The Tribe: Series One – Part One (2012) – By Jon Reino

The Tribe is a series hailing from New Zealand that has achieved a cult international fan base. It originally aired in April of 1999 and continued for 5 seasons. The show is focused around several groups of kids who have all formed "tribes" after a mysterious virus kills off the adult population. The series is mainly a teen drama focusing on the interactions of the kids and how they fend for themselves.

The show is one of those "you either love it or you hate it" sort of things. Many teens at the time felt connected to the characters, and many feel that the show is cheesy and can not get past the soap-opera look and feel of the series.

As for the Region 1 DVD release of season one from Shout! Factory, the outside packaging is fantastic. It is cool and modern, and evokes the "28 Days Later" feel you might expect from a post-apocalyptic thriller. Dark and dramatic, the packaging is exciting and for me, having never seen the series before, it was very enticing. Once you pop the DVD in your player, however, it is a quick and slippery slope downhill. The menus are terrible and look like they were thrown together with no forethought. They are so horribly unprofessional that I was instantly deterred.

The show itself is, in my opinion, poorly made even for 1999. The soundtrack is repulsive, the visuals are bland, and the sound mixing is laughable. Even looking strictly at the story line it is disappointing, I felt almost no connection to the characters and what I expected to be a post-apocalyptic adventure turned out to be a melodramatic teen soap-opera in a different setting.

Of course, if you are a fan of the series already, you already know that you enjoy the show and should not listen to these negative views of the show itself. It is a Region 1 version of the reasonably successful cult favorite, therefor all North American fans should definitely go out and buy a copy. But if you are a newcomer expecting an exciting action or thriller show based on the premise, keep in mind this show is more about the kids themselves than the disease that killed off the adult population. Expect Degrassi in New Zealand if fourteen year olds were essentially the majority of the population and modern society was all but destroyed.

Visit tribeworld.com for all things The Tribe and go to Amazon.com to buy this DVD set as well as pre-order series one part two.