Total Drama Review Week 9: If You Can’t Take the Heat

By: Justin Cummings


I’ll be honest, I don’t like this episode. To me not enough happens and the pacing just feels off. Part of it is the episode itself, but another part is how it doesn’t contribute much in the grand scheme of the show. The best way I can think to discuss this episode is break it down into pros and cons. I’ll start with the pros, and then dive into the cons. Without any further adieu let’s get started.

The pranks on Harold were rather funny I thought, and unlike other pranks we end up seeing, there was at least a point. The Bass guys were tired of seeing Harold’s underwear everywhere, so they took matters into their own hands. The pranks were increasingly elaborate, and at the end of the day it all worked out. It may have gone a bit far, but again, there was a point.

The next pro would be the couple of Duncan and Courtney moments we get. When people think of these two it’s moments like these that they remember, the cute playful mischief. We’re slowly but surely getting closer to seeing these two finally just admit they like each other, and it’s a real joy to watch. Our other Bass couple seems to stumble here, as frankly, Geoff is an idiot. If it weren’t for DJ I’m not sure Bridgette and Geoff would even stand a chance.

On the Gopher side of things the only relationship we really have left is Gwen and Trent, and since Trent was basically unconscious the entire episode we don’t exactly get much growth there. So the majority of the focus turns to Heather and her alliance. I love when Lindsey gets agency, like when she disobeyed Heather to be with Tyler. Here however, she isn’t doing it for a guy, she’s doing it for herself. It’s a great moment, and Heather’s admonishment of her at the end comes back to bite her in the butt eventually.

Switching gears to the cons, Lindsey doesn’t stick with Leshawna. After this great moment of independence she immediately tucks back under Heather’s wing, and for some reason Beth did as well. Last episode ended with Beth asserting herself, but at the start she’s back with Heather like nothing happened. That whole situation with both girls sticking by Heather has always bothered me, since the episode first aired.

I get that every character is originally designed as a one-dimensional stereotype, but it just feels overdone in this episode. Heather’s bossiness and calling head chef goes completely unchallenged, Owen eats an entire thing of ribs, and Geoff is even more oblivious than he used to be. It just feels like every character was exaggerated just to create conflict that wouldn’t have happened otherwise.

Perhaps I’m being too hard on this episode, trust me it’s certainly not the worst ever, but still after so many good ones it just feels like such a let down. For now though, for the first time ever, the Gophers have less members than the Bass. With that turn of events I’ll see you next week when I review “Who Can You Trust?”.

I'm currently studying Communication at Lynchburg College with an emphasis in Electronic Media and a double minor in business and gender studies. I've been a huge fan of animation since I was little and thus have very eclectic tastes. Outside of animation I love Survivor, comic books, and a whole treasure trove of other things.


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