The premiere season of THE AMAZING RACE sees 12 teams race around the globe to 'amazing' locations including Thailand, China, Tunisia, India, Italy, France, Alaska and Zambia for a $1,000,000 prize in the end.
This is a good set - there are several extras, including commentaries and extra scenes
Also, FYI - currently Amazon has virtually all of the Seasons of Amazing Race available through its prime streaming, for no additional cost, including this one
2 of 2 member(s) found this review helpful.
Best Reality Show on TV
Thayer | 08/11/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I am happy that the show finally found an audience that made the producers of the show decided to release the first season on DVD. I think of all the reality series, this one will hold its own best in "repeated viewings" and on syndication. Unlike other reality series, even if you already know who wins or who gets eliminated in a particular episode, it doesn't ruin the quality of the episode. But of course there's still nothing compared to seeing these episodes for the first time.
It is a revolutionary reality series that has a concept that was probably very hard to pull off on paper (can you imagine the reactions of the TV executives when they first heard about the concept of the show). But amazingly, they did pull it off! It is very evident that the producers treat each episode as "special episode" because can you just imagine the logistics and the number of people (across the globe) involve in producing this show?
There are some aspects of the show that were later on in the succeeding seasons were changed mostly for improvements. Example of this is that in the first season, Phil only received the teams who came in the last place (a person from that particular country receives those who came in before the last team). Part of the fun is watching the reactions of the racers anticipate whether they were eliminated or not. Because in the first season the racers already know if they came in last, we were not able to see those kinds of reactions.
Some of the most memorable teams were Team Guido (you won't believe the extent they were willing to do to get ahead), Lenny and Karyn (the original fighting couple, but their fight looked real and not some deliberate attempt to gain screen time. When Karyn said "Disappointing", you believe her!), Nancy and Emily (even though Emily acted like a brat, Nancy just radiates with motherly innocence in the race), and Kevin and Drew (the original funny guys)
When the winner finally cross the finish line at the finale, with all the eliminated teams cheering for them, you just can't help but feel like being a part of the race.
Extras for Season 1
An old school fan | 07/19/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The Amazing Race Season 1 will have the following extras:
-All Access Pass - Branch to 90 minutes of additional scenes not shown on television
-Audio commentaries on 4 episodes: -Commentary on The Race Begins and Triumph And Loss by Rob & Brennan and Team Guido -Commentary on Whatever It Takes To Win and Race To The Finish Part 2 by Karyn & Lenny and Drew & Kevin
-The Lost Roadblock - From the first episode, the teams must eat an ostrich egg! Never-aired footage, only on DVD!
-Reliving the Race - Front row seat: Kevin & Drew, Bill & Joe (Team Guido), Rob & Brennan and Lenny & Karyn share the thrill of being a part of The Amazing Race
-Creating and Coordinating - Around the world with the show's host, Phil Keoghan, executive producers Bertram van Munster & Jerry Bruckheimer and creators Elise Doganieri & Bertram van Munster as they as they discuss the remarkable journey of bringing The Amazing Race to life! "
It isn't even close...
Katherine | Colorado, USA | 07/25/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The Amazing Race is simply the best reality show out there and this first season is the reason why. Survivor is good, but comes off as boring next to the fast-paced excitement of TAR. There are good reasons why the Race has won two Emmys in a row...it's just no accident. While later seasons smooth out some of the production rough spots of the first race, this one still stands out as the best...great teams, likeable people and, of course, the inevitable "villians". Add to that the thrill of traveling to different areas of the world with all the incredible scenery and interesting locals and you have a show that just can't be beat. This is probably the most anticipated reality show DVD that's been produced so far and I can hardly wait."
No Spoilers in this Review (unlike the DVD covers)
Amazon's Best Customer | Western US | 04/05/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I've never ever watched Amazing Race because the commercials did not make me want to see it. I happened upon Amazing Race 9 a few weeks back and was so entertained I thought I might try viewing a DVD to find out the logistics of how they film this fast paced trek around the globe.
If you are an armchair traveler like me you will not be disappointed with the locations. The visuals are superb. The locations chosen (I won't spoil it for you, not knowing where the teams will be going is half the fun) are luscious and a feast for the eyes. The physical challenges at the exotic locations are thrilling. Written between the lines is a story of how inexperienced travelers can learn respect for people and cultures overseas.
The music and editing adds to the heart pounding suspense of who will make it to each elimination stop. Interpersonal dramas make you want to yell for some and yell at others. When one team avoids elimination against all odds, I surprised myself when I burst into tears. The producers described that they had the same reaction in the Making Of special.
The commentaries are quite fun. Don't listen to any of them before you know the final outcome. The winners still choke up after watching the show a dozen times. The final 20 minutes is as perfect as any scripted movie ending. After watching the making of documentaries (too short) I gained a new respect for the bold concept that had the production teams racing to beat the contestants to the stops.
On occasion the emotional card overshadows the location shots and that can get annoying. But if you can make it through to the last 4 episodes you'll be stomping and screaming at the screen.
A big warning: don't look at the covers of the DVDs and don't look at the menus on the screen too hard. They might give away too much information about the outcome.
A big thumbs up. I can't wait for Seasons 2 - 8."
The race begins
Joshua Spaulding | Ossipee, New Hampshire | 12/26/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I only began watching the Amazing Race a few years ago, in season six, I believe, so I never saw how the show got its start. This DVD gave me the chance to go back and look at where the Amazing Race began and how far the show has come in the last few years.
The premise behind the Amazing Race is simple. Race around the world and the first team to cross the finish line wins one million dollars. Of course, with prize money like that, it won't be easy navigating your way around the world, but if you succeed, you get the cash.
The race began (and ended) in New York City. Teams traveled through South Africa, China, India, Thailand, France and numerous other places before returning to the United States for the completion of the race. Along the way, eight teams of two were eliminated, leaving only three teams of two in the final leg.
When the 11 teams of two left the starting line, they had no idea where they were going, or what they were doing. They got clues that led them to exotic destinations, places many of them had never been. It was fun to watch these Americans try to get along in another country without speaking the language.
There were some great challenges in the first version of the Amazing Race. Contestants had to jump off a cliff in Africa, navigate a crowded market in India, hike a steep portion of the Great Wall of China, drive a team of dogs in Alaska, soar in a glider above Italy and more. As the years have gone on, the challenges have remained difficult, but I believe that some of the ones in the first season were among the toughest.
Along the way, teams were met with Road Blocks, which were tasks that usually only one member of the team could complete, and Detours, which gave teams the chance to make a choice on which way they wanted to proceed. Often times choices made at Detours could make up valuable time or put a team behind their competitors. Teams also had the chance to use a Fast Forward. The first team to complete each Fast Forward, could skip all tasks on that leg of the race and go directly to the pit stop, which was located at the end of the leg. However, each team could only use one Fast Forward during the race and choosing when to use it was key.
At the end of each leg, contestants would get a 12-hour break at the pit stop, where they could talk with other contestants and just relax and prepare for the next leg. The last team to check in at each leg was eliminated, with the exception of three legs that were non-elimination legs. In future editions, teams were penalized for coming in last at a non-elimination leg, but in the inaugural season, there were no such penalties.
As the seasons have gone on, producers have tweaked the show to make it better. Some of the things in the first season that were changed included the introduction. Host Phil Keoghan would talk about what previously happened on the show and at the end, say 'who will be eliminated tonight.' However, if you listen to that intro, you can tell when nobody's going to be eliminated because he doesn't use those words but others. Now, on the intro, he says 'who will be eliminated next,' which is much better. Also, Phil would only greet the last team, which always was a tip-off to the last place finishers that they were indeed, last. Now, Phil greets every team and that makes it more dramatic for the teams.
The teams in the first season were also much like the teams in every season I've watched. You have the requisite gay couple (Joe and Bill aka Team Guido), the spunky grandparents (Dave and Margaretta), the parent-child team (Nancy and the very cute Emily), the macho guy teams (Drew and Kevin, Rob and Brennan), the underdog two women teams (Pat and Brenda, Kim and Leslie) and a few young couples using the race as a gauge of their relationship (Paul and Amie, Matt and Ana, Lenny and Karen, Frank and Margarita). This formula has been used on most of the editions I have watched, though, I am not arguing with it. It seems to work. Team Guido was the team everybody loved to hate, thanks to their cockiness and sneakiness. It was tough to watch Frank and Margarita racing to the finish line, thinking they were first, when in reality, that was not the case. My favorite two teams were frat brothers Drew and Kevin and Nancy and Emily. Drew and Kevin were just a riot. They made me laugh at every turn, yelling at each other, but always managing to stay in the race until almost the end. Nancy and Emily made it farther than anyone expected them to, which is always nice to see. They fought through some difficult times, particularly in India, but came through stronger as a team. Plus, Emily was pretty darned cute.
As far as extras go, this set has a lot, but the way they are set up is different. You can watch the episodes with a choice to go look at unaired footage, but you can't see the footage any other place. It would have been nice to package that another way, but it is still nice that it is included. There are four episodes of commentary, two from Rob and Brennan and Team Guido and two from Lenny and Karen and Drew and Kevin. There is also a look back at the first season with the aforementioned teams, Keoghan and the executive producers. There is a look inside the making of the first season and how difficult the logistics were. It is interesting to hear the producers talk about how they were often on the same plane as the contestants and barely steps ahead of them for much of the way.
All told, this is a solid release of the very first season. It would be nice to see more seasons released. Season seven has also been released, but I would love to see seasons two through six as well."