Total Drama Revenge of the Island

Common Sense Media says

Witty reality satire continues with some stereotyping.

Age(i)

2
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Quality(i)

 

What parents need to know

Positive messages

The show draws on personality and racial stereotypes for much of its humor, casting an image-obsessed Hispanic girl, an athletic and egocentric African-American guy, and a ditzy blonde who craves the spotlight, among others. But age-appropriate viewers will see this content for the satire it intends. General crudity and bathroom humor -- like a guy wetting his pants -- is also fair game.

Positive role models

All of the characters can be labeled ("jock," "geek," "queen bee," etc.), but this overt stereotyping is integral to the satire's humor. Each participant is driven to win the contest at all costs, though some are more extreme in their greed -- and what it compels them to do -- than others.

Violence

Life on the island is fraught with danger for the contestants, from facing off with laser-shooting mutant creatures to scaling heights to complete a challenge. Explosions, long falls, and traps of all kinds result in injuries like joint dislocations. Occasionally the contestants rough it up, but there's no lasting harm.

Sex

Some flirting and a developing romance between two characters. Most of the girls wear tight tops and pants, and a couple show some cleavage. Innuendo includes euphemisms for male genitalia like "kiwis," and there are references to "hooking up."

Language

No cursing, but frequent use of language like "butt," "stupid," and "crap," plus some name-calling like "loser."

Consumerism
Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that, like its predecessors, Total Drama Revenge of the Island is a cartoon that's not intended for young kids, thanks to the unabashed stereotyping of cast members and some negative examples of teamwork and competition. Because the cartoon parodies reality competitions like Survivor, viewers who aren't familiar with the format or typical contestant pools of these shows won't find this one as funny as those who are. Expect some crudity and potty humor (belching, wetting pants, etc.), mild sexuality (girls wear revealing tops and references to "hooking up"), and marginal language ("loser," "butt," "crap"), as well as plenty of death-defying stunts, explosions, and injuries over the course of the challenges.

Parents say

Kids say

What's the story?

The fourth installment in the Total Drama franchise, TOTAL DRAMA REVENGE OF THE ISLAND welcomes a new cast of 13 players to Camp Wawanakwa for a crack at the million-dollar prize. But to win, they must survive the hair-raising challenges designed by the egotistical and slightly maniacal host, Chris McLean (voiced by Christian Potenza). As if the unpredictably volcanic Mount Looming Tragedy and unseen booby traps around the island aren't enough to scare the contestants off, they must also contend with mutant creatures and toxic waste, since the place was left as a dump site when the show's first cast left it years ago. This year's contestants include naïve bubble boy Cameron (Kevin Duhaney), fake 'n' baker Anne Maria (Athena Karkanis), military cadet Brick (Jon Cor), paparazzi target Dakota (Carleigh Beverley), and the multiple personalities of well-intentioned Mike (Cory Doran).

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

Total Drama Revenge of the Island takes good-natured jabs at reality competitions in general and the long-running father of them all, Survivor, in particular. Viewers familiar with Survivor's format will get the most out of this very funny parody, from the cheery host who revels in the contestants' discomfort to the motley crew of fame-seeking cooks willing to do just about anything for the almighty dollar. From the on-again, off-again alliances among the contestants to the tense elimination rounds (marked by the delivery of a toxic marshmallow and a catapult expulsion from the island, of course), you'll find plenty of laughs on this island getaway.

That said, the fact that this show is a cartoon makes it easy to overlook content that's not appropriate for young kids. The one-dimensional characters perpetuate all kinds of racial and personality stereotypes, including a self-absorbed African-American guy and a big-hipped Hispanic girl who's consumed with vanity. There's some bathroom humor, sexual references (talk of "hooking up" and some euphemisms for genitalia), and marginal language to contend with, plus frequent manipulation, sabotage, and bad examples of team dynamics. A good rule of thumb? If your kids are too young for the actual reality shows, then they probably shouldn't be watching this parody, either.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about the role of reality TV in entertainment. How "real" are reality contests like Fear Factor and The Amazing Race? Do some of these shows have better messages than others? What positive qualities (if any) can be gleaned from this type of content?

  • Tweens: What role do stereotypes play in comedy? Is it possible to totally eliminate stereotypes from TV shows or movies? Are there any cases in which stereotypes can be portrayed in a positive way?

  • How does competition teach us life lessons? What value exists in falling short of our goal? How does it feel to win? Why are sportsmanship and fair play important in competition?

TV details

Cast:Christian Potenza
Network:Cartoon Network
Genre:Kids' Animation
Topics:Misfits and underdogs
TV rating:TV-PG
Available on:Streaming

This review of Total Drama Revenge of the Island 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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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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Teen, 13 years old Written byMattiscool June 7, 2012
AGE
11
QUALITY
 

Why 10+?

I'm sorry! I DO NOT think this is for (young) kids. I think it's violent! There's people blowing up and such.
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Too much violence
Adult Written byJEDI micah June 8, 2012
AGE
10
QUALITY
 

I LOVE AN ANIMATED REALITY SHOW!

I've always loved the first 3 seasons of this show! And I am so happy that it is back again with new cast members! Like the first 3 seasons, there's mild violence, innuendo, and some language. This show is best for kids ages 10 and up. I hope this show will continue on! Did you know this show is Canadian?! I would have never guessed if it wasn't for Wikipedia!
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Kid, 12 years old June 28, 2012
AGE
9
QUALITY
 

Good for tweens

In total drama revenge of the island, two characters flirt and start a relationship. this show also has mild violence with an occasional fart joke.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much sex

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