NBC's Siberia: Part of Your New Reality?

Siberia Premiere Recap NBCDon’t feel bad* if you briefly mistook NBC’s Siberia for another disposable summer reality series. With a cast of 16 “contestants” getting stranded in the Russian wilderness, a rugged Aussie host declaring it “the most extreme adventure ever created” and Survivor-esque camera work abounding, you wouldn’t necessarily have expected that “elimination” would be just another word for grisly death at the hand/claw of a (pack of?) nefarious, possibly mutant forest creatures.  

Yep, this show is a scripted, fictitious slice of horror imaginging reality as a literal (as opposed to figurative) death trap. 

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The opening sequence was nifty: All 16 players blindfolded and helicoptered into a desolate patch of Siberia, then forced to abandon their belongings and race to a reconstructed, turn-of-the-century camp where a group of settlers mysteriously disappeared back in 1908. The last two to the outpost faced immediate elimination (though we never saw Berglind and Harpreet actually re-board the chopper, did we?)

That left us with 14 “players,” who, as our host pointed out, would be able to split a $500,000 grand prize among however many of them didn’t wave the white flag and ask to go home before the end of winter.

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Personalities and tensions emerged as early as Day 1: There was Johnny, an arrogant loner who’d smuggled in a lighter in his sock and chose to sun himself on the roof rather than help gather water, find food or make fire. There was Esther, the manipulative model who casually hid path markers to improve her own chances. And then there was Tommy, an environmental activist so nice that he helped injured geek Daniel make the hike — worries over his own potential elimination notwithstanding. Oh, and what to make of Sabina, who seemed to magically appear at the encampment first — without anyone seeing her get there? (Is she perhaps a ghost? Or a producer in disguise? Or an alien? Or a mutant? So many possibilities!)

A first-night campfire brought the players together — until animal noises of indeterminate origin drove everyone terrified into the cabins. In the morning, Daniel found a three-legged frog; Irene and Miljan found a weird, locked shed; and Annie, Natalie and Tommy set off to try to find special mushrooms they’d learned about from “The Revealer,” a giant metal box programmed to spit out clues and helpful items over the duration of the game.

You could tell things were about to get not good — and not just because Victoria had to go and say “We don’t want a Lord of the Flies situation on our hands.” Natalie and Annie returned to the camp with mushrooms — but no Tommy, who’d wandered deeper into the forest than they’d wanted to go. Cue: A camera guy with a giant, bleeding head wound, muttering in Russian, who was quickly led away while confusion built among the contestants. And cue our host, coming out and sharing that Tommy was badly injured. “Unfortunately, it’s fatal,” he added. What to the what-what?

And thus ended Episode 1 — with grouchy older dude Sam declaring, “Nobody’s supposed to die: It’s a game,” and the contestants having to decide whether to drop out and take home a consolation $5,000 or stay in the game despite a lack of any detailed information about what happened to Tommy. We the audience, though, got one final bit of found footage of Tommy and the cameraman fleeing from some unknown, apparently terrifying presence — the soon-to-be dead man’s screams the final note of the unsettling, spooky Siberia premiere. (*Also, don’t feel bad if you miss the Peacock net’s Love in the Wild, either. And by “you,” I’m mainly referring to myself, BTW.)

What did you think of Siberia? Grade the premiere in the poll below, then hit the comments with your thoughts!

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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  1. Linda caplin says:

    Survivor and amazing race are2 of my guilty pleasures, so I was ver intrigued reading about Siberia. I watched the pilot w/no prior info about whether it was fake/real. Right off the bat, my radar went up. If it’s Siberia where’s the relentless snow? Miss Iceland and the guy panting after her leaving the trail? Ok, they’re gone. But wait, there’s more! Mountain man carries nerd w/ankle probs. Maybe they’ll be last?!’even more of a mystery, creepy Sabina is there waiting grimly for everyone–like a good little Israeli soldier.’then comes the mushroom hunt, Tommy doesn’t return, screams, bloody cameraman, more blood, unearthly sounds, panic in Siberia, annoying host announcing Tommie fatal injury—-Wha!!! It was then I thought something ain’t right about this “reality” show! Jeff and phil would never participate in such a silly fake.’but it was too late. I was hooked and can’t wait for the next lunatic episode! Who’ll get done in? Who will be exposed? Did a deer really die for this show and did Johnny really cut it’s head off? Not cool. Btw, one reason the acting is so bad is that most of them don’t have very long resumes. But there’s probably some improv going on. Sabine really creeps me out. You know she’s not really one of the gang.

  2. Karen says:

    Why didn’t Siberia air lastnight and when are they going to show episode 4?

  3. xavier says:

    It all just seems too fake to me though and especially when they found bullets but no gun there was never a gun to begin with then all the sudden the bullets go missing yeah right one of the camera men probably just snuck in there and took them and what was that girl doing out in the woods when daniel went out in the woods to investigate tommy’s death

  4. crow says:

    what a hoax, and what horrible actors, such amateurs. Nobody so called knows what Northern LIghts are, it’s pathetic. not a very good series. They should have hired actors that can act maybe then it at least would look real. Poorly directed too. And so predictable.

  5. Julia says:

    I can honestly say I just sat here and watched all the episodes in a row. It’s one of those shows that you hate to love. I don’t mind that the acting isn’t very good because I think the story line is great! Every time I think I understand what’s going on they throw something new at you. I watch under the dome too ,but I think I might swap over to this show because unlike Under the Dome I cannot wait to see what happens next!

  6. Glen Lindas says:

    I loved the series until last night when the homosexual agenda was introduced. Why? I am gone !!!

  7. DLEE says:

    the actors are really some of the worst i have seen in my 62 yrs. i’m talking to a totem pole who is my best friend from school . not since blair witch have i seen such bad actors. maybe it is because the story???? line is so childish.

  8. Jojo Moea says:

    man most all of them are actors/actress….you can look them at imdb. some of them has experience playing movie…so basically it’s more of tv show then reality show with no script

  9. Lynn says:

    this show is just really lame,I know it’s not (real) people real people would well act like real people, these guys act like well very bad actors & the girl likes girl thing is just dumb…where’s the excitement where’s the drama,I can’t see any….ooh the sky looks so weird,then they just forget about it..I think I would find/make me a weapon hide or something,..I would most certainly hit the button & get the heck outta there,I mean they don’t even act afraid..I will continue watching it only because I want to see how much dummer they can act, but..will most likely stop, unless it starts getting much more interesting.

  10. Gary says:

    Fooled me! I had heard nothing of this show beforehand and found myself becoming enraged over the whole greed/death scenario. But then I thought-wait-I would’ve heard people screaming bloody hell if this really happened. It wasn’t until tonight’s episode that I got off my lazy ass to Google it and see what they were doing. It beats all the other crap on that network.

  11. Jon M Pugh says:

    Their is a book called 24/7 that is basically the same premise. I read it YEARS ago. Also, MTV did a fake Real World with kinda the same concept.

  12. iLikePie says:

    I enjoy watching things that don’t have a great foundation cuz then I get to see ifnit can be salvaged or what they could’ve done differently to make it work…it’s a cerebral thang for me…Lol

    This show reminds me of The River(?) which about a documentary gone wrong and the footage was found. It was just getting to the goods at the end of the season but it disappeared, just like the people in the “documentary” did. (in my Doctor Evil voice)

  13. Rebeeca says:

    I watch this show but i dont kow if it is real or not so it scares me and makes me mad that there putting people through this but then i think its probaly fake and these are actors(or are they?) Irene Fan!

    • Jimmie says:

      Siberia is scripted and it is actors, but it is so darned interesting! Each week they get something worse happen to them, just when you think it is already bad! I reminds me somewhat of LOST. Can’t wait for the next episode. PS: It is filmed in Canada!

  14. Jarhead says:

    This show sucked from the beginning but it some how kept me tuning in to every episode mabe its because Ester is so damn fine

  15. joan hipps says:

    At first I thought it was weird but wanted to know what happened at the end. my recording quip to soon.

  16. Isaiah M. says:

    At first I thought Siberia was just some lame old $40 show but when I started watching it I got hooked and now I can’t wait for season 2! The ending to season one totally leaves you hanging and leaves you wanting more. And for you other dumbos up there tommy did die and no it isn’t filmed In Canada it’s filmed in Montana and season 2 in Marlboro time in along with the rest of America for the primer of season 2 in November

  17. Jason says:

    Please tell me if the show went on. I didn’t see it on anymore.

  18. Marye. says:

    Just seen episode 1.Hope everyone pulls their weight and does something productive ..they have shelter ..and fire .and water ..now need to make weapons for hunting and protection from fierce Tungusta wild creatures?? And maybe try some leaves for a good cup of tea???