Like a strange reoccurring rash, or that one girl you just can't get out of your head, I found myself returning to this wiki once again at the debut of the newest Total Drama series, "Total Drama: Revenge of the Island". No one probably remembers me, but for those who do, it's good to see how far this place as come. Anyway, lets get straight to the point. I've watched the first three episodes of Total Drama Revenge, and honestly, I can say I'm slightly disappointed. It's not that I'm disappointed in the cast, or anything of that matter, but I am disappointed in the current format of the show. Just a quick disclaimer, I won't mention any spoilers but if you're waiting for TDR to air, this might have some information regarding it so read on with caution.
So anyway, I'm a bit upset with the current situation of the show and I'm curious to see how fellow members of this wiki feel as well. My disappointment doesn't stem from the characters, but the fact that the writers are still using the Two Challenges per episode format. This format was adopted back in Total Drama Action, and worked pretty well for that season. However, there are a lot of reasons why it worked back in TDA that makes it not work in TDR.
In TDA, we had a small cast (for the time). Adding two challenges per episode helped give the small cast motivation that they otherwise lacked because we knew the characters already. Since we knew the characters and their backstories for the most part, the double challenges helped give some backbone to the episode and help push along the characters actions for the episode. This lead to zany antics, a quick punch line and some more interesting character development of characters we had grown to love.
This isn't the case in TDR. Why? Because, at least to me, I felt within the first two episodes, I hadn't gotten to know the cast.
We are briefly introduced to the cast in a quick pan through pretty much, then immediately dropped into the first challenge. I was honestly shocked that they didn't take at least the first half of the episode to introduce the characters without any pressure of a challenge. I remember the first 15 minutes of TDI being just introductions. True the cast is smaller, but these introductions gave us a view into the characters; who they are, what they'll be like and their motivation.
Without some background on the characters personalities, this double challenge set up just makes the episodes seemed even more rushed and cluttered. In TDI, the basic premise of each episode flows:
- Campers have interaction at start of the episode, leading up to the challenge.
- Chris introduces the single challenge for the episode.
- Campers compete in challenge over the course of the episode. Interactions between campers stem from the process of competing in this challenge.
- Challenge ends, a team wins. Reactions to the events that took place occur in form of the Barn-Fire ceremony.
While there were some episodes that had "two" challenges in the first season (the first episode in particular), it never felt as if the challenges were two separate challenges, but still part of the same challenge. This allowed for a more seemless interaction of the campers, in my opinion.
However, in TDR, the flow of the episode is pretty much:
- Campers have interaction, leading up to the challenge.
- Chris introduces challenge.
- Campers compete. Interaction occurs.
- Chris introduces second challenge.
- Campers compete. More interaction occurs.
- Challenge ends, and reactions take place.
While it may seem that there is more interaction, it (to me anyway) just makes the episode more cluttered and clunky. In TDA, we had already grown to know the campers and didn't mind a more sped up version of the show. The challenges also flowed a bit more seamlessly, what all being from the same movie theme for the episode. On top of that, we had one episode where there was a Reward at stake, not elimination, giving more time for character development.
However, we don't have any of that in TDR. We don't really know these characters yet. These challenges seem randomly thrown together. And each episode we lose a player, which means that any more character development has to be forced into an already time constricted schedule of an episode.
Overall, I think that the two challenges are part of why I feel this season seems so rushed. If there was a single, large challenge that lasted the entirety of the episode, I feel as if the campers would have more time to really introduce their motives, feelings and personalities. Currently, it feels as if the writers are using the challenges to drive the characters to interact, rather than allowing the characters to interact during the course of a challenge.
I might just be looking into this a bit too much. As of episode three, I'm starting to enjoy the cast a little bit more. But I still honestly think that the writers should have dropped the double challenge set up for this new season. Does anyone else agree? Disagree?
For the record, I also feel the double challenge set up of TDWT wasn't needed either, what with a big cast, three teams and new characters they already had their plates full. But it still worked because we knew most of the cast.
(Also, if anyone else posted a blog similar to this, *five high*)
Thank you for your time.