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. 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, Owen, and Duncan. Some contestants left the show but came back for the next season and other spin off shows such as Cody, Eva, Ezekiel, Katie, Noah, Sadie, and Tyler.
Once again, there are two teams again in this season and with similar names as the teams from past season. The two teams are the Screaming Gaffers and Killer Grips. Here are the members of each team in the order the team captains selected them:
- Screaming Gaffers: Gwen (Captain), Duncan, Leshawna, DJ, Heather, and Harold.
- Killer Grips: Trent (Captain), Lindsay, Justin, Beth, Owen, Izzy, and (later on) Courtney.
Note that both of the team captains were the lowest ranking members for their team (Izzy does not count as she returned later on).
For every season, the show's producers create 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, but Duncan is 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, 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.