Total Drama Action TV Poster Image

Total Drama Action

Island sequel keeps laughs coming with reality spoof.
Popular with kids

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.

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

Premiere date:January 11, 2009
Cast:Christian Potenza, Megan Fahlenbock, Stephanie Mills
Network:Cartoon Network
Genre:Kids' Animation
TV rating:TV-PG

This review of Total Drama Action was written by

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are conducted by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

About these links

Common Sense Media, a nonprofit organization, earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes when you use our links to make a purchase. Thank you for your support.

Read more

Great handpicked alternatives

What parents and kids say

See all user reviews

Share your thoughts with other parents and kids Write a user review

A safe community is important to us. Please observe our guidelines

Parent of a 12 year old Written bySuzySidekick June 12, 2009

not for 9

Just the previews alone show this is not a kids show so parents watch this first befor letting your kids see it
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
Adult Written byasacapra97 September 5, 2015

Admiral Lindsay, Her Hotness, says ...

This season is the follow-up to the first season, Total Drama Island. Here, fourteen Canadian teens (plus Courtney who debuts later on in the season) are sent to a dilapidated film-lot to compete for $1 million in a send-up of Survivor. Each week, they compete for invincibility in challenges based on movie genres (sci-fi, superhero, heist, fairy tale, etc.). Those who survive are gifted with a Golden Chris Award at the elimination ceremony, while the competitor unlucky enough to be voted off takes a walk down the red carpet and gets driven away in the lame-ousine. As before, the action is shared between the challenges, the competitors' downtime and their confessionals (this time in the make-up trailer). Interspersed with the actual competition are episodes of Total Drama Aftermath, where the hosts, Geoff and Bridgette, comment on the latest action and the losers share their stories.