Forget Money Heist and Tiger King, let’s talk about a little show called Avatar: The Last Airbender. Since Michael Dante DiMartino and Bryan Konietzko’s critically acclaimed Nickelodeon animated series from the mid-2000s arrived on Netflix barely a week ago, it’s become the most watched bit of content in the streamer’s library. And considering that library’s size, such a feat is mighty impressive.
Set in a world where people have the ability to manipulate – or ‘bend’ – the elements of air, water, earth and fire, Avatar: The Last Airbender tells the story of a boy named Aang who, as the latest reincarnation of a messianic figure who alone can control all four elements together, must defeat a powerful genocidal fire bender seeking to take over the land.
Upon its release, Avatar was praised by critics and fans alike for its gorgeous animation, intriguing premise, unique world design, and masterfully told story. It’s one of those rare pieces of entertainment that parents and children can both enjoy and it found its place among the great family shows of Nickelodeon’s heyday, and yet rose above them at the same time. To this day, even years after its grand finale graced screens, the series continues to be remembered as not only one of the greatest animated shows ever made, but one of the best shows period.
For all these reasons and more, it’s no wonder that Avatar: The Last Airbender has topped Netflix’s charts this week, which ironically consist mostly of contemporary stuff. Other entries, for instance, include the romantic comedy The Wrong Missy, Ricky Gervais’ Afterlife-inspired Dead to Me, and the latest season of the long-running Netflix Original crime drama Ozark. But the Nickelodeon show stands above them all, sitting comfortably at the #1 spot on both the Top 10 Overall and Top 10 TV Shows list.