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Reviews » DVD Video Reviews » Survivor: Best Of Season One
Survivor: Best Of Season One
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List Price: Unknown [Buy now and save at Amazon]
Review by Aaron Beierle | posted January 11, 2001 | E-mail the Author
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C O N T E N T
V I D E O
A U D I O
E X T R A S
R E P L A Y
A D V I C E
Highly Recommended
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P R I N T
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The Movie:

I'm one of the few people I know who never really saw "Survivor". I tuned in during some of the first episode, but that was about it. I read about it with some interest in the legion of magazine and newspaper articles that came out during the show's biggest periods of popularity, but during that time of the week, I always seemed to have other shows to watch or other things to do.

But, I was interested to see what all the fuss was about, so I eagerly sat down to watch this documentary taking the viewer (and the non-viewer) into just what happened during the first season of this "Real World" in the middle of nowhere. Somewhat like the new Tom Hanks movie "Cast Away", although here team members get to vote off the island those who don't have their things together during the games and contests that go on. The show made instant celebs out of some of the cast members who went farther, such as truck driver Susan, rafting guide Kelly and cute new actress Colleen(who I've heard is in an upcoming Rob Schneider movie).

"Best Of" is a pretty well-done series of clips, interviews and more tied together in a way that I would think entertain those who were fans of the series and maybe interest those who didn't catch the first season and maybe interest them in the second season, which starts soon and takes place in the Outback. And, at least this isn't censored like those silly "Real World" DVDs that have been put out - there is a few various four letter words thrown out here and there during the documentary. We also see audition tapes and interviews with the cast members - as well as their last words after being voted off.


The DVD

VIDEO: Paramount presents "Surivior" in it's original full-frame format, and it looks consistently excellent. Sharpness and detail are both very good, and the picture usually looks crisp and well-defined. Some of the dark scenes look a little bit murky at times, but not to the point that it became a major complaint.

I didn't see any hints of definite flaws throughout the documentary; pixelation and shimmering isn't apparent, and I didn't see any other instances of artifacts. Colors are stunning at times, with the deep greens of the trees coming through looking very vibrant and rich. Other colors are similarly successful, looking great.

Overall, aside from a few little bits of softness here and there, this is a pretty impressive looking picture, especially in comparison to some of the other television offerings I've reviewed.

SOUND: I was suprised to see (or more exactly, hear) that this documentary was presented in Dolby Digital 5.1. It really doesn't make a grand deal of difference, but it certainly helps in making the viewer feel as if they're "there" as there are some ambient sounds of the jungle coming from the surrounds. Music is also very clear and crisp, mainly coming from the front, but occasionally offered by the surrounds. The show's dialogue in the scenes shown is easily understood and only occasionally a bit edgy on some of the audition tapes, but clear otherwise.

MENUS:: The main menu is very nicely animated, with music in the background. Some sub-menus also offer nice touches.

EXTRAS:

Survivior: Inside The Phenomenon: This is an additional 20 minute documentary that takes the viewer behind-the-scenes to how the idea first came about and how the format of the television show was decided upon. Interviews with the producer Mark Burnett and host Jeff Probst are very interesting to listen to, talking about the experiences that they had during pre-production and what obstacles host Probst and the crew (who had to organize in a way that they could be able to film people who may be going in different directions). The documentary is definitely worth a look as it's not "promotional" and fans will find it an enjoyable look behind-the-scenes at how the show worked.

Cast Profiles: A really nicely done section, this lists all of the Survivor members and gives the viewer their profile, "favorites", "voting history" and a video of their "final words" on the show.

The Island: A map of the island with text notes about the various locations that were important on the show.

Episode Summaries: Like the profiles, this is also a very nicely done text area where viewers can read about what happened on each episode and how the members voted.

Final Thoughts: Although it's too bad that the entire season couldn't have been released at once, it's understandable that this series is most likely still too new to offer in that way. "Best Of" is pretty entertaining, showing some of the most interesting moments from the series with very good audio/video quality and fine extras. And praise to Paramount for offering this at the nice price of $19.99(less in most stores). Recommended.

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