Before Thanksgiving vacation, sandpanther recommended that obsessivewoman and I take a look at Avatar: the Last Airbender, and there just happened to be a marathon on Nicktoons over Thanksgiving weekend that had all three seasons. I told the TiVo to grab it, and we had a good time plowing through the episodes.
It’s a show for kids that is very watchable to adults as well; the main characters range from ages 12–16, but there are plenty of interesting adult characters in the supporting cast, and the “adolescents save the world” plotline works without requiring that the adults display an abnormal degree of foolishness or be rendered irrelevant. The writers had a story that lasted for three seasons, and they tell it in a steady progression that doesn’t go wandering.
They also managed to work in a fair amount of Eastern mysticism, and based the movements controlling the elemental powers of the world on real-world martial arts. Adults with background in martial arts or the occult will enjoy this nuance, but it’s seamlessly integrated into the world and I doubt it’d be particularly noticeable to someone who didn’t already know what to look for.
Overall, this is a fine show for families to watch together; the DVD box sets would be great gifts if you have friends whose kids like to watch things over and over again.