I'm a TaeKwonDo instructor from the US living in Korea. I've been here for 6 years. I started doing the Tae-Bo DVD with my wife. She's not very athletically inclined so she thought this would be a good way to get in shape. I find it hard to believe some of complaints I've seen about this series. Who cares about the production quality or the fact that the music isn't something popular? The point of this series is to get a workout and I for one think it delivers. Some people complain about injuring themselves or about the moves being impossible to perform. I've also noticed some of those complain about the level of the workouts. Obviously, it's hard to ramp up from absolute beginner to professional athlete in just 4 tapes. As a martial arts instructor I would offer this advice. Start with the Instructional video. Do it all the way through. Practice the techniques. Do them on both sides. Use that as your workout for at least two weeks. Watch the way techniques are done and make sure you are doing them correctly. I would be willing to bet that people who injured themselves did so because of poor technique or trying to do too much, too quickly. By the end, you might want to do it twice through each day. Then step up to the beginner workout. If you find it difficult, put it on pause for a few minutes, catch your breath and then keep going. Actually, Mr. Blanks suggests that himself on the video. After you can comfortably do the Basic workout (at least 1 month after, probably more for older adults), add the 8-minute workout to it. I would suggest doing the 8-minute workout first, then the Basic. When you've adjusted to that, do the Basic workout twice in succession each day. Then, when you can do that comfortably, go to the Advanced workout. As a workout, I think it's excellent. From a self-defense standpoint, I wouldn't really recommend it. Of course there is some protection benefit from learning basic techniques and getting in shape but he teaches these techniques from a workout perspective not proper martial arts technique. As one example, he stresses that when you execute techniques you should tighten up various muscles. This creates more resistance and so gives a better workout. This also slows your techniques down. When practicing martial arts, you want to stay loose until the point of impact. This gives you more speed and ultimately more power. If you really want to learn self-defense, take a martial arts class and stick with it.
As a last point and small pet peeve, Koreans actually pronounce TaeKwonDo just as it looks with Tae sounding like Day not Tie. I think this got confused with Thai kickboxing early on and just got spread that way.
In summary, if you want good production quality, go sit on the couch and watch Titanic again. If you want to learn self-defense, go to a martial arts class. If you want an excellent series of workout videos, buy Tae-Bo.