NBC tries to get us lost with ‘Survivor in Siberia’



The US network NBC has several interesting new shows in its lineup. There’s the much talked about Hannibal with the properly creepy Mads Mikkelsen in the lead role, and the anticipated gothic Dracula with Jonathan Rhys Meyers (recently in The Tudors). Both actually deal with rather dark, sinister, strangely sexy characters and storylines, I got the impression these were cable shows.

I got to see the pilot for another new series, Siberia, which aired July 1. Siberia is a show about a reality show. Sixteen contestants are dropped off in Tunguska, Siberia and their goal is to survive the winter. They are told only after they get there that an unexplained event caused the disappearance of folks in a settlement there in 1908.

The show immediately invites comparisons to Survivor (watched all 26 seasons) and Lost (watched 5 of the 6 seasons and the finale). It certainly has that Survivor vibe with the opening, with the way the scoring is handled and with the way the host deals with the cast—so far.

Of course towards the end of the first episode, things go very, very wrong. The show steps into Blair Witch (using found footage to show the creepy and mysterious) and Lost territory.

I am curious as to how it will play out; though a part of me is worried it could turn into hokey. I hope it does not end up giving the viewer too many questions and rewarding them with too few answers—as with Lost.

I also wonder if it will be more reality or more supernatural—with anything goes explanations to the strange goings on. Is it a dream? A bad joke? A sinister plot set up by fake producers? Is it Slender Man? Is it going to end up like Cabin in the Woods or Lost?

Siberia, I’m going to invest a little time in you. And if I may borrow a line from Alan Rickman, “Do not disappoint me.”

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Blockbuster season continues with the imminent release of The Lone Ranger, Despicable Me 2, and Pacific Rim. The Pacific Rim tagline says: “Go big or go extinct.” I have this strange feeling continuously trying to go big (nine figure budgets, franchises in mind) could make a certain breed of films and filmmaking go extinct.


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