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5 best shows to watch after 'Avatar: The Last Airbender'

 Gordon Cormier as Aang in Avatar: The Last Airbender.
Gordon Cormier as Aang in Avatar: The Last Airbender.

When the live-action adaptation of "Avatar: The Last Airbender" was announced, fans were understandably nervous, especially since the acclaimed animated series had already been adapted for live-action once before, to famously disastrous results.

Where to stream 'Avatar: The Last Airbender'

"Avatar: The Last Airbender" season 1 is streaming on Netflix

Though reviews of the new series are fairly mixed, most agree that this new series captures much of the heart and charm that made the original series so beloved. Despite some criticisms with regard to pacing and characterization, the series nonetheless rocketed to the top of Netflix’s weekly most-watched series list and earned an early two-season renewal, ensuring that the story of Aang’s journey will continue to be adapted for a new generation.

While no release dates for the upcoming seasons have been shared just yet, if you are looking for other shows to watch in the meantime, here are some bingeable shows like "Avatar: The Last Airbender" you can stream now.

'Arcane'

This visually stunning animated series is based on the "League of Legends" video game franchise, but if you’re not a gamer, fear not as the series is a self-contained story focused on the tension between those who live in the elegant Piltover, a city of breathtaking progress, and the denizens of the oppressed undercity of Zaun. In this steampunk-infused world, magic and technology collide, sparking a bitter conflict that threatens to tear everything apart.

Viewers follow siblings Violet and Powder, who find themselves on opposite sides of this simmering conflict, which threatens to boil over after a tragic event. These sisters have to grapple with how they view each other, and themselves, in a world where happy endings are in short supply. The series explores themes about family, loyalty, betrayal and war, and received nearly universal praise when its first season was released in 2021. Though fans have been waiting a long time, this story is set to continue in 2024 when season 2 is set to release.

Though "Arcane" is decidedly darker in tone than "Avatar: The Last Airbender", it features a similar focus on strong character arcs and relationships. The series also features a unique art style and seamlessly blends fantasy and science fiction world-building, where magic exists side by side with technological innovations.

Watch on Netflix

'The Dragon Prince'

An animated Netflix series that shares some DNA with "Avatar: The Last Airbender" is “The Dragon Prince.” This series, which was co-created by the original animated series’ head writer and co-executive producer Aaron Ehasz, follows siblings Callum and Ezran, the last surviving members of the royal family of Katolis. As war with the nearby magical realm of Xadia threatens their kingdom, the brothers escape from their home and form an uneasy alliance with elf Rayla to protect a dragon hatchling, who might just be the last chance for peace between increasingly incendiary factions.

Though this long-running series deals with heavy themes like war and genocide, like "Avatar: The Last Airbender" it features plenty of levity so that viewers don’t feel overwhelmed. The series also features very complex characters who invite the viewer to consider what truly makes someone good or evil.

“The Dragon Prince” currently has five completed seasons available to watch on Netflix, with a sixth season set to be released in 2024. In addition, a final, seventh season has been announced, and a release date will likely be shared later this year.

Watch on Netflix

'Merlin'

On the live-action side, fans of "Avatar: The Last Airbender" might enjoy Arthurian retelling “Merlin,” which follows the early years of the titular warlock. In this world, magic is outlawed, which means Merlin must practice his craft in secret. Unfortunately, this becomes increasingly difficult as he also develops a tumultuous relationship with the young Prince Arthur, the arrogant and impulsive heir to the throne, who is unaware of Merlin's abilities.

As Merlin grapples with his destiny to protect Arthur and ensure he becomes the just and wise king he's destined to be, he also tackles various threats to Camelot, including monsters, rival sorcerers, and political intrigue. The series explores themes of friendship, loyalty, destiny, and the struggle between good and evil, making it a great watch for those who enjoyed the epic scope of "Avatar: The Last Airbender".

The series ran for a total of five seasons, with each containing 13 episodes, all of which are available on Peacock.

Watch on Peacock

'One Piece'

Arguably Netflix’s most successful live-action adaptation of an anime to date, “One Piece” seamlessly captures the goofy, heartwarming tone of the anime of the same name, and helps introduce a whole new generation of fans to Monkey D. Luffy, a young man with the power to stretch like rubber. Luffy and the rest of his crew, known as the Straw Hat Pirates, embark on a wild and adventurous journey across the sea to find the legendary treasure known as One Piece.

Though this series is full of epic battles and larger-than-life villains, it is also about friendship, loyalty, and the power of dreams. Just like the world of "Avatar: The Last Airbender" felt expansive and full of possibilities, “One Piece” captures the same sense of wonder and adventure. Each member of the Straw Hat crew brings their own unique personality and quirks to the table, creating a found family that viewers will love sailing the blue with.

Currently, only one season is available to stream, but the live-action “One Piece” has officially been renewed, and is projected to return for more fun in 2025.

Watch on Netflix

'His Dark Materials'

Those who were compelled by the poignant explorations of war and loss in "Avatar: The Last Airbender" will find further explorations on these topics in “His Dark Materials,” a BBC/HBO co-production that delves even deeper into these complex themes.

This fantasy series, based on the book trilogy by Philip Pullman, transports viewers to an alternate world where every human has a daemon, a physical manifestation of their soul. Lyra Belacqua, a seemingly ordinary 12-year-old orphan, stumbles upon a dangerous secret involving a mysterious substance called Dust, and must go on a perilous journey to uncover the truth, not only about Dust, but about herself, the power of religion, and the nature of reality itself as she becomes embroiled in a cosmic struggle across universes between the forces of good and evil.

This completed series is three seasons long, with each following the events of one of Pullman’s books, making it a great binge watch that can be completed over a long weekend.

Watch on Max

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