First off, hey people, I'm new here. Long-time Total Drama fan, and a surprisingly long follower of this Wiki (since the World Tour days, basically), considering I haven't been a part of it until now. I tend to have some pretty deep opinions when it comes to the shows I watch (this, real-life reality TV, whatevs), so I figured, why not start blogging a bit once The Ridonculous Race comes out? So here I am now.
Early confession to get out of the way - yes, I've seen all 6 episodes that have come out on OnDemand already. Yes, I loved them. But no, you won't hear about episodes 3-6 here, because I'm new, and getting banned after 20 minutes on here would be particularly unfortunate. I'll offer some character opinions based on the first 2 episodes, and some plot dynamics that are apparent based on what was exclusively shown today (YES, that means the first elimination IS included, so avoid reading if you haven't seen the first two episodes yet!), and add to the outlines as new episodes air.
Tom and Jen: Sharing a name with a total drama character is probably the biggest honor of my 22-year-old life so far, so of course I love him . . . Joking aside, I have enjoyed Tom and Jen so far. They carry themselves with confidence, and yeah, they're pretty much my spirit animals in terms of their actions. As fashion bloggers, they'll appreciate the locations that the race has to offer, but begs the question of whether or not they'll get distracted by thier surroundings.
Chet and Lorenzo: Elimination fodder, or interesting storyline? These two can really go either way. Their early-episode, constant bickering (DIVORCE CHET'S MOMMM) is either a harbinger for an early out (a self-fulfilling prophecy on their parts), or they'll learn how to deal with each other, work together, and function like a family unit should.
Dwayne and Junior: The early episodes show Dwayne as a bit of a disaster magnet, between wrecking the elevator, grabbing the wrong spices, and tiring his camel. His intentions seem pure, but that kind of bad luck streak could be concerning. However, I feel like the 'dopey dad/too-cool kid' trope in itself throws in a child-comes-to-respect-the-parent vibe, and we even see some early traces of that as Junior gives his dad props for the way he handles the Moroccan stew. This is a team that, like Chet and Lorenzo, will likely have some within-the-team development before they depart, whether it's early or late in the game.
Emma and Kitty: Yeah, they're pretty opposite in terms of their personalities. You want to root for Kitty because of how peppy she is (she basically has Lindsay's voice, and all-loving personality), but her sister, early on, brings the team down a bit with her demeanor. She seems like the type that's quick to accept responsibility for a high-point, but push responsibility away when things go wrong. She reads as harsh, but not antagonistic. She's determined, and aiming to win. Time will tell if the sisters hit a middle ground between the sight-seeing aspect vs. the money.
Mary and Ellody: Honestly, these two didn't get all that much screen-time across the first two episodes. They've given us some technical lingo, reminiscent of Scarlett from Pahkitew Island. However, its their handling of the spices that suggests some real leverage on the show - they're culturally aware. And on a show focused on traveling, cultural know-how could be a huge benefit for them.
Ryan and Stephanie: Yeah, the early episodes set them up to be a 'Geoff and Bridgette a la TDA' clone. Their early interviews suggest they met at the gym, so you'd think that they would handle physical challenges well. But outside of that, they said that they've been going steady 'for two months.' How well do these two really know each other? Once the kissing is done, do they have enough in common to last as a team?
Crimson and Ennui: While they've been quiet, I feel like it's a part of their personality. They're dark, they're mysterious, and they're absolutely dead-pan. They're one of the teams with the widest range of possibilities - elimination fodder, antagonists, anti-heroes, or simply silent threats.
Jay and Mickey: Basically the Harold, Tyler, Noah-that-isn't-Noah, Sam, etc of this series. Being called the 'adversity twins' sets them up as pain magnets, but they also have an effective team dynamic, and know each other's strengths and weaknesses. Their implied weakness brings up the same questions that we had with Cameron when TDROTI came out - will they be early outs, or will they be one of the surprises left standing at the end?
Owen and Noah: Let's get some bias out of the way - I love Noah. He's sarcastic and wonderful. I wished he had stayed longer in TDWT. He knew Alejandro's act, and got booted when he became too much of a threat. Bringing him back for this series was just about the greatest fan-service that the producers could do. Pairing him with Owen, one of the long-standing faces of this series, suggests that he'll finally get some further, well-deserved development. However, their trope of 'reality tv pros' could make others see them as a threat.
Geoff and Brody: Further development for Geoff's character, yayyy. Although Geoff and Bridgette's relationship is one of the more successful ones from the series, it pretty much grew to *define* their characters. This gives us a chance to see some of Geoff's original 'Island' party-guy personality in the game, and throwing in Brody, who himself seems like another fun-loving guy with potential, leaves room for an array of options. The first two episodes also suggest some pain-magnet status, similar to the twins.
Taylor and Kelly: Like Dwayne and Junior, and Chet and Lorenzo, this is another team with a clear, in-team potential plot. Taylor is clearly disrespectful, and Kelly is a pushover. Kelly could stand to be more assertive, and Taylor could stand to be nicer - until then, it's hard to do anything but dislike Taylor, and feel bad for Kelly.
Devin and Carrie: There's something about them that feels like a lot of other Total Drama couples. They give off 'early Mike/Zoey' vibes, but also throw in the Dave/Sky 'I'm already in a relationship' idea (granted, they were smarter with it this time, establishing that in the beginning, rather than at the end). Carrie outright admitted in episode 2 that she loved Devin, so it will be interesting to see what happens when those feelings actually come out - will it strengthen them, or break them down?
Gerry and Pete: Their rivalry is fun, and it's nice that they can get on each others' cases and laugh about it. Their age already sets them up as underdogs, and their rivalry reared its head in an ugly way in episode 1 (throwing the zipline portion just for some quick jabs at each other). If they can get past these hang-ups, they can show some strength.
Leonard and Tammy: I really wasn't a big fan of Leonard in Pahkitew Island. I had hopes that bringing him back would be an opportunity to pull him down to reality a bit, and become more of a focused player. And to a degree, we saw a bit of that - episode 2 started with him trying to make alliances with the twins, as well as the goths. In the end, though, their Larping led them to stop in their tracks, and give up 2 positions in a footrace, leading them to an early elimination. It's a shame to see that they were put in for elimination fodder, especially when other characters could have been brought it (Amy/Samey, Katie/Sadie). Part of me thinks that they wanted to develop all of the new characters a bit, and wanted to include a first-out that wouldn't hurt too many feelings - hence, these two.
Sanders and McArthur: The good cop and bad cop, literally. These two have accounted for much of the early humor ('what do you do, yoga?'), and their experience and determination establishes them in a positive light where the competition is concerned. On the other hand, you can tell that McArthur tends to take too much charge, and that looks like it gets to Sanders a bit - it will be interesting to see if this leads to some in-team bickering in the future.
Jacques and Josee: They're confident, they're show-offy, and they're eternally happy . . . or so it appears. Josee has already been shown to be quite critical of Jacques (mentioning that he has 'many faults' in a confessional in episode 1), and her tantrum at placing third in episode 2 shows how fiercely determined these two are to win. Winning challenges will be good for their morale, but losing, and further tantrums could put them in some trouble.
Rock and Spud: Another team that's been fairly quiet in the early going. Rock reminds me of Geoff and Brody to a degree with his enthusiasm, but Spud seems a bit more quiet and passive. They need more development.
Laurie and Miles: Peace-loving, calm, and sticking to their Vegan roots (walking their camel instead of riding it). I can also see a running gag of them having problems with animals, if Miles getting puked on by a camel in episode 2 is any indication. Their friendly demeanors could help when it comes to inter-team relationships, and like the geniuses, they're culturally aware. However, a strict adherence to their belief system could prove to be a hinderance if it (again) costs them time.
Overall, I was quite happy with the early episodes. They set up a lot of the team dynamics rather effectively, and gave us a first elimination that was suspenseful, even if it wasn't all that surprising. One early complaint is that there hasn't been much in the way of inter-team communications, minus Leonard/Tammy's potential alliances, Mickey/Jay's first-episode interaction with Geoff/Brody, and a potentially-hinted rivalry between the skaters and the cadets, based on the ending of episode 2. Every team is interesting so far, and has plotlines that could go in a number of ways - it will be interesting to see where the writers take them.
With that, that ends day 1 of The Ridonculous Race, and my reactions to it. Feel free to comment - being new, I'd like to hear what some of you guys think! Where do you think some of the plotlines will go, who do you see making it far, and what are you most excited for? I'll be back tomorrow evening/night with some expansions on my character analyses - knowing what's happened in all 6 episodes, there's a lot that I'm *already* excited to write about!