The Total Drama Behind My Guilty Pleasure

2:34 PM Joseph Aberl 0 Comments

I have a gigantic guilty pleasure that I for some reason never knew why I quite enjoy watching this series. Let me start by saying I absolutely despise reality TV and how it has shaped the television landscape, especially in Germany and Austria. There are networks that mainly live off of these type of programs looking at the most dysfunctional types of people that are obviously actors forced to act out a character just baffles me. Then you have those completely absurd show concepts that have competitions, see people participate to become some celebrities or nobodies partner for life, I mean for a few days, and so on. Yet while in the past I have sat down to watch them when nothing interesting was playing on television and long before the release of Netflix here in Austria. Yet, one thing I for some reason always enjoyed the Total Drama series and I can’t really explain why.

The series is pretty much an animated version of Reality TV with absurdly over-the-top characters that are supposed to be joke versions of the stereotypes one usually sees in these type of shows. The first season Total Drama Island was a complete parody of Survivor with having a variety of contestants forced to live on an island while surviving a variety of absolutely absurd tasks. I guess the whole reasoning I enjoy watching the series is the fact that it is supposed to be exactly that, just an over-the-top variation of the existing reality TV programs.

The strangest aspect is how it even expanded into a long-running franchise with the characters it introduces, the latest even skipping its original host for a new one, something that was even turned into a storyline in the last show’s season and adapting a race around the world theme with an even larger cast of characters, which even has extreme variations of Surfer Dudes, Goths or even Police Cadets with characters that were most certainly inspired by The Heat. At this point the series has gotten as absurd as reality TV itself has, but I am hoping there won’t ever be a Total Drama Date My Mom season.

What was the point of this article? I started watching the newest season and started to realize that while I knew the entire premise was almost as dumb as the original inspiration, I couldn’t stop watching. The various characters are nothing more than stereotypes, but quite fun spins on them that it is difficult not to enjoy it. No matter how often I say it is “absurd” or “bizarre”; I confess to enjoying this much more for what it is and even for small touches, like older cast members constantly returning over the course of the series and small subplots, how the Interns never have a fighting chance and that it really is just a bizarre guilty pleasure of mine.

Have you seen the show? Leave your thoughts on Total Drama below or just tell me what is your guilty pleasure?