The Tribe Series 1

Series 1 is The Tribe at its grungiest and grittiest, both in style and story, set in a true post apocalyptic wasteland. It dealt with some heavy issues, and it didn't shy away from getting raw and real about them just because it was a childrens' show. This is the series where the theme of survival and co-existence within a group is at the forefront – food is a worry from start to finish. The Mall Rats hardly concern themselves with the world outside their mall, as it is still far too dangerous out there; "the whole city is a war zone," as Lex puts it. No, they have enough to deal with within The Mall, which is both their sanctuary and their prison; their shelter from a world descended into anarchy, where powerful tribes take what they need without mercy; and also the place where they must learn to live together despite their differences as their best – or only – option for survival.

This does not come without difficulties. Amber does her best to create some semblance of a functional community with rules, responsibilities and rosters, but which kid wants to follow all that when there's no parents around to force them? And how do you even create a way of life out of all this chaos? How do you divide resources? And responsibilities? And what do you do with newcomers when you've hardly got enough for yourself? And what about crimes and punishment? And all the practical stuff, like security, cleaning, cooking and water? And what about humanity, values, morals, justice and building a future worth living for? Do they have a place? And what can you do about the return of the deadly virus? The Tribe 1 poses all of these questions and more.

At the end of the day they're all kids and teenagers, forced to deal with these very real and difficult issues, only a hormone swing away from utter madness. And swing they do. Just about every teen character is involved in a love triangle, or square, or it's actually more like an interconnected, tangled hot mess of love and infatuation, actually. Trudy is in love with Bray, but Bray strings Salene along and is secretly in love with Amber, and Amber falls in love with Sasha, but then Bray and Amber finally get together but are separated by Ebony, who is also in love with Bray. Ryan is in love with Zandra, but Lex pursues Zandra for sex and attempts to rape her, so she decides to marry him, but Lex still tries to get it on with every girl in the mall and sleeps with Ebony and Tai-San, while Ryan eventually gets with Salene. Oh, and Dal was in love with Trudy. Suffice to say, The Tribe has no shortage of drama.

In total, series 1 is a beautiful story about how the Mall Rats, despite their many conflicts and differences, learned to co-exist and gradually grew into a family. At the beginning they were forced together by necessity, at the end they stuck together because of love. And through these story, us viewers grew to love and hate the characters with a passion. Each and every one of them was so well written – they all felt like a real, well rounded human with their own fears and motivations, strengths and weaknesses. No wonder this show got us hooked. The post-apocalyptic theme has been done to death, but few go as in-depth into the themes and characters as The Tribe. There are many teen shows, but none of them treat their characters with the respect and humanity of The Tribe.