Two episodes in, and while I’m completely addicted to NBC’s summer series SIBERIA, I can’t actually decide whether I enjoy it or not. That may sound odd, but given that I often have the same reaction to reality shows — which this scripted series is designed to emulate — it’s not entirely surprising. What’s working is the way the show manages to so perfectly recreate all the clichés we’ve come to expect from reality shows. From the cutaway interviews in which the contestants give their take on the unfolding events to the occasionally-jittery camerawork, cheesetastic host, and SURVIVOR-like opening credits, the show captures the genre perfectly. The problem with the series is pacing. Last night’s episode featured a lot of running through the woods and someone freaking out after taking mushrooms, but not much in the way of actual plot movement. Sure, it all lead to the exiting Victoria declaring, “You’re all gonna die”, but honestly, haven’t we sort of expected that from the beginning?
I’m willing to bet that WHODUNNIT? will end with the “shocking” reveal that one of the victims is actually the elusive murderer. The whole thing has a very “Ten Little Indians” vibe. Meanwhile, this is another show I’m having a love/hate relationship with. As much as I enjoy figuring out the weekly mysteries, the suspension of disbelief required to watch the contestants react to scenarios they know perfectly well are fake is very nearly a deal breaker. I would, however, love for ABC to offer a weekly web show on how they stage the various crimes. Some of the makeup is downright grisly!
Only weeks after winning her fifth Daytime Emmy award, THE BOLD & THE BEAUTIFUL’s Heather Tom may have secured her sixth win with the episodes which have been airing over the past week or so. In them, her alter ego, Katie, found out that hubby Bill had cheated with — and impregnated — her sis, Brooke. Now, where B&B is concerned, this is a fairly typical scenario. (After all, Brooke has slept with — in no particular order — Ridge, his brother, their father, and at least two of her own children’s beaus!) But between the jaw-dropping dialogue and Tom’s fierce performance, the episodes were soapy perfection.
Surely, I can’t be the only person who laughed so hard he almost lost consciousness when THE BACHELORETTE’s Des declared of the five remaining guys, “They’re all going to be great lovers.” Between the mocking tweets posted on screen and the increasingly ridiculous lengths gone to in an attempt to make these guys seem more interesting than they are, it’s become clear that the show no longer takes itself — or expects us to — seriously. And what’s the point of a two-on-one date if A) it’s not going to lead to a threesome and B) no one is sent packing at its conclusion? Meanwhile, folks on this show now so regularly break out their personalized poetry that if ABC doesn’t release a book filled with every couplet ever written by a past contestant and market it as an awesome Valentine’s Day gift, someone in the marketing department needs to be fired.
And now, just to prove that I’m not completely brain dead and am still capable of occasionally talking about television shows which don’t qualify as “guilty pleasures,” can we just bitch about the MSNBC primetime line-up for a minute? I’ve long been a fan of both Rachel Maddow and Chris Hayes… but their shows back to back is like finding out that you accidentally signed up to take the same poli-sci class with two different teachers. While Hayes’ weekend show distinguished itself by featuring spirited debates among panelists, his new weeknight offering follows pretty much the exact same format as does every other show airing on the network between 6 and 11 p.m. Though never a big fan of Ed Schultz’ folksy “charm,” he at least represented a different voice in the nightly echo chamber.

  • Kyle Nolan

    I feel similarly about Siberia, however in the second week it seems like the acting got significantly worse. The first week felt like an actual reality show and I was amazed at how natural the acting felt–even my father had been fooled into thinking it was a reality show until I told him it was actually a scripted series. However, in the second week, the acting got really awful as these characters had to be scared, fight, etc. And I fear that it will just deteriorate more as the series goes on. But I hope I’m wrong as I’m interested to see more of Survivor meets The River.