Reviews: Total Drama
Your Mileage WILL vary.
Total Drama is a...strange specimen, to say the least. While people universally agree that some seasons ROCK and others SUCK...which ones rock and suck vary from person to person. Some seasons can be amazing. Other seasons can make Titans Go look appealing in comparison. Approach each season with caution; and make the judgement for yourself.
Roulette of Good Seasons and Terrible Seasons
Total Drama is an entertaining series. It's not the most brilliantly written show, but it's pretty entertaining. Some seasons really deliver. They're funny, enjoyable, and can even get pretty emotional. But then there are the cringe-worthy disasters. The decay isn't linear, so the problem isn't strictly Seasonal Rot. There are other factors at play. One problem the writers consistently have is that they Flanderize, and they Flanderize hard. I don't think it's a coincidence that the most universally well-received seasons (Island, Revenge of the Island, and Pahkitew Island, at least by most people I've run into) are seasons that featured brand-new characters, and the universally agreed-upon worse season (All Stars) used characters on their 2nd and 4th runs. The characters were a mess by then. Until they learn to stop running characters straight into hell, they're going to need a new cast each season if they want the show to remain watchable.
Started Off Great, Went Downhill Fast
So I only have 400 words, so I'll try to review all 6 seasons of the show. The first season is Total Drama Island, which I personally loved. It was very lighthearted and matched the summer camp theme very well. The high contestant count gave way for a lot of different plots, especially with the devious and unpredictable Heather, who I also loved. Heather's karma in the end was also very satisfying, especially seeing who delivers it to her. Overall I would give this season an 8/10. Total Drama Action is highly underrated, but isn't that amazing anyway. The gimmick seemed half-hearted, but the choice of characters was good. Worth watching, since it gets better later on after they finish the overdone Trent and Gwen plot. They even gave a lot of attention to my favorite character, Lindsay. 7/10. Season 3, Total Drama World Tour, in my opinion was the best season so far. It had several gimmicks, like the world travel, original challenges, two new characters, and my favorite: the songs. They're all really catchy. I personally liked Heather as a villain more than Alejandro, mostly because of the biggest problem: In Episode 1 of the show, Ezekiel was voted off for sexist comments, but Alejandro spends the entire season getting by through womanizing several contestants. Sierra turned out to be better than I expected. Cody and Noah were also great additions to the season. 9/10. Total Drama Revenge of the Island seemed poorly planned. It was shorter than the other seasons, that were usually around 25 episodes, while Rot I was about 14 episodes. Unfortunately, characters with a lot of potential like B and Dawn were voted off early, and the character we weren't supposed to like, the villain Scott, was one of the more likable people later on. Zoey's development was boring and Lightning was a terrible bully. I loved Cameron's ending. 5/10 Total Drama All-Stars was by far the worst season of Total Drama ever. Mal was the worst villain ever, and his anti-climactic ending was the worst ending ever. There was too much Character Derailment and bad planning. I completely ignored this season. It's like the Dragon Ball GT of TD. 2/10. Pahkitew Island was a major improvement in the second part. The characters were all fun and interesting and Scarlett made for a great villain. I could say more, but there's a word limit. The season was genuinely good. 7/10.
An All Stars Promo Said It Best:
"You love it! You hate it! You love to hate it!" As a whole, Total Drama has many, many, many flaws. But at its core, it's a fun parody of all things reality shows, and for me, personally, is really all I need to be satisfied. It's also nice to see how, while most characters are shown to be great, they're also shown to be horrible, and that makes it even better! I'm not looking for everyone to be precious cinnamon rolls. I want them to have faults, to make mistakes! And if there's one thing this show does well, it's have the characters mess up in the worst of ways (though it's not hard to see the mediocre writing in some areas; I can't blame you for not liking how the characters screw up). It really depends on your outlook on the show and what you're expecting from it. Depending on those, you'll either love it, hate it, or love to hate it! There's no in between!
...Meh. And it got worse.
So, Total Drama. The writing's lazy, the art style and animation are horrendous - being an attempt at a "retro" style. And by that, it means: blocky, unsightly, and because of a complete aversion to Off Model, similiar to Family Guy, everything is stiff, expressions are bland, and, well, it doesn't look like the art it thinks it's imitating. It completely lacks style, and the character designs just top all of the awfulness off. The writing is even worse. It seems like bad things just kind of happen to the Butt Monkeys because they're winning, and the writers - lazy hacks that they are - can't think of ways to get rid of them, either because they're not popular, or Heather needs to do better. A horrible show that has an overall bland, uneasy... Canadian-ness about it like 6Teen and Stoked that just puts me off.
Total Drama: From 's'alright' to 'lame'
Being a brand new fan and having access to the internet, It took me a week to watch the entire series back to back, from Island to Revenge. The first three seasons were interesting. I liked that the creators were willing to take chances with Action and World Tour. Except for DJ's flanderization, it was a good watch. but things took a turn for the lame for Revenge of the Island. No rose tinted glasses here, Revenge is just not that good. There are two problems with Revenge of the Island. The first is the episode count drop. Cutting the count when bringing in 100% new cast members was a bad move. Season 1 gave me time to learn about the characters, and I learned to care about them, and that couldn't have well happened if there were only 13 episodes. Now after 78 episodes with the first cast, Cutting their season down to 13 isn't a bad idea. But 13 episodes on characters I know jack about? No good. Total Drama is more than the torturing of animated teens for our amusement. It's about the animated teens. The second issue is the cast themselves: they don't have much going for them. Mike, Lightning, Dawn, B, and Brick are interesting concepts, but these characters are missing likability: They didn't seem larger than life, or even pop out. Jo is a better Eva, but Eva wasn't much of a character; Sam is a poor man's Harold; Anne Maria and Dakota are fodder like Staci but stayed longer than they should have; Zoey is sweet but nowhere as interesting as nice girls Bridgette or Gwen; Scott is an idiot that got lucky he didn't contend with last season's cast, and Cameron...God I hate Cameron. Add in the part where most of the cast were all in their little world practically, too engrossed in their own problems and selfishness, and weren't too bright on paying attention, making themselves easy targets for the series' worst villain, Scott. (I can write a whole review on why Scott in any other season would be completely ineffectual, but because of idiot balls in Revenge, got as far as he did.) Total Drama is an interesting show, but if more of the same problems happens in the next two seasons, Would going around saying 'I'm a new fan!' make people like me, or feel sorry for me?