Can't believe it's been that long, eh? Well, I'm really glad that the franchise managed to survive this long as it has and luckily for us, there's going to be more as we speak. There's no doubt about it, throughout the years, this franchise has gone thru so many...PAINFUL mistakes, but in spite of them, we managed to stick with it because we have such a special connection to it and we want it to improve. We all like these characters (well, most of them, depending on your preference) and we want them progress and resolve their plot lines. And considering how well Ridonculous Race was, it's safe to assume that it's in the step of right direction.
This franchise means to me on a special kind of level for a few reasons. For one, it lead me to be exposed to the internet fandom. Back around late 2009 when TDA was airing, I came across this site for some updates and general TD knowledge I might need. However, I wasn't REALLY into the Internet fandom until around 2010 when TDWT came out and finished its run in Australia, where I've gotten greedy and watched the "leaked" episodes online. Since then, not only have I gotten REALLY into the Internet fandom, but also it lead me to meeting to one very cool artist online (who sadly I don't talk to very much because of college and life) who inspired me to open up a DeviantArt and later Tumblr account and met some really great people who are now my really great friends. So yeah, if this show had not been created, I don't think I would be in the position I am right now ^^
Another reason: it's one of my main inspirations to work in animation. While I consider Fairly OddParents and Danny Phantom to be the first cartoons that got me interested in the medium of animation, I consider Total Drama that made me REALLY want to work on animation. Sure, I might argue there are other shows out there that does character development better than TD, but this show inspires me both in the best and the worst aspects of it, where I can learn on how to do plot progression and character development and what NOT to do in the aforementioned plot progression and character development (i'm looking at you TDWT and TDAS) lol.
And one last reason why this show means to me so much was the art style. Sure, people will say that the art style looks wonky and stuff, but that was the main reason I was attracted to this show. I'm a big fan of UPA/Hanna-Babera-inspired art style and this show is no exception. However, it managed to be unique enough to be its own thing. At the time, I thought it was a CN original show when it aired because it was an art style they used all the time back then for the most part. But sure enough, it's a Canadian original series under the name Teletoon. Because of that knowledge, Canadian animation is something I have a soft spot for, despite many people considering it the bottom of the barrel. All I gotta say is...at least Canada didn't make Problem Solverz and Secret Mountain Fort Awesome XP. But anyway, thru TD, it lead me to one of my fave artists and animators, Todd Kauffman and Mark Thornton, the original directors of TDI and TDA. And even tho after they left the show and created some projects aren't exactly great (Grojband and Looped), I still find them enjoyable to watch and i'm always excited what other ideas they have in mind in the future. Plus, the TD art style is one of my main inspirations of being a character designer...even tho i'm trying my darkest to get away from it and develop my own style lol.
To wrap up, i'm gonna give my general short thoughts on the seasons and the first season of RR:
TDI: While not exactly my fave season, as the pacing and animation didn't exactly hold up, I still have fond memories with it and on some level, I consider it as a classic. I do have a bit more of stronger appreciation after watching Rebeltaxi's review on it where he considers TDI that helped change animation into where we are today (if you wanna see the video to know what i'm talking about, search up Rebeltaxi Total Drama Retrospective on YouTube). It's mostly speculation, but it does make sense once you see where he's coming from. Also, fun fact: I actually watched an episode of TDI back when I went to Canada for a family vacation trip in 2007, a year before it aired in the U.S. and it was "Paintball Deer Hunt". I've completely forgotten about it until a few years ago lol
TDA: weird concept for a follow to the first season, but I still enjoy it in spite of its goof ups. I especially like how Izzy and Owen's relationship (sorta) blossomed in this season...too bad we're never gonna see them back together after TDWT XP
TDWT: It would've been my fave season if it weren't for the STUPID and infuriating finale. It doesn't necessarily ruin the season for me because I still have fond memories with it, as I mentioned before about the Australia leaks, but...GOSH, do I hate the finale. I could punch it right in the face if it was Person XP
TDRI: It was a short season in compare to the previous seasons, but I thought it was ok =P
TDAS: Is there really any point for me to explain my thoughts on this?
TDPI: Like TDWT, it would've been my fave if it weren't for the finale. However, UNLIKE TDWT, it managed to ruin it for me to the point that I can't bare myself rewatching it again, unless they actually bring back Sky and Dave to redeem themselves as characters and DO IT WELL!
RR: The best thing to come out of the franchise and it shows that Fresh has learned their lessons since TDAS. Nuff said =P
Anyway, that's all I got. Thank you Total Drama for being part of my life and hopefully you'll get better in the upcoming season...*fingers crossed*