"Siberia," NBC's new summer series that premiered Monday, is already drawing scorn from its namesake region, which accused the TV show of keeping with "the U.S. stereotype of Siberia mixed with a cocktail of Hollywood horrors and then frozen in a Cold War time warp."
Almost like "Survivor" gone wrong, the scripted drama tells the story of a fictional reality TV series in which 16 contestants must survive in what is purportedly the Siberian territory of Tunguska to win the $500,000 prize.
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The only problem? The show was filmed in Manitoba, Canada, and Russians are not happy about it.
"U.S. viewers are conned into believing the action is in Siberia, which is after all the name of the show. In reality, this faux-reality show was filmed on the other side of the world, in a Canadian prairie province," a Siberian Times review reads.
"It is Siberia's image in the world which takes another hit. Just at a time when it is rightly recovering a more positive image around the world, with inward investment and foreign tourism growing significantly. These investors and tourists come in search of the real modern Siberia, unlike the makers of this TV fake."
Other reviewers, however, were intrigued by the unique murder mystery that masquerades as a reality show.
"Siberia proves that it’s getting harder to tell the difference between a 'real' show and a scripted one," read a review in Entertainment Weekly
. "But maybe it’s fitting that NBC is combining fiction and reality at a time when so many unscripted events have blurred the lines between dramatic television and real-life tragedy."
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