Speaking of--gah, the stuff about how Katara "mothers" Aang. It's just. Augh. The thing is, if I squint and turn my head sideways, I can see where they're coming from. She comforts him a lot, encourages him to confide in her when he's upset, offers him some discipline when he needs it. Those are things mothers can do. Except that mothers aren't the only people who do this. Any good friend should do that stuff too. And the idea that Katara doing this for Aang automatically makes her his mother is so dysfunctional I don't know where to begin. To sum up: if it's only your mother who comforts you and keeps you in check if you need it, you are sadly lacking in other relationships. Most likely, though, it's not that the people saying this are screwed up like that (at least, I hope not, because that would be really sad). It's that they (like lots of other people in lots of little ways, so this isn't me going ZOMG IF YOU DON'T LIKE AANG/KATARA YOU ARE A HORRIBLE SEXIST OPPRESSOR!!) have fallen into a common trap of thought: certain behaviors force women into certain roles. If Katara has a take-charge, caring attitude about Aang, she can't be his girlfriend (or even just his best friend), because that doesn't properly fit the roles women are allowed. No, she must be his mother. :|
Anyway, enough of Katara--onto Zuko. I've been glancing over stuff in Avatar fandom here and there, and I often come across people trying to disprove claims made by The Crazy Zutarians (band name!). Which I totally understand, because I too get cranky when sections of fandom make ridiculous claims that fly in the face of canon.
But one thing that comes up a lot is this: "Zuko/Katara fans claim that Zuko is some kind of glorious noble prince figure. So we must counter this by highlighting all his negative traits and downplaying or ignoring all his positive ones."
Now, I'm not arguing that it seems like Zuko/Katara fans (from what little I've seen of them) have a warped view of Zuko. But--at the current point of canon, anyway--I love how we catch glimpses of his positive traits. So I'm going to reiterate them here.
For one thing? Great leader potential. As "The Storm" showed, when push comes to shove, he can look at a group of people under his command who don't really like him and still make an unselfish choice about their welfare. He's a hell of a long way from being able to do that on a regular basis (or, uh, even very often at all), but the potential is there. One thing that comes up in discussions of what an immature twit he is is his inability to make reasoned, sensible decisions. But the thing is, it's not a total inability. He can do it--but thanks to the complicated maelstrom of negative emotions, insecurity, and complexes that make up his usual state of mind (themselves the product of a terrible upbringing), it's extremely difficult and usually only seems to manifest in direst need.
He's also very clever and inventive in his thinking, which quite surprised me when we first began to see it. He doesn't just stomp around sulking and whining about not getting what he wants (even though, uh...he does that most of the time); he comes up with creative ways to go about getting it.
And he's determined as hell. It's just that so far, he's turned that dogged strength of will to all the wrong purposes. Oh, Zuko, you idiot.
Yeah, I like him a lot more now than I did early on in the first season. He just grows so damned much and you get to see so much potential afjkdslfkd;fjdskl. Heart.
Despite Avatar, I haven't given up on other fandoms. Earlier today, I started watching Season 4 of the Wire at long, long last. This show is so damned amazing, I need to rattle my friendslist until more of you watch it. >:O I'm going to watch at least another episode later tonight. I have a terrible, terrible feeling that the kids this season are going to break my heart, and I will love it and beg for more.
Finally, I also haven't given up on my comics fandoms. I will pimp out postboot Legion of Super-Heroes some more, and you will like it. Then, just for the mood whiplash, I'll upload lots of Hellblazer. Soon. And everyone will see my idiotic love for John Constantine.