Total Drama Review Week 5: The Sucky Outdoors
By: Justin Cummings
Where did that bear suit come from? I’ve seen this season five, maybe six times, but for the life of me I still cannot answer that question. It’s quite possibly the greatest question of animation history, and if anyone ever solves it it’ll probably be Tumblr. This episode is probably best remembered for the bear suit, but also the big fight between Katie and Sadie. I know right off the bat those were the two things I remembered most; however so much happens in this episode that those two things just can’t do it justice. So I have this divided into three parts: relationship building, meta humor, and hilarious moments. Yes two of those three are about comedy but this episode is just so chock full of it.
So starting with relationships the obvious building here is the Katie and Sadie friendship. This show has a bad habit of not focusing too much on characters until the episode they leave, but at least here Sadie is built up as well even though she stays. Their friendship is rather stereotypical and cheesy, but darn it it makes me smile. It was a smart move to have the BFFs (sorry BFFFLs) and it’s a shame we didn’t get to see more of them. Meanwhile, while Katie and Sadie were lost in the woods we saw the inklings of two key Killer Bass couples forming. First off, and much less controversial, we have Geoff and Bridgette. Yes they’ve had their cute moments in the past, but here they really start getting a little flirty. It hasn’t quite hit fruition yet, but you can definitely sense it from their cuddling near the end of the episode in the woods. On the other hand there’s Duncan and Courtney. Duncan likes her, I mean anyone can see that at this point. Sure he picks on her but he definitely likes her. Is that problematic? Yes, as that sends a bad signal, but from a storytelling perspective of bad guy falls for good girl it works and is compelling. It gets old, especially at this point as there’s no real signal of Courtney liking him. Finally on the relationship building aspect there’s the perfect cuteness of Izzy and Owen. I’ll admit, this is quite possibly my OTP (one true pairing). Everything about them just screams adorable. They’re fun, zany, and always rambunctious; their interactions here all make sense and don’t feel out of character.
Also DJ got a pet Bunny…yay.
This show always does such a great job with metahumor, be it pop culture references or fourth-wall breaks. Since this episode parodies Survivor even more than usual, the Survivor nerd in me flipped out. Having the camera crew order a pizza was absolutely brilliant, and feels like the kind of thing that would actually happen. Honestly I probably found this moment funnier than most, but I couldn’t help but discuss it. The next fourth-wall break is the most common that the show uses, referencing being on TV. Duncan starts laughing wishing he caught everyone’s scared faces on camera, before realizing he did. At this point, especially since they just did it last episode, the joke is getting old, but it’s nice to know the show is at least having fun with it. Finally we get storytime with Owen. Nothing makes me happier than Owen’s tales if for no other reason than the art. Breaking entirely from this being aired as a reality show and switching to Owen’s imagination was an unique choice that ended up paying off, and being used again later on.
Lastly the hilarious moments in this episode. Where to even begin? The line that will always get me has to be Geoff’s, “Wow, you pitch a tent like a guy.” I still can’t decide if him saying it is funnier or him repeating it to himself in the confessional, but either way it was a great line. The entire scary story scene was well written, and the hook was a smart brick joke later on. Izzy really began to shine in this episode, with her long, rambling stories to Lindsey and the group winning many laughs. And of course her excitement for the fish which always reminds me of a puppy.
Although I barely remembered this episode at first, it proved to be a great one, continuing a trend of great episodes, and leading to many more to come.