Total Drama Action

Common Sense Media says

Island sequel keeps laughs coming with reality spoof.





What parents need to know

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

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.

Not applicable
Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable

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.

Parents say

Kids say

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.

Families can talk 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

This review of Total Drama Action was written by

About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

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Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging, great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging, good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging, good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging, okay learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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What parents and kids say

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Kid, 8 years old September 18, 2010
The bad words are rarely used so its appropriate for 7 in this season.
Kid, 12 years old October 19, 2009

Hate it

Hate it! period.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Too much consumerism
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Kid, 12 years old October 4, 2009

Total Drama Action ROCKS!!! =D

I am IN LOVE with TDA!! :D In my opinion, TDA is waaaay better than tdi cuz I'm an actress, and its actor-themed with diffrent themes like Dinosaur, and stuff like that!! :) I am 12, and I am OBSESSED with tda and tdi!! :) It's my fave show, next to iCarly! :) Gwen + Trent= Love Duncan+Courtney Forever!! Geoff+Bridgette Forever!! :) my fave couples!! :)
What other families should know
Too much sex
Too much swearing


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