Total Drama All-Stars

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Total Drama All-Stars
All-Stars.jpeg

"No! No, no, no! You can not put that on TV!"

Damien, regarding the poor reception of this season.
Genre: Animated comedy
Running Time: 21 minutes
Country: Canada
Release Date: September 10 - December 3, 2013 (United States)
January 9 - March 27, 2014 (Canada)
Network(s): Teletoon (Canada)
Cartoon Network (United States)
Created by: Jennifer Pertsch
Tom McGillis
Distributed by: Cake Entertainment
Starring: Christian Potenza
Clé Bennett
Megan Fahlenbock
Kevin Duhaney
Barbara Mamabolo
Cory Doran
James Wallis
Alex House
Rachel Wilson
Emilie Claire-Barlow
Annick Obansawin
Drew Nelson
Stephanie Anne Mills
Laurie Elliot
Brian Froud
Tyrone Savage
Seasons: 1A
Episodes: 13
Previous show: Total Drama: Revenge of the Island
Next show: Total Drama: Pahkitew Island (chronological)
Total Drama Presents: The Ridonculous Race (spin-off)

Total Drama All-Stars is the first half of the fifth season of Total Drama, alongside Pahkitew Island. While the first 3 seasons were positively received and the 4th season received mixed to positive reception, the first half of the fifth season garnered an extremely negative reception from audiences and fans and caused the show to suffer a massive decline in quality, up until the 2023 reboot.

Why It Deserves the Flush of Shame & Is Definitely NOT an All-Star

  1. This season is arguably one of, if not, the biggest examples of wasted potential, which is the worst aspect of this season and a completely missed opportunity to have so many things take place and be the best season yet.
  2. The writing is lack-luster and sometimes inconsistent, and the writers clearly didn't watch the whole show. For example, Gwen openly states in World Tour that she kissed Courtney's boyfriend, Duncan. Now she claims he and Courtney weren’t together at the time.
  3. This season also suffers from executive meddling from Fresh TV, resulting in the season being rushed.
  4. The jokes in general are just filled with mindless toilet humor. Sure, Total Drama is no stranger to gross-out humor, but here, similar to Total DramaRama, they took it way too far. Some examples include:
    • Sam urinating into the ocean in one episode.
    • Scott's line: "AHH!! My butt is not a chew toy!" ("Moon Madness")
    • Alejandro's line: "Such beauty a toilet has never seen." ("No One Eggspects the Spanish Opposition")
  5. Some of the characters get placed on teams that are the complete opposite of their personalities:
    • Gwen gets placed on the Villainous Vultures because of her "actions" in World Tour, despite the fact that she's overall a nice person.
    • Courtney as a Heroic Hamster makes no sense because she's done terrible things on her own: She wanted to leave everyone for dead in "Dial M For Merger", she knocked Justin off a cliff in "The Princess Pride" and almost let Owen, Cody, Tyler and DJ fall to their deaths in "Total Drama Drama Drama Drama Island". While Duncan and Courtney do swap teams later on, this is only because Courtney uses Sam as a human shield.
      • And may we remind you of the so-called "Dark Age" episodes of Total Drama World Tour that started with I See London and ended with Picnic at Hanging Dork where she purposefully threw challenges for her team just to get rid of Gwen all because Gwen kissed Duncan (which is extremely hypocritical of Courtney especially since she's all about winning), while also simultaneously flirting with Lindsay's boyfriend, Tyler, just to get a rise out of Duncan!?
    • Cameron gets placed onto the Villainous Vultures for no reason other than him trying to quit the season.
  6. The eliminations are way too predictable, which is unacceptable for a series like Total Drama. And shows like the aforementioned series should have shocking eliminations that don't feel predictable.
  7. Cameron, Mike, and Zoey are severely overused to the point where they technically become the Creator's Pets of the season, or more accurately, spotlight hogs as they monopolized ALL the screentime that could've been used for the other contestants.
  8. Lazy writing: Instead of properly focusing on each of the characters, most of the season is focused on: The rivalry between Heather and Alejandro, Mike keeping his personalities in check so that he can be with Zoey and the infamous love triangle between Duncan, Gwen and Courtney. The worst part is that each of those storylines had already been resolved in their respective seasons and gives us nothing original here.
  9. As mentioned above, the show completely missed a golden opportunity by mixing first and second generation players. This could've made it a great season, but the selected cast of characters was disastrous. In fact, Brick was originally supposed to return, but they replaced him with Sam for unknown reasons. Anne Maria, Beth, Cody, Leshawna, and Owen were also supposed to return, but we ended up with characters who can barely be considered "All-Stars".
    • Also, shouldn't the point of mixing the casts of the first seasons be that the audience finally gets to see these characters that they've never seen together before interact in interesting ways, thus generating new friendships and rivalries? Because in here, the characters stick to those they already know.
    • The only characters that can be considered "All-Stars" are Gwen, Duncan, Heather, Lindsay, Alejandro, Lightning, Mike, Zoey, and Jo since they're fan favorites, but that can't be said for the rest. Sure, Courtney is a popular character, but she's also one of the most hated ones and her inclusion in this season only served to keep the romantic triangle storyline going, which again, only dragged the season down. Sierra and Sam literally have no reason to be here and become annoying quickly.
    • It doesn't make sense that characters like Trent, Leshawna, Bridgette, Geoff, Anne Maria, Dakota, and B, despite the latter two appearing in a few episodes as contestants, are completely forgotten about, despite being genuine fan-favorites. And even outside of the characters popularity element, including some of them this season would've made sense considering their performances in past seasons: Owen literally won in Island and always made the merge in the seasons he competed in, Harold came 5th place in Action, Tyler came 10th in World Tour, Cody came 3rd place in World Tour, Izzy and Brick are two of the most agile and strong ones, and while Noah and Dawn were eliminated early in Island and Revenge of the Island respectively, both of them proved to be very smart and clever.
    • It doesn't help the fact that out of the 14 contestants, only 5 (Gwen, Duncan, Courtney, Heather and Lindsay) are from the original cast.
      • They brought Lindsay back just to have her eliminated in the first episode.
  10. There are little-to-no references to the other past contestants as the rest of the first-generation cast are not mentioned or even referenced at all, except for Cody, who's mostly mentioned by Sierra, and Owen, who appeared in the finale.
    • Speaking of which, not only was the season finale very poor, but it's also considered to be the worst finale in the entire series: Chris goes beyond the line, the eliminated contestants Lindsay, Lightning, Jo, Sam, Sierra, Duncan, Courtney, and Scott most likely died, though they survived offscreen after they landed into the sea, because of him, Mike gets rid of his personalities on a rushed manner, and Camp Wawanakwa, the birthplace of the show, sinks into the ocean.
  11. Not as many interesting cameos as there were in Revenge of the Island, with most of them just serving for more crappy jokes, like Owen's cameos in the finale, and Izzy's cameo in Suckers Punched.
  12. Chef Hatchet starts to have less screen time starting from this season, which would unfortunately continue into the next season. Out of the 13 episodes in the season, he is silent in 7 of them (more than half!).
  13. Mal being Mike's malevolent persona and the main antagonist of the season was an interesting concept that was poorly executed to the point where many consider it to be the worst storyline, and worst villain in the series.
    • The show tries hardly to make him seem like this evil and super intimidating force but in reality, he's just pathetic. All he did was break people's things and just be a "creator's pet" (he, Mike and Zoey were the "creators' pets" of the season).
    • The biggest problem with him is that unlike the other villains in the series like Heather, Justin, Courtney, Alejandro and Scott who had strategies and good planning for winning, he's not a smart and clever villain, he's a cartoonish villain.
    • His plans also doesn't make sense, he tries to manipulate Cameron into only trusting him while at the same time also trying to get him kicked off.
    • The reason why Mal was unleashed was simply because of Scott hitting Mike over the head with a shovel by accident.
    • He's also defeated in the most stupid way possible: by a button inside Mike's mind which caused Mike's other personalities to be completely erased. The problem is that Mike's personalities were what made his character compelling and interesting, without them, he's just bland.
  14. Just like the Mal storyline, the season's poor handling of the "Duncan-Gwen-Courtney" romantic-triangle is also considered to be the worst part of the season:
    • Whether people love or hate the relationship between Gwen and Duncan, the season missed the opportunity to further develop the relationship between them two, especially when you consider that we barely got to fully see them as a couple in World Tour. Instead, they had them break up on a whim, which doesn't make sense if you think about it since Duncan broke up with Courtney as he was in love with Gwen. It wouldn't make sense on why he would suddenly obsess over the former, since Duncan and Courtney had numerous problems and the latter obviously didn't want anything to do with him anymore. The same thing can also apply to Gwen, who didn't have any interest in trying to make things right with Courtney in World Tour, but she now is suddenly obsessed with making things right in this season. Even worse, in the first episode of this season, Gwen tries to apologize and make things right with Courtney by claiming that she did "nothing wrong".
    • Speaking of Gwen, she got a terrible and sad story arc. It goes from her trying to reconcile with Courtney, to her dumping Duncan for no reason, and finally to her having a feud with Courtney yet again. She ends the season with neither Courtney nor Duncan, so what was the point?
    • Gwen and Courtney's friendship was also poorly done and was nothing like in World Tour.
  15. This season is also infamous for its mass character derailments and flanderization, and the characters who were already bad (like Sierra) or already flanderized (like Chris McLean since Revenge of the Island) were worsened in this season:
    • Chris is at his absolute worst in this season, as he goes from just messing with the contestants to directly insult them and flat-out trying to KILL them! The worst part? He directly taunts the contestants about their personal lives.
    • Duncan's character was ruined as he became a very bland character who had no personality outside of being "the bad boy" to the point where he literally destroyed Chris' mansion just to prove that he's a villain which ultimately got him arrested; he was also very unlikeable as he didn't cared for either Gwen nor Courtney. His story arc also gets overdone.
    • Courtney was a tolerable character this season and actually started to change for the better, until the terrible and infamous "Sundae Muddy Sundae" episode really destroyed her character and threw her entire development out of the window.
    • Shockingly, Gwen was honestly not the same character she used to be. In the previous seasons, she was a sarcastic goth loner that actually had a good side and respected everyone who treated her nicely; in this season, she acts more like a girly girl rather than a goth girl, which is supposed to be her main trait. She was also kind of insufferable as she became so obsessed with trying to prove that she's not a villain and making amends with Courtney; to the point where she openly confesses that that's the only reason she came back to the show, while also straight up crying in the process as seen in Food Fright, which makes absolutely no sense, since she didn’t have any interest in making things right with Courtney in World Tour.
      • In "You Regatta Be Kidding Me", she once even said that she dreamed about riding a fluffy unicorn on clouds made of marshmallows, which completely goes against her main trait of being a goth girl. In real life, goths do not show obsession with cute and fluffy things and rely on scary and eerie things like bats and rock and roll music, unless they have a change of heart.
        • In that exact episode, she also tells Courtney that she double conditions her hair, however, in Island's "Not Quite Famous", Gwen is shown fixing her hair by licking her own hand and wiping it on her hair to make it sit flat. This also proves even further that the writers didn’t watch the whole show extending on to WIDTFOS&IDNAAS#2.
      • Additionally, her being desperate to prove she's not a villain directly contradicts her assertion in Island that her bad attitude got her far.
      • While it was unfair of Chris McLean to eliminate Gwen for destroying his portrait in "The Bold and the Booty-ful", what also doesn’t help matters is that had the writers not forgotten about Gwen's artistic side from Island, she would have known better than to smear bear feces on the painting.
        • On top of that, in that exact episode, Gwen came across a bear finishing its business in the bushes and decides to use its dung to fix the portrait of Chris she accidentally smeared, which completely goes against her artistic side in Island.
    • Lindsay went from being a sweet bubbly girl with some knowledge and intelligence, to a stereotypical completely air-headed dumb blonde who now doesn't even know how to push things, like the baby carriage from the first episode "Heroes vs. Villains", thus resulting in her being the first one eliminated from the show.
    • Sierra went from being somewhat funny, albeit a bit annoying in World Tour to an overall creepy and completely annoying character this season as she becomes obsessed with Cameron like she did with Cody, to the point where she even starts thinking that Cameron is Cody.
    • Alejandro, who in World Tour was the most strategic and manipulative contestant, became a complete douchebag as he spends half of the season pretending that his legs are asleep and at no point are we given a proper reason of why he did this.
    • Mike's MPD was poorly written and it is not what the disorder really is, unlike in Revenge of the Island, such as the reviled "reset button".
    • Cameron and Zoey are completely oblivious to Mal's presence despite how obvious he was been until then.
      • In fact, a lot of the characters were dumbed down to make Mal look stronger.
  16. Speaking of the elimination order, it was terribly executed over the course of an entire season. The infamous "Love Triangle" makes the merge, as well as the characters of Alejandro, Mike, Cameron, Scott and Zoey, who had already made the merge in the seasons they were in. Lindsay being the first boot was a very bad decision, since her character could've greatly benefitted from development and characters like Sam and Sierra were much better options for being the first boot.
  17. Just like in the next season, the merge happened very early.
  18. Like Revenge of the Island, this season also ditched cool concepts and traditions such as the "Aftermath" episodes and bringing back the eliminated contestants for the final episode. This sadly continued on Pahkitew Island.
  19. Like Muscle Woman from Regular Show where Starla and Mordecai had a temporary relationship, Courtney and Scott becoming a couple was teased for most of the season, but then they break up in the same episode where they become a couple.
  20. Alejandro and Heather, even though the latter was likable, becoming a couple was poorly executed.
  21. Challenges lacking creativity as seen in the last season. For example, one of the challenges this season was simply a boat race in "You Regatta Be Kidding Me".
  22. Speaking of the challenges, in the first episode, it was mentioned that the challenges would be based on the challenges from the previous seasons, but that plot became pretty much non-existent after a couple of episodes.
  23. The season's elimination exit, the Flush of Shame, a giant toilet in which the eliminated contestants are flushed down the drain, is a very disgusting idea for the contestants to leave the show. Granted, the previous season Revenge of the Island featured the Hurl of Shame, another dangerous elimination device where contestants were launched into an unknown location, but that one still executed well.
  24. Many scenes show the contestants getting tortured in awful ways, some of which just serve for pointless filler and poor execution, especially in the exclusive clip of in "No One Eggspects the Spanish Opposition", where Heather gets her tongue stuck to a pole after ending up in the Yukon, just like how Bridgette suffered this fate in "Anything Yukon Do, I Can Do Better" in season three. Afterwards, she is attacked by a polar bear, and her scream when she gets attacked by said animal is annoying to hear. However, Heather survived in Alejandro's exclusive clip despite the plot hole.
  25. This season, given how many episodes this season had (13 opposed to 26 in earlier seasons) and number of contestants (14 opposed to 22), was very short. Why couldn't we have gotten, say, 18 contestants? That would've made room for fan-favorites like Owen, Noah, Cody, Harold, Leshawna, Izzy, Tyler, Brick, Anne Maria, Bridgette, Beth and Dawn.
  26. While it celebrated the 100th episode of Total Drama, it was with a very dark episode called "Zeek and Ye Shall Find" where feral Ezekiel captures Chris and dangles him above a toxic waste pool. His helpless screaming and the scary music later in the episode don't help, either (until Gwen saves him, that is).
    • Although one can argue that Chris deserved it for all the things he has done to Ezekiel, like turning him into a feral monster.
    • It's also not clear whether or not Ezekiel dies after the island sinks.
  27. The beloved intro with the iconic theme song was shortened to only 20 seconds for no apparent reason, which is absolutely unacceptable.
    • It doesn't help matters that this problem would later occur again in Pahkitew Island, and in the 2023 Reboot.
  28. As well as the finale having the events explained in WIDTFOS&IDNAAS#11, the episode itself also does not bring back 8 of the 12 eliminated contestants (Lindsay, Lightning, Jo, Sam, Sierra, Duncan, Courtney and Scott; they instead appear in silhouette inside balloons, even though it doesn't make sense why Chris brought Duncan back after the latter destroyed Chris' mansion and Duncan being in prison). As a result, many storylines including Gwen and Courtney's friendship and Courtney and Scott's relationship are left unresolved as none of the contestants from this season return in Pahkitew Island or The Ridonculous Race, meaning their send-offs were bad. This would unfortunately occur again in Pahkitew Island.

All-Star Qualities

  1. The second part of the season, Pahkitew Island, while still mediocre at best, was a massive improvement over this and was much more well-received.
  2. The animation, while being downgraded in quality from the previous seasons, is still passable.
  3. Tolerable and great voice acting, with everyone reprising their roles as their respective characters, except for Marco Grazzini, Alejandro's original voice actor, who was replaced by Alex House.
  4. Funny jokes here and there, such as:
    • After Gwen tells the Villainous Vultures to work together, the confessional shifts between Gwen's teammates as they form the sentence "I don't trust anyone on this (censored) team!"
    • Larry's eggs hatching and one of the offspring resembling Chris.
    • Chris and Chef laughing their heads off as Alejandro struggles to start his stalled boat.
    • Mal facepalming after Scott thinks that "driving a wedge" means literally driving a wedge of cheese.
    • "Courtney! I'm your girlfriend!"
    • "Alejandro Dead Donkey."
  5. To this season's credit, it did celebrate the 100th episode of Total Drama.
  6. Courtney and Gwen's friendship, despite being pointless thanks to "Sundae Muddy Sundae", was entertaining to watch as most of the fans do seem to like their friendship.
  7. Some good characters in this season:
    • Chef is still a pretty tolerable character, and is way better than Chris, but as mentioned in WIDTFOS&IDNAAS #14, he has much less screen time than he did in the previous seasons, so his character is wasted.
    • Scott was a great character this season and, by extension was arguably the only contestant who was not flanderized, pointless or wasted at any point. He was one of the few funny characters and pretty much carried the comedic purpose of the show.
    • While Heather shows a puppy love relationship with Alejandro, she was also likable in this show, and she never got flanderized in any matter.
  8. Alejandro and Heather had an interesting story arc in this season that was fun to watch.
  9. There's a somewhat effective running gag of Chris constantly getting pestered by lawyers reminding him that he's only out of jail under parole.
  10. The interactions between the first and second generations are interesting to watch, even though only three of them are prominent.
  11. Some good episodes such as "Suckers Punched" and "Evil Dread".
  12. Alejandro and Scott are no longer in their cruel conditions (the "Drama Machine" and "Trauma Chair", respectively), despite the latter having no explanation to it.
  13. The chemistry between Mike and Zoey is still relevant.

The entire half of this season

Reception

Total Drama All-Stars has received mixed-to-negative reviews from critics and overwhelmingly negative reviews from fans, largely due to the mass flanderization and derailment of character present on the show which affected both the new and old casts of characters, as well as the predictable eliminations, rather simplistic challenges and repetitive tropes such as Gwen attempting to befriend Courtney multiple times and Duncan trying to prove that he's still a "bad boy", which results in the episodes having wasted plotlines.[1] Series creator Tom McGillis would later apologize to fans for the season, and admitted he regrets some of the things he included and did.

Videos

Trivia

  • DeviantArt users JasperPie and Bloom-Tazza93 made a fan rewrite in order to fix the many issues of All-Stars.[2]
  • In many non-Canadian countries, All-Stars is a standalone fifth season, while Pahkitew Island is the sixth.

References

Comments

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