So, in the last month, I took the couresty to re-visit an older season of Total Drama, as you can see, I re-watched ROTI. The reason I did that is because out of all the seasons, I just couldn't make up my mind about it, there were times I thought it was good, and there were times I thought it was worse than All-Stars. After watching this season again, it's actually... not so bad. I actually enjoyed a bunch of the pre-merge episodes, and even the first two merge episodes were actually pretty decent, I guess the weakest point were Dakota's mutation and the endgame: where I felt that the drama was lackluster, the characters fell a bit flat, and the ending really wasn't all too satisfying. Also we have to point this out as one of the most mean-spirited TD seasons, if not the most mean-spirited.
The cast was actually pretty good, which is why I didn't end up disliking this season, but it still felt like it was filled with missed oppournities, Jo is a character that I felt could have been easily a better antagonist than Scott, Brick could have been the main protagonist, and Dawn was a super-interesting personality that could have brought much more. By the end of the day, we were stuck with one of the worst villains ever, one of the most forced protagonists ever, and a pretty weak main couple. I also felt like some plots were just thrown under the rug in order to advance something else, which is a totally lame writing: Anne Maria was supposed to be integral in the entire Mike/Zoey fiasco, and then she suddenly quits; Scott says his strategy is to throw the challenges to give the other team security... then he's switched to the other team. Zoey goes Commando only tolater have superpowers in All-Stars, yadda yadda yadda.
By the way, the feamles were simply treated poorly this season, probably more than any other season honestly. The main reason to this is because the females this season were all gone so quickly with almost each one of them going disliked or hated or annoying on her way out and because of that there were no female-friendships. Staci annoyed her teammates with her blabbering, so no friends for Staci! Dakota was busy with the paparazzi, Dawn was thrown under the bus, Anne Maria quit the game -- all 3 left with no friends. Jo also left with no friends but that was due to part of her nature, so I'll give the writers that, and Zoey constantly talked about how she's there to make new friends yet she rejects both Dakota and Dawn. So yeah. ALSO WHY THERE WERE 2 MALES IN THE FINALE IS BEYOND ME. But whatever now. In addition, was anybody else bothered how much team switches there were? It came to a point where almost everybody have been on both teams, making it hard of keeping track of who you wanna root for.
Also, huge issue for me is how much I hated the theme, oh gosh darn how I hated it. The entire toxic waste was OK at first (like I GET IT LASER SQUIERRALS YEPPIE) but after watching it take over and then turning people bald or monster just for the sake of comedy was lame. Even killing the interns (which I was OK with in other seasons) just got lame this season. I know many people loved all these new animals but I got sick with it after like 2 episodes.
The cameos were... OK, I guess. I loved the first cameo with the original 24 contestants, but some of those cameos just ended up not mattering or even being funny, like Bridgette for example. A good example of a solid cameo would be Izzy and Duncan, both made importance and were funny. Owen was also funny, and I loved Heather's too, though it might be being biased. Also, Chris McLean sucked this season, though I guess it goes without saying, Chef was great when they showed him. Ultimately, there's probably more than I can go about but I'll just stop here.
Anyways, with all those pros and cons and the rushed nature of the season (which ultimately didn't help the season have good character development), I'll give this season 7/10. Maybe 6.7? Something around that spectrum. I guess I'm kind of neutral towards this one.
Note: This rankins is simply for ROTI and has no effect by how I felt about them in All-Stars.
13th. Scott - Yeah, I wanted to come into this re-watch and maybe like Scott a bit, but I couldn't bring myself into it. Scott (up until Mal came later) had the worst strategy of any villain character ever. If you don't remember, Scott's strategy was to throw the challenges so the other team can feel secure so he can crash them later, let me tell you how this makes no sense strategy-wise or plot-wise: A. Throwing the challenge sounds like a neat idea when you want to get rid of somebody you hate, but you also take huge risk of them being onto you and voting you off, which was almost the cast in Dawn's vote. B. It makes no sense plot-wise to give the other team security because the only episode where Scott doesn't try to lose (Episode 6), he gets switched to the other team, which makes this entire mini-arc pointless. Also he still tries to throw the challenges bunch of times even on the Maggots for no apperant reason. WTF.
And then Scott gets the idol out no where, he just has it. Cook plot-device there. Anyways, I guess that "Grand Chef Auto" is the only time where I liked Scott, because at least he was seem to know what he was doing. See, that's my main beef with Scott, they tried to go half comical/half villainy with him, and it's just didn't work. Not only Scott was an unitimidating villain, he was also really not funny. He then doesn't do much until he's blindsided by Zoey/Cam. Way to go. Also, Fang is lameeeee. The end result we got with Scott is a bad story of pointless, dumb strategy, a sad attempt of creating a blend of comedy and villainy all together resulting in the worst villain ever bar Mal.
12th/11th. Mike and Zoey - Okay, before my re-watch I didn't mean to put them together, but it's just how things turned out. Let me say is that I actually enjoyed Zoey more than Mike and would rank her in 11, I rank them together mostly because almost their entire characters revolves around each other.
Let me start off with Mike, the main issue I have with Mike is that honestly, without his altrs, he's basically a whole bunch of nothing. All we know about Mike is that he has disease and that he's shy and insecure about it, the entire structure of his character is wrong because you can't base somebody's character on a disease. About his altrs, btw, I guess I will say I don't really care for them... Svetlana is just kind of a god player, Manitoba annoys me, Vito's okay, and Chester is hilarious. So I guess there's that.
Then there's Zoey, who is a clueless naive girl who always gets in sh** and then just expects Mike to save her whenever she gets herself into trouble. Also, she says she's there to make friends yet she rejects Dawn and later votes out Dakota. Oh and lol about her working with Scott that one time and then being pissed at Mike for helping him, or acting entitled about Anne Maria and Mike kissing like she's already dating him. That was all really annoying. I guess what I found redeeming about her is that she sometimes had awkward funny lines ("I'm not saying Dawn's a witch, but she might be a wizard.") lol. I also felt bad for her when her Mike-necklace broke but instead of developing, she just becomes a god player. I did liked that she saved Cameron's life, prooving she's not that selfish, so I can understand why she returned for All-Stars.
Ultimately the main problem with both characters is their relationship and how forced it was, from the moment they met they just fell in love with each other and even Zoey acted entitled to it like she was dating him... just lame. They also let Mike "control" his altrs through the power of love, which ultimately is just plain ridicilous. Finally, Mike and Zoey were just bad at playing the role of the main couple, seperately I didn't really cared for them though they were mild annoyance, but together they were just sort of bad at various moments. Though I'll credit them by saying they weren't too bad and the ultimate feeling I have for them is dislike, rather than hate like in All-Stars.
10th. Beverly - Honestly, I have no real opinion on "B", I remember when I used to hate him with deep passion, which lol cuz I honestly have no opinion on him now other than that he's largely boring and I find his god playing slightly annoying but who the hell cares he lasts for 3 episodes. Next.
9th. Staci - A little bit better than Bev, though still had mild annoyance and really wasn't that funny. The perfect person to be the first boot. :)
8th. Cameron - Yeah, a shocker, I know. I've always expressed of how much I hate Cameron and his ugly glasses, but honestly... he wasn't so bad this season. I honestly... enjoyed him for the first few episodes. Yeah, weird, I know. But I think the reason for that is because Cameron wasn't simply Zoke's wimpy sidekick, he was also a likable underdog for a while who interacted with bunch of other characters, though I think my favorite interaction of his, is with Jo. That was stealler. Obviously the reason I didn't like him overall and only feels neutral is because they exploit his weakness too much and make him feel like a forced underdog -- not to mention his godplaying at few points (Especially his Mega-Man suit in the final. WTF.). And he still was annoying at times, like revealing Mike's MPD to Scott, for example. Obviously if Cam ranks 8th he wasn't all bad and had few decent lines out there but I still hate his nerd-gasems like enjoying Dakota's mutation or some sh**. I dunno, obviously the fugly Cam we know from All-Stars is there but he's there with a decent character development even if it's a total cliche and kinf of forced. Overall, not a bad character (in this season at least) but definitely not one I can say is from the good ones, either.
7th. Anne Maria - This ranking shocked me too, mostly because Anne Maria is a type of character that I usually love: a sassy, bossy female with a don't-care-about-you attitude. So where did she do wrong? Honestly she wasn't that funny to me at all times. I still enjoyed her fake tan, her hair-spray, and her voice but not as much as I used to tbh. She's fine, really, but the only thing I dislikes about her is her quitting which came out of NO WHERE. She was integral to the story with Zoke, and then she suddenly quits with no resolution whatsoever. Lame.
6th. Dawn - Just like I was surprised by how much I didn't like Anne Maria that much this time around, I was surprised by how I enjoyed Dawn and her quirkiness. Dawn's adoroable, and her aura-reading, creeping out other people, flying, and caring animals was so weirdly entertaining to me. I also loved how she caught onto Scott's BS. I guess her ultimate drawback was that she had such limited screen time. Still, Dawn's got potential and we need her back.
5th. Dakota - Honest to god Dakota Milton probably had the best character development in this season. You just gotta adore her trying to be less spoiled and learning how to use a saw, I enjoyed her with the paparazzi but obviously what I liked most about her was coming back as an intern, she grew as a person and went from a spoiled brat to somebody with an actual depth, learning more and more about herself as a person through her relationship with Sam, that she's not that superficial or mean, and actually has a heart. I also adore her voice. Sure, I don't really like Dakotazoid and considers it one of the worst parts of the season (and the series), but I still enjoyed that she and Sam excepted each other and rooting for an altr-universe where DakotaxSam are the main couple instead of Zoke.
4th. Sam - Haha, honestly though, Sam is a comedy gem. In every episode he's in he has a bunch of fun lines and he's all akward and weird and it feels like watching another Harold, which is definitely pleasent. I dunno, Sam is a great comedy character and I love his relationship with Dakota and I think his only drawback is probably that he's kinda one-dimensional, pretty much being only lazy and addicted to video games. Still, he was sweet to Dakota and was hilarious and I digged him this season.
3rd. Brick - What's not to love about Brick McArthur? The guy's hilarious and packs huge heart. What makes Brick an awesome character is not that he's just nice, he's also really funny, he's this weird mix of Tyler's physical comedy along with bunch of weird, great lines to boot ("I DUNNO.", "Fashion school, here I come!" lol). He's very dynamic in his stealler interaction with Jo, him trying to be a leader, his fear of dark, his need to be dominated (lol Dawn), him actually sticking to his characters and NEVER LEAVING A MAN BEHIND. Good for Brick, the one true hero of this season who, for some reason, did not make All-Stars. Weird producers.
2nd. Lightning - *sha-licious*. What is there more to say about Lightning? The guy loves himself more than anything, has a great voice actor, hilarious moments, and there's no doubt he should be at the top of every TD character-ranking ever. I also enjoyed how they showed more exposed side to him when they revealed he has a very competitive dad and that's why Lightning is like himsef. I enjoyed his conflict with contestants like Cameron and Jo, and practically everything he did was entertaining.
1st. Jo - Out of all the shocks that I had with this ranking, this is the biggest. Now, pre-re-watch, I knew Jo would land in my top 5 at least, she's dynamic AND funny, but top 1? Wow. Anyways, it's hard to explain why I loved Jo and her grey sweatpants so much, but I'll try my best. Jo, to me, felt like the most interesting character in the sense where I always loved to hear what her next move will be, she was always opinionated, always wanted to be in charge, had to comment about anything, insulted everybody... I dunno. It was just really easy for me to get interested in her and in her actions, right from the gates she's the strongest member in her team, from criticizing everybody to being the leader. She also had great observationial skills and had a bunch of dynamic relationships, like with Brick, Anne Maria, Lightning, and Cameron. She also showed depth, like when she reveals to Lightning (in a sad way) that she still never kissed a guy, I also liked how she saluted Cameron for beating her. By the end of the day, Jo is a funny, dynamic character, who's very strong opinionated person with clear intentions of winning, is a very strong female character and we need more characters like that. Hooray!
As for the episodes, I'll say I really enjoyed the premiere, Ice Ice Baby, Runaway Model, Grand Chef Auto, and Up, Up, and Away. I didn't really hate any episodes other than the boring-ass "Treasure Island" and the probably-even-more-boring "Enchanted whatever Forest". Also the Finale was one of the weaker ones.