Hey guys! GoGoGadget831 here, and welcome back to Total Drama Theory! Now that the Ridonculous Race is airing TODAY, let's talk about the big question: Can the Ridonculous Race Save The Show? So, what's my take on this question? Absolutely! I think this season has a lot of potential to bring back the original charm that the show gave us.
Spoilers, I've already seen the first six episodes of the season, but here, I'm only going to be talking about the first episode, since it was uploaded a WHILE ago. Without giving too much away, I thought the first episode was really good and it felt like I was watching Total Drama Island all over again. The characters were great, the comedy was fantastic, the episode kept me invested from start to finish, and the idea of an Amazing Race challenge was very brilliant, especially since it worked so well in the Total Drama World Tour episode Planes, Trains, and Hot Air Mobiles. It's great that the writers are making an effort to mix things up a bit. We see a wide range of people competing in the season and all of them seem to be believably realistic stereotypes (excluding the LARPers :P). We have normal teens/people in their 20s, and we also have a KID and adults! I think that's a great idea, especially since we haven't seen that many adult characters on the show (aside from Chris, Chef, and Blaineley) and yet alone, kid characters. The last three seasons have been a bit repetitive with the island theme and while it was great that the show went back to its original roots in those seasons, it did have me longing for more of a variety for the show, especially since TDA and TDWT worked wonders for the show. It's also great to see that we're finally getting a break from Chris. I'm not going to lie in that as the series went on, Chris annoyed me more and more. So, it feels good to get a break from him and get a change of setting for once. So, I'm pretty optimistic on this boat.
Another thing we need to take into account is the show's history. It's hard to believe that it's been almost TEN years since the show's premiere. And quite a bit has changed since then. Let's take a look at each of the seasons and my brief thoughts of each of them:
1. Total Drama Island: This is not only my favorite season of the series, but it's my favorite season of any animated show ever. It had fantastic characters, fantastic comedy, fantastic drama, fantastic challenges, fantastic pretty much everything. This was a season that did everything right. I love how it parodied the reality show drama and I think it pulled it off really well. Of course, you can't beat the classics!
2. Total Drama Action: This season is often considered to be a mixed-bag and disliked by the fanbase, but for me, I find it incredibly underrated. Sure, it didn't have that much drama and it had a few derailments here and there, but most of the characters were pretty much back to their normal selves by the time to season ended. It also had great character development from a handful of characters, really great comedy, great parodies of movie genres, some pretty memorable moments, and had an all around, chill and relaxed feel to it. As of right now, it's my second favorite of the series tied with World Tour.
3. Total Drama World Tour: When I first watched this season, I was actually very disappointed by it. I found myself liking the first half and not being that crazy about the second half. I wasn't a fan of the love triangle or the Feral Zeke gag. I really didn't like the finale since it left a bad taste in my mouth. But rewatching this season, I found myself liking it a lot more than I did during my initial watch. It had great elements to it, like the songs, the creative around the world challenges, character development of some of the characters, and great comedy and drama. Heck, there were some moments that could get pretty dang dark, but that made the season even more investing to watch. Sure, I still dislike the finale a bit, but I don't hate it as much as I did in the past. Even the love triangle didn't have as much focus than what I remembered, which definitely exceeded my expectations. Overall, awesome season.
4. Total Drama Revenge of the Island: This was a season I was completely indifferent towards. It was also the time that I realized that the show was becoming more "cartoony" and "kid-friendly". I found all the radioactive elements to be very distracting from the realistic theme that the show was trying to establish and the characters were rather bland/gimmicky, though I did enjoy some of the characters and the humor that they brought to the table. There didn't seem to be that much drama nor that much comedy and I found the season to be very forgettable. I didn't hate it though. I just wasn't that crazy about it. But comparing it to the first three seasons, boy was it a letdown. This is 5th on my rankings.
5. Total Drama All-Stars: What else can I really say that hasn't already been said about All-Stars? This was definitely the lowest of the low for the series and I've already stated my problems with this season. Moving on.
6. Total Drama Pahkitew Island: Don't get me wrong. I liked this season, but I didn't like it as much as everyone else did. There's definitely a lot going for this season and it represents the show pretty well. But especially during the later half of the season, I wouldn't be lying if I had the "Am I watching a different show?" impression after seeing all the robotic elements and things like that. Some of the characters also felt pretty gimmicky and unrealistic, and I felt that the season didn't live up to all of my expectations. But regardless, for what the season was, I thought it was pretty decent. Definitely a step up from the last season though.
So, looking at the series as a whole, the first half of the series was amazing and memorable. It had a lot of teen-oriented material and managed to invest us in with the drama, comedy, and great characters that it had to offer. But during the later seasons, the series began to feel much more cartoony and unrealistic, the characters were kind of gimmicky, and there didn't seem to be as much drama or as much comedy (Pahkitew Island did have some of those elements though). However, after All-Stars, I feel that the show has gotten better. The writers began to learn from their mistakes, which is why Pahkitew Island fared much better than the former. The writers began to acknowledge continuity again, didn't throw in too many dumb moments, and actually tried to make their characters better and bring in more comedy and drama to the table. So, I think if the show continues climbing up to improve the quality of their show, it will be even better. And in my opinion, Pahkitew Island is definitely a step forward for the series and I think the Ridonculous Race will be a huge step forward because of the variety they're bringing to the show and the number of opportunities the writers are taking advantage of so far. So, I'm pretty optimistic about the season considering the show's history.
This is another controversial aspect I'm going to be bringing up, but, this is something pretty important to take into consideration: the writers/people in charge of the show. This is NOT going to trash any of the people in charge of the show. I'm just going to take a look at their history on the show and all that they have contributed. Keith Oliver and Chad Hicks are back to directing the show (they have been since Total Drama World Tour), which doesn't concern me too much. Alex Ganetakos, who has been around since Total Drama Island, is the producer and a writer for the season. She's written so many episodes for the show and aside from the ones that she wrote for All-Stars, most of her episodes were decent. So, I'm not too worried about her. Laurie Elliot is probably going to come back as a writer too. Aside from The Treasure Island of Dr. McClean, she was a decent writer for the show. So, nothing to be concerned about there. Terry McGurrin, however, is playing a very major role in the season. He's a writer, he's in charge of the screenplay, and he's also voice-acting as Don, of course! He's also writing the finale of this season, according to a tweet that he posted sometime ago. I actually have quite a bit to say about him, so let's take a look at his history on the show. So, he made his debut on the show as a writer for Total Drama World Tour. He wrote four episodes: "Anything Yukon Do I Can Do Better" (which was meh in my opinion), "The Am-Ah-Zon Race" (decent), "Greeces Pieces" (decent), and Sweden Sour (really funny). Overall, his writing for World Tour was not too bad. He was very prominent in All-Stars too. He wrote my favorite episode of the season, "Evil Dread", and "No One Eggspects The Spanish Opposition", which was pretty meh for me. Unfortunately, he also wrote "Zeek and Ye Shall Find", "The Bold and the Booty-ful", and "The Final Wreck-ening", which all have spots in my bottom 5 list. So, in All-Stars, his writing started off good, but really missed later in the season. He also wrote "So Uhh This Is My Team?" which was a good intro episode to Pahkitew Island. And then, he wrote the only two duds of the season (at least for me): Hurl and Go Seek, and Lies, Cries and One Big Prize. So, the fact that he is writing the finale does concern me a little. But who knows? Honestly, the finale can go either way. It may be good. It may be bad. It may be meh. Anything is possible. His writing may remain the same. He may have learned from his mistakes and his work might be better now. I'm not going to judge the guy based on his history on the show. He's a talented guy and talented voice actor. We'll see where this season goes now that he's writing the screenplay.
Overall, I'm very optimistic for this season. I really like the new direction that the writers are taking with this series and it looks great in the first episode. Even the animation seems better than it was in the past. I really liked the characters, comedy, drama, and the overall idea of this season. It felt like I was watching old Total Drama all over again. So, I'm beyond excited for this season and I'm eager to see the direction where it will go. See you all next time with my reviews of the first two episodes! GoGoGadget831 out!