36 of 38 people found the following review helpful
Why This Show Works on DVD,
This review is from: Survivor - The Complete First Season (DVD)
Contrary to a popular belief, SURVIVOR is not the kind of show that only works in its first viewing. Yes, as a game show with an unpredictable outcome, the first viewing may be the most entertaining, but what one must consider here is that SURVIVOR remains popular, season after season, because it is the best-produced show on the air. If you have any interest in TV as a creative medium, think about what it takes to produce a show like this: the countless hours of editing to create story arcs amongst the contestants and keep the outcomes unpredictable, the artfully-woven travelogue elements that present the geography and harsh climate of a remote location, the vast creativity and ingenuity required to come up with dozens of well-designed games and challenges that will entertain viewers while truly testing the players. (It looks as if the DVDs themselves could have presented a few more extras, in which the depth of these processes are shared.) SURVIVOR changed the face of modern TV for a reason -- and, to this day, it maintains the professionalism and class that few, if any, other reality programs have achieved.
In fact, I'd argue that watching the series again *after* the first time is the only way to completely grasp what makes SURVIVOR work so well, as being less focused on who is ousted from the island each episode allows the viewer to actually notice the details. New viewers, one-time viewers, and longtime fans alike should all be able to appreciate this set, while purchasing it will most likely determine whether later seasons are released onto DVD as well... so have at it.
(Speaking of later seasons, all of them contain a series of reactions and strategies against the standards set by this season, when the slate was clean and no one really knew how to play. The powerful reactions of the often innocent players, not expecting the backstabbing and deceit that everyone expects from this game now, are completely unique in that respect to this season of SURVIVOR, and remain gripping -- even emotional -- four years later.)