A story by ya boi Matt.
After its cancellation post-Pahkitew, Total Drama went on hiatus for three years. A depressed and unemployed Chris, however, was approached by an executive from FOX, who thought the show could be revived in America. Chris, desperate for an oppurtunity to reclaim his fame, agreed, despite the format changes.
The Troublesome Trees
Abby Jones, a 21-year-old student from Hartsville, South Carolina.
Arthur Ambose, a 38-year-old financial consultant from Manhattan, New York.
Carlos Riviera, a 22-year-old amateur skateboarder from Long Beach, California.
Katherine Silver, a 42-year-old nurse from Caldwell, Idaho.
Tamika Johnson, a 32-year-old department store buyer from Flemington, New Jersey.
Lester Berkman, a 56-year-old musician from Santa Monica, California.
Scott Markowski, a 41-year-old supermarket owner from Millsboro, Delaware.
Susan Yang, a 39-year-old chief executive officer from Chicago, Illinois.
The Boisterous Bushes
Misty Alexis, a 25-year-old aspiring actress from Los Angeles, California.
Alyssa Bushwell, a 29-year-old heart surgeon from Columbus, Ohio.
George Cosgrove, a 45-year-old army veteran from Laurel, Mississippi.
Rafael Giattino, a 24-year-old personal trainer from Manhasset, New York.
Gerard Lastname, a 19-year-old student from Princeton, New Jersey.
Margaret Mayne, a 37-year-old police officer from Logan, Utah.
Obasi Owusu, a 27-year-old automechanic from Stone Mountain, Georgia.
Mabel Zangrove, a 63-year-old retired teacher from Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania.
Chapter One: The Beginning
Chris McLean stood there, in front of the crowd of 16 people he was putting all of his faith in. The people that his career, and his image, was riding on. He put up a his usual award-winning smile, and began to talk. “Welcome, all of you, to Total Drama Revival!”
Some of them cheered. Some simply nodded. They were all aware of the situation, as well. This show might not even make it to air. The executives at Fox would receive a finished, edited copy of the whole season, then decide whether it was worth airing. It was all funded by a few private donors who had faith in the show, and desperately wanted it revived.
“Now, first order of business!” Chris began, holding in each hand a different tribe flag. “We sort you NERDS into teams!” He stuck one of the flags, the orange one with the very angry looking tree on it, into the ground next to him. “If I call your name, you’re on the Troublesome Trees! Carlos, step right up!”
Carlos was a young, Hispanic guy with a couple of dumb tattoos and a very goofy smile. He wore a tank top and cargo shorts as he meandered up to his spot. “Sup, um… host guy?” He put his hand out to dap Chris.
Chris ignored the hand. He wasn’t used to someone not knowing who he was. It had only been five years since Pahkitew ended. Had his star faded that much?
Carlos stood there dumbly for a few seconds before he realized that Chris wasn’t about to dap anybody. “Alright, cool, cool.” Carlos stood next to his flag, shooting Chris a sideways look.
Chris had final say on all of the casting decisions; unlike on the original show. Carlos was the typical skater bro/surfer dude archetype, one that was pretty much necessary for these kinds of shows, but Chris had selected him out of the dozens they put in front of him because during the live interview, Chris and the other interviewers (Chef Hatchet, who had loyally gotten back in on the project with his good buddy, and Janice, the woman whom Fox had sent to oversee the show) realized that this was possibly the nicest human being on earth. He wasn’t too bright, or too great at talking, but he seemed to act with such genuine kindness the whole time. It was that kind of nice, caring person that was crushed by these kinds of games, and Chris knew that people getting crushed would make good television. Good television was exactly what Chris needed. So while Carlos was a very nice kid, one that most people couldn’t help but root for, Chris was rooting for him to be betrayed. Stabbed in the back brutally by someone who he thought was his friend. It’s moments like those that make shows worth watching, and Chris didn’t care if an innocent guy had to suffer if that could happen.
“Susan, head up there!”
A short Asian woman wearing a pantsuit walked up to Carlos. She offered her hand as a handshake. “Hello, Carlos.”
Carlos smiled, and shook her hand. “Oh, uh, hey! Good to uh… be your tribemate, I guess!”
“I hope we can have a productive relationship out here,” Susan said with a small smirk and a wink.
Carlos missed the wink entirely. “Chyah, gotcha!”
Chris snickered upon seeing her say that to him. This is exactly what they expected from Susan. She was a corporate lady, and she was going to get at climbing her tribe ladder as soon as she arrived. He remembered her in-person interview, where she did the vast majority of the talking and made sure to compliment all three of the interviews. She seemingly had memorized a list of reasons that they should let her one, and laid out all of her strategic ideas she had going on. She believed that if her leadership was asserted early on, she would be able to get a majority alliance in her tribe, and ride them all the way to the merge and beyond. A boring yet practical strategy. When she walked out, Chef immediately expressed his dislike of her, but Chris and Janice outvoted him. They hoped she’d either play way too hard, way too fast, or become a strong female figure in the season at the head of an alliance. Either one would be fine.
“Lester, hop on up!”
Lester followed Susan’s example of not trying to say hello to Chris. He was an older fellow, balding, but with a gray ponytail, wearing a leather vest over a white t-shirt and worn-looking jeans. Susan immediately gave him a very judgey look. Those two wouldn’t get along, and Chris knew it. That’s why they were on the same tribe.
Lester walked past Susan, returning her look of judgement, and shook Carlos’ hand silently.
Lester was an aging rock star; rock star being a subjective term. He played in a band called The Plums, and from what Chris heard they were actually pretty okay. However, they never got very big, and they usually just played in the same bar, every night. Lester did not apply for the show. He was found, playing at that bar. He acted far younger than he was when he was on stage, and although his band wasn’t very popular, he lived a rock star lifestyle. He was very drunk when he agreed to come out for interviews, and by Chris’ suspicion, ended up sleeping with the girl who cast him that night. Chris didn’t expect him to do well, but this was a guy he expected to rub almost everyone the wrong way.
A young, attractive brunette in a tanktop and shorts happily ran up to her new tribe. She was a hugger, and hugged Carlos and Susan quickly, before slyly avoiding a hug from Lester, who had kinda smiled weird at her.
“I like her,” said Lester to Carlos, who smiled blankly, not realizing the creepiness of that statement.
Chris smiled, seeing this. Abby was one of his favorites from the class. She was cute, smart, and very nice. She was bound to be a fan favorite out of the cast. She was the young girl that all of the girls watching at home would root for. She was the person who Chris had picked out as the one he thought it would be best had she won, for his sake, and the sake of the Total Drama franchise. She was just so likable and marketable, she was sure to be a hit. He knew from her interview that she was perfect. Chris would never outright rig the game, but he’d be trying to make sure that no twists came up that would potentially hurt Abby.
“Arthur, go ahead.”
Arthur, a short guy in glasses and a sweater vest walked slowly to his tribe. “Hi, everyone,” he said rather meekly, putting his hand up as a half-hearted ‘hello’ gesture. Lester gave Arthur a bit of a look upon hearing his fairly effeminate voice. Chris smiled, hoping this was a sign of possible homophobia to come from ol’ Lester.
Arthur was cast as the gay guy of the season. They didn’t want to go with a flamboyant, young gay guy, but rather a more relatable, maybe-he-is-maybe-he-isn’t gay guy. One who was openly gay, but could be seen as more “respectable” by older audiences. Arthur was one of the bigger fans of the show they casted, and he jokingly told Chris about his crush he had on him during his interview. This put him on Chris’ good side, so Chris hoped Arthur would face adversity in his time on the show, but maybe overcome it.
“Tamika, head on up!”
Tamika, a rather large black woman in fashionable clothes, ran up to her mat and hugged her tribe, with the exception of Arthur, who shyly backed away from the group hug. “Oh, come on in, Arthur!” she said, grabbing him with one arm and forcing him into the blob of people.
Tamika was the stereotypical black woman on the cast, and Chris wasn’t afraid to admit it. That character always was popular, and rarely did well placement-wise on these kinds of shows. However, after her interview in which she sang R&B and said “Oh no she didn’t!” at least twice, Chef Hatchet turned to Chris and Janice and assured them that Tamika was putting on this act, and that this wasn’t who she was. Chris didn’t care though. If she could act like that the whole show, that’d be perfectly fine with him.
“Katherine, get in there!”
Katherine, a short, fit woman wearing mom jeans and a t-shirt that said Holy Cross University on it walked up to her tribe and joined the hug Tamika initiated. Arthur once again tried to slip out of the hug, but Tamika kept him in check.
Katherine was the mom of the cast, but she was also a fan of the show. She claimed in her interview that despite the fact that she was a mom, a nurse, and a Christian, she’d play cutthroat. Chris didn’t entirely believe her, but he hoped maybe she could have a breakdown early on and recover from it later. That seemed to happen a lot with women her age.
“And finally, Scott!”
Scott, a middle-aged guy with a dad mustache, an unmarked baseball cap, jeans and a collared shirt, ran up to his tribe and completed the group hug. “I can tell this is gonna be one big happy family!” he said before the hug ceased. He shook hands with Lester and Susan, and high-fived Carlos before the whole tribe turned back to Chris.
Scott was one of the more interesting people they’d casted. He was a family man, a pretty average guy who managed a supermarket, but what he had was unnatural charisma, and just an air of confidence that you wouldn’t expect from him. He seemed like the kind of person who just wanted to be liked, and was pretty good at getting that. But he also had his share of quirks, from his saying “fellas” after every sentence, to his unmarked cap that he wore everywhere, that he said his father had given to him before he left his mother to join a circus. That story alone earned Scott a spot on the cast.
“And now, for the second tribe, the Boisterous Bushes!” Chris placed a purple flag with a particularly douchey looking bush on it in the ground. He was pretty upset with the art department’s decision with the team names and logos. “The first member of that wonderfully named tribe is… Alyssa.”
Alyssa, a tall, awkward-looking brunette in shorts and a t-shirt, walked over to the red flag. Having taken notice of the results of attempts to say hello to Chris thus far, she just stood awkwardly alone at her flag.
Alyssa was another example of a “strong, smart female role model” that Chris was told he had to cast a couple of. She wasn’t extremely movie-star attractive, but Alyssa was probably among the funniest people in the cast. She had the three interviewers cracking up with her stories of failed first dates, and then at the end dropped the bomb that she was a heart surgeon, which secured her a place in the cast. She had scored the highest on the IQ test of any of the contestants, so Chris fully expected her to do quite well.
George, a tall, well-built, red-headed balding man in a camo shirt and jeans went to his tribe flag and shook Alyssa’s hand. Alyssa gave the camera a little hurt look while she shook his hand, because his handshake was probably way too firm. “Nice to meet you, ma’am,” said George, very professionally, as if greeting his proctologist.
George was the military man alpha male type. He was going to take control of his tribe, that was for sure, and he’d run a tight ship. Or at least he’d try. The question wasn’t whether he’d do it, it was how he’d be received by his tribe. He could go first, or become the hero-worshipped leader of his tribe. Chris kinda hoped he went first. He found him quite boring, and was reminded of his own father, a blue-collar guy who always disapproved of his son’s acting dreams. This fueled an almost irrational dislike of George from Chris.
“Mabel, get in there!”
Mabel was a tiny old lady in a nice blue polka-dot dress. She slowly walked up to her tribe and was given a hug by Alyssa, and a more-gentle handshake from George. She laughed and winked at George after shaking his hand, which threw him off a bit.
Mabel was the grandmother figure of the cast, but she wasn’t your typical grandmother. She was a teacher by day, but this was a lady who still went out on the town every night. She had been single her whole life, and she still went home with men even in her sixties. She was found in a bar, and in her interview, she spent the whole thing flirting with Chef Hatchet. It made Chef uncomfortable, but Chris and Janice loved it.
“Obasi, step right up!”
Obasi, a towering black guy with a shaved head in basketball shorts and a sweatshirt walked slowly up to his tribe. George reached out to shake his hand, and Obasi half-heartedly took the hand. Obasi even put in the effort to make a faltering smile. “Hey, George,” he said in the least enthusiastic was possible.
Obasi was a person that Chris was very worried about. In his interview, he had been the liveliest, funniest guy in the whole cast. He kept them laughing the whole time, and Chris really thought he had the potential to be a real star among the cast. However, about a week before filming, Chris received a very disturbing phone call. Obasi’s brother had died suddenly. Chris didn’t know the exact circumstances of the death, but he had to call Obasi himself the next day to ask if he still wanted to come out for the show. Obasi said yes. Chris just hoped that he would be able to be the same guy despite the loss of his brother, because he was one of his favorites.
“Misty, go ahead!”
Misty, an attractive blonde with very fake breasts and a very skimpy outfit ran up to her tribe excitedly. She hugged Obasi, singling out the attractive guy, and everyone else just looked on awkwardly. “She seems nice,” said Alyssa to Mabel, who laughed.
Misty was casted because she was attractive. She wasn’t very smart. She had very little else to offer. Rumor had it, she had performed some “favors” to get her spot in the cast. Chris’ expectations for this aspiring actress were very low. One thing that concerned Chris about her was how low she had scored on her psychological exam, though they ended up ignoring that because, again, very attractive.
“Rafael, you’re up!”
Rafael, a douchey-looking Italian guy in sunglasses, a pinney, and lacrosse shorts ran up to his tribe screaming. He tried to hug Misty, but she was too busy talking to a very annoyed Obasi. He looked at Obasi angrily, seemingly recognizing him as a rival, then shook George’s hand while still looking at Obasi. Obasi saw the look he was being given, and smiled dickishly back, pretending to be enjoying Misty’s forced hug.
Rafael was such a douche, and Chris loved it. He had so much confidence in himself in every aspect of his life, he was so mean to those he saw as weaker than him, but he still assumed everyone liked him. He reminded Chris of a young him, and Chris knew the internet fans wouldn’t like him at all. But every good show needs a villain, and Chris thought that Rafael would be just brash enough to really spark some conflict.
Margaret, a rather strong-looking woman with brown hair and a very red face, walked up to her tribe. She nodded at Rafael and shook George’s hand. “You seem like my kind of guy,” she said to George quietly. “We should talk later.”
Margaret was the tough older lady of the group. Chris had assumed she was a lesbian based on her demeanor and attitude, but during her interview Margaret talked a lot about her husband and kids, so made Chris feel bad about his assumption and had him question whether he was a bigot for a couple of days to himself. She was actually just a substitute in the cast, who was replacing a lady whose job was fire dancer who had tragically died in a fire, so Margaret had only known she’d be on the season for three days beforehand. She was one of the bigger wildcards of the group, and Chris was interested, but not too interested, to see what she’d do.
“And last, but not least, but maybe least, we can’t make assumptions like that, Gerard!”
Gerard, a very young guy with brown hair, wearing a Total Drama t-shirt and shorts ran up excitedly to his tribe. He hugged Mabel and avoided shaking Rafael’s hand. Rafael didn’t register him as a threat, however, as he was still fixated on Obasi.
Gerard was the biggest Total Drama fan of the bunch, and was also the youngest. There were hundreds of applications of young fans nearly identical to Gerard, but what separated him was his good “sob story”, as Chris put it. Gerard had a heart condition and very well could have died at a young age, but here he was, still alive. Hopefully Gerard had some tearful confessionals about this, or else they’d have casted him over the more attractive young superfan options for nothing.
“Okay!” Chris said, the two tribes formed on either side of him. The sixteen people that would decide his fate as a television host, a businessman, and a celebrity looked at him, awaiting instructions. He handed a map to George and a map to Susan. “Here are the maps to your new homes! I suggest you get going. Lotsa dangerous wild animals in these parts.”
The two tribes set off in different directions, and the season had begun.