Hey TV.com, Should I Watch Siberia?

By Tim Surette

Jun 30, 2013

"Summer" and "NBC" are generally two words you don't want to see in the same sentence, but that could change with its next new series. The network is no stranger to stocking up on odd little shows to fill up its summer, and the most interesting entry this year is Siberia, a late addition to the schedule. The genre show is a thriller about a reality show gone wrong, and it seems perfectly suited for bored eyeballs looking for something to watch, but is it actually worth an hour of your time? I've seen the first episode and I can honestly say... maybe! Let's walk through what Siberia is all about.

Siberia... what is this, one of those Planet Earth things?

No! It's a reality show. But it's a FAKE reality show! It's a scripted drama about a fake reality show! It's a supernatural drama about a fake reality show! It's layered as all heck, because it's about 16 contestants on a Survivor-like show who head to an old meteor crash site in Siberia with one mission: Survive the season while participating in elimination games. But things go wrong. Very wrong. Like "maybe monsters" wrong.

Who created the series and who's in it

Unless you are the parents of Siberia's actors, you aren't going to know any of these names, but here goes anyway. It was created by Matthew Arnold, and stars a bunch of unknowns—Sabina Akhmedova, George Dickson, Berglind Icey, Tommy Mountain, and others. But that's part of the charm of the series: You aren't supposed to recognize any of these people because Siberia is supposed to be a reality show full of regular stereotypes.

When does this fake reality show begin?

Siberia starts Monday, July 1 at 10pm. I never get sick of pointing out NBC's bone-headed scheduling decisions, so I'll gleefully do it again here: Siberia, a barely promoted, 13-episode supernatural summer series, will air directly opposite Under the Dome, CBS's heavily promoted, 13-episode supernatural summer series, and it will do so a week behind its competition. Siberia will undoubtedly get creamed in the ratings department, but has a shot to land on people's DVRs. (Under the Dome drew more than 13 million viewers in its premiere last week, and became the biggest summer hit in a long, long time.) As far as I know, Siberia is also meant to be a single-run miniseries with no shot at a second season.

Who is going to like Siberia?

Sickos who want to see reality contestants get mauled by unknown beings (which is everyone, right?). But mostly, fans of the new-wave of found-footage horror (Blair Witch Project, Paranormal Activity, ABC's The River).

What's hot about Siberia

This show clearly verges on fun parody, and it does a fantastic job of recreating the atmosphere of a reality show. The entire pilot is presented as a reality show, but who knows how long it will stay like that once sh*t starts going down. The reality contestant archetypes are a hoot; there's the older man, the jerk, the model, the geek, and more, but the show adds some unique characters, like the chick who might know a lot more about what's happening than everyone else. But the real attraction here are the things that go bump in the night, the mysteries that linger in the woods, and contestants dying!

What's cold in Siberia?

The biggest problem with Siberia is that it's trying to come off as a real reality show and a horror movie. This is super-duper apparent during extended bouts of typical reality shenanigans, like when female contestants bicker over who's getting the last of the limited beds and who's sleeping on the floor. But we all know it's a fake reality show, so why would we care about stupid stuff like that? Though Siberia does a decent job with the budget it has, there are moments when it is very obviously a low-budget project. At times It's almost like a fancy web series. 

So... should I watch it? 

On Mondays, you should watch Under the Dome instead. But Siberia isn't a bad show to have on your DVR for Tuesdays. There's a chance it could get really thrilling down the line as mindless summer entertainment, but there's an equally good chance it could get really stupid. I'm definitely willing to watch a few episodes to find out, though.

I'd like to see a trailer, please.

Actually, if you want you can watch the whole first episode right now! Otherwise, here you go:

What should I drink while watching Siberia?

Well since it's a fake show, how about a fake drink? Virgin daiquiri!

Siberia premieres Monday, July 1 at 10pm on NBC. 

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  • trogm0 Aug 06, 2013

    This show is not even arguably THE worst show ever made. Does it get more than 100 viewers? I feel sad for anyone who likes this show.

  • elainedefaria Jul 09, 2013

    It's all so fake!!! Thought it was like survivor or something like it. Ridiculous. Good laughs !!!

  • Lona Jul 05, 2013

    wow good and creepy, can't wait to see if this is all real or fake, but how could this be real? a good start so far !

  • MarlboroMagpi Jul 04, 2013

    Someone recommend here to watch THE HERO hosted by THE ROCK on TNT. I am quite a fan of the ROCK so I tried. The concept sounds weird at first but now I am into episode 4 and I am liking it more and more. It has one thing that most reality TV show, in fact most TV shows these days do not have - GOOD VALUES ! I think it is one reality show you can watch with your kids! Go try !

  • joeschmuck146 Jul 02, 2013

    Just watched the first episode, and I am not feeling it so far. To over the top, and to fake. Guess it's typical for reality tv, but not for me... I will just watch life, it is phoney enough in it's own right

  • MightyMad Jul 01, 2013

    You know, last week, I would have said that, since there aren't that many shows out there to watch, I would give this one a try, but then a bunch of truly crazy-ass/bonkers/WTFs moments happened on Big Brother 15 (really, if you don't know what's up, go find a running diary of the house online.... it's a neo-nazi meeting in there!), and it doesn't look that good to begin with, so I'll pass and waste my time on a 'real' reality show...

  • Svanehjerte Jul 01, 2013

    It looks too much like a dumb reality show to get me interested...

  • MarlboroMagpi Jul 01, 2013

    I have watched the pilot and this comments below might include SPOILERS so for those who have not watched it, you might want to skip as I know people here at TV.com are very edgy about SPOILERS so here goes again. THERE ARE SPOILERS in the comments below.

    Its really funny that there are people who think reality contestants get killed off in the ABC who dunnit show when it debut last week. I was thinking that show could be a FAKE reality show but it turns out the contestants or at least most of them are real. I bet there will be others who think this is real too ! How could a real reality competition REALLY killed off contestants. The network would be in too much trouble.

    Credit to the makers of the series that it does feel real. The atmosphere that the show created and the actors on the shows does make me "FEEL" it is real. One giveaway though at the beginning to tell you it is all FAKE - the game has no rules which literally means you could actually killed people off. How can a TV network do a reality show with NO RULES.

    You just have to be the last one standing sort of like the hunger games. I thought it would be fun to explore whether contestants worked together to get lesser money or they would totally destroyed (not necessarily kill,they could even just irritated everyone enough to get them out) everyone else to get the prize money. Sort of like Lord of the files situation but they had to introduce the supernatural element which I dislike. I hope they do not go down that road.

    I do like the show enough to continue watching it. Its actually a reality junkie wet dreams. A reality show with no rules, anything goes, sounded really fun.

    The concept is new. It is kind of coming full circle though. About more than a decade ago, we started having our first reality show where we have real people coming on to TV because we were sick of scripted show. Now we are having a scripted show about reality TV. Funny how TV works.

  • alysan1 Jul 01, 2013

    I came in in the middle of the show. The end almost gave me a heart attack...because I thought it was real. I'm disappointed to hear that its fake so now I have to decide whether or not it's worth watching further.

  • MarlboroMagpi Jul 04, 2013

    You are disappointed someone did not really die ?

  • DrXabregas Jul 01, 2013

    but explain me: this has real actors or anyone could have applied to go there?? Im confused :x

  • MarlboroMagpi Jul 01, 2013

    They are actors pretending to be real contestants.

  • DrXabregas Jul 02, 2013

    if thats true it must be awesome tv show

  • MarlboroMagpi Jul 04, 2013

    Its true. Just goggle it.

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