Episode 30: Jeremy Zuckerman

“The Legend of Korra”

SongExploder30

In 2005, Nickelodeon premiered an animated series called Avatar: The Last Airbender, about a young boy and his friends who have to keep peace and balance in the world. It combined fantasy and martial arts, and ran for four seasons, won an Emmy and a Peabody, and in 2012, spawned a sequel called The Legend of Korra. This time, the story was about a girl, Korra, a teenager, and just as the characters were older and the world they inhabited was older, the themes of the show matured as well. In December 2014, after 4 seasons of its own, the series and franchise aired its finale. It made headlines for the final shot of the very last scene, where Korra and her female companion Asami come together as a couple, romantically.

Composer Jeremy Zuckerman used a mix of Chinese and western instruments for the series. Coming up, he deconstructs the music he wrote, reflects on the significance of that scene, and also what it felt like to close the curtain on a franchise he’d been working on over the course of twelve years of his life.

You can watch the final scene of The Legend of Korra, via Nickelodeon.

And you can hear more cues from Jeremy’s score from The Legend of Korra, via his SoundCloud page:

For more, I recommend this Vanity Fair article, “How a Nickelodeon Cartoon Became One of the Most Powerful, Subversive Shows of 2014,” by Joanna Robinson. And it’s pretty fun to watch this YouTube compilation of fan reactions to the finale.

footnotes
The music in the Incredible Hulk end credits is “The Lonely Man Theme” by Joe Harnell.

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