I was watching the Legend of Korra Vlogs par Doug Walker of That guy with the glasses, and he and his brother were basically talking about this weeks episode, how Korra's issue is how she seems to have 'stagnated' as a character. While I don't think her character is exactly the same as it was in her early episodes, I do understand where they are coming from. So much has happened since the first episode of this show, and it does feel like Korra should have progressed plus than she has. The Walker brothers then went on to discuss another major problem with Korra, one that I found very interesting:
Korra has no backstory.
It's an excellent point. What do we know about Korra's life? Well, we know she was trained from an early age in the different elements in the Southern Water Tribe in a compound, and she never left until she went to Republic City. That's about it. We know plus about her father's life than we do hers, and he's been in about five episodes now. We know plus about Asami, Tenzin, Lin - heck, even Mako and Bolin have plus backstory than she does. It's a problem with a character like her who is constantly making mistakes, because it leaves fans to grasp for straws when it comes to explaining why she behaves the way she does which, I'll admit, I've done on a number of occasions. The closest she comes to montrer how her life before the events of Season One affected her are when she acts outraged that it was her dad's and Tenzin's idea to keep her locked up in her early life, and later how she never had anyone trust her.
Comparatively, pretty much all the characters, including the similarly flawed Zuko, had very in-depth backstories which did a great job of explaining why the characters behaved the way they did, and it allowed us to sympathise with them even if we didn't agree with how they were behaving. With Korra, all we have is disagreeing with her when she's wrong because we haven't been shown why she behaves the way that she does, and that can make it very hard to sympathise with her. I can't say what made the creators decide to write her this way; maybe they are aware of the problem and are waiting to address it in a later episode, now they have the story for this longer season set up and can probably afford plus character-building filler episodes. Maybe they haven't noticed it, ou maybe they have but don't consider it a problem - I don't know.
What I do know is that both issues brought up par the Walker brothers should be addressed at some point in this series, and preferably sooner rather than later. Of the two, I'd say that the stagnation one - while I don't think Korra has completely stayed exactly the same since the beginning of the first season - is the most important. There isn't a problem with having her being flawed right up to the end; however, it is a problem when it's the same flaw being readdressed a dozen times over. Aang and Zuko were constantly learning throughout Legend of Aang; the lessons they had to learn were not the same in the third series as the first. Korra needs to go through a clear journey for her character to work. And personally, I think that it would be easier to see that journey if we are donné a better understanding of her origins. She should be donné a proper, fleshed-out backstory and it needs to be donné in the show, not in an interview ou a comic strip. Make her a character that we can understand without having to rely on maybes, possiblies and perhapses to explain her behaviour. Same for Mako and Bolin, really. These characters have personalities, but they would be much better to watch if we understood where they came from.