Monday 6 October 2008

Reviewing Nickelodeon's- Avatar- the Last airbender

(Media Study South Africa)

Article by Marc Aupiais

In this, one of Nickelodeon's best programs in complexity of plot, and focus on virtue, and acceptance and rejection of cultural beliefs- we see three friends and companions who go on a journey together to help Aang, the last surviving airbender, and avatar (link between their world and the spirit world of their world)- to learn to master all four of the bending arts.

Kartara, a water bender probably has a small, and reciprocal crush with Aang. Her brother is the other companion, who is always practicle, and sometimes what she might consider lazy.

Points to be watched

Aang looks like a Buddhist monk, and many elements in this programs are eastern- including the appearance of deities("spirits"), and the concept from some system- whereby the moon and seas have spirits which help waterbenders to control the water.

Generally- we enjoy this program- a foundational knowledge of the power of Saints should likely be given to a child- so they see the spirits as saints, and one must be cautious of only one moral issue, other than the eastern belief system- and that is the lightness with which some lies are treated by main characters- even as lying is considered somewhat wrong, or shown sometimes to be of less benefit than truth- there is some danger in this.

Generally, this program is cute and exiting- and parents could watch it with children- and perhaps explain any problems they may have- or even link its moral themes to the gospel. After all- all belief systems of our more aspiring peers have some elements of truth- just out of proportion, or not the fullness of it.

In watching programs like this- a parent may desire to view it like reading a book- see the characters as independent characters, as people- and the cartoon effect wont be so hard.

As it is we truly desire more Catholic programs on television, and this program while morality is a focus, is not a Catholic program- however- this series does emphasize the value of the spiritual world, of discipline and wisdom, and of morals.

As long as Catholic virtues and doctrine are emphasized in the home, such as with daily bible or catechism readings as a family and possibly prayer- and questions- such minor influences of other cultures are eradicated- and one is left with another influence for good morals and a value for peoples, cultures, and the spiritual.

Also- we should remember always to point out- we have got differences with the eastern view- their's is not our perception of the world- but that does not mean we don't see some values in many of their beliefs and practices- this is what we could say to a child- not saying persay that the show is eastern, rather- emphasizing what is similar to our beliefs, and what is different in this show they enjoy- but saying- we enjoy many things that have some morals and values- and some truth, even if they haven't got its entirety.

Always try to make family time important- and perhaps sometimes watch these mad, and even enjoyable programs your children watch- with them- so that you can turn what is a solitary thing into a bonding thing- of course don't try to be a child, or "cool" parent- just be yourself in such things.

For more on Nickelodeon and problems and good points see-

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