Sexuality on Kid’s TV Network

Nickelodeon is a popular kids TV channel that is the home to some much loved TV shows. One of those shows is The Legend of Korra. It is a sequel to Avatar: The Last Airbender and you never really think that sequels are going to be any good, right?

Well when Bryan Konietzko and Michael Dante Dimartino are involved, it will probably be great.

While Nickelodeon hosts many TV shows staring teens, those shows never highlight teen issues without using some sort of humour and subtlety. Avatar and Korra highlighted on many issues.

Seasons 3 and 4 of The Legend of Korra were pulled off of airing on TV and instead were aired online each week until the show ended. The show dealt with issues as equality between people which got quite violent for a Nickelodeon show. Season 3 also saw the change in dynamic of the relationship between Korra and Asami.

Both Korra and Asami dated the same character, Mako in the first 2 seasons of The Legend of Korra. Because of this, Mako and Korra had developed a following for their relationship and fans kept expecting Mako and Korra to end up together happily ever after. This just begs the question, why is it expected for the boy and the girl to end up together in the end?

Thanks to Bryan and Mike, that attitude was quickly squashed with Korra and Asami’s ever growing relationship. Some people didn’t even realise what was happening until they saw the season 4 finale. Some people still didn’t know until they heard Bryan and Mike confirm it.

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Korra and Asami’s relationship was quite subtle that only a viewer who is open to sexual diversity would have been able to see it. One of the big reasons behind the subtlety was the fact that this was still considered a “kids show” and “kids shows” don’t advocate sexual diversity. Bryan and Mike were incredibly limited with what they could show vs what they would have liked to show and that’s probably why some people were taken by surprise.

Bryan and Mike both posted their views on the whole “Korrasami”, yes that is the ship name for Korra and Asami, on their blogs. Bryan even said in his post, “we never assumed it was something we would ever get away with depicting on an animated show for a kids network in this day and age, or at least in 2010.”

The beauty of Korrasami is that it developed organically, where in they are just two people who inspired each other. There were no sappy love confessions or lingering looks across the hall. It was just two friends who developed romantic feelings toward each other.

So that begs the question, should sexuality matter when it comes to kids tv shows? And if so, what are the limitations? Would it be the same for heterosexual couples?

Because you know in the end, the hero always gets the girl.

YesAsami

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