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Total Drama Action
A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.
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.
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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 ...
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?