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What Make The Critics Of NBC’s New Mystery-Thriller SIBERIA??

Published at: July 1, 2013, 2:30 p.m. CST

I am – Hercules!!

NBC says:

“In 1908, a meteor hit deep into the remote Siberian territory of Tunguska. Now, more than 100 years later, 16 contestants descend on Tunguska unknowing of the land’s mysterious past. When a contestant is badly injured and no help arrives, the contestants are met with the chilling realization that the strange occurrences are not part of the show. With their safety threatened, competing contestants must band together in an effort to survive.”

“Siberia” was created by Matthew Arnold, who wrote and directed "Shadow People" starring Alison Eastwood, Anne Dudek and Dallas Roberts. IMDb says "Shadow People" was released March 19, 2013.

I enjoyed the first episode. Every time “Siberia” hit a new commercial break, I found myself anxious to see what happened next. It certainly works better for me than ABC’s faux-documentary horror series “The River,” which “Siberia” resembles slightly.

Not many critics, apparently, elected to review “Siberia,” perhaps because some of them mistook this scripted drama for a real reality series. The New York Times’ “What’s on Monday” describes it this way:

10 P.M. (NBC) SIBERIA Sixteen contestants from around the world are dropped by helicopter into the Siberian wilderness, where they must survive on limited resources in this new competition series.

Or maybe everybody’s just on vacation this week.

Pity NBC elected to air this 10 p.m. Mondays, opposite CBS’ “Under The Dome” -- the other highly promising sci-fi entry to hit network air during this arid TV summer.

The New York Daily News says:

... The fact that all TV viewers recognize the look and style of a reality show these days doesn’t mean it works as the story line for a scripted drama. That notion, which already hasn’t worked several times, doesn’t work again in “Siberia,” a new NBC series. …

The Los Angeles Times says:

... I was hooked the moment the Adonis-like Aussie host explained that the players would be housed in a settlement from which the inhabitants had mysteriously vanished 100 years ago, leaving food on tables and fires burning etc, etc. …

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette says:

... even though the "Siberia" pilot has its missteps, the show's concept is interesting enough to warrant tuning in. …

Variety says:

... the pilot takes too long getting started before planting its own mildly intriguing “Lost”-like mystery, and the thriller-like construct appears flimsy to support a 13-episode run. Still, it’s a credible acquisition with a chance of becoming dramatically interesting, albeit with little likelihood that many will survive as viewers long enough to find out. …

10 p.m. Monday. NBC.

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