Series One Part One
It has been six months since a mysterious plague killed off the entire adult population of the Earth. Society crumbles as the children form surrogate families in the form of gangs, which they call ‘tribes,’ perhaps in recognition of the primitive nature of their new world.
Difficult times have, throughout history, been fertile ground for revolution. These are the times that breed Hitler and Stalin; or Gandhi and Mandela. They appeal to the scared masses because they have a plan. Whether that plan will work is neither here nor there; what matters is that these would-be leaders have certainty, because what people fear the most is insecurity.
Zoot understands this, and thus starts his tribe, the Locos, with a simple mantra, ‘power and chaos.’ It recognizes the inherent insecurity of the new world, and that the only sure path to security in such a society is through power, because it doesn’t matter what anyone else wants, if you’re the strongest one in the room.
Amber and Dal, who will go on to establish the Mall Rats, want to reestablish the world that was lost. Objectively, we can say that the old world is better; and yet, it’s clear that Amber, especially, is just clinging to the past. She is still a frightened child longing for her parents. Dal has a more modest goal. He wants to escape to the countryside and start farming. His plan accepts the futility of trying to save the city, both because of its power-mad citizens, and also because a true society can not be imposed, it has to grow from a seed. To reestablish the now-lost world, they will have to start at the beginning.
Tai-San, like Zoot, seeks to establish a new world order, but unlike Zoot, not through overt power. She is the religious leader, offering spiritual advice, and the easy, self-satisfying answers that come with it. In some ways, she’s the most dangerous person in the series. Aside from offering terrible advice, like advising Zandra to marry the man who attacked her, she’s also highly manipulative. She identifies the strongest man in the tribe, then sleeps with him, and uses the potential for future encounters as a means to control him.
Lex is, at least on paper, the leader of the Mall Rats. He wears a see-through shirt with tape over the nipples for some reason. Ironically, he, despite being the leader, does not have a vision of the future. He represents the majority of people; he simply wants to survive. Maybe that’s what makes him the right man to lead them.
The Tribe is basically a soap-opera for children; as such it has some of the weaknesses inherent in the genre. It can be slow at times, and there’s a lot of meandering back and forth in the relationships, but these don’t detract much from the overall storyline. The world the series takes place in is well defined and intriguing. It’s not horribly dark, certain things are implied rather than shown, but there’s an overwhelming sense of hopelessness about the world; it’s actually kind of depressing at times.
This is the first 26 of 260 episodes. They set the stage and give us a fair share of drama and revelations, though not a whole lot happens. It’s an addictive show with a great cast of characters. Having seen the first two seasons when they aired in Canada, I also know that the series continues to get better and better as it goes on.
The 26 episodes are spread across 4 DVDs. Video is presented in anamorphic widescreen and looks fine. There are no extras.