Casual commentary about political, cultural and economic issues with a particular interest on the city of Winnipeg by John Dobbin
Tuesday, July 9, 2013
Bird's Hill Park is NOT Siberia
It is kind of under the radar as far as summer series go but NBC is broadcasting a faux reality series called Siberia on Mondays opposite Stephen King's series Under the Dome on CBS and Global. It was probably a gamble placing anything against an adaptation of a famous horror writer's book but given the tendency of King works in TV and film to fail, a good bet.
In the end, Under the Dome is a success out the gate. Not so much Siberia.
It is likely few Winnipeggers are watching it if they are watching anything at all. The fact that it premiered on Canada Day doesn't help either.
The premise of Siberia is that 16 contestants are flown by helicopter to a very remote area of the Russian wilderness in late summer and are expected to survive with no set rules till winter's end. The area picked is Tugunska where a strange event occurred in 1908.
The producers recreate some cabins on a spot where the population of a village disappeared a long time ago. With only the clothes on their back and what is provided in the cabins, a race begins to where the contestants will live. The last two to arrive are eliminated.
It is from here that the standard Survivor eco-challenge thing goes off the rails. A contestant is killed and the producers go on with the show.
As mentioned, this is a faux reality series. What we are watching is a scripted drama set around a reality show.
Moreover, it isn't filmed in Siberia. It is filmed in Bird's Hill Park.
Not surprisingly, the Russians are very unhappy with the series. Some seem to think it is our fault but the truth is that the series is a Hollywood conjured up series filming in Canada because of the costs. The producer of the show is long familiar with Manitoba and filmed Capote in Winnipeg. The actors seems to be from all over and many have quite a few TV and film credits.
The second episode just aired and there are 11 more to go if the series doesn't get cancelled first or the Russians attack.
The series look to move to supernatural and Lord of the Flies in the next while.
If contestants hear music in the background, it is a good possibility that it is the Winnipeg Folk Fest they are hearing.