With the recent events, there has been a bigger focus in conversation when it comes to returnees. Despite this, I have never seen a blog that specifically focuses on that aspect of the game. I am going to run through each event where someone returns/debuts to a season, and then sum up how I feel about it at the end.
Eva and Izzys return in TDI
Let's run thoguh the context in how they returned. It is the middle of the season, and the merge has approached. Chris states that he chose those two becayse they were "fan favourites". It is clear that they brought them back because as as whole, the cast dislikes the two, and the producers wanted to stir stuff up. Was the basis of the return fair? No, but there is a lot worse in the series. The return happened in the mdidle of the season, and there was a lot of fight anfd game to happen before the finale is approached. There is time to EARN their place in the game to build up a resume.
Now let's focus on the result of the return. Eva and Izzy have to fit into the game again, which Izzy does, but Eva does not. Eva is instantly voted out because of her threatening attitude, and because it was an easy vote out. She decides to focus on revenge, but none cares because her first elimination happened such a long time ago, and could not adapt, which is one of the main keys to success in the competition.
Izzy managed to adapt to the current status of the competititors and the game. She had loose alliances, and had some strong ties. She became a short-lived member of Heather's alliance, the girls were decent to her, and she had a good relationship with Owen, which was also short-lived. Izzy lasted through the middle of the merge, and was voted off in Episode 20 over Heather because......... her craziness was dangerous. To be honest, this was only an attempt to save Heather, and a poor strategic decision. Izzy was not winning anything, and was unfocused.
Izzy's return in TDA
Izzy was eliminated in the third episode, and thend ecided to come back to the set of Total Drama Action in the seventh episode for...... who konws what reason. She helps her former Grips team win the challenge, and after rekindling with Owen, tries to worm herself back into the game. She does this by telling Chris that they eliminated her as Kaleidescope, and she is going by Izzy again, which they let. It is a copout, but at least it was somewhat legal. What was the purpose of her going if she was going to come back 4 episodes later?
Let's recap how she did after returning. Her team continued to lose every challenge up until she was eliminated again 4 episodes later in Episode 11. She had some nice interactions with her teammates, and things were going well with Owen, but she was quickly eliminated, which makes her return kind of pointless other than to make sure the Grips are not completely decimated. Pointless, and needed a lot more purpose, or they should have not eliminated her at all beforehand.
Courtney's debut in TDACourtney's debut in Total Drama Action was one of the most fair entrances that were not in the first episode. She was unfairly kicked out of the first season (which I loved), and nothing was done about it when TDI took place, so she went to court, and won the case. Ok, fair enough. The other contestants complained about it like no other, saying how she lost fair and sqare, and tried to vote her out, even though she was immune from that elimination. I think this was supposed to be a plot to get us to feel bad for Owen, but it failed for 2 reasons. 1, they should have listened to Chris and voted off someone other than Courtney. 2. Owen lost the challenge for them. It also did not help that we knew about her debuting almost as soon as the season premiered.
Should Courtney have been immune from the first elimination? That is up for debate, and I see both sides. Courtney returned because they needed an antagonist for the second half of the season, as the first half kind of dragged on, and Justin was not accomplishing anything. This is alright; Duncan and Courtney can have some good interactions, so can her and Harold, and the momentum can pick up. While she was still as annoying as ever, I appreciated her return for what it was. It was annoying that she had to win every single immunity up until her penultimate episode in Episode 23, and after a while, it made the season boring again. Her debut had more purpose than the other debuts and returns out of the entire season, and it was done in the middle of the season, so she had to earn her spot and had to fight to remain in the game.
Owen's return in TDAThis is the first return that I have SERIOUS issues with, but before I get into that, let's remember how he returned. After being eliminated in the middle of Total Drama Action, his family told him that they spent a bunch of money, not remembering that his money from the first season was taken, and thinking he was going to win again. Chris takes this as an opportunity to bring Owen back into the game at the FINAL 5, and during the LAST 6 EPISODES of the season. He tells them that Owen sued the show to get back on (which would be dumb, because he was eliminated fair and square, and would have lost in court), which Owen said is a lie, and he is back to stir the pot with the others, and to earn money for his debt. Can I just say what a STUPID, POINTLESS, FRUSTRATING piece of crap this return was? When the season was finally starting to get dynamic with the cast, and right when it was concluding, they deciede to bring back OWEN of ALL PEOPLE to come back? He had a full season last season, and was in half of the current season.
Anyways, let's look at the result of his return. Owen pretends to be everyone's friend again starting from Episode 21 to report to Chris to use to manufacture more drama. He wastes his vote on Courtney (when she is AGAIN immune, and him playing NO PART in the elimination), and Lindsay is eliminated. Take him out of the equation, and Lindsay would have STILL gone home. The next episode contains him as a geisha not participating, but making the other sex mad at one another, and to later make the guys mad at one another. NOTHING would have changed if he was not in the episode, because the guys already hated one another, and the girls hated one another. Harold goes home in the next episode, after he finds out about Owen being a spy. Guess what, Harold would have STILL gone home if Owen was not present. Duncan and Courtney vote off Harold, Harold votes off Duncan, and Beth votes off Courtney. Owen gets fired the next episode (getting THIRD FRICKIN PLACE) after Courtney and Beth found out about him being a spy. Oh, and guess what? Courtney would have STILL left regardless. Overall, his return amounted to nothing, and had no significance in anything that was happening. He returned ridiculously late, and was insignificant.
Duncan's return in TDWT
I shockingly do not have much issue with the return of Duncan in Total Drama World Tour. He was eliminated in the first episode, and while it would have been nice if he stayed eliminated (since he made it through pretty much all of Island and Action), he was being looked for by everyone, and was forced to come back. Lets get to the niddy gritty details of this return. Duncan ended up in London performing, where Gwen and Courtney find him, and take him to Chris. Because they found Duncan, Chris makes Team Amazon win (which is bullcrap, since they lost the challenge), and forces Duncan to return. Alright......... You forced Duncan to come back after he quit the show, but you did not do that with Harold, DJ last season, and Anne Maria the season after (we will get to that soon enough)? What I can say from a writing perspective is that there is purpose for Duncan to come back; to kick off/resolve this love triangle mess that was brewing since the last seaosn. Why did they not concluce this by not having Duncan quit in the first episode, and handle it in the first half of the season? And after that, eliminate them? I do not know.
Now that Duncan is back in, he is forced to sing a lot in his first challenge, and is supposedly voted out, but Chris ignores the votes because he wants to see the Love Triangle play out. Whatever, it happens on the show, which is BS, but it happens. Duncan suddenly then wants to win the season, ends up winnning a few challenges, alligns with Owen and later Alejandro, only to end up being eliminated int he final 5 because he has no more purpose, and the other 4 have a lot to conclude. After the first 3-4 episodes, he just ended up arguing with Courtney, which then got old, and both were eliminated back to back. So he came back with a huge BANG, and then sizzled within 9 episodes, and was in the background after the first few episodes.
Blaineley's debut in TDWTI am not going to spend much time talking about this, since Blaineley is one of the most irrelevant characters in the entire series. The context of the return itself is the most fair out of all of them, since there is a competition for either the eliminated characters to return, or the people not competing in the season to debut. Beth was the final person, and was supposed to return, but Blaineley shouted out the answer before Beth could answer. Geoff used this as an excuse to send Blaineley away, which I think was very poor. There is no way in heck that a co-host of an after show would be allowed to debut in a show after a competition was for the others not currently in the game, and that show was for teenagers. If it was literally anyone else, I would not care about this return taking place, but because it is Blaineley, I did not like it. This competition took place in Episode 18, which is a bit late, but it is not the worst timing, since there was still 8 people left, and there were many more episodes of the season left.
What did Blaineley do when she actually debuted on the show? She gravitated to Owen because he was a fan favourite, fought with everyone else in her 2 episodes, was eliminated in the next episode after her return, and exposes Ezekiel, AleHeather, and tells Sierra about Cody voting her off. I guess they wanted her to return to tell the news, but they could have done this in many other ways. She was an unneeded plot device in the main scheme of things.
Dakota's return in TDROTIDakota was eliminated fair and square in Episode 2, but became an intern after her father bribed Chris with some money. In the middle of the season, Anne Maria decides to quit, and then unquits, only for it to be so late. Chris is all worried about having one less female, so he force Dakota to become a competitor again. How about........ letting Anne Maria unquit? Or just not have anyone return at all? Dakota was literally thrown in there. Since this took place in the middle of the season, I cannot complain on that aspect.
Now we know the real reason why Dakota returned onto the show for only an episode. She returned to become Dakotazoid -_-, which was horrible enough. I get the message they were trying to say, but they did not have to mutate her that much. It was just too exxaggerated, and it ultimately did not make a difference, since we already got the "love someone for something not their looks" angle. They had to bring back the already eliminated Sam to be a part of the challenge to get their message across. They could have done this crap at Episode 6 if they wanted to. Dakota tried to befriend Zoey, but that went nowhere. This return ultimately was a cheap plot point that was not needed, and was only there for a quick convenience.
Brody and Geoff's return in TDPTRRI remember when Owen returned all the way back in 2009, I was literally screaming at the TV in the sheer stupidity and ridiculousness that was taking place on my television. Imagine how I felt approximately 2 months ago when Geoff and Brody returned to the show. We heard rumors about there being a return on the season, but as the episodes kept on passing, and the conclusion kept on drawing nearer, we thought it was a fluke. All of a sudden, at the end of the THIRD LAST EPISODE, Geoff and Brody return. The excuse that is told to the audience to justify this is that any team who is injured or forfeits in the final 4 had to have a previously eliminated team take their place. Why is this the case ONLY for the final 4? If that was the case in general, I would not be as furious, but with it only being a part of the final 4 means that this was such a convenient crock of... you know what that was being pulled out from the toilet to be served to us. It is so painsakingly obvious that this was the result of last minute executive meddling when it comes to the writing of the return in itself. WHY was it seen as a good idea to ahve a team return at the FINAL 4.... wait no; it would have been the FINAL 3. They did not even have lines in that episode, so they were only competitors for the FINAL 2 EPISODES. Bullcrap. Many people think that it is because Geoff and Brody returned is why people are mad. No; if it was the Goths , Vegans, Daters, Fashion Bloggers, or the LARPers that returned, I would be as mad, or even more furious. I like the Surfers, but this return is so pathetic.
Now that THAT part of the rant is over, let's see what they do when they return. Geoff and Brody have absolutely no struggle at the challenge, and get considerably less camera time than the other 3 teams (gee, wonder why). This first episode did not give me good hopes about them, and I thought they would be eliminated in this episode, ONLY FOR THEM TO GET FIRST PLACE! And then we are in the finale, and end up WINNING. I just want to say that I really like The Ridonculous Race, as it is a very well written season with strong characters and a strong system overall, but this return just boils my insides. NOTHING can be said to me to change my mind on them deserving the win. I remember I was in the minority at the time of the finale. You know, if they were never eliminated and won, I would be cheering in excitement. Why were they eliminate so late in the competition (Episode 21), only to debut 4 episodes later and WIN? A cheap convenience.
I would not have much issue with returns or debuts in the shows if they were well-handled, and had a strong purpose to it, but for many cases, it is used for a short plot point, a gimmick, or for a pathetic schtick that is horribly executed. Despite the rants in this blog, I am not a mean person, and am very welcoming and sane. How do you all feel about returns in general, since they are becoming a bigger part of the franchise? You should not care if you disagree with me, but I want to see conversations about the matter, sicne it is one that is becoming more and more important.