Hey there again. This is going to be the first of 6 installments in which I examine the 6 seasons that have premiered, and analyze their pros and cons. I will also give my opinion on the season at the end. So sit back and relax!
TDI is a season that is fondly remembered. It has a special place in many TD fan's hearts and to this day remains a classic. However even in a season like Island, there are misses, and those misses despite being minor compared to something like All Stars, are still rather jarring as it is considered to be the best season by many people. But before we get to those I'd like to outline the things it did right:
1. Good Interactions- One of the many things that this season has more of than the others is interactions between competitors. Not too many campers have just one single interaction between the other, instead there's a wide variety; Lindsay and Heather, Courtney and Bridgette, Gwen and Bridgette, Geoff and Gwen, DJ Duncan and Geoff, DJ and Katie (One time interaction, but it was one of the few times Katie was seen without Sadie.), Team E-Scope, etc. I could go on for hours about this, y'know. And there's also more emphasis on the friendships between the cast. People who would never interact in real life managed to befriend eachother, like the aftermentioned friendship between Team E-Scope, their leader's a crazy psycho, the other two are a snarky jerk and a fitness buff respectively, who would of thought that they would be friends?
2. More Mature Humor- Remember the time we saw Heather's unmentionables? Or the time someone said "crap"? Yes, folks who are new to TD, there was once a time where the characters could say crap and get away with it. However most of the maturity was censored by Cartoon Network, why? Because why not, Cartoon Network was known for being family friendly so when they heard the word crap, they knew they had a reputation to keep so they kept it kid friendly. Later seasons don't have as much mature content as TDI did, but it's still there.
3. Main Couple: What I mean by this is that unlike a later season (ROTI) the main couple in this season, Gwent, takes more time to develop. Although that would be an unfair point to make, seeing as ROTI had a 13 episode limit compared to the 26 episodes of Island. However, PI managed to develop it's main couple somwhat decently and that had 13 episodes as well. So there's really no excuse for ROTI's general rushed feeling when it comes to the hook up of it's main couple.....
and last but not least:
4. The Writing- If there's one thing you can say TDI definitely had, it's good writing. The characters stay consistent with each episode, the humor's humor, it feels less rushed, and the season seems to have had more effort put into it than others.
Now to outline the cons of this season:
1. The Cast- I'm not talking about the stereotypes or the cast in general, I'm talking about how the cast was used in general. First thing's first, the protagonists and antagonists are pretty obvious, there's Gwen, Leshawna, Bridgette, Geoff, Duncan, Trent, Izzy and Courtney for the protagonists for the antagonists there's Heather, Lindsay, and Beth (before she betrayed Heather). But what about the characters in between? There's a problem with this, the majority of the characters who weren't the protagonists or antagonists either were gimmicks (Katie and Sadie, Justin, Owen), just there to be eliminated in place of another (Ezekiel, Justin again, Harold), were there just to be a plot device (Tyler, Owen, Harold again), or were just plain annoying (Noah, Ezekiel, Katie and Sadie).
Let me explain, Zeke was used to be eliminated first instead of CIT Courtney, and before that he was just gross and annoying. Eva was just a fitness buff with anger issues, the aftermaths in later seasons gave her somewhat more development than that but not much. Noah shouldn't really be surprising to the majority of you, in the first season he was same old snarky Noah, but he wasn't funny most of the time, he was just plain annoying, never mind the fact that he was just asking to be eliminated by his teammates. He egged them on, acted lazier than a bag of bones, and wasn't helpful at all. Do I even need to explain why Justin was useless, he never talked! Except for the first episode and the special, but he didn't speak for 5 episodes out of the 7 he was in and to be fair felt gimmicky.
Katie and Sadie were just a chatty group of best friends. When Katie got eliminated, that gave Sadie potential for her to shine, but no, Sadie doesn't talk from Up The Creek untill the episode of her elimination, I'll get to that topic later though. Tyler was just there to fall in love with Lindsay and be bad at sports, but he didn't have quite the same charm he had in World Tour. Cody was annoying in this season, but he did redeem himself by letting Gwen go untill World Tour. Harold was an ok character, he did perform some awesome moments, but let's be honest after "Not Quite So Famous", he didn't do anything except get bullied by Duncan and his cronies. DJ lasted way too long to be honest, he should've been at least in the bottom two in "Who Can You Trust?", as he had lost the challenge for his teammates. Finally, Owen felt just there as the season went on, I think the writers wanted to do something with him at first but decided not to do it and just have him be a walking fart joke to compensate.
2. Wasted Plots and Potential- Do you think this began with Action? Nope, there was plenty of this in the first season, plenty of it. The potential for Sadie that I mentioned above, they seemed to be hinting at a plot for Sadie to develop and grow as her own character in Phobia Factor, she even makes friends with Lindsay too. However all of that is tossed out the window the next episode, she doesn't speak untill the episode of her elimination and any possible potential for Sadie to develop has been lost.
I'd also like to mention something some people don't really know about, Noah's original stereotype for TD was not "The High IQ" but "The Schemer". What this could possibly have meant is unknown, but it's possible that they planned for Noah to be more devious and be a potential antagonist. It is also possible that he might have originally been Heather's Dragon, but they decided to scrap the plot for some reason. Also, Ezekiel had some potential to develop as well, he was a homeschooled country boy for pete's sake! I mean, a homeschooled teen, with no previous experience, interacts with teens his own age. That would've been a very interesting plot in the first season, and I'm actually quite surprised the writers didn't use it.
3. Who Voted For Who?- If there were a season where these were the most prevalent, it would definitely be this one. For one thing Bridgette is eliminated instead of Duncan in "Hide and Be Sneaky", who else voted for Bridgette? Leshawna, Gwen, and (possibly) Izzy agreed to vote Duncan off, Heather and Lindsay presumably voted for Owen, and DJ, Duncan, and Owen voted for Bridgette. And Geoff said he didn't vote Bridgette off, and if he really didn't vote her off, then did Izzy vote for Bridgette? Or did Heather or Lindsay switch their vote at the last minute?
Another example would be "Wawanakwa Gone Wild". Ok, one thing why is Gwen in the bottom 2, she won immunity, it should be Heather or Duncan. Also, who else other than Duncan and Heather voted for Izzy? Gwen and Leshawna hate Heather so they defiinitely wouldn't have voted with them, but if Duncan convinced Gwen then that makes some sense, they are friends. But still Leshawna before "Trial By Tri-Armed Triatholon" did not like Duncan, and she sure as heck did not like Heather. And Owen loves Izzy, he would definitely not vote her off. Geoff couldn't have been convinced because Heather doesn't like him and Duncan didn't trust him after Bridgette was eliminated? Also why didn't Heather get eliminated? She didn't have immunity that episode, and I'm pretty sure Gwen and Leshawna would've voted for her.
My opinion on the season in general: It's a good start but it does retain some of the flaws future seasons did have. But otherwise this season is pretty good and is a pretty good start for the franchise we've all come to love, well most of it we love anyway.......
So comment in the box below, if you have anything you want to add or share, then feel free!