We all saw the news that we had a mid-April release date for Korra tweeted by Janet Varney, we all got hyped, and we all got disappointed once again. MatsuriCon passed by without any information on Book 2 and Varney claimed the reported release date boiled down to a misunderstanding after all. This all got me thinking about the Book 2 situation once again, and here I am writing a sequel to what was basically my rant on Nickelodeon's handling of the franchise (here: ).
Analysing the new ordeal the fandom had to go through, I came to realise that I may have been hasty in my previous rant and that Book 2 is simply not finalised enough to warrant a definite release date at this point in time. The real problem of our continued let-downs is within the fandom itself and the great expectations we have. We took small tid-bits of information and inflated them to meet our high expectations, hoping time and time again that the time of waiting was over based purely on conjuncture.
We've failed to appreciate the fact that we're lucky that Nick is even commissioning new Books at all; I once again compare with CN and Disney's treatment of Young Justice and Green Lantern: TAS, and Tron: Uprising, respectively. The first two were cancelled purely due to the lack of sales of toy lines, the former because they weren't good enough, and the latter due to the unfortunate ignorance of retailers of the products they were selling (they were apparently stocked up on the film's merchandise which did not sell and refused to even accept the products because they were all 'Green Lantern' to them). Instead, with Nick, we have three more Books extending what should have been a well-received single mini-series and a successful collaboration with Dark Horse to produce great comics and magnificent art books (though the lack of a soundtrack release still irks me, personally). We're rather spoiled to a degree, so we need to calm down and just let the news come to us when it's really there.
Moreover, I think the wait itself isn't too much of a negative, and definitely has its virtues. Something like South Park actually has one episode produced every six days, and look at the quality of that. In contrast, the game BioShock Infinite was delayed again and again, but the results were astounding. The creators at Irrantional games were committed to their vision of what the finalised game had to feel like and the story to be told, and the delays definitely allowed them to develop the game to achieve this. If we keep angrily putting pressure on Mike and Bryan to hurry up and get on with it, we're undermining their hard work and their commitment to a great-quality story. I don't know about you, but I prefer waiting a bit more for quality over quick quantity any day.
So does this absolve Nick of its sins? Well, not really. The problem of the fandom inflating their expectations is ultimately a problem Nick still seems to ignore. In my previous post I bashed them for not giving the show its due attention (which I still believe, but to a much lesser degree). The commitment Nick shown to the series can be attested from the examples I mentioned above, but the fact remains that they do not seem to understand what kind of fandom the series has generated because of its importance. I again compare the situation to that of CN and Disney's series. In the run-up to the release and during airing of these shows, the networks released information and teasers specifically aimed at fans through the appropriate media, setting them buzzing with delight and ablaze with discussion and hype. These series had previously added weight of being linked to wider franchises (comics and films), so their fans had a certain passion and a tradition of being informed through a multitude of media. While the Avatar/Korra fandom does not have this, I think we've reached a point where we are just as passionate and just as hungry for information for us to express our love of the series. It's a testament to the greatness of the series to be sure, as we anticipate something great every time. This is a reality which Nick unfortunately seems to remain ignorant about, perhaps because it is the first time such a kind of fandom has formed around one of its shows.
So, on the one hand, I think that recent events have shown that we need to calm down and take every bit of information relating to the development and release of Korra as it comes, without setting our expectations too high every time. Nick, on the other hand, would do well to take a queue from other networks - definitely not in their measuring the success/profitability of their series - in communicating with fans and keeping them informed. It would make the wait for upcoming Books all the more palatable for everyone.
Be free to share your thoughts and comments below.