DISCLAIMER: This blog post contains spoilers of the spoiling variety. By reading the previous statement you have agreed to read this entire review and leave a nice comment even if commenting becomes disabled. Thank you, come again (or don't, it's a free country). Also, past and present tense are switched throughout.
After being so disappointed Total Drama Action, I wasn't very excited for this special. I was expecting it to be randomly annoying, and rip the characters up all over again. As I sat down with a pint of Ben and Jerry's Peanut Butter Cup ice cream in hand (No, I did not eat the whole thing. I am not a fattie like certain people. I am eating it right now though, and I don't mind telling you it's so good I want to cry.) (I would cry, but I don't cry.) (Ever.) Anyway, as I was saying, as I sat down to watch Celebrity Manhunt's Total Drama Action Reunion Show, I lowered my expectations pretty low... Like, as low as my expectations are when I watch a "TV movie" on Nickelodeon.
This Christmas special (you'll understand why later) begins with random injuries, the theme song, and commercials. The commercials end, and now ET (Entertainment Tonight) is on. No, it's Celebrity Manhunt. I wasn't too impressed with the voices of Blaineley and Josh. I guess there's just something soothing about Chris McLean's voice (I'm still upset at the lack of McLean in this episode). Blaineley and Josh start out annoying, but, hey, it's the beginning of the episode so I'll give them the benefit of the doubt.
Out of nowhere, Home-School went Homie-School. I'd call this change in his character a 180 degree turn-around, but it isn't. He went from Ezekiel (0 degrees) to Homie-School (180 degrees) to Ezekiel (360 degrees) to Homie-School (540 degrees). (Why, yes, I'm passing math class. Thank you for asking.) I really could have lived without the Beth and Lindsay photo, but their story is much better later on. "Has Duncney gone rabid?" Please tell me I'm not the only one that thought he said "Has Duncan gone rabid?" Gwen finding out that Heather really let herself go was kind of a waste of what the two could have been doing, especially after like two minutes later Harold also gets a gut.
Awkward "Rawr!" from Josh had me laughing. I thought it was weird though that Josh and Blaineley went from high-energy to Blaineley being annoyed at Josh. The Drama Machine gag fell flat too. Beth and Lindsay destroying the Mona Lisa was hysterical, and I had to pause my Tivo after the mugshots because of how hard I was laughing. Genius! Lindsay trying to talk to the French guard was great too. "Neeeeigh!" Classic Lindsay! Beth with the wheelbarrow of cash makes me think that this was based on a Beth-wins-Total-Drama-Action premise, as Duncan's win is never mentioned and he's never seen with money. (Weird that Duncan winning would be ignored on a reunion show.)
Harold gaining weight seemed way out of character to me. I would have expected Justin to let himself go to deal with the fame. The opera-beatboxing (operaboxing?) made up for it though, being hilarious. Eva's clip was pretty useless, to me, considering she becomes more interesting later. Owen's taped on six-pack was hysterical, and once again I had to pause my Tivo while I caught my breath. At first, DJ's clip seemed like it would be lame. Owen's cameo was a great visual gag, something this episode is full of. Close your eyes for half a second, and you might miss Owen crushing Noah, or creeping in the kitchen. The fact that the food killed people was funny and disturbing. I'm leaning towards funny, though, because, hey, it's a cartoon. Momma speaks! She was definitely a star this episode, and slapping the camera guy was great. Then she slapped DJ when they were in the barrels, that was hilarious too. Noah's update made me think he was in the government, or the CIA, or a regular Joe with fancy sunglasses and a suitcase full of dreams (but my first guess is probably right).
I thought Homie-school was funny and out of character. I was hoping for him to be our farm boy, the one that says, "There's a saying back on the farm; you can lead a horse to the wiki but you can't make it edit." But, no, it's just a scrawny, white-boy, LeShawna-wannabe. The problem is, he doesn't have the booty to be LeShawna. He'll probably be the forget-me-not of season three. What is the forget-me-not you ask? it's when a character's story line is ignored and focused on depending on the episode. It causes continuity errors that I like to rant about. It happened with Courtney being annoyed at Gwen when she returned to Total Drama Action, and Gwen being mad at Trent in Total Drama Island. Gwen being friends with Katie and Sadie was pretty random, but I liked Sadie and Katie's conversation about "going green." Based on the commercial with Heather's show, it seemed like baldy had gone crazy (she's not bald, she's just crazy). However, her clip was hilarious. mad props to Heather's voice actress for doing Heather's voice, and doing an awesome impression of Katie and Sadie. "Save the whales." I pause my Tivo again, after now falling down of laughter at Heather's clip. Ex-Cat's little cameo was good too, but I think there was potential to do better. Yay! Cat fight! Yet at the same time, really? A cat fight? Out of nowhere, suddenly petty insults bring the two to punching...
(ALERT: I have finished my ice cream.)
Stubble boy! Yay! I was glad to see Chris finally appear, and his dialogue with Blainely and Chef was top-notch. Chris forgetting the cast was hilarious. Now, I know what you're thinking, because I can read minds or tell people what to think. "Nalyd hates Duncney." "Nalyd is going to bash Duncney." "Gosh this blog post is long." The custody battle for the raccoon was hilarious. Also, Courtney can grow a heart? I'm pretty sure people are born with those... But, anyway, moving on. Does Gwen like Duncan? At this point, I'm willing to consider the Duncan-Gwen relationship as potential. With zero Gwen-Trent in the episode and Duncan and Courtney breaking up for a while, it seems possible. I really hated the Gidgette clip, as it seemed like they hadn't changed at all. Sierra cameo! I'll be counting her appearances throughout the episode before officially becoming a character. "They ate salads! They tried on socks! They ironed!" Again, I apologize, I pause my Tivo to laugh.
The Drama Brothers, Cody, Harold, Trent, and Justin... This is the Cody-DJ-Owen-Tyler alliance of this special. Four people barely seen together, if ever, now best friends. Justin with the guitar was great, too. I also thought the references to The Beatles was a nice tribute. Sierra cameo! This time creeping on the band as they jump naked into a pool. (Thank you, Total Drama animators. I have lost all vision in my eyes.)
(UPDATE: It's back.)
Justin breaking up with the girl was one of my favorite Drama Brothers moments. Harold beatboxing had some epic animation to it, especially if you watch him beatboxing in Not Quite Famous. "Lo$o." Another great visual gag, and maybe even a reference to the now famous "Bye-good" picture. And so, the Drama Brothers end... Will it ever be brought up again? Based on a Total Drama World Tour preview, it looks likely. Izzy's movie parodies were hilarious, and her insane rant was great, but I think more bleeps would have helped. When I heard LeShawna and Tyler paired together, I wasn't expecting much from whatever they were doing, and their montage of reality shows wasn't great. The Biggest Loser reference made me laugh, especially because I was missing Biggest Loser to watch this. Sierra cameo! Honestly tell me she wasn't the one asking angry Eva to sign her hockey stick. I was glad Eva got this extra clip, which was much better than her first one.
Now, Sierra appears, and her total cameo count is... THREE! I'll be doing this cameo count with Alejandro too. Noah has false teeth! I knew it! Izzy ruining Sierra's anonymity and her comment about Sierra going to the hospital was hilarious, classic Izzy. I'm guessing that nobody calls Izzy out on spilling the dirt on everyone. Harold getting hit with his own record was great, and Sierra thinking they liked Harold was better. Sierra's voice is annoying me, but I guess she's more interesting than boring Blaineley and Josh. Sierra getting mad at Katie and Sadie after they got stage fright was good too, sort of like Izzy's level of crazy. "What was it like to have it all, then lose it all?" "Eh, no biggie." I pause Tivo again and laugh.
(ALERT: I found more ice cream!)
DJ's momma smacking Sierra, and her line will probably be a Featured Quote shortly, easily becoming our new wiki meme. Courtney and Duncan were pretty boring, but I still love their raccoon. (How ironic; Duncan had to catch a raccoon in Wawanakwa Gone Wild! and now he
owns is in a custody battle for one.) Lindsay only dressing up by wearing earrings was also a classic Lindsay move. "Did someone say ribs?" This was one of my favorite Owen lines of all time, maybe it will also get Featured Quote. Tyler messing up on the red carpet is leading me to believe he's not bad at sports, just a little slow. DJ's momma slapped the homie right outta homie-school! Noah! Ordering a coffee and muffin! Blaineley guessing the Total Drama Brothers' news was probably the only funny thing Blaineley did all episode. Chris died! Noah being Chris' assistant was pretty random, especially considering that he seemed more likely to be in the government than trying to be in the TV industry. Alejandro cameo!
(ALERT: This ice cream tastes weird.)
Izzy's ninja scene was awesome, and the writing after it was hysterical! "How hard is it to open an envelope?" "Golden Oldies in their Undies!" One word: ROFL! Courtney going all incredible hulk on the TV annoyed me, because I hate when she's suddenly super-strong. Courtney, you're not Eva. Ezekiel being robbed by the homeless guy was hilarious. Heather's "So Cold" line reminds me - Why was it never pointed out that she has hair again? I was expecting a joke or two.
The Christmas Special begins! No episode before has ever had that voice of reason. That glimmering beacon of hope. That "yes we can!" attitude. Maybe because this episode was a lot like an hour long special that could be in any other show, simply due to lack of eliminations and challenges. Sierra's speech was nice, but I'm still sick of her voice. I'm wondering if in Canada they'll change New York to somewhere else. Is New York well known in Canada? I know American kids probably don't know a lot of places in Canada. "Sure thing. I'll get my unicorn to deliver it." Noah has had many great lines. The Total Drama series has had many great lines. This one definitely takes the cake, and I will fight tooth and nail to get this to be a Featured Quote (by tooth and nail, I mean I'll support it). "Wipe your feet first!" DJ's Momma is pure win, and I look forward to her finally getting an article. Did anybody else see Ezekiel's eyes go different directions when Cody fell asleep on the bus?! Somebody get a picture of it!
"Mrs. M." DJ's last name is Momma, case closed. DJ's Momma and LeShawna are a comedy match made in booty-heaven (such a place does exist). LeShawna's gigantic bra was hilarious. I'm sure the joke probably went unnoticed for some, but this was another moment when I had to pause for Tivo. The "pirate" battle was random, but hilarious. Harold, you are a definite high point for the episode! Tyler and Lindsay's facepalm was another Tivo-pausing worthy gag. "What I tell you about crahin' my bus?" DJ's Mom is pure win! Also, when they're falling off the cliff, everyone looks scared except Mrs. M. who looks mad, and Izzy who is happy. "So Noah was Chris' assistant, huh!" Classic Izzy moment! "What's that?!" "I couldn't hold it down." Poor Beth. DJ's Momma, I award you a Renny Award, and award only given out to those who amuse me.
When Geoff left with the group, I died a little inside knowing that they'd never be heard from again. Geoff and the gang going into the nuclear zone was also a great gag. Izzy is smiling creepily in her sleep. Just sayin'. Here Chris comes to save the day! More Christmas Special stuff - the mean guy turns into a good guy. And, just because it isn't Total Drama without it, Owen's butt makes a special appearance... The scene explaining the next season was pretty ho-hum, because they already did the scene with everyone who got onto Total Drama Action. Harold putting his arm around LeShawna suddenly was more excellent animation for the ol' H-bomb. Harold is an alliance maker! Take that people who didn't like the way I roleplayed as Harold! Sierra's Cody questions were hilarious! Sierra-Cody Relationship will be epic! Ezekiel and Bridgette were annoying. Gwen, Duncan, don't get your hopes up to win. You both already won in various parts of the world. Alejandro was just irritating. DJ deserves to win now! Pancakes! "Ten percent say that Chris has lied to us!" Best Sierra line to date! The ending scene was nice to with Chris and Chef singing, but Chef's voice is annoying to hear sing, and I'm tired of Chef in dresses.
In conclusion, I give this episode an 8 out of 10. Lots of great jokes, visual gags as far as the eye can see, but too many misses to give a ten.