Zipped right through Season 1. It’s really good, I can say that already.
Though, as a politics/history buff, sometimes it’s a bit difficult. I guess I’ve also read too much Discworld and, more recently, Game of Thrones. Both depict fantasy universes which have constraints of reality. The Song of Ice and Fire books are brutal, but in many ways realistic. Armies don’t appear out of nowhere, and battles aren’t nice or pretty.
Discworld is more whimsical, but takes into account something very important: magic doesn’t come cheaply. Wizards are well aware of how destructive their power can be, and learned that the most important lesson to learn about magic is not to use it. On the Discworld, there’s industry, farming, trade. Sir Terry imagines a fantasy world where people seriously go to work every day. They have ideas, innovations, and build things which change the world.
In both, economics is important. What is the price of bread in King’s Landing? How does Vetinari finance his Undertaking? It’s all of interest, and all relevant.
Avatar is a nice, light-hearted adventure, with strong characters and character development. It’s fun and I enjoy it, but there’s this little voice in my head which wonders how the people of each nation get balanced diets, how they farm, how they build. The water tribes live in snow, ice and tundra, where there aren’t really any vegetables. The air monks live up mountain tops, with similar disadvantages. There doesn’t seem to be any trade. 100 years is a very long time to fight a war, and the changing generations must surely have changed their attitudes in various ways. And so on.
I find it funny how the benders often say “It’s not magic, it’s bending!” and I’m forced to wonder what they consider magic, if bending is not magic. It may as well be. And it obviously seems to come cheaply, and there’s no cost to it. And that means they seem to use it for everything, and when they fight, it’s incredibly destructive. Can that much wild destruction from all sides possibly allow for stable societies?
In any case, it’s fun and that doesn’t bother me much. But it’s still there.