Challenge: Total Madness

Total Madness: Was the Bunker Necessary?

Now that the season is over, we’re left to discuss the best Challengers and the top moments from Total Madness. The backdrop of this season may become diminished over time, but production chose to throw the cast in a cold bunker with no sunlight and poor plumbing.

Unlike The Island, where the setting was the challenge, the bunker was just a mechanism of driving the cast crazy. They still got to go to clubs and they seemed to have some outdoor time (we saw Rogan talking with Jenny about Dee’s plan to sabotage her while sitting around a box fire outside). As a whole, this setting was fairly unimportant to the storyline of the season.

Production has been quite fickle with their formatting and themes recently. Just like War of the Worlds 2 was supposed to be called “Bloody Hell,”  Total Madness was supposed to be “War of the Worlds 3” or “War of the Worlds: Apocalypse” or “Battle for Independence.” Production couldn’t settle on a format until after filming was over, but the whole vibe of the show was supposed to be apocalyptic.

It actually would have been pretty cool, and it’s visible throughout the challenges on the season, but it doesn’t tie into the Total Madness theme. As a theme, Total Madness means nothing. There’s no “kill or be killed” rhetoric associated with the Red Skull twist, which would be suitable in a Battle for Independence. There’s no need for a bunker, which fits into a war theme. It’s just two words put together.

So no, the bunker was not necessary. It ended up making the cast upset and did very little for the show. On older seasons (as recently as Vendettas) the location played a role in the theme of the season. For Total Madness, the Czech Republic does nothing. We barely even get to see anything in the country. Gone are the days when The Challenge showcased a foreign location. Instead, they’re focusing on a synthetic indoor turf and Jordan’s massive salami.

If production wants to keep the cast cooped up in the house all day, why travel abroad? The bunker really wasn’t fun, and it gave an ugly backdrop for an otherwise cool season.

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