America’s Next Top Model: Cycle One

January 28, 2012 5 Min Read

Review by: Matt Brighton

Plot: What’s it about?

When I sent my request into Paramount for “America’s Next Top Model” I guess I really didn’t know what I was getting myself into. Ok, it’s a Reality TV series on DVD (something surprisingly absent from the TV on DVD avalanche as of late) and it had Tyra Banks on the cover. Ok – sign me up as I’m officially interested. As a fan of Reality TV, I’d actually never heard of this show but hey – Tyra Banks and 10 other “aspiring” models on my television screen? Are you kidding? I’m guessing that the point of the show wasn’t so much to find a new model, rather shatter the stereotypes that current models have. The show was created by and produced by Tyra Banks (who, along with her cohort of judges, eliminates the ladies week by week) who also plays a pretty prominent role in the show.

This is a competition show and each week the ladies were given new challenges upon which they were graded. Try not to laugh. Seriously, the models took part in plenty of photo shoots, commercials but were also taught how to arrive to meetings on time, took acting lessons and even taught to talk like a publicist. Evidently there’s more to being a model than having an ample bust line and a pretty face (though the aforementioned traits do help). The contestants varied from the outlandish Ebony, a native New Yorker who just happens to have a shaved head and be a lesbian – to my personal favorite Elise, an aspiring doctor and self-proclaimed geek who just happens to be very attractive. While it’s not quite as addictive as “Survivor” or “The Amazing Race”, it’s kind of hard not to get caught up in the excitement. Evidently the show was a hit because this is the first season (or “Cycle” as they say on the cover) and it’s currently on the fourth installment. At any rate, if you’re a fan of Reality TV this is one of the few offerings on DVD. Women will no doubt be jealous of the competitors and men will “like to watch”.

Video: How does it look?

As is the case with most television on DVD, the episodes are presented in their original full-frame format and they look pretty good. Naturally, the show is only a couple of years old and with only four episodes per disc there really isn’t much room for them to look bad (we’re talking space and compression issues of which there are none). I don’t think that I can recall any errors, dirt on the print or artifacting of any type. When it comes to new TV shows on DVD, they all look pretty good. And just because a title isn’t anamorphic doesn’t mean it can’t look good on DVD. Nice job.

Audio: How does it sound?

Audio-wise there’s not a lot to talk about. The main credits feature the most sound you’ll hear and most of the show is dialogue-driven. There are some spots when they play some jazzy music in between scenes, but for the most part it’s what you’d expect out of a Reality TV show. Dialogue is crisp and clean and the Dolby Surround track delivers here. No complaints.

Supplements: What are the extras?

There aren’t a lot of extras to speak of, but there are few on this three disc set. First up is “Casting Call” which shows the next wave of promising young ladies all vying for “America’s Next Top Model”. The initial “cycle” was a success and there are droves of future wannabee models sending in audition tapes from all over the country. “Reliving the First Session” is pretty self-explanatory, it’s just some highlights of the fights and high and low points from the season. “The Two Jays” is a short look at two of the men who played roles in the season – one a make-up artist and the other a “diva” of sorts who taught the ladies to walk down a runway the right way (yes, evidently there is a “right” and “wrong” way). Aside from these, there’s nothing much else in terms of extras.

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