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"Enter the amazing world of Avatar through the official companion podcast, Avatar: Braving the Elements from Nickelodeon. Join hosts Janet Varney (the voice of "Korra") and Dante Basco (the voice of "Prince Zuko") each week as they re-watch every episode of Avatar: The Last Airbender then break down key themes, notable battles, and behind-the-scenes trivia you can't get anywhere else. Special guests from cast members to producers join them to explore elements of the Avatarverse, including the origins of the story and how Avatar was brought to life."
— Official description of the podcast.[1]

Avatar: Braving the Elements is an online podcast hosted by Janet Varney and Dante Basco, the voice actors of Korra and Zuko, respectively, that premiered on June 22, 2021. The podcast features Varney and Basco as they rewatch every episode of Avatar: The Last Airbender, breaking down key moments, fights, and other points of interest from each episode. Joining them are numerous guest appearances from other cast members and staff involved in the show, including series co-creators Bryan Konietzko and Michael Dante DiMartino.

The hosts also plan to recap every episode of The Legend of Korra once their rewatch of the first series is completed.[2]

Episodes

All episode descriptions are taken directly from the podcast's iHeartRadio page.[1]

Title Original release date Episode # Episode length
"The Boy in the Iceberg" June 22, 2021 1 63 minutes
In our first-ever episode: get to know Janet and Dante, and find out what to expect in our first season, and dive into "The Boy in the Iceberg!"
"Origin Stories with Mike DiMartino & Bryan Konietzko Pt. 1" June 25, 2021 2 53 minutes
Jump into a multilayered conversation with Michael Dante DiMartino and Bryan Konietzko, the creative minds behind "Avatar: The Last Airbender" and "The Legend of Korra!"
"Origin Stories with Mike DiMartino & Bryan Konietzko Pt. 2" June 29, 2021 3 49 minutes
It's the second part of our two-episode illuminating chat with "Avatar" creators Michael Dante DiMartino and Bryan Konietzko!
"The Avatar Returns" July 6, 2021 4 57 minutes
Janet and Dante recap some great listener interactions and then dig into Episode Two of ATLA: The Avatar Returns, which leads to some big revelations ... Is Appa's new nickname "the lazy canoe?" Did Zuko get bested by his own bed? Does Janet cry during EVERY episode of ATLA? Is Dante doing a British accent? And on a more serious note, Dante and Janet discuss how a shift in perspective can change the way you see your own life and choices!
"Origin Stories with Eric Coleman" July 13, 2021 5 42 minutes
Janet and Dante are joined by former Nickelodeon exec Eric Coleman, who delves further into the development of ATLA and the stories behind some of the key moments and decisions that made the show work so beautifully.

Listen in on this candid discussion with "The Godfather of Zuko" and learn more about Mike and Bryan's early ideas, what it was like to work with them, and how to get ahead in a tough industry, all the way to getting a show made ... while staying true to your vision!

"The Southern Air Temple" July 20, 2021 6 55 minutes
Appa takes us to The Southern Air Temple (and Ep. 3 of ATLA), where Aang must face some tough truths while Zuko faces a formidable enemy ... all with Janet and Dante along for the ride!

From peaches (Momo!) to barbecue (Agni Kai!), from root-breaking to gooey-caking, from the families we lose to the families we choose, there is a lot of adventure to explore and unpack.

"Meet the Cast: Jack De Sena ("Sokka")" July 27, 2021 7 66 minutes
Janet and Dante are joined by voice actor Jack de Sena ("Sokka") for a hilarious episode full of great conversation!

Find out about Jack's beginnings as a child actor to his busy college years trying to balance school with his ATLA voice-acting duties. Discover Jack's thoughts on Sokka's insatiable appetite (do not eat the hybrid animals!), his favorite Sokka ship, and much more. It is a cannot-miss episode guaranteed to make you laugh.

""The Warriors of Kyoshi" with Jennie Kwan" August 3, 2021 8 40 minutes
The delightful Jennie Kwan breaks down Episode Four of ATLA with Janet and Dante, bringing her fabulous insight and wit!

Listen in as this trio discusses their love of Suki and Kyoshi Warrior cosplay; something that suspiciously seems like Zuko's breakdancing moves; the concept of gender fluidity in the Avatar legacy; and how to empower a person who has a lot to learn (Sokka!) by using toughness and a little patience.

"Suki Speaks: More with Jennie Kwan!" August 3, 2021 9 40 minutes
A conversation with Jennie Kwan that was so inspiring, layered, and downright fun, it deserved its own episode!

Janet and Dante talk with Jennie about her background and multifaceted work in the arts and the entertainment industry, including her positive approach to her work. And Dante and Jennie share their experiences as Asian Americans working in Hollywood, with thoughts on how things have evolved and where they're headed.

""The King of Omashu" with André Sogliuzzo" August 10, 2021 10 55 minutes
This week we're headed to the fast-moving, earthbendingly-impressive city of Omashu, so hold on to your cabbages!

Who better to join Dante and Janet for this rollercoaster recap than the strange, spirited leader of Omashu himself, King Bumi? Meet prolific voice actor André Sogliuzzo ("Bumi"), hear the origin story of the king's distinctive voice, and celebrate the introduction of a different beloved character whose love of a certain leafy vegetable is famous!

"Meet the Writer with John O'Bryan" August 17, 2021 11 36 minutes
Get the inside scoop on the early days of writing Avatar: The Last Airbender from one of its original and long-standing writers, John O'Bryan!

Meet the person who turned in the first draft of the script laying out the city of Omashu and introducing us to King Bumi! But we know what you're all thinking ... is this the mind that created one of the most iconic characters in the entire series? Is this the imagination responsible for ... THE CABBAGE MERCHANT??

""Imprisoned" with Kevin Michael Richardson" August 24, 2021 12 75 minutes
Janet and Dante explore the many layers of "Imprisoned," and then settle in for a great chat with the voice of Tyro, Kevin Michael Richardson!

We delve into the intensity of the Fire Nation prison island and the oppression of a people, laugh about some truly inspired comic moments in the episode, and celebrate the amazing acting in this episode (including a turn by George Takei!). The icing on the cake is hearing from Kevin about his own hard work and success, and his thoughts on how race factors into the world of voice acting.

"Martial Arts Deep Dive with Sifu Kisu and Bryan Konietzko" August 31, 2021 13 67 minutes
This week we dig into the careful design and detailed mechanics of animated martial arts with Sifu Kisu and Bryan Konietzko!

What would a podcast about Avatar be without at least one episode showcasing the phenomenal artistry of the fighting styles in The Last Airbender and The Legend of Korra? Bryan and Kisu share the history of meeting, collaborating, and ultimately how they worked with the whole ATLA team to develop the incredible bending and combat styles of the Avatarverse.

"The Winter Solstice Part One: The Spirit World" September 7, 2021 14 51 minutes
It's a very important first half of a two-part story arc in which Janet and Dante start to get acquainted with The Spirit World!

In this key episode of Book One, we meet the understandably grumpy Hei Bai, spend some time with an intimidatingly cool spirit dragon and his "nose hairs," and see a whole lot of Uncle Iroh's hot bath-loving bare skin. Plus: Dante compares Prince Zuko to a couple of beloved vintage detectives, leading to a surprising impression.

"Meet the Cast with Zach Tyler Eisen" September 14, 2021 15 44 minutes
That's right! It's the voice of The Avatar himself, Zach Tyler Eisen! Join us for this rare appearance by the wonderful former actor who gave us Aang.

Janet and Dante revisit Zach's experience of recording ATLA, which he did when he was about the same age as the character he portrayed (while still enjoying the childhood Aang may have missed). Zach also weighs in on some of Aang's tougher choices, and illuminates us about his current career passions!

"The Winter Solstice Part Two: Avatar Roku with James Garrett ("Avatar Roku")" September 21, 2021 16 71 minutes
Somehow we got lucky enough to welcome two back-to back Avatars! We go from Avatar Aang last week (Zach Tyler Eisen) to this week's guest, James Garrett— otherwise known as Avatar Roku!

Janet and Dante recap and discuss Part Two of "The Winter Solstice," unpacking "hot stinkers," Appa's flying style, and so many other details big and small! Then they're joined by the great James Garrett, who drops some pretty cool info about the Royal Shakespeare Company, his inspiration for his portrayal of Roku, and issues a special request to the fans!

"Meet the Voice Director with Andrea Romano" September 28, 2021 17 49 minutes
Get ready for an amazing look inside the world of voice acting and directing with the legendary Andrea Romano!

Join Janet and Dante as ATLA and TLOK's Voice Director Andrea Romano treats them to a fascinating, in-depth and delightful conversation about her work on the other side of the microphone, and the road that led her to becoming one of the most beloved voice directors of all time. Not only will you hear wonderful behind-the-scenes tales from the Avatarverse, but stories from across the world of animation!

""The Waterbending Scroll" with Ify Nwadiwe" October 5, 2021 18 59 minutes
This week Janet and Dante are joined by writer, gamer, comedian and podcaster Ify Nwadiwe, who jumps into the investigation of "The Waterbending Scroll!"

The trio is quick to acknowledge that there is just a LOT going on in this Book One episode, and the discussion goes from honest explorations about envy and competitiveness, to admiring Avatarverse fans for creating a real-life Pai Sho game, to Appa's pedicure, to our friend the Cabbage Merchant, and much more. Plus! Ify brings what we think is a BRAND NEW Zuko "ship" to the table!

"Spotlight on Music with Jeremy Zuckerman and Hrishikesh Hirway" October 12, 2021 19 55 minutes
In this very special episode, ATLA & TLOK Composer Jeremy Zuckerman sits down with Janet, Dante, and Song Exploder's Hrishikesh Hirway!

The focus is all about the music in this lively discussion about the challenges and delights of scoring television and film. Listen to tales of the very early days of Avatar to the finale of Korra! Find out what instruments make the best "cold climate" soundtracks. And learn what ATLA reprise may have snuck into Hrishi's own music!

""Jet" with Crawford Wilson" October 19, 2021 20 64 minutes
Team Avatar encounters a controversial character in the ATLA episode "Jet"— and Janet and Dante encounter the delightful Crawford Wilson, the voice behind Jet!

Take a visit to the treetops and find out the inspiration behind the Freedom Fighters' woodsy hideout as Janet and Dante explore Episode 10 of Book One, celebrating all the terrifically-named characters in Jet's gang (Smellerbee! Pipsqueak! Sneers! Longshot! The Duke!) and discussing the parallels between Jet and characters like Katara and Zuko. Then hear from Jet himself, the charming Crawford Wilson!

"Animal Roll Call with Dee Bradley Baker" October 26, 2021 21 72 minutes
This week brings you an unusual and exciting listen: an episode that was recorded live on Twitch, featuring the legendary Dee Bradley Baker!

Janet and Dante spend a marvelous hour with the voice actor behind all of the animals (and several featured human characters) you hear on both ATLA and TLOK. Dee even graciously tries to teach Janet and Dante how to make some of these iconic animal sounds themselves (emphasis on “try”)! Hear more about Dee’s unique and fascinating work, and find out more about how our career paths can take wonderful and unexpected turns, if we’re willing to let them.

Guest stars

Recurring segments

  • Animal Crossing: In this segment, the hosts enumerate the animals seen in that episode and discuss them.
  • Foreshadow Report: In this segment, the hosts discuss the foreshadowing of specific moments in relation to future storylines in the show.
  • MVB Moment: In this segment, the hosts discuss the best bending moment in an episode.
  • MVNB Moment: In this segment, the hosts discuss the best nonbending moment in an episode.
  • You Had One Job: In this segment, the hosts discuss moments when a character had only one job to do, and failed at it.
  • All The Feels: In this segment, the hosts discuss moments that are full of emotion.
  • Rewatch Rewatch: In this segment, the hosts discuss moments than even on a rewatch, they will still rewatch again.

Trivia

  • As part of her preparation for the podcast, Varney "spent a lot of time on the Avatar [...] wiki".[2]

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 Avatar: Braving the Elements. iHeartRadio. Retrieved on June 29, 2021.
  2. 2.0 2.1 Yang, Rachel (June 15, 2021). Watch actors Dante Basco, Janet Varney tease Braving the Elements podcast in trailer. Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved on June 17, 2021.

External links

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