Total Drama Action

TV review by
Emily Ashby, Common Sense Media
Total Drama Action TV Poster Image
Popular with kids
Island sequel keeps laughs coming with reality spoof.

Parents say

age 11+
Based on 23 reviews

Kids say

age 9+
Based on 78 reviews

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.

Positive Messages

The show plays on established character stereotypes for laughs -- but viewers who get the joke will see all of this behavior for the for its true satirical nature and its commentary on reality entertainment as a whole. There's also lots of potty humor, including farts and belches.

Positive Role Models & Representations

As part of the show's satire, the characters all fit into stereotypes like "the nerd," "the jock," "the cheerleader," and "the overweight guy," just to name a few. Greed usually overtakes their sense of decency, and they relish in sounding off about their peers. Again, though, it's all part of the joke and meant to be a commentary.


Danger lurks in many of the challenges the teens face during the competition -- as when they must outrun a gigantic animatronic monster. Sometimes the contestants rough each other up, but it's not serious, and there's no lasting injury.


Some innuendo, kissing, and mild groping.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that this sequel to popular animated reality spoof Total Drama Island is best enjoyed by tweens and teens who can appreciate its satirical view of real-life shows like Survivor. For this age group, there's nothing really worrisome beyond some potty humor (mostly belches and farts), kissing, and occasional innuendo. The heavily stereotyped characters invite obvious labels (the nerd, the drama queen, the outcast, etc.), but the extreme nature of their personalities is meant to spoof how actual reality shows are cast -- and ultimately only adds to the show's satirical nature.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Parent of a 9-year-old Written byS_Mom November 6, 2009
Do cartoon characters really need cleavage? No. The drawings look sleazy, and we do not need any sexual innuendos for our children
Parent of a 9 and 9-year-old Written byjusttryintobeag... June 26, 2009

TOO MEAN AND SEXY for tweens

I can't believe that it is suggested for 9 and up. The messages, role models and sexual content are totally inappropriate!!! Like Survivor, the kids are... Continue reading
Kid, 9 years old May 13, 2021
Teen, 13 years old Written byFoodDude March 28, 2021

Worse then the first season, but still good

Is the sequel ever better then the original? Unless you’re talking about Shrek or Toy Story, then no. This time Chris is back with 14 fan favorite campers from... Continue reading

What's the story?

TOTAL DRAMA ACTION is the follow up to the popular reality cartoon Total Drama Island. The new iteration reunites 14 of the original campers at an abandoned movie set for six weeks of competition, with the eventual winner claiming a $1 million prize. The contestants -- or "castmates," as they're called -- take part in movie genre-themed challenges doled out by host Chris McClean (voiced by Christian Potenza). At the conclusion of most episodes, the castmates vote to send one of their peers home.

Is it any good?

Its unique TV genre may be an oxymoron, but this animated reality spoof is so good at what it does that it might just make a dent in "real" reality shows' grip on the viewer market. If you're even moderately familiar with competition shows like Survivor and Fear Factor (and who can avoid them these days?), you'll get a kick out of this cartoon's satirical view of the stereotypical contestant pool, peppy host, and outrageous challenges the castmates must endure.

As for your kids, it's a safe bet that if they're too young to watch live-action reality shows, there's really no need for them to tune into a cartoon that spoofs them, since they won't understand most of the humor and may get the wrong idea about the intentionally one-dimensional characters. On the other hand, tweens and teens who can put the characters' obvious flaws and mildly bad behavior into context and will see this show for what it truly is: a comical commentary on the state of current entertainment.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about reality TV. Why are competition shows like American Idol, Survivor, and The Bachelor so popular?

  • Do you like watching these types of shows? How are they different from traditional game shows? Do you think the content is really “real”?

  • Do you think spoofs like this one could change how we view real reality shows?

TV details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love quirky characters

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