From Redditor D_dizzy192:
Bolin had the potential to be one of the best written characters in LoK.
I've gone back and fourth on hating and loving Legend of Korra. After a bit of mulling it over, I can finally say that I like the show but it will always be something I watch once in a blue moon while skipping through the less interesting tidbits. My biggest undying pet peeve will always be Bolin and by extension bending in Korra in general.
Lavabending is awesome. Its 100% my favorite bending art in the series and should have been to Bolin as metalbending was to Toph but with less "I'm the best ever and Imma bend this metal partly to escape but mostly to prove that I can" and more of a coming-into-his-own moment. My thoughts are that he trained with a waterbender and his bending style is noted as abnormal for an earthbender, lighter on his feet than most. How I see his story going is his inferiority complex flaring up in season two: Korra goes on to save the world, Mako becoming a cop, Asami running a company and his only major accomplishment by season's end is accidentally creating war propaganda. He takes a hit to his already bruised ego from being constantly compared to his brother, so his attempts and subsequent failures at metalbending only make it worse. Then, when he sees Ghazan lavabending, he starts trying to match his motions, using sand as a fluid enough substitute for lava until we get the reveal in the air temple.
Bolin should be the determinator, constantly getting knocked down by life but through hard work and thinking outside the box he gets rewarded in creative ways. Instead we get a Bolin who just lucked into lavabending for REASONS.