OK, so since everyone loves to complain and complain and complain about the show on this site, there’s naturally some things I've come to disagree with. One of the main thing I've noticed is that people are complaining that they don’t get to see certain characters all that often and that they need to stop adding new ones. I’m certain that my opinion will be pretty standalone, I’m pretty indifferent on non-returning characters.
As much as we all love the original cast, do you know how weird it would be if we saw a contestant compete in four consecutive seasons, or possibly more, without anybody else to add? Needless to say, it would get old pretty quickly. It’s not because they aren't interesting, but it’s because you can only go so far before you realize that a contestant has had too many shots at winning the competition. So many people are tired of characters such as Duncan and Gwen appearing in four seasons, so what if this trait extended to every contestant? This show is supposed to be a spoof of Survivor, a show that will usually bring in an all new cast every single season. Naturally, there is going to be a very large cast of people that are going to get the opportunity to join the eternal race for a million dollars. Otherwise there wouldn't really be a point. That’s the reason why other contestants are added to the show, because sooner or later we’re going to start complaining about how often they appear. Also, if you just use old contestants forever, who is going to be the antagonist? I’m pretty the reason Alejandro and Mal were introduced is because everyone who was there was savvy on who would manipulate them and who would not. Having a contestant nobody has interacted with allows them to use these tactics effectively. You could say Action is an exception, but bear in mind that Justin was completely unexplored in the first season (so much so that they could do anything with him at that point), and the main thing with Courtney is that she had gotten much more ruthless and mainly stayed safe via invincibility, rather than alliances.
While I understand that people want to see favorites like Noah or Tyler that don’t have much screentime return, I’m really confused why all of a sudden we want characters like Beth, Justin, or Sadie to come back. When I was analyzing everyone’s rankings (results can be found here), something interesting I noticed is that every single contestant that competed in Total Drama World Tour was more popular that all the ones that did not qualify, with the exception of Ezekiel and Blaineley. Is it really worth developing characters that are currently not very popular and haven’t been in the competition for four seasons now? All but four (technically five because of Eva) contestants from that generation have made the merge so far, so what does that say about their chances to develop? The best example here is Beth. People all of a sudden are talking about how much Beth is an underdog and how much she deserves to come back and all that jazz. Are we going to forget that Beth was a finalist in TDA and was also rather unpopular during her run? That’s the reason why she didn't compete in World Tour and is likely the reason we won’t be hearing from her any time soon. This extends to the other contestants too - Katie and Sadie have plenty of haters, a lot of people hated Justin in TDA, and Eva has a pretty miniscule fanbase with plenty of haters, even though nobody really recognizes it. This isn't as notable with Geoff and Trent, but even then you won’t see that many people talk about how amazing they are as characters. For some reason, this mindset seems to apply to every contestant that wasn’t in TDAS and isn’t named Owen, even the ones in TDWT. While this is somewhat understandable since many of the mergers compete in All-Stars, you would not believe the number of people who cite Cody as an underdog. The kid came in 3rd place in World Tour, which meant he competed in more episodes than Alejandro and Sierra already. Why is Cody not a screenhog when Sierra is? Alternatively, why are they screenhogs when Beth is not? All of them appeared in around the same number of episodes and were really not that important outside of their best season.
This doesn't apply as much to the second gen cast since six of them have only been in one season, but it still holds true. I’m not sure why everyone is complaining about a lack of screentime from them already when one of the seasons was an All-Star season and the other introduced new characters (which, as I already went over, is necessary to do every now and then to keep the show fresh). I am of the opinion that once Pahkitew arrived, it was actually necessary to make another new cast. A theoretical cast of the remaining competitors would likely not go anywhere, seeing how out of the second generation only Anne Maria, Brick, Dawn, and Dakota served any real purpose and weren't in that season and Dakota was already mutated. Don’t get me wrong, I really want to see more of Brick, but I’m going to have to be patient. Besides, if he was in All-Stars, I’m pretty sure we would just be complaining about how Sam needs more screentime instead. As much as everyone complains about Duncan, Courtney, and the like, some characters rely on them as part of their story. As much as we all like Noah, would he have been as great without Owen? Would Harold be as great if it wasn't for Duncan or, to a lesser extent, Leshawna in TDA? Maybe, but the interactions with these more defined characters helped explore their own. There were a lot of complaints about Cody’s uselessness when he outlasted Gwen in World Tour, where many people said he just started becoming an extension of Sierra’s character. That’s an issue several characters have the risk of facing, which is why putting someone like Trent in right now would be an awkward decision. What do they have to work off outside of Gwen? They would have to completely start over his character and I can understand why that is just not worth the time. With so few other Revenge of the Island contestants to choose from, this would likely cause an issue when they find other people to return.
Moreover for the second generation cast, they've only had the chance to compete in two seasons, so it shouldn't be surprising some of them haven't gotten much focus. Okay, Mike, Zoey, and Cameron do get a lot of screentime, but it was at the very least understandable they gave Mike more focus in All-Stars because he was the second weakest contestant coming into the season. And you know what? He managed to get a lot more unpopular when it was all said and done and now everybody seems to hate him. Once upon a time, Mike was actually a pretty popular character and complaints about his MPD were pretty low. Or, at the very least, it wasn't nearly this bad. When he goes on to become the focus of a season, everybody starts hating him. On Scott, the guy who’s made the final four twice… I feel like this was a case where they could attempt to rectify a character because he had only appeared in the previous season. Scott was a pretty unpopular character in TDRoTI, and now he is one of the most popular from that generation. That’s likely because they could find an immediate response for his problems and attempt to rectify it and, for a majority of the fanbase, it worked.
I’m not even going to go into the third generation cast, as it’s far too early to talk about who deserved better. It’s a show where someone is going to get the boot every episode or two, so they’ll possibly get their time to shine eventually. Even Courtney didn't merge her first season and look at her now. I’m sure we’ll get to see more of Ella, Samey, or whoever else didn't make it very far someday. And no, they aren't attempting to replace lesser characters with these. That’s honestly likely the reason why the characters were so out there in their stereotypes. Good luck finding a character you can state that Max, Ella, or Shawn is a replacement for. Even the more normal ones like Sky are divergent enough of the other characters to avoid being a direct replacement. I feel like this is a popular mentality ever since Alejandro was introduced, but even then I believe Justin and Alejandro have their traits that make them different enough, even if their roles are somewhat similar. All 52 characters have their own traits that make them unique from the others, so you shouldn't worry about Eva being replaced by Jo or something. Even if the latter has more screentime, their personality is far more different than it appears.
I guess the point I’m trying to make is that it is virtually impossible to give all of the characters the same amount of screentime without them eventually getting old or just running out of chances for that money. It’s not distasteful that they aren't giving your favorite character or a character you think is deserving the chance to compete in several seasons. You cannot possibly appeal to the fanbases of all 52 characters, or even 38 if you don’t include the most recent season. If you happened to take Courtney away for too long, I would guarantee you people would be pleading for her return since she has way more fans than almost every other characters. Maybe these certain characters just aren't as popular as the others, or maybe it just isn’t worth it. Don’t forget how many fans Heather, the character with the most appearances, has. For instance, while Justin is a top twenty character for me, I recognize that many, many people do not like him and more people would dislike his return than not and he ultimately doesn't need another season. Slowly but surely I’m sure they’ll start getting their screentime, but they really can’t do it all at once. Since you’re going to need established or new characters appearing in there too to keep in fresh, you’re going to just have to let some go and only use the ones who are actually popular with almost everyone like Tyler, Brick, Noah, or Dawn. Needless to say, contestants like Katie and Sadie are probably old news at this point.
Thank you for reading. And I'm not giving a tl;dr for you lazy people.