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Me and my friend were watching "The Crossroads of Destiny" a few months back when we had a little conversation.
Her: Wouldn't Zuko and Katara be cute together?
Her: Yes they would....Katara is so sweet she will help him deal with all of his emotional problems and they're opposites and opposites make the cutest couples, right?
Her: Whatever. *starts blinking rapidly as her transformation into a shipper begins* [The last part may or may not have happened]
I got involved in the Avatar community pretty late, so I never realized that my friend's minor comment alluded to one of the most popular ships of all time (ALL TIME! Kanye style...): Zutara. Someone please explain to me why so many fans love Zutara because I didn't when my friend asked me and still don't get it. I just don't understand how angsty Zuko would work with motherly Katara without the relationship getting incredibly annoying to watch. Plus, there is no need to imagine Zutara together. We've already seen it: Makorra.
Tons of people commented on how it seemed that Makorra was made to appease lingering Zutara shippers, so my idea isn't new here. Besides the obvious water/firebender--opposites attract pairing (that some people obviously find "cute"), the Zutara/Makorra parallels are strong. For example...
1. Both involve too much heartbreak to happen.
The fandom hates Mako because of how he hurt Bolin and Asami when he got with Korra. If Zuko would have pulled the same move, we would have remembered him as a giant firebending douchebag. With a scar.
2. Both seem to come out of nowhere.
Aang loved Katara and Katara cared for him, too. All of a sudden she leaves him for Zuko? Reminds me of how Korra completely ignored Mako in "Endgame" and five minutes later they are confessing their love for each other. Out. Of. Nowhere.
3. Both are incredibly awkward.
Try imagining a date with Korra and Mako. Now try imagining one with Zuko and Katara. Exactly.
Let me set the record straight here: I don't hate Zutara, neither do I hate Makorra. But some fans of the former have a huge problem with the latter without realizing how similiar they are. I do believe that Makorra can work with tons of development, but that would take time away from the main plot. Avatar: The Last Airbender was amazing partly because it had hints of romance without it being overbearing. The Legend of Korra, while still amazing, spent (or wasted, depending on your level of cynicism) a lot of time on confusing love triangles/parallelograms and character development was sacrificed. I think we can all agree on that.
So lingering Zutarians: can we at least see that it was sort of good thing that Zutara didn't happen? Honestly, I could not imagine Aang crying like Bolin at the heartbreak of losing his love to Zuko. I think I would have cried.
That's it. Now let me back up slowly as I escape the wrath of angry Zutarians...kidding :)