So, "The Ridonculous Race" just finished airing a couple days ago, and now that everything has settled in, I kinda feel like reviewing it. I know I'm not a massive contributor to this wiki, heck, I'm only stalking most of the time, but, if making a blog is a crime, then arrest me.
Now then, this review is gonna be on a pros/cons basis. I'm not gonna try and rate it, I'm not even gonna guarantee this will be even that objective a review. If you're fine with that, then keep on reading.
- 26 episodes: The fact that this spin-off got 26 episodes is one of the best things that could have happened to it. Total Drama has been seriously lacking in the past 3 seasons, due to the lower amount of episodes, so, the fact that The Ridonculous Race got 26 episodes is one of the things that managed to cement it as a bonafide Total Drama season, allowing for greater story-telling and greater character development, not to mention, a lot more fun challenges.
- The cast: This season has the biggest cast in Total Drama history, for sure. That could have easily been a negative point if it was handled badly, however, pretty much all the cast was interesting in one way or another. From my favorites, The Goths, to the good old (no pun intended) Tennis Rivals, down to the returning characters, such as Noah and Owen, pretty much everyone was interesting. There are exceptions, however, but I'll talk about that in the negatives.
- The stories: Look, we all know One Million Dollars is at stake here, but no Total Drama has ever relied just upon that to carry itself. This season is no different. All the stories are interesting and engaging, maybe ones better than the others, such as Emma and Noah, or the Carrie-Devin-Shelly triangle, or, possibly the best of all, the Cadets story. They were all a pleasure to watch and witness unfolding, and, though they were pretty much a bit tamer than the stories of the first 3 seasons of Total Drama, that doesn't discount them as great watching material.
- Loki: Right, this is the most subjective I'll get, but, the introduction of Loki and even his role in the series was nothing short of awesome. That rabbit had a lot more personality than Don and some ofthe early eliminated teams combined. He was awesome to watch. I just wish he had a bigger role in the finale, but more on that soon.
- Don: Look... I don't like Don. He's... way too bland. I'm not sure I've ever felt any bit of personality from him, once, throughout the whole season. He's boring, but boring in the sense that he's just a TV host doing his job flawlessly. We got used to the sadistic Chris, we got the rude, terrible Blaineley, and heck, we even got Geoff and Bridgette, all of which had way more personality than Don ever displayed. I'm sorry, Don fans, but, he's just a terrible character, if you ask me.
- The format itself: Maybe one of the reasons the stories were lacking slightly this season was the format itself. It's pretty hard to plot and strategize when you're always on the move, and that was visible from the lack of alliances this season had. There was the Axis of Evil and the Axis of Good alliances, but they weren't functional, and certainly they didn't influence the game as much as they possibly could have if the series would have used the Survivor format. I do believe that the Amazing Race format is the biggest drawback the Ridonculous Race had, and therefore hope that, in the future, we'll get a new Survivor-based Total Drama series with the Ridonculous Race contestants, just for comparison's sake.
- The Surfer Dudes: They're not a bad duo, at all. I enjoyed them a lot. However, the decision to bring them back in the final four was a terrible mistake, and made their win less enjoyable than it probably should have been.
- The ending: On the same note, the final episode was rather anticlimactic. Usually, towards the end-series of a Total Drama season, something goes horribly wrong or horribly disastrous. I can think of Heather's demise in Island, Owen's and Courtney's returns and eliminations in Action, the plane blowing up in World Tour, not to mention the volcano, and even Zoey and Mike sinking the island... Those were shocking events that set up for an even more dramatic ending. The Ridonculous Race had nothing like that. The Ice Dancers were eliminated without any payback for their deeds, and the actual final two racing to the final... well, let's just say Total Drama Action and Total Drama World Tour did it a lot better.
- Unfinished stories: This series felt a lot more rushed towards the end than it was for most of it's run. Hence, they seriously missed opportunities for stories. Kitty and Emma could have and should have continued their story, maybe at the expense of the Dudes, and, once again, subjectively, I really wish Loki would have seriously kept to his cut-throat gesture towards the Ice Dancers and possibly cost them the race big time. Carrie and Devin could have also maybe had a bit longer run, as their end felt... out of nowhere. That could also have gone for the Haters, who had possibly the stupidest elimination in the entire season.
- The Ice Dancers: Maybe... just maybe it's not their fault, and likely it's the format's fault, however, the Ice Dancers didn't exactly excel at their villainous roles as well as they could have. Granted, they were really enjoyable to watch, however, late in the series, their characters seriously took a turn for the worse, with Josee becoming nuttier than even Izzy (but nowhere near as entertaining), while Jacques was slowly turning... good? It was a really strange dynamic towards the end of the series for them, and maybe that dragged them down a bit, but, regardless, they were a great villainous due nonetheless. I really should stop expecting the bad guys to compare to Alejandro though. That'll never happen.
I like The Ridonculous Race. It was a good season, and pretty much showed that the team didn't lose their mojo. It was a welcome addition to the world of Total Drama, and, I personally wouldn't mind another Ridonculous Race. I may not like the format all that much, but, being their first try, they could easily refine it. That being said, there are some dubious, and sometimes outright stupid decisions in this series, but, all in all, it was a really enjoyable season.