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This Post Is About a Motherfucker I Once Knew Called Zuko - The Book of the Celestial Cow

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September 22nd, 2007


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01:42 pm - This Post Is About a Motherfucker I Once Knew Called Zuko
So I had been waiting nearly ten months for new Avatar, and instead I went and saw Arcade Fire with LCD Soundsystem at the Shoreline because Sylvie had four free tickets just fall into her lap, and you don't pass that shit up. Unfortunately, we weren't able to find people to use the other two tickets on such short notice, but fortunately, sophia_helix, actoplasm, and hobviously were all going to the show already!

The opening band, Wild Light, wasn't bad, but they weren't anything that special either. The highlight for us was a song intro: "This song is about a motherfucker I once knew called Cally."

LCD Soundsystem was unexpectedly awesome. I vaguely recalled hearing that they were a great live band to see, and now I'm certain that if I heard it, it was true. The sound was crisp, and the beats got the audience dancing. Even though it's a one-man project, on stage it's a five-man party (four-man/one-woman, to be exact). They all had so much energy. The highlight for me, of course, was an uptempo version of "North American Scum," the only song I knew. The frontman (that is, LCD Soundsystem himself) was a hoot throughout, especially when he displayed his technical prowess on the cowbell. And on his final song, he proved he could actually sing, not just caterwaul and sprechstimme. I was glad they were a "with" band, so they got a full set. I highly recommend seeing them if you get a chance.

Arcade Fire sucked. Wait, strike that, reverse it. Arcade Fire are lauded for their live shows, and now I know why. It's unlike any concert you've ever seen. They fit close to a dozen people onstage, along with an organ. Instruments played include the hurdy-gurdy, accordion, violin, viola, cello, French horn, bassoon, and a megaphone. And I thought LCD Soundsystem were energetic, but holy shit, these guys were off the charts. It was like they were the music, like it was an expression of themselves. My favorites were the violinist in short shorts dancing sexily throughout, the percussionist who was just nuts banging on everything in sight, and the female vocalist in a black dress who was practically half the band, constantly changing positions between songs, singing or playing the keyboard or this percussion or that drum set. They played my four favorite songs out of the seven I knew ("Keep the Car Running," "Intervention," "Neighborhood #1 (Tunnels)," and "Rebellion (Lies)") as well as two others ("Neighborhood #2 (Laika)" and "Wake Up"), so I could hardly ask for more (especially since the one remaining, "In the Backseat," was my least favorite). I've gained a newfound appreciation for the band, however, which often happens after seeing a band live. I also highly recommend seeing them if you get a chance.

By the time I got home, it was one in the morning, so I put off the Avatar premiere until today.

HELLO, AANG'S HAIR.

Overall, a good setup for the season, if not an amazing episode. Things have changed a bit, and we have to spend a bit of time re-orienting. And...dealing with Katara's daddy issues. WHY IS EVERYTHING ABOUT HAKODA SO UNSUBTLE? HE'S LIKE AN ANVIL MAGNET. HE EVEN MADE KATARA LIST EVERY SINGLE EMOTION SHE WAS FEELING. Seriously, if they're conflating Katara's anguish over Aang with her anguish over her dad, and Katara is some sort of mother figure for Aang...this is like the ickiest cartoon OTP on Nickelodeon ever?

I think it's the voice actor for Hakoda. He's very one-note and boring and makes everything he says sound like some deep, profound lesson.

Toph, still awesome: check. I like that the one metalbending move she did is basically the same thing she did when she discovered it, a sort of projected crunch. She hasn't started, like, floating Fire Nation ships or something. I also like that, now that they've established she has superhearing, they haven't forgotten about it. And, really, superhearing is the only way to explain her perfect aim at a catapult on another ship.

The serpent gag was hilarious. "Thank you, the universe!" Oh, Sokka.

MAI KISSED ZUKO WHAT. I thought they would, like, lead up to something like that. I want to know what happened in the past few weeks. Is she just walking up behind him and kissing him randomly, or are they actually secretly dating?

Loved the callback to the duck pond in "Zuko Alone."

Also, while it wasn't as subtle as it was in "The Storm," I'm glad they're continuing with the Aang/Zuko parallels, except I never expected this. "I have to redeem myself. I have to restore my honor." Poor angsty emo Aang!!

We finally see Ozai's face!! And...there's nothing interesting about it. I was hoping he'd have a scar or something. But raise your hand if you ever expected Ozai to actually welcome Zuko home like that. HE ACTUALLY MADE DADDY LOVE HIM.

Except no, no he didn't. Because oh my God. AZULA. IS. TOTALLY. OMG. MOTHERFUCKING. AWESOME.

...and disturbingly hot in her nightwear. Help me, I have a crush on a fourteen-year-old cartoon sociopath. I love that Zuko knows about the spirit water and thus suspects Katara saved Aang. I love that he lied to Azula about it. I love that Azula knows he lied. I love that Azula lied to her dad. I love that my initial reaction was that it was an interestingly nice gesture to do for her brother until I realized she was actually just setting him up to fail. This whole thing is so my favorite part of the episode.

(THAT ROBE IS TOO SEXY FOR NICKELODEON, YOU GUYS. I KEPT EXPECTING HER TO OPEN IT UP AND FLASH ZUKO.)

Hey, look, it's Yue! I would have been more baffled by that if she hadn't appeared in "Escape from the Spirit World." So now Aang has two spirit guides? Roku and Yue? What is Yue's deal? That's still so weird. Also, I think it's kind of awesome that Roku admitted it was so his fault the war even started, since he was the damn Avatar in charge at the time.

NOOO AANG'S GLIDER. I hate when inanimate objects with special meaning are destroyed. I screamed when it burned up and the episode ended because it was over and now we have to wait a whole week for more.

Ooooh yeah, I also love that the whole world thinks the Avatar is dead and Aang can't be all, "Look at meeeeeeeee, I'm the Avatar!!" anymore.

In conclusion, WHERE WAS TY LEE?
Current Mood: okayokay
Current Music: The Dresden Dolls - Sex Changes

(39 memoirs | Describe me as "inscrutable")

Comments:


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[User Picture]
From:sophiap
Date:September 22nd, 2007 04:53 pm (UTC)
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I can't believe I missed the premiere...

Dammit.

Well, with any luck I can find it elsewhere.
[User Picture]
From:peri_peteia
Date:September 22nd, 2007 05:00 pm (UTC)
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WHERE WAS TY LEE INDEED?

Help me, I have a crush on a fifteen-year-old cartoon sociopath.

She's actually 14, yo. BUT I cannot talk since I am finding Aang disturbingly hot this season wtf.

What is Yue's deal?

Apparently she is just HANGING OUT. And giving Aang a giant tidal wave to ride on with her moon powers.

Seriously, if they're conflating Katara's anguish over Aang with her anguish over her dad, and Katara is some sort of mother figure for Aang...this is like the ickiest cartoon OTP on Nickelodeon ever?

I feel that Katara just has general abandonment issues! And she has also spent the last three weeks tending to her comatose messiah figure after she resurrected him from the dead. So he runs off and leaves her and she already pissed about Hakoda running off and leaving her and it all becomes a clusterfuck of TEARS. AND YES LISTING HER EMOTIONS FOR THE KIDDIES.

Loved the callback to the duck pond in "Zuko Alone."

The best part being THE TURTLEDUCKS FLEEING FOR THEIR LIVES WHEN AZULA APPEARS.

NOOO AANG'S GLIDER. I hate when inanimate objects with special meaning are destroyed.

Aang's glider made me SO SAD. HIS RELIC OF HIS PEOPLE WTF NOOOOOOEZ.

And, really, superhearing is the only way to explain her perfect aim at a catapult on another ship.

I actually figured that The Duke (who was standing behind her the entire time with his hand on her shoulder) was directing her much like Katara did back in The Desert for the buzzardwasps.

MAI KISSED ZUKO WHAT. I thought they would, like, lead up to something like that. I want to know what happened in the past few weeks. Is she just walking up behind him and kissing him randomly, or are they actually secretly dating?

I AM COMPLETELY FASCINATED BY YOUR REACTION TO THIS. AND HERE IS WHY: given what we were shown the idea that they are secretly dating is actually a fairly reasonable speculation. Especially with Azula's later comments about Mai's STRANGELY GOOD MOOD.

BUT for those in the knooooow: the recent Avatar magazine (early release Sep. 14th! Actual release Sep. 18th!) contained a series of comics THREE IN FACT taking place in the three week gap between the seasons. The first was about the capture of the FN ship (which they animated little bits and pieces of in this episode), the second was about the Earth King deciding to take off (which they animated the penultimate panel of), and the third was The Story of How Mai and Zuko Hooked Up in Ba Sing Se (which, for all we know, will show up later on in flashbacks at some point).

In other words, PLOT STUFF IN ANCILLARY MATERIAL WTF 21ST CENTURY. THIS TREND IRRITATES ME AND MESSES WITH THE INTEGRITY OF YOUR NARRATIVE.
[User Picture]
From:spectralbovine
Date:September 22nd, 2007 05:05 pm (UTC)
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She's actually 14, yo.
Craaaaap. Don't call the cartoon police.

The best part being THE TURTLEDUCKS FLEEING FOR THEIR LIVES WHEN AZULA APPEARS.
YES. SO MUCH YES.

I actually figured that The Duke (who was standing behind her the entire time with his hand on her shoulder) was directing her much like Katara did back in The Desert for the buzzardwasps.
Oooh. I'll have to look at that. Go The Duke.

Especially with Azula's later comments about Mai's STRANGELY GOOD MOOD.
Right, I caught that, but that could also be explained just by Zuko's general proximity to her, whether or not she's getting any.

the third was The Story of How Mai and Zuko Hooked Up in Ba Sing Se (which, for all we know, will show up later on in flashbacks at some point).
AHA. GODDAMMIT I NEED TO READ THESE COMICS SOMEHOW. OR SHOW ME THE FLASHBACKS NOW.

In other words, PLOT STUFF IN ANCILLARY MATERIAL WTF 21ST CENTURY. THIS TREND IRRITATES ME AND MESSES WITH THE INTEGRITY OF YOUR NARRATIVE.
TRUE.
[User Picture]
From:gymble
Date:September 22nd, 2007 05:06 pm (UTC)
(Link)
Seriously, if they're conflating Katara's anguish over Aang with her anguish over her dad, and Katara is some sort of mother figure for Aang...this is like the ickiest cartoon OTP on Nickelodeon ever?
Ah ha ha! I just ... the Aang/Katara ship doesn't really work for me. And WORD on the Hakoda anvil horribleness. I know that this is a kid's show and that they have to spell out things sometimes, but yeesh. The entire episode was kind of exposition heavy.

Is she just walking up behind him and kissing him randomly, or are they actually secretly dating?
I would say secretly dating, based on Azula noting that Mai seemed extra happy recently. But yeah, I second on the "what? already?" reaction.

I KEPT EXPECTING HER TO OPEN IT UP AND FLASH ZUKO.
DUDE. I KNOW. There was something vaguely incestual about that entire scene (why did Zuko feel the need to confront his sister after she'd gone to bed?). I think it's the way the Azula voice actress delivers lines. She's got this whole film noir vibe.

NOOO AANG'S GLIDER.
Sniff.

In conclusion, Azula is awesome.
[User Picture]
From:spectralbovine
Date:September 22nd, 2007 05:15 pm (UTC)
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I know that this is a kid's show and that they have to spell out things sometimes, but yeesh. The entire episode was kind of exposition heavy.
Yeah, but it was a premiere. I liked the way they used the old ladies to show us the Ba Sing Se takeover, though.

But yeah, I second on the "what? already?" reaction.
Look above at peri_peteia's comment. And then read this, I guess.

I think it's the way the Azula voice actress delivers lines. She's got this whole film noir vibe.
Yes. It is hot.

In conclusion, Azula is awesome.
Truuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuue.
[User Picture]
From:electricmonk
Date:September 22nd, 2007 05:12 pm (UTC)
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Hey, I was just listening to Arcade Fire last night. I'd love to see them live.

...

Well, crap. They're playing in Seattle, but not Portland. Who does that? Portland is, like, indie rock Mecca now. Guess I'll have to settle for bootleg videos on YouTube.

You know, I only started listening them because one of their songs was used on Six Feet Under. Which, have I mentioned, you should watch?
[User Picture]
From:spectralbovine
Date:September 22nd, 2007 05:16 pm (UTC)
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I believe you have mentioned many times! I have considered it!
(Deleted comment)
[User Picture]
From:spectralbovine
Date:September 22nd, 2007 05:29 pm (UTC)
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I think I have enough online distractions as it is.
From:(Anonymous)
Date:September 22nd, 2007 05:35 pm (UTC)
(Link)
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v612/Suplexorz/swf/Avatar__Zuko_the_fire_lord_by_Go_De.swf

It's so bad, it's good.
[User Picture]
From:spectralbovine
Date:September 22nd, 2007 05:40 pm (UTC)
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Damn.
From:sabra_n
Date:September 22nd, 2007 06:30 pm (UTC)
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My god, there's no escaping the siblingcest, is there? It even happened to one of the patients in House.

Not that I watched this episode once your entry reminded me or anything. Shut up.
[User Picture]
From:twenty8penguin
Date:September 22nd, 2007 11:38 pm (UTC)
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The siblingcest is clearly just a fan thing - Zuko would die before letting her touch him. For it to have to be at all related to the canon, Azula would pretty much have to rape Zuko... and ew. The whole thing is just too squicky for words.

I've I'm remembering the House episode, they didn't know they were siblings, right?
[User Picture]
From:briasoleil
Date:September 22nd, 2007 06:33 pm (UTC)
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Arcade Fire are fucking amazing live. I have so much love for them. Régine Chassagne is incredible. Though, I think that the entire band is reputed for being quite versatile.

In the Backseat is one of my favourite songs by them. I love Régine's vocals. And the song fits my melancholy. But then again, I don't have many non-favourite Arcade Fire songs.
[User Picture]
From:modlin
Date:September 22nd, 2007 07:22 pm (UTC)
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Damn. It was yesterday, huh? Are they going to repeat it sometime soon?
[User Picture]
From:spectralbovine
Date:September 22nd, 2007 07:24 pm (UTC)
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Nickelodeon? Repeat things? Probably fourteen billion times. Also, I think they're uploading it to TurboNick on the website.
[User Picture]
From:chrismarlowe
Date:September 22nd, 2007 08:04 pm (UTC)
(Link)
Bad news is that I don't have access to the channel Avatar is on Friday nights. Good news is that I can watch it on a channel I DO get at 10 am Saturday morning.

I felt the premiere was rushed but, Katara/Father and Maki/Zuko had me going WTF?

I do love Aang's hair. He's much more attractive to me now.

Azula is one smart and crazy chick to push the 'honor' of killing the Avatar on Zuko. Any way this shakes out, she's got her ass covered.
[User Picture]
From:glasseseater
Date:September 22nd, 2007 09:26 pm (UTC)
(Link)
okay, so as soon as I read this I ran upstairs to figure out why on earth we weren't tivoing the new avatar, and I discovered that there is a conflict. New meerkat manors also air friday nights. avatar fans are three to one in my house, but my dad might win with the "it is MY tivo" card.

what I want to know is why there weren't eighty billion advertisements for the premiere starting two months ago. I had no clue!
[User Picture]
From:spectralbovine
Date:September 23rd, 2007 05:57 am (UTC)
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But...but...conflict? That's what TiVos are FOR. Unless yours isn't dual-tuner, which is no fun at all.

I thought there were lots of advertisements! Nick loves the show sooooo much.
[User Picture]
From:twenty8penguin
Date:September 22nd, 2007 11:52 pm (UTC)
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Maiko just makes sense to me... she's had a crush on him forever; he needs someone to stop his whining and take care of him. Granted, I hope it's temporary, but I like it for now.

I too was baffled by Yue - and I knew ahead of time that she was going to show up in this episode. All her lines could have just as easily been said through Roku. If Sokka had seen her, that would have made slightly more sense, but there's no reason for Aang to hallucinate her. I think it was just a shout-out to all her fans.

As for Hottie McPants Ozai, I loved that his face was young and perfect. It just adds insult to injury: Azula is gorgeous, Ursa was/is lovely, even Iroh is cheerfully pleasant to look at. It's a beautiful family; only Zuko is scarred and tainted.

Oh yeah and one more thing... "Load the Toph!"
From:birdsarecalling
Date:September 23rd, 2007 12:21 am (UTC)
(Link)
The Arcade Fire live is glorious. I saw them play a home-town show in Montreal once. Best train tickets I ever invested in!

Seriously, if they're conflating Katara's anguish over Aang with her anguish over her dad, and Katara is some sort of mother figure for Aang...this is like the ickiest cartoon OTP on Nickelodeon ever?

That makes me wonder about how much of pre-series Katara's unshakeable faith that the Avatar would return was really about wanting her Daddy to come back and make things right. She's had a lot of responsibility forced on her by the absence of her parents.

Which isn't to say that her love for Aang is an any way an Elektra complex! I just find it interesting. Much in the way that I find it interesting that Aang, who never had a mother, is in love with a girl who has such strong nurturing instincts.

WHERE WAS TY LEE???
[User Picture]
From:spectralbovine
Date:September 23rd, 2007 05:58 am (UTC)
(Link)
That makes me wonder about how much of pre-series Katara's unshakeable faith that the Avatar would return was really about wanting her Daddy to come back and make things right. She's had a lot of responsibility forced on her by the absence of her parents.
Ooooh. Interesting.

WHERE WAS TY LEE???
SERIOUSLY.
[User Picture]
From:queenrikki_hp
Date:September 23rd, 2007 03:14 am (UTC)
(Link)
I enjoyed Avatar but it seemed to have gotten an extra visit from the exposition fairy. But I think my happiness at having the show back mitigated any real criticisms I might have otherwise had (also, I only watched the season 2 finale a few weeks ago so it doesn't seem like such a long wait in between).

And despite going most of season 2 not liking her, I have finally admitted that Toph is awesome and should be venerated constantly. Also, Azula is very evil and very pretty. Good combination.

I thought the firelord was going to be something scarier, but...he just looked a lot like his children. I think that has to be on purpose. They've built up this idea of how fearsome the firelord and when they show him he's just this ordinary (if attractive) looking man.
[User Picture]
From:spectralbovine
Date:September 23rd, 2007 05:58 am (UTC)
(Link)
And despite going most of season 2 not liking her, I have finally admitted that Toph is awesome and should be venerated constantly.
I'm glad you've seen the light.
[User Picture]
From:tamarai
Date:September 23rd, 2007 09:53 am (UTC)
(Link)
Ignoring all the Avatar stuff in case I ever get around to watching it!

There's an Ann Arbor based band called Canada that is very similar to your description of Arcade Fire. You should check them out! By which I mean listen to their myspace tracks and, yes, get back here for a show sometime soon!

Also, wanted to let you know that we watched the last ep of Firefly last night and capped it off with Serenity. So wasn't ready to be done with Mal and his ragtag band... And we're just getting started on Heroes S1, which we borrowed from my sister. Watched the first two hours so far, and are way hooked.

Should I watch Chuck? I really need to know.
[User Picture]
From:tamarai
Date:September 23rd, 2007 09:55 am (UTC)
(Link)
Well, you'd probably rather have the actual myspace link for Canada than the LJ example URL, hmmm?

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