Total Drama Action
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|Total Drama Action|
The Total Drama Action logo.
|Country of origin||Canada|
|No. of episodes||27 (including special)|
|Original release||January 11, 2009– June 10, 2010|
Total Drama Action is a Canadian animated television series. It is the second season of the Total Drama series, which began with Total Drama Island. The show premiered in Teletoon at 6:30 pm ET/PT on January 11, 2009. This series was also created by the makers of 6teen, another Teletoon program. This is the only season for Teletoon to not air a new episode every week.
Like Total Drama Island, the previous season, much of Total Drama Action chronicles the events of the eponymous fictional reality shows. The Total Drama series itself is an "animated reality television series", which stars the cast and crew of the fictional series, parodying many aspects of reality television in general. After last season's winner, Owen (Scott McCord), forgoes his prize money of C$100,000 for a challenge (open to all 22 of Total Drama Island's contestants) in which the winner would receive C$1,000,000, the money was left in limbo after a situation resulted in a 14-way tie.
As such, show host Chris McLean (Christian Potenza) had no choice but to commission a second competition with all 14 tied contestants. The contestants are told to arrive at an abandoned movie studio lot in Toronto, Ontario, where the new competition, titled "Total Drama Action", would take place. Because of its location, Chris tells the contestants that the challenges would all be in the form of various movie genres. The accommodations of the contestants are handled by Chef Hatchet (Clé Bennett) in a similar manner to how it was handled in the previous season. The outhouse which was used as a confessional in Total Drama Island has been replaced with a makeup trailer for the cast to use, although Chris and Chef do use it in various episodes during the TDA season.
After a quick elimination of two contestants, the couple Bridgette (Kristin Fairlie) and Geoff (Dan Petronijevic), a second challenge determined the team captains of the two competing teams: the Screaming Gaffers, headed by Gwen (Megan Fahlenbock), and the Killer Grips, headed by Trent (Scott McCord). From then on, challenges would alternate between "reward challenges" where winners would receive a special prize, and "elimination challenges" where the losing team would vote off one of its own in an elaborate "Gilded Chris Ceremony".
The pattern of reducing the contestants down was briefly interrupted on two occasions: once when Izzy (Katie Crown) was reinstated following a voting irregularity where her alter-ego, "E-Scope", was voted off, and another time when Courtney (Emilie-Claire Barlow), a contestant who did not originally qualify for Total Drama Action, successfully sued the show and was added into the game. The players eliminated would make the "walk of shame" and into the "Lame-o-sine", where they leave the movie studio.
Once seven contestants were left, the Screaming Gaffers and the Killer Grips were dissolved, and the challenges became individual-oriented in nature. Chris hired Owen as his ringer to sabotage the other contestants and to create drama. Eventually, two contestants were left standing: Duncan (Drew Nelson) and Beth (Sarah Gadon), with Duncan being the original winner, and Beth the runner-up. Beth does win in the alternate ending.
Total Drama Action premiered on January 11, 2009, at 6:30 p.m. on Teletoon and premiered on June 11, 2009, on Cartoon Network. In the U.S., Cartoon Network creates a disclaimer with a TV-PG-D rating before the previous show's recap. In the UK it aired on April 11, 2011, at 10:00 GMT as part of Disney XD's Easter Shows.
|Season||Episodes||Country||Network||First air date||Last air date|
|2||27||Canada||Teletoon||January 11, 2009||June 10, 2010|
|United States||Cartoon Network||June 11, 2009||April 6, 2010|
|United Kingdom||Disney XD||April 11, 2011||May 17, 2011|
The main Total Drama Action cast consists of host Chris McLean, assistant Chef Hatchet, and the contestants that make up the castmates. The remaining contestants from Total Drama Island also appear in the show, but serving in lesser capacities as commentators on The Aftermath. Also, one other character in the show is Brady, Beth's boyfriend whom she talks about constantly throughout the show, but is only seen in the final episode. The characters are Bridgette, Geoff, Izzy, Trent, Gwen, DJ, Owen, Heather, Leshawna, Justin, Lindsay, Harold, Courtney, Beth, and Duncan.
|Chris McLean||Christian Potenza||Chris is the host of Total Drama Island.|
|Chef Hatchet||Clé Bennett||Hatchet is the cook and co-host of the series.|
|Beth||Sarah Gadon||The Wannabee||Beth was born and raised on a farm with only animal friends and her parents to keep her company. Thanks to her background, she never developed proper social skills, and while she excels at getting others to stop and stare, it is more often than not for embarrassing reasons. In between Total Drama Island and Total Drama Action, Beth had her braces removed, which drastically builds up her confidence. Her kind attitude is well-received amongst the cast, particularly by her best friend, Lindsay. She remains a strong enough competitor to make it to the finale alongside Duncan.|
|Bridgette||Kristin Fairlie||The Surfer Girl||Bridgette is a calm, compassionate surfer girl who loves animals almost as much as she loves the water. She and Geoff are the first contestants voted off the show after their constant make-out sessions annoy the other competitors. This leads them to becoming the co-hosts of Total Drama Aftermath, a talk show in which they interview the contestants just eliminated from the show and showcase highlights from the season.|
|Courtney||Emilie-Claire Barlow||The Type A||Courtney is a perfectionist who desires to be best at everything, and sees herself as a born leader. Her desire for success often clashes with her own principles and can come off as being quite bossy and critical, which leads her to be disliked by many contestants. Courtney originally didn't qualify for Total Drama Action, but managed to get on the show by filing a lawsuit against the producers (which also allowed her to get special treatment compared to the other contestants such as lobster dinners and her own bathroom). She becomes the primary antagonist for the second half of the season as the contestants dislike her bossy attitude and special treatment, only finding an ally in her boyfriend, Duncan.|
|DJ||Clé Bennett||The Brickhouse With Heart||DJ is a very soft-spoken and sensitive guy who is compassionate and kind to those around him despite his intimidating size. In Total Drama Action, DJ is forced into a secret alliance by Chef, who agrees to toughen up DJ and aid him in the competition in exchange for a share of the million. During his time with Chef, DJ also worked in the kitchen and secretly cooked a number of well-received meals for the contestants. However, DJ eventually quits the competition after his guilt for the alliance overwhelms him.|
|Duncan||Drew Nelson||The Delinquent||Duncan is a crafty juvenile delinquent and obnoxious bully who knows many tactics from his time spent in juvenile detention centers. His experience in juvy has made him into a strong and ruthless competitor who is still disliked by many others, especially Harold, who remains a favorite target of his antagonism, but still shows affection towards his teammates from time to time (though such occasions are rare for most people). He starts faltering when Courtney returns to the competition, and is targeted for elimination multiple times both due to his connection to her and because of his share of dislike, but is spared by manipulation or luck to the other competitors. Despite his obstacles with the other contestants and Courtney, he manages to make it to the finale alongside Beth.|
|Geoff||Dan Petronijevic||The Party Guy||Geoff may not be the smartest contestant in the bunch, but he has a positive attitude, loves people, and is always up for a party. He and Bridgette are the first contestants voted off the show after their constant make-out sessions annoy the other competitors. This leads them to becoming the co-hosts of Total Drama Aftermath, a talk show in which they interview the contestants just eliminated from the show and showcase highlights from the season. As a result of becoming a reality show host, Geoff starts to become an egotistical, sadistic "Captain Hollywood" with a personality similar to that of Chris's. He mercilessly tortures the eliminated contestants on the Total Drama Aftermath chair for ratings, and even goes as far as insulting Bridgette, prompting her to end their union. It ends up being extremely short-lived though, as the group turns Geoff's own tool against him and reminds him of who he really is.|
|Gwen||Megan Fahlenbock||The Goth||Gwen is a goth girl whose interests lie in art and astronomy. She and Trent initially date at the beginning of the season, but as the competition progresses, their relationship falls apart when Trent starts acting desperately to impress her (fearing that she may be falling for Duncan). After Gwen breaks up with Trent and confesses to his team that Trent was causing them to lose for her, she tries to make it up to the Grips by throwing the next challenge, resulting in her elimination. At the Aftermath, she is initially ill-received by the audience and other contestants for her actions towards Trent.|
|Harold||Brian Froud||The Dweeb||Harold is a skinny, awkward-looking guy who takes pride in his knowledge, resourcefulness, and "Mad Skills" in subjects like filming and beatboxing. He has a large crush on Leshawna and continually tries to impress her. Early in the season, Duncan bullies Harold even more than in Total Drama Island after he found out Harold's role in Courtney's elimination the previous season, but the two bond over time as teammates and fellow competitors. Despite Leshawna repeatedly encouraging others that she and Harold are just friends, she does show romantic feelings towards him at multiple points during the season.|
|Heather||Rachel Wilson||Queen Bee||Heather competes with her sights solely on the prize money and not on making friends, using others at her advantage and only being kind when she may ultimately be benefited. In Total Drama Action, Heather is still bald after losing her hair in the previous season and shows obsession with getting it covered up by a wig or another contestant's hair. She's also the only one to stand up for Leshawna after Leshawna's insults towards the cast is exposed.|
|Izzy a.k.a. "E-Scope" or "Explosivo"||Katie Crown||The Psycho Hose Beast||Izzy is seen as one of the show's craziest contestants. She is fun but hard to handle and to the other contestants, more trouble than she is worth. Izzy has extraordinary athletic and fighting abilities, and also sticks herself to the wild environment. During the season, she constantly reminds the other contestants to call her "E-Scope" as she changed her name at the end of last season. She is the first one voted off her team, but is allowed to rejoin the competition after changing her name to "Explosivo."|
|Justin||Adam Reid||The Eye Candy||Justin is a supermodel of incredible beauty. He is so handsome that he can make everyone around, whether they are female, male, or animal, stop dead in his or her tracks at the mere sight of him. Contrast to his appearance in Total Drama Island, Justin is no longer mute and serves as the main antagonist for the first half of the season before Courtney shows up. He uses his looks to successfully manipulate the other contestants into doing what he wants, but he loses his charm as the competition progresses (which he blames for the amount of injuries he's received throughout the show).|
|Leshawna||Novie Edwards||The Sister With 'Tude||Leshawna is loyal and sassy, yet also can be affectionate and caring. If shown respect, she will reciprocate it indefinitely. Leshawna tells it like it is, and has no fear whatsoever of calling people out on their mistakes. She tries to form an alliance between her, Duncan, and Harold, but midway through the season, she angers her teammates and fellow competitors when it's revealed she manipulated them into letting her have the reward from a challenge (which was going to the spa with her cousin) and that she insulted most of the other competitors behind their backs. She spends most of her remaining time in the competition trying to make it up to her friends.|
|Lindsay||Stephanie Anne Mills||The Dumb Princess||Lindsay is described as being beautiful, but not vain. While Lindsay is one of the prettiest one on the show and is spoilt silly by her father, she is kind hearted and is able to make friends with almost everyone. However her lack of intelligence often leads to her downfall. Initially in Action, Lindsay keeps forgetting that her boyfriend Tyler is no longer in the competition, but is happy to be competing with her best friend from last season, Beth. Lindsay starts to assume more of a leadership role within her team later on and competes with Courtney for control over their team.|
|Owen||Scott McCord||The Fart Machine||Owen is a huggable, upbeat, fun-loving, friendly, passionate, and optimistic competitor, who is basically in Total Drama to have fun more than win the grand prize. Owen's three biggest loves are eating, having a good time and passing a large amount of gas. Among his peers, he is arguably the most popular contestant of all time for his cheerful ways, optimistic viewpoints no matter what the situation is, and ability to see the best in other people. After he is unfairly eliminated by Courtney, he is allowed to return to the competition later in the season by Chris, who hired him back to secretly sabotage the other contestants which Owen only agreed to do so he could pay off his mother's cheese cellar purchase.|
|Trent||Scott McCord||The Cool Guy||Trent is relaxed, nice guy who tends to get along with everyone with his social skills and ability to play the guitar. Trent was dating Gwen at the beginning of the season, but when they are forced to compete on opposite teams, their relationship starts falling apart. Trent believes Gwen is falling for Duncan and uses his obsession with the number nine as a coping mechanism when under stress. After Trent starts purposefully throwing his team's challenges to make Gwen happy, Gwen breaks up with him and tells his team to vote him off. Depressed about the events at first, Trent eventually brushes it off with the help of many new female fans.|
Episode finale variations
The show's producers created two alternate endings for the final episode, such that the winner seen in one country's broadcasts is the runner-up in other countries (and vice versa) where the show airs. In Canada, Duncan was aired as the original winner. Duncan was also shown as the winner in Denmark, Latin America, Norway, the Philippines, and in the United States. Beth is the original runner-up, but she is also depicted as the winner in airings from Australia, Brazil, Bulgaria, Croatia, Finland, France, Hungary, Israel, Italy, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russia, Serbia, Singapore, Spain, South Africa, Sweden, and the United Kingdom.
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Like Total Drama Island, Total Drama Action was developed and produced by Fresh TV, targeting an age group of 10- to 16-year-olds. Many of the show's settings, as well as the show's opening sequence, are deliberately made to be as close as to their Total Drama Island counterparts as possible; Camp Wawanakwa, the setting of Total Drama Island, was also revisited on several occasions, most notably as the site of some of the season's challenges. All of the cast of Total Drama Island return in the same roles as that of Total Drama Island, though some had their roles reduced as their characters were not as prominent in this season. As with Total Drama Island, two endings were commissioned for the series, one with each of the final two competitors winning; after the airing of the penultimate episode and prior to the season finale, viewers were prompted to the show's website (either at Teletoon for viewers in Canada or Cartoon Network for American viewers) to vote for the desired ending. Unlike Total Drama Island, however, the alternate ending was available as a webcast on the show's website immediately following its airing.
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Total Drama Action has received mixed reviews from critics and fans. Most critics[who?] agree the season does not live up to the first season, Total Drama Island, and others[who?] say the season was more "childish" and "bad". However some critics[who?] and fans did enjoy Total Drama Action as much as the first season along with a majority of critics[who?] praising the character development of the characters who had small roles in the first season. Total Drama Action received a 7.6 on Metacritic by fans, which indicates "generally favorable reviews". Like the critics, many fans believed that this season did not live up to the previous season, Total Drama Island.
Australia is the only country in the world that has released Total Drama Action on DVD. They have released the first half of the season on a Region 4 DVD on November 2, 2011 which includes the Total Drama Island special, "Total Drama Drama Drama Drama Island". Australia then released the second half of Total Drama Action on July 4, 2012.