The second half of the first season of The Tribe has
been released by Shout! Factory, and this collection
of shows offers more of the same. It's
safe to say that if you enjoyed the first half, you'll really be
this collection. Several of the
characters become more developed, the show continues to deal with some
adult themes for a tween drama, and there are some interesting twists
shape the lives of the Mall Rats. I
found several aspects of the show in the earlier release to silly to
of distraction (the constantly changing hair styles and make-up
fashions in a
post-apocalyptic world and some of the contrived plot lines), and that
definitely holds true for these episodes too.
Since most people reading this probably enjoyed the first
a fair degree, I tried to set aside my prejudices and view the show
point of view of someone who wasn't bothered by the more inane parts of
About a year after all of the adults have died off, a small
group of kids find themselves thrown together by circumstance. They form a tribe, naming themselves the Mall
Rats since they live in an old shopping mall, and soon discover that
a family. The group is run by Amber, a
pragmatic though caring young lady, and her foil for control is Lex, an
aggressive, lazy, narcissistic lad who is rather tough.
In Lex's corner is his right-hand man, the
dim-witted Ryan, and his fawning girlfriend Zandra.
The children living in the mall include Cloe and her friend
Patsy and they're looked after by Salene, an insecure tween, Dal, the
son of a
doctor who wants to become a healer, Jack, the 'scientist' of the group
convinced that there are still some surviving adults somewhere, Trudy
newborn baby, and the enigmatic Bray who acts as scout and takes
trips into the city savaging for food.
The tribe is rounded out by Casey, a younger thief who tried to
the group and was invited to join, and the mystical Tai-San, an
oriental who pretty
much walks out of the woods at the end of the previous collection and
her time talking about sending people "positive energy" and meditating.
In this second half of the first season, the post-apocalyptic
teen drama/ soap opera things start off on a high point.
It has been learned that the other tribes of the area are going
at the beech for a festival. In addition
to having fun, it will be a chance to trade and maybe the start of
alliances. The bigger tribes have
realized that they can't go on the way they are forever, and this is
step towards reestablishing civilization.
The Mall Rats debate whether to go, and finally decide to
show up since they have something potentially very valuable to trade: energy in the form of electricity. Jack has created a wind turbine that will
charge batteries. This would establish
the Mall Rats as a power, but only if Jack can get his idea to work. He's having trouble perfecting it, and once
Lex cuts out a piece to give to Zander as an engagement ring (without
knowledge of course) it gets even worse.
At the festival they discover the Dal, who had recently left
the tribe, being sold as a slave. It
turns out that slavery is how most things get done in this society, and
travelers are likely to get taken by slavers.
With Dal is Sasha, a wandering minstrel who ran afoul of some
Ahead - Warning
Things end up going badly at the gathering since Jack can't
get his turbine working and Lex runs into someone he betrayed in the
episode and gets the crap knocked out of him.
The whole event ends in chaos and the Mall Rats manage to rescue
Sasha while leaving the rest of the slaves to their fate.
Soon Amber and Sasha start to grow close. There
is definitely an attraction but Sasha
is a wanderer and can't stay in one place very long.
He take Amber away for a day alone on the
beach, and there he asks her to go off with him. She's
very, very tempted.
This half of the season played out a lot like the first, and
it started strong. The subplot involving
teens selling other teens into slavery was nicely done and felt genuine. (Though the fact that the slavers had no
other slaves for sale when the first encountered Dal was a bit hard to
but not totally implausible.) The
revelation that a lot of the slaves were used to charge batteries was
pedaling on stationary bikes made a lot of sense too.
The survivors weren't used to living without
gameboys (something members of the Mall Rats use their precious
power) and other electronic devices and using slaves is one way to
Of course, that raises other problems, and that's the
program's biggest flaw: if you think
about it at all it doesn't hold together.
If the technology to adapt a stationary bike or treadmill so
will charge a battery exists (and pretty easy to construct since the
are portrayed as being violent, non-thinking thugs who hunt stray
fun) why was it so hard for Jack to make a windmill do the same thing? Why hadn't someone else thought of
constructing a windmill? Bray made it
seem like Jack's idea was a technological leap, which it would have
been if no
one else understood the method of turning mechanical energy into
energy, but that problem didn't exist apparently. But
Some of the more melodramatic element of the show played a
bit better in this half than they did in the first.
Lex and Zander's relationship progresses nicely,
and the Amber-Sasha-Bray love triangle was interesting and held a
two. On the other hand the Bray-Lex
rivalry is more of the same. While the
fact that the two alpha males would clash wasn't surprising, I never
bought how Lex was trying to be subtle and just undermine Bray's
I thought Bray would have fought back a bit more strenuously.
Salene struggles with bulimia in this half and I was pleased
to see the show continue to tackle more adult themes.
Her tearful explanation of how she's gotten
into a vicious cycle of eating and purging was realistic, and though it
that they're going to resolve the plot with a simplistic solution, that
thankfully does not happen. The show gets
points for not talking down to the audience either.
There were some unexpected twists in this season too.
When Jack thinks he has seen an adult with
long, grey hair on a fuzzy video feed he's hooked up, Patsy goes off
for him and what she finds is surprising on a couple of levels. The revelation she eventually discovers puts
a new spin on some aspects of the show.
It was a nice shocker that piqued my interest in the show just
The second half of season one, 26 episodes, arrive on four
DVDs housed in a single-width quad case.
The Dolby digital stereo soundtrack is clean, letting the
absolutely horrid theme music (a soft rock love ballad that does not
mood or theme of the show at all) come though clearly.
Why they decided to go with that song, and
reuse that one song over and over, I have no idea.
There were one or two dropouts, where the
audio totally disappears for a split second in one episode, but I'd be
to bet that it was a problem on the master tapes and in any case a
second out of
10 hours worth of content I can live with.
The 1.78:1 widescreen image looks surprisingly good.
The colors are solid and the level of detail
is fine. There was some minor banding in
a couple of places, but nothing major.
Overall the show looked better than I was expecting.
The fourth disc includes a behind-the-scenes featurette that
runs 26 minutes. I actually enjoyed
watching this a lot more than I thought I would. It
has the show's creators talking briefly
about the genesis of the program and then spends most of the time with
actors. It was interesting to see these
kids being interviewed about their characters... many of them had much
accents than they do on the show. The
show also covers how the kids are treated, their schooling, etc. My only complaint is that it's very
clip-heavy. They show almost as much
footage from the show as they do of the actors' interviews.
Viewers who were sucked into the plight of this group of
kids thrown together in a post-apocalyptic world with no adults by the
collection of episodes will doubtlessly enjoy this second half of the
season. The personal relationships are
just as interesting, the supply of Max Factor hasn't run out yet, and
some nice twists to the story that are sure to surprise.
For those people, and those people only, who
liked the first set, this collection comes with a solid recommendation.