Korra herself is so likable. Confidence is not something this lady lacks; she's so sure of herself that if something doesn't come easy to her she looks for a scapegoat. But she's affectionate and open and good-hearted and quick to apologize when she realizes she's wrong. Authority can have her respect, but has to earn it. Score one again for the fabulous female characters of the ATLA canon.
I love the balance of shout-outs to the characters we've known in balance with the reality that it's seventy years later. I was prepared to have no one familiar except in terms of lineage and backstory, but then they gave us KATARA and I turned into this vulnerable pile of mush; oh show, do not do this to meeee. When Katara hinted that most of the people she knew were gone, I was simply nodding because, duh, we expected that, but then when she confirmed that Sokka was dead I couldn't stop myself, I choked up.
CHARACTERS CHARACTERS. Even the mooks are well-fleshed individuals, it's killing me with the wonderful. Everyone they introduce feels unique, from vagabond park guy (I won't be surprised if he shows up again) to mobster heavies to long-suffering cop asking, "Is this your polar bear-dog?" I like every major character so far, Tenzin and his "Don't bring up my MOTHER" off-guard twitchy moment, airbending kids of utter handful, eager Bo Lin (when he showed up I riffed, "Burgess Meredith turns our protagonist over to Wedge Antilles,"), and moody love interest Mako. (Aw, what a nice name tribute too.) The ending of episode two was sweet; I love how Mako's got that wistful look for a girl, but Korra's look is for this amazing city and everything it's got to show her.
I just love it. I want to watch it and macro it and speculate shipping and everything. When I saw ATLA I had the luxury of having it complete when I started watching, DVDs 'n' everything right at my fingertips. I've been whimpering for months and months now that I don't know how I'm going to stand going an episode a week, oh dear god a SEASON A YEAR. I WON'T MAKE IT HOLD ME SOMEONE.