Reviews: Total Drama Island

Great start, but...

The first season of Total Drama was great. Good concept, good jokes, nice drama, characters were all pretty cool and well rounded thanks to a good script. Because of its large and diverse cast, it is very easy to get pretty attached to one of the characters, and everything was fine.

But then, something happened.

Season two began, and the result was underwhelming to say the least. The comedy wasn't that good, the drama felt forced, and the characters became either flat, one-diensional versions of themselves or completely different without any actual explanation. Speaking of which, one of the problems is that the characters that were focused on, for the most already had alot of focus in the previous season, and those who were more minor, some of whom getting actually pretty big followings, bearly got any screen time. It couldn't have gone worse.

And yet, depending on who you ask, including myself, it did.

I am aware that there are people out there who do like the third season, also known as TDWT, or as I like to call it, TDWTF, because it had even more WTF moments this time around. Interestingly it did have an okay, if somewhat underwhelming start. The jokes did actually improve, and the characters did have better arcs, but the two new characters introduced were an interesting idea as a sort of take that on the fandom, but didn't really work because she barely got any development, and she was also a bit creepy, while the other was just a bland gary-stu. In addition, there was also a lot of nods to the fandom, but they felt more annoying than clever, and a lot of the characters felt like they were only there for the sake of filler.

What really splits people though, is something that happened about halfway through the season, and while I won't spoil what happened, in my opinion, it turned one of the characters who was already kind of a jerk into a complete douchebag, and another into a hypocrite, and depending on what kind of fan you are, you will either jump for joy or burst into an angry rant. Also, it sunk my ship.

I've deliberately avoided season 4 for obvious reasons, but from what I hear it is better than the third season, and has a completely different cast that are actually okay. Season 5 is coming out this fall, and while I'm not liking the theme, I do hope that it does better.

The Big Sleep

Chris waking up the contestants early in the morning was a nice way of demonstrating how very much like boot camp the show would be. The race also helped convey some of the campers' personalities; Gwen telling Harold not to stay near here demonstrated her role as a loner, Owen suspecting he had a condition showed how blissfully unaware he is of his obesity, Heather insulting Owen for said obesity and her disgusted reaction further foreshadowed her role as The Libby, and Leshawna defending Owen and insulting Heather foreshadowed both her protective nature and her ever-present dislike of Heather.

When the contestants arrived at the lodge one thing that confused me was the fact that Noah was unconscious and being carried by Owen. We are not told why he had fainted, the immediate assumption would be exhaustion, but the last we saw of him he was doing perfectly fine. Then once Chris announces that the Gophers have won, Noah immediately opens his eyes; what's that supposed to mean? Was he faking it? Was it just coincidence that he woke up exactly after the race was over? The writer's make no attempt to explain it, and this bugs me to an infuriating extent.

The contestants assuming that the challenge was over and the meal was a reward really shows how naive they are at this point. Gwen demonstrates her lack of faith in her fellow contestants, assuming they will all fall asleep quickly. Excellent portrayal of Heather's dominating nature when she orders Beth and Lindsay around.

There's not much to say about the challenge, the timer was a nice touch though. One thing I should praise is the sound effects, which were perfect for the situation, very realistic, as was the glow from the fire against the contestants.

The different "stay awake" methods were very imaginative and representative of their personalities, there's also a foreshadowing of Justin's true nature. The conversation between Trent and Gwen was pulled of nicely, aided by a great soundtrack.

The episodes also had plenty of hilarity in it, most notably Chef in a tutu, Owen's naked sleepwalking and the Accidental Kiss scene.

Eva's elimination was inevitable, but the dramatic javelin-stick moment was well executed and conveyed Eva's anger issues.

Final ratings: 8.5/10
  • Mo
  • 12th Jun 11
  • 0

Season 3 was great

In my point of view, it's basically a Deconstruction of a few things from the fandom: the self-insert sue, the villian sue, the DXG shipping. Let me explain why: The self insert sue: Sierra started out as this, but her affections wouldn't be returned. She eventually became a character with more dimensions. The Villian Sue: Alejandro. As much as i hate the guy's guts, I couldn't help but feel sorry for him. He was given an excuse for being bad, but it doesn't fully redeem him. Plus, he is willing to give up a million dollars just for a girl. and finally the DXG shipping: I love this couple. I really do. But when it became canon, it didn't end well. I mean, the events after that were devastating. But, it actually was done well.

Overall, Season 3 did a good job showing us what happened when Fanon became Canon.