I'm not a fan or follower of fashion or fashion trends. If told my clothes don't match, I ask what doesn't match about a shirt and pants. When channel surfing, I will pass the Style Channel in 0.1 seconds. Yet, I actually found myself somewhat entertained by the first season - uh, sorry: first "cycle" - of "America's Top Model". The show's only issue for me was that it works in small doses. A few episodes at a time - fine. Trying to watch an entire season in one sitting - where's the Advil?
The show, hosted by model Tyra Banks, has 10 wannabe models competing for a talent contract. The casting has been done in regards to interesting looks, but it's also been done, it seems, for maximum reality show impact. For example, there's the group of models that are very religious, who instantly take a disliking to atheist Elyse. There's also Adrianne, who quotes from Kevin Smith's "Jay and Silent Bob" characters and generally walks around seeming a bit stoned.
The models go through a major task each week, which generally involves some sort of photo shoot. Afterwards, they are sent before a panel of judges, including the incredibly nasty Janice Dickenson, who looks like she's had so much work done that she's become a parody of herself. Overall, the show is interesting because it does give a glimpse into the modeling world and what is required of those who work in it - I had no idea there was a bad way to walk down a runway. The petty, catty arguements between the models provides some entertainment for a while, but also makes it difficult to take too much of the series at once. I haven't seen future seasons, but I'm hoping the show scales back the arguing and puts a little more focus on what happens in the modeling industry.
1. The Girl's first episode
2. The Girl is Here to Win, not make Friends
3. The Girl gets rushed to the emergency room
4. The Girl drives everyone crazy
5. The Girl everyone thinks is killing herself
6. The Girl deals with a pervert
7. The Girls who get really naked
8. The Girl Becomes America's Next Top Model
VIDEO: Shot on video with what I'm guessing is a fairly low-budget, "America's Top Model" looks fine here. Paramount presents the show in its original 1.33:1 full-frame aspect ratio, and there are some issues present. The picture offers fine enough sharpness and detail, although some scenes can occasionally appear softer than the rest.
Concerns arose with instances of minor edge enhancement and pixelation. Nothing serious, but definitely at least a little noticable. Colors remained bright and vivid, but could look somewhat smeary on occasion. Overall, decent transfers, considering the material.
SOUND: The 2.0 soundtrack is perfectly adequate, delivering music and dialogue clearly.
EXTRAS: Not much: "Casting Call" looks at the selection process, "Reliving the First Cycle" reviews the struggles and obstacles in getting the first season made and finally, "The Two Jays" looks at co-stars Jay Manuel and J. Alexander. I'm surprised there wasn't more about each model.
Final Thoughts: It's too catty to be withstood for long periods, but "America's Next Top Model" is a generally entertaining entry in the reality TV genre. The DVD provides fine audio/video quality and a couple of minimal supplements.