongebob too. But I don’t think I’ll be rewatching that one. It doesn’t have an overarching story to justify a rewatch for me hahah

      Liked by 1 person

  3. This isn’t a series I ever watched. I don’t recall watching Nickelodeon much, if at all. But I know my brother grew up with this one and absolutely loved it, and still loves it to this day. So glad to hear it’s still resonating with you, as well. Unfortunately, my only exposure to the franchise was the live action movie.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You. Must. Forget. That. Movie. 😀 I’m glad to hear that your brother had a blast with this one though. It still lives up to any expectations today and if you’re looking for a sweet and sort-of light fantasy animated series, this would be an excellent choice. 😉

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  4. Long ago, the four nations lived together in harmony. Then, everything changed when the Fire Nation attacked… I remember watching Avatar some years ago and I loved it! I don’t actually know if I finished the whole series but to this day I can very easily remember the first lines… 😅

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I didn’t properly discover this show until after the first season of Korra, when I was in my mid-20’s. Still thoroughly enjoyed the series as a whole. I usually don’t binge-watch shows. I’d usually watch 2-3 hours worth of episodes a day at most. With this show, I watched up to The Storm on day one, and ended up watching the full 3rd season in one day. You know, back when I still had free time.

    There are some rough moments of animation in the first season, but right away the writing is on point. You get to know the characters fairly early, you start getting some serious dramatic weight by the end of episode 3, and everything builds from there. The animation also clearly improves as the season goes on. The first season also does a great job at subtle foreshadowing for what happens later on in the series, especially with the similarities and eventual friendship between Aang and Zuko.

    Such a brilliant show. Rewatched both Avatar and Korra last year.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I had to control myself from trying to binge this too. It’s too good to be finished too quickly. I haven’t ever had the chance to try Korra and I look forward to trying it right after I finish up season 3. Binging is indeed also a bit complicated with responsibilities and work, as you already know.

      The resolution, frame rates, and hiccups in the animation are indeed present but the writing and characters quickly make you forget all that and that’s so rare for shows nowadays. I agree with the animation getting better. I think they also switched up in animation companies later on. I do love what builds up between Aang and Zuko. It’s slow and steady but you know something beautiful is bound to build-up by the end.

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  6. I didn’t grow up watching this as a kid. Every kid I know watch this show. I got around to watching it a few years ago and I like the mix of western animation and amine.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Ahhh!!! So happy you watched it and enjoyed it too! It such a wonderful show and so entertaining too. I highly recommend the other seasons as well (because you gotta meet Toph). I think they get better with each one, but the second one, Earth, is probably my favorite. I haven’t read the comics yet but fully intend to.
    Stay away from the movie adaptation by M. Night Shyamalan. It was horrendous.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s actually a rewatch for me and I’ve already seen Shyamalan’s horrendous live-action adaptation back when it came out. I dread the idea of revisiting it. I might do it just to remind myself why it was so bad. 😛 I too really loved the second season of Avatar though!!! It really hurt when they got separated from Appa… Those couple of episodes were so sad and painful!!! And Toph is a hilarious addition to the team! I’m almost done rewatching the third season right now but I do look forward to checking out Korra afterward.

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