Picks and Pans Review: DVD View

updated 06/07/2004 at 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 06/07/2004 01:00AM

Don't know what to do with yourself in the months between Survivors? Rediscover the landmark show that kicked off the reality-TV era.

SURVIVOR: THE COMPLETE FIRST SEASON (Paramount, $40)

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Very early in its debut 2000 season—around the time contestants ate rats—Survivor claimed its place as the most ingenious competition show ever (sorry, Beat the Clock). But watch it again on DVD when you already know who wins? Don't reality TV shows have the shelf life of an avocado? Turns out revisiting naked Richard and the rest of the Pulau Tiga gang is a hoot. Don't bother slogging through all 13 episodes. Skip right to the riveting two-hour finale: Rudy's $1 million immunity slipup, Sue's rats-and-snakes diatribe and Richard Hatch's gleeful villainy—if not his flabby anatomy—are all still compulsively watchable.

Extras: Audition tapes, behind-the-scenes" footage, a dull documentary and commentary from Richard, Rudy and host Jeff Probst, who tells how Richard led a near mutiny after learning the reward for one challenge would be a bottle of beer.

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