NBC’s newest series Siberia debuted Monday night with a pilot episode that left some viewers at the edge of their seats while others rolled their eyes at the ridiculous plot of a fake reality TV show. But really, is there even such a thing as real reality TV anyway?
The pilot episode opens with cheesy horror music and 16 “contestants” blindfolded on a helicopter that descends into the middle of a thick forest where the show’s “host” awaits them. Here, in the midst of the Siberian wilderness (the show is actually filmed in Canada), viewers learn that these people are competing in a Survivor-esque contest with a $500,000 prize for the winner (a somewhat menial amount for a fictitious show, if you ask me).
The scariest moment in the first ten minutes occurs when host Jonathan Buckley announces that the contestants must forfeit the possessions they have brought with them, horrifying the well-coiffed cast. Little do they know that their lack of personal hygiene is soon to be the least of their concerns. The guise of the reality show is thrown off in the last ten minutes of the episode and the real show begins when all hell breaks loose and one of the characters is killed.
Now, Siberia has viewers hooked.
A scripted show with real actors and camera crews, Siberia isn’t exactly aiming to poke fun at the reality TV genre that shows like The Bachelorette and Real Housewives have made infamous. A review by the LA Times calls the show “more fright-night than satire” and applauds its use of “straight-up, old-fashioned scare tactics” to shock its audience and leave them glued to their screens.
Siberia has been described as a combination between Lost and Survivor, and its producers no doubt count on appealing to those viewers still missing their old favorite shows. With its Hunger Games-like concept, fans of that series may find a TV alternative to occupy the time until the next installment is released (granted, I’m sure none of these actresses are up to Jennifer Lawrence standards). And, of course, there are plenty of Americans out there just looking for the next filler show of the summer and will be more than willing to give Siberia a shot.
Intrigued? Siberia is back on next Monday on NBC at 10 p.m. In the meantime, watch the following trailer and get ready to “Get lost in reality.”:
Image via NBC