Hey guys! GoGoGadget831 here, and welcome to my seasonal review of Total Drama Revenge of the Island! Here, I'm going to be talking about all the aspects of the season and how they held up overall. Here are the categories I will be discussing: Characters, Character Interactions, Episodes, Comedy/Drama, Challenges, Cameos, Continuity, How Realistic the Show Was, and Final Thoughts of the Season. Alright, let's get started!
1. Staci: Not too much to say about Staci. She was pretty obvious elimination fodder and I saw her elimination coming, considering her audition tape and the fact that she was barely in the trailer for this season. However, I thought she was pretty funny. Ashley Peters definitely did a great job voicing her character and I can't help but laugh everytime she's on screen and talking. I also laughed at everyone's reactions to her lies. And the way everyone on her team yelled, "We don't care!" Even B was angry! Despite being elimination fodder, I wouldn't mind if she competed in another season and got better development.
2. Dakota: Dakota was an interesting addition to the Total Drama cast: a fame monger with a paparazzi (and basically a Paris Hilton clone)! Anyways, onto the character itself, she's basically the stereotypical dumb blonde who cares about fame and beauty. Despite not having too many strong feelings for her, she did have her fair share of good moments. I will admit that her paparazzi gag was pretty funny and her interactions with Sam were pretty sweet. I felt awful for her when she turned into Dakotazoid. Then again in that episode, it was great that Sam still liked her and she's pretty happy right now. But like I said, I really can't stand characters being turned into mutant monsters. It severely derails characters and distracts from the "realistic" tone of the show. Despite that, Dakota had some good moments and she became a sweeter person as the season went on. Writers, please turn her back to normal.
3. B: It was kind of a shame that B didn't make it a bit further this season. I found it pretty cool seeing his intelligence in action in the first few episodes and despite being silent, he did have his fair share of good moments. Although not the most interesting character, he was pretty cool and it would have been cooler if he said something on the Hurl of Shame. That's pretty much all I have to say.
4. Dawn: Dawn was also a pretty interesting character. She's based off of Luna Lovegood from Harry Potter, she loves nature, and she can read auras! She definitely had some good moments this season, like telling Zoey that the "Mike" part of Mike is crazy about her, telling Scott that he wasn't held as a child, and a few other good moments. It's a shame that she got eliminated early. I was expecting her to go much further (final 5 at least). It would've been cool to see her have a conflict with Scott and I'm bummed out that that got tossed aside.
5. Sam: I didn't really have strong feelings for Sam. He's just your typical nerdy, lazy gamer. He didn't have that many moments that really made him stand out as a character but I didn't really mind watching him either. However, it was good to see him try to contribute to his team in Finders Creepers and I also cracked up when he tried to be "Thunder" in Ice Ice Baby, which back-fired very quickly :P. Runaway Model was the episode that made him stand out as he went through the always painful video game withdrawal. In that episode, we got a very clever reference to Donkey Kong and a brief one to Duck Hunt Dog. His Donkey Kong moment was definitely him at his best and it was great to see him actually contribute to his team, even though it didn't turn out so well in the end. He had good interactions with Dakota, and yeah, that's all I have to say about him.
6. Brick: When rewatching this season, I was very enamored by Brick. I found him so likable in this season. Yes, there are several jokes that concern Brick as a pain magnet, like dislocating his arms, crashing into poles, and getting blown up in the air. But that's not all that his character is about. He is also shown to be a very loyal person, even calling Scott "sir"! He was also willing to stick up to all of his friends and do his best to contribute to his team, showing how selfless and grateful of a person he is. He even tries to be a leader over Jo in A Mine Is A Terrible Thing To Waste. Even though he and his team got separated from one another and unintentionally made his team lose, he keeps showing how selfless and loyal he is and it definitely makes him a likable person. I wish his interactions with Jo would have gone somewhere. Their competition talk was pretty entertaining and I wish they would have gotten more development. But as is, he was very enjoyable to watch and I hope to see him make it far in a future season.
7. Anne Maria: She's based off of Snooki from Jersey Shore! Anyways, rewatching the season, I actually found myself liking Anne Maria more than I did in my initial watch. Although she didn't do that much to contribute to her team, I liked her outbursts of anger throughout. I loved her conflict with Jo and I wish it would have gotten more focus in this season, because it was really hilarious. It was hilarious when she ran to punch Jo in Ice Ice Baby, but hit Brick instead, and I also liked when she yelled, "Keep your sweatpants on!" in Finders Creepers. And it was always hilarious when she sprayed people with her hairspray and kept telling people not to touch her hair or tan. Her accent was also great. Even though she was a bit forgettable in this season and didn't have too many memorable moments, aside from her yelling at people not to touch her pouffe and for being in a "relationship" with Vito, she was pretty enjoyable while she lasted. I wouldn't mind if she returned in the future (and it would be awesome if she had a rivalry with Sugar or Leshawna).
8. Mike: I might get some flak for this, but Mike was actually pretty decent this season. Even though his personalities were mainly used for comedic purposes, they were all pretty cool in their own ways. Chester was funny with his complaining, Svetlana's skills were entertaining, Manitoba was great, and even though Vito could get a bit annoying at times, he still had some good moments here and there. I really liked Mike's relationship with Zoey this season. I thought it was very sweet and genuine, despite the moments when Mike doesn't tell Zoey the truth about his MPD. That's my only nitpick about their relationship. I understand he's nervous to tell Zoey about his MPD, but if his personalities continue to appear and hurt Zoey's feelings by flirting with Anne Maria, then that's no good. He should've had the guts to tell her in the beginning. But I did gain back respect for him in the episode he was eliminated in and it was awesome seeing him stand up to his personalities and getting control for once. And it's great that Zoey accepts him for who he is. And they're still going strong! However, even though he did have some moments this season, outside from his personalities, he's not that interesting. I wish we could've gotten more personality from the real Mike and actually got a bit more of his backstory. But as is, he wasn't too bad.
9. Jo: Of all the characters this season, Jo is definitely my favorite of the bunch. She reminds me very much of Jane Lynch, and in a good way. I like how tough and strong she is, and doesn't let any "man-lady" comments get in the way of her scoring a victory for herself. She's a no-nonsense kind of gal and she's willing to do whatever it takes to come out on top out of all her teammates. Not to mention how sassy she was! All of the different names that she calls her fellow teammates hit bulls-eye! I love how she kept on sassing Anne Maria by calling her "pouffe head" (I thought she said "poop head" when I first saw it!), "helmet hair", and "spray head". Along with the number of times she called Lightning "jock-strap" and Brick "soggy pants" and "GI Joke". Most of her lines were hilarious. As Brick would put it, "Jo's like a bug. She tries to get into people's skin!" I also liked her plotlines when Lightning kept on confusing her for a guy and when she tried making an alliance with Cameron, only for her plan to backfire big time. At least you tried Jo. At least you tried. She would have definitely made a great villain this season. She reminds me of a mix between Heather and Eva, and she would've been the perfect antagonist this season. She's a leader figure, a strategist, a fierce competitor, and pretty diabolical person. Did I mention how beautiful her gray sweatpants are? I hope to see more sweatpants in the future of Total Drama. The show will be much better with more sweatpants.
10. Scott: I really did not like Scott's strategy as an antagonist. I thought his strategy was really dumb. Why would you want to pick your own teammates out? Why not get members of the other team out? That would have made much more sense. Not to mention how much of a jerk he was. He was such a jerk to characters like Cameron, Mike, B, and Dawn. And not in any sort of funny way. He was also not a very interesting character and the only jokes surrounding him are the pain gags, like accidentally poking himself with a shark tooth and throwing a rock at himself in the confessional. The Fang jokes were alright, but got old pretty fast. Aside from being a farm boy, a pain gag, a meh villain, and a jerk to everybody, there really isn't much to him. Villains like Heather and Alejandro had better strategies, like forming alliances with others and stabbing them in the backs later, picking off opponents from other teams one by one, and actually having interesting character interactions. Yeah, Scott did have some of those strategies later in the season, but he was not an interesting villain and I really didn't like his strategy in the first half. Fortunately, he's better in the next season. And he's at least a better villain than Justin.
11. Zoey: Zoey was a pretty decent character this season. She's just your typical nice girl who's desperate to make new friends. She has a nice relationship with Mike and a good friendship with Cameron. She also shows if people try to push her over the edge, she'll have to get tough. This is shown by her kicking beavers in the groin and showing off her Commando Zoey persona. Commando Zoey was pretty fun to watch in Eat, Puke and Be Wary, but I didn't really understand why she was still commando in The Enchanted Franken-Forest. But that's just a nitpick. However, much like Mike, as a character, she's pretty bland. Aside from her being a fan of retro stuff and coming from a small town, she doesn't really have much of a personality to her outside from Mike. I was also very confused why she was mad at Mike when he was competing instead of saving her, like the other hundreds of times he saved her. Princess Peach much? I was also kind of glad that she didn't make it to the final two, as it would've been a bit boring to see her compete against Lightning. But aside from her flaws, she was decent and I'm curious to see how her relationship with Mike will develop in the future (*IGNORING TDAS*).
12. Lightning: I think too many people hate Lightning. I found him absolutely hilarious in this season. His arrogant attitude just cracks me up everytime. Not to mention his voice and the way he says "Sha" before almost every word he says. He actually proved to be a pretty good contribution to his team and he's a pretty great athlete. I thought he was an excellent source of comic relief, like his arrogance making him get hurt in some scenes, those times when he called Jo a guy, and his freak-outs over his protein disappearing. Granted he didn't have that many brains, but he was still really funny. I really didn't expect him to make it this far into the game, but I was actually pleasantly surprised. His performance at the finale was pretty good and he actually proved to be a good threat to Cameron. He was pretty memorable this season and several of his moments cracked me up.
13. Cameron: An underdog indeed! He was initially my least favorite character of the series because I didn't find him interesting. But rewatching this season, I actually thought he was a good character. It's very rare that you see a bubble boy like him. He's never been out much, but regardless, he's very book smart and he knows his stuff! He forms good friendships with Mike and Zoey, outsmarts the diabolical, manipulative Jo, outsmarted Lightning by taking away his immunity, and uses his brains to create a great Iron Man-looking suit in the finale. He's a pretty awkward and likable character (but he's no Cody!) and I enjoyed many of his moments this season. He worked hard throughout the season and he definitely deserved to win. His only dumb moment was revealing Mike's MPD to Scott, but that's only one out of so many moments he had this season. He got a lot out of the season and greatly improved as a character. Although not the most interesting character, he still managed to be good in my eyes.
14. Chef: Is it just me or is Chef kind of being underplayed here? He's had so many great moments in the first three seasons, and I'm sad that we didn't get to see too much of him this season. Well, we have Eat, Puke and Be Wary, where he hosts an episode after a long time and gives Chris a poisonous quiche. Then, we have Brain vs Brawn: The Ultimate Showdown where he set a bomb on the dock that Chris was standing on that blows up on him. But he doesn't really do anything else that stands out in the season. I wish we could have gotten more Chef.
15. Chris: If you thought Chris was mildly annoying in World Tour, he is FULL ON OBNOXIOUS in Revenge of the Island. He was such an unlikable jerk in this season, especially his mistreatment of Dakota, his sadistic nature, even more sadistic challenges, and just his annoying, self-centered attitude. Yes, he has always been a jerk in the earlier seasons, but he hasn't been THIS sadistic. He literally shows no sympathy for the contestants and Chef and he doesn't even care about anyone but himself. Not to mention that stupid moment when he ruins Mike and Zoey's first kiss and we didn't get to see them kiss until the end of All-Stars! But with that said, it was great seeing him get great karma in Eat, Puke and Be Wary and Brain vs Brawn: The Ultimate Showdown. Let's see if he improves during jailtime.
In my opinion, most of the characters were decent. Sadly, several of them don't seem to have as much depth in character as the original cast did. However, while I don't find some of them to be as good as the original cast, and while there was some obvious elimination fodder, every contestant this season manages to do his/her own thing and had at least something going for them. These contestants' personalities and backstories deserve to be explored more in future seasons. Since this season is considerably shorter, they didn't have as much development as I would have liked. Anyways, onto the character interactions.
1. Mike and Zoey (and Anne Maria): In general, I really like Mike and Zoey's relationship for guilty pleasure (they're not Gidgette though!). I felt really bad for Zoey when Mike's personality, Vito, starts hitting it off with Anne Maria, and felt bad for Mike for feeling nervous to tell Zoey about his condition and that his personalities keep on ruining his experiences in the game for him. Vito and Anne Maria were okay. They only interacted a few times, which is surprisingly less than from what I remembered. So, I guess it's love triangle-ish. Despite all the bumps along their path, Mike and Zoey still manage to get together in the end and Zoey accepts him for who he is, which was really nice of her. And it's also great to see that Mike cares deeply for Zoey, regardless of his personalities keeping on getting in the way. My only complaint about their relationship is that it's a bit too rushed (pretty much like a "love at first sight" kind of way). I would have appreciated a bit more development in their interactions before officially getting together. But as is, their love for each other is genuine and they definitely have great chemistry. They were decent this season.
2. Dakota and Sam: They definitely had some sweet interactions. It didn't seem too forced at first. They talked a bit and seemed to be good friends. Then, once Dakota got eliminated and became an intern on the show, Sam began looking to her for advice on the challenge and when they started talking, Dakota seemed to become a sweeter person. Sam also ended up winning her over in the end of Runaway Model! And their reunion in The Treasure Island of Dr. McClean was sweet. Weird (in a mutated kind of way) but sweet. It was sweet of Sam to accept Dakota for who she was, despite her new appearance, and they seem to have a genuine relationship. I enjoyed these two.
3. Jo and Anne Maria: This is a very underplayed conflict. I would've loved to see more of those two bickering. I loved their conflict in Ice Ice Baby when Jo called her "pouffe head" to get her to focus on the game and then Anne Maria runs to punch her, but hits Brick instead. And I laughed so hard in the second part of the challenge when Jo threw Anne Maria's spray can. And there was Anne Maria's hilarious line in Finders Creepers when she yelled, "Keep your sweatpants on!" After that, there wasn't that much bickering between the two, which is a shame considering these two could have had a really entertaining and on-going conflict.
4. Jo and Lightning: This was pretty entertaining to watch. I loved that running gag of Lightning keeping on mistaking Jo for a guy and then Jo calling him all sorts of nicknames, like "jockstrap", "muscle-head", and a whole bunch of other hilarious names. It was fun seeing the competitive nature of these two and I do wonder how their interaction will develop in the future. It was hilarious seeing the two of them bicker and they definitely brought energy into the episodes. Overall, good interactions.
5. Jo and Brick: This was pretty entertaining to watch too. They don't seem to be bitter rivals like Lightning and Jo are, but they still have that contest to see who's better. Their competitive nature was pretty fun to watch and it was pretty cool to see them talk about who was a better leader in Runaway Model and A Mine Is A Terrible Thing To Waste. Sadly, Brick left too soon, which is a shame because their interactions could've gone somewhere. Maybe a friendship? A bitter rivalry? Even a relationship? There could have been so many possibilities as to where this could have gone. But as is, they had some good moments and I would love to see the two of them interact more in the future.
6. Scott and Mike: This conflict was only put into play in Grand Chef Auto when Scott finds out about Mike's MPD. I felt really sorry for Mike when Scott kept pushing him around and making him do challenges for him in return for keeping his MPD secret. I also hated the way he was backstabbed and eliminated by Scott. Scott definitely felt like a bully here and one of my pet peeves is that I don't like people who bully. But then again, Mike kind of brought a bit on himself since he was the one too reluctant to tell Zoey the truth. I don't even know what to think of this conflict. I just took it for what it was. It was okay I guess.
7. Scott and Zoey: This was okay. They started off "friend-ish" with Scott fake-crying to Zoey about Dawn's elimination and it raises concern for Mike, as Zoey seems to trust Scott more than him. Then, it evolved into conflict when Zoey got mad at Scott for eliminating Mike. Then, they go all out at each other, trying to sabotage each other's chances of winning the challenge in Up Up And Away In My Pitiful Balloon. Then Scott falls into one of Commando Zoey's traps and that's pretty much it.
8. Jo and Cameron: Their conflict was pretty fun to watch in Up Up And Away In My Pitiful Balloon. You basically have Jo trying to form an alliance with Cameron and use his techy-skills to her advantage and to get Lightning out. I liked the confessional scene when Cameron and Jo are in the confessional and Cameron says nice things about Jo, like that she owes all his success to her and she pats his head happily. Then, we have Cameron turn against Jo by blowing up a smoke machine in her face and getting her eliminated. Good going Cameron! And Jo actually ended up being impressed with his strategy. I was very surprised that she supported Lightning over Cameron in the finale though.
9. Mike and Zoey and Cameron: I don't have much to say about their friendship. It was pretty much what I was expecting it to be like. It was nice seeing Cameron helping Mike out with his MPD, though I wish he could have firmly told him to tell Zoey about his MPD. But that's only a nitpick. It was interesting to see Cameron study Mike and try helping him out with it. And Zoey and Cameron had their only major interaction after Mike left. Their friendship was nice to see and it was nice to see Zoey stick up to Cameron before she went all Commando. It was good to see a bit of tension in their relationship when Zoey went all Commando and had a gruff attitude towards Cameron. But that all changed in the end when she thought about her initial purpose on the show: to make friends. And it was good to see Mike and Zoey support Cameron in the finale. Mike, Zoey, and Cameron have a pretty mutual and genuine friendship.
10. Lightning and Cameron: This was pretty interesting to watch close to the end of the season, though it wasn't put into play as much. Props to Cameron for stealing Lightning's immunity. You certainly don't see that every day! I also found their interactions in Brain vs Brawn: The Ultimate Showdown to be pretty interesting. It was funny when Cameron claimed that he has "game" while Lightning compared him to a grape. And I laughed in The Enchanted Franken-Forest when Lightning made a pillow version of Cameron and mocked him. I actually found the setup for the finale: Brain vs Brawn to be pretty brilliant. It was pretty fair game for either one of them to win. Lightning is much stronger than Cameron while Cameron is much smarter than Lightning. It could have gone either way and it made for a pretty good setup.
11. Dakota and Chris: This is one of the reasons why Chris infuriated me this season: his cruel treatment of Dakota. He left her behind in the middle of the lake and let her take care of all the radioactive waste by herself and even put a restraining order between her and her paparazzi. He doesn't even care when he gets turned into Dakotazoid. And the sad thing is that Dakota didn't get the chance to get back at him for all the terrible things that he's done. Next time I see Dakotazoid on Total Drama, I hope she eats Chris.
12. Scott and Dawn: I really wish these two could have interacted a bit more. It starts off with Dawn creepily telling Scott that he wasn't held enough as a child and Scott shivering in the confessional saying that she needs to go. Then, they interact in Backstabbers Ahoy! when Scott frames Dawn for stealing everyone's stuff. And sadly, Dawn is too late to warn everyone about Scott. I wish she could have stayed longer so they would have formed a bitter rivalry with one another. Maybe a prank war or something would have been cool.
Overall, the interactions in this season were alright. They're not as good as the character interactions in the past three seasons though. I certainly wished more interactions could have been explored a bit more. These all had potential for on-going interactions throughout the season and for some interesting development. I do hope that they will be explored more in the future. Alright, onto the episodes:
1. Bigger, Badder, Brutal-er: GOOD
2. Truth or Laser Shark: GOOD (close to meh)
3. Ice Ice Baby: GOOD (close to meh)
4. Finders Creepers: GOOD (close to meh)
5. Backstabbers Ahoy: MEH
6. Runaway Model: GOOD
7. A Mine Is A Terrible Thing To Waste: GOOD
8. The Treasure Island of Dr. McClean: BAD (moderate-severe)
9. Grand Chef Auto: GOOD
10. Up Up And Away In My Pitiful Balloon: GOOD
11. Eat, Puke and Be Wary: GOOD
12. The Enchanted Franken-Forest: BAD (mildly)
13. Brain vs Brawn: The Ultimate Showdown (GOOD)
Overall, there were 10 GOOD episodes, 1 MEH episode, and 2 BAD episodes. Although the good episodes outnumber the meh and bad episodes, most of the good episodes were nowhere near as good as the good episodes in the first three seasons in general, and several of them were very close to falling in the meh pile. Along with that, when the episodes were bad, they weren't THAT bad (with the exception of number 8). In fact, I was indifferent to most of the episodes this season. Now, let's take a look at the comedy and drama:
Comedy and Drama:
The season did have some good comedy here and there and there could be some exciting moments every once in a while, but for the most part, the comedy and the drama seems to be lacking here. Don't get me wrong, there are some really great jokes, like the many nicknames Jo gives for the contestants, Lightning's arrogance, Chris getting his comuppance in the later episodes, and some of Chef's moments. There doesn't seem to be that much excitement throughout the episodes, which is why a handful of the good episodes were very close to falling in the meh pile. Older seasons used to be jam-packed with jokes, drama, and excitement every second. This season has a noticeably lower amount of those. With that being said, there were a handful of good moments in the season and they definitely were enough to make it a decent season. I just expected a lot more than this. Alright, let's take a look at the challenges:
Overall, I didn't really have strong feelings for the challenges one way or the other. They were all alright and didn't really stand out in any way. I did like the finale challenge, the challenge to rescue Lindsay, and the Capture the Flag challenge though. All the other challenges were kind of meh and weren't that exciting, especially the one to save Gwen and Sam, and the one with Larry.
I have to admit that the cameos this season were pretty well-used here. I wasn't a fan of Bridgette and Gwen's though. Although it was nice to see Bridgette again, I did not like the way that Chris treated her as a demonstration for the challenge in Backstabbers Ahoy. Gwen's is way too mean-spirited, especially leaving her buried alive and then literally thrown away after in The Treasure Island of Dr. McClean. Enough of the Gwen abuse! She's gone through enough. But back to the cameos. Owen's was pretty funny and it was hilarious seeing him get blown off the island. Izzy was fantastic as the purple spider in Finders Creepers and I liked that part in the end when she was shooting Chef with plungers. Lindsay in Runaway Model was fantastic too and it was nice seeing her interact with the Sasquatch and compliment his body and sense of fashion. I didn't mind Zeke's cameos too much, as they were pretty brief and he actually showed that he still has feelings! Especially for Anne Maria <3. Duncan's cameo was actually pretty good and the way he blew up Chris's head in Mt. Chrismore definitely made me earn some respect for him back. Heather's cameo was the best of the bunch. I love how she knocked out Chris and Chef from the plane and tried stealing the million bucks, even though it backfired. It was pretty funny seeing her demonstrate the challenge in the beginning and then fight with Lightning over the million bucks in the blimp. DJ's cameo was pretty funny too as well as his freak-out over the food. Overall, the cameos were good.
No noticeable errors of continuity in this season. The season managed to keep its continuity straight and acknowledge the existence of previous seasons, which was good. Not much to say here.
How Realistic The Show Was:
I'm going to state the obvious here: this season was VERY unrealistic. I find it very bizarre that the writers would even think of making Camp Wawanakwa a bio-hazardous dump. Because of this, they have to face mutant beavers, an amphibian-shark thing named Fang, giant hamsters, squirrels that can shoot lasers from their eyes, and a certain contestant that turns into a giant monster. It's just all over the place. Honestly, they didn't really pull off any jokes with all the radioactive elements and it was very distracting from the realistic tone this show established. Granted there were episodes in the last few seasons that had cartoony moments, like animals expressing emotion, aliens in Area 51, and pineapples causing volcanic eruptions. But despite those moments, the show managed to keep its realistic tone and be a good parody of a reality show. But here though, all the radioactive elements are too weird and didn't really do anything for me, except make me think, "Am I watching a different show?" However, I won't take it too much into account while rating this season.
Final Thoughts of the Season:
Taking into account everything that's happened this season as well as my personal preferences, I think I'm pretty fair in calling this season a MEH season. Yup folks, this is the first MEH Total Drama season I've reviewed. I'm not going to lie, compared to the other three seasons, this one is pretty weak. It doesn't have that much comedy or drama as I would have liked, some of the characters were pretty bland and didn't have as much development as I would have liked, the radioactive theme of the season was very distracting from the tone, and the season just wasn't that exciting. There were a few good aspects, like some of the interactions with the characters, some good moments from the characters, the cameos, and Chris getting his comuppance in the end. I don't hate this season, but at the same time though, I don't know if I fully enjoyed it. To put it this way: I don't have strong feelings for this season one way or the other. I'm glad I saw the season, but it's probably not a season I would watch that excessively though. If you're disappointed about the seasonal rating, take relief in that despite the rating, the season does have several good aspects going for it.
With that said, thank you all for watching this season with me and I'll see you all in Season 5! GoGoGadget831, out!