After a creepy and disturbingly authentic premiere, did “Siberia” live up to its faux-reality promise in the second episode, “A Question of Reality”? That is to say, could anyone in the audience believe what they saw to be real?

Is maybe a good answer?

If only all reality were this entertaining …

The best and worst part of “Siberia” may just be its entertainment value. It’s fun to watch this fast-dwindling group of idiots march to their inevitable demise at the hands (claws? tentacles?) of whatever doom awaits them! The stories work, the tension builds, and each contestant slowly becomes a recognizable human.

That might be the problem. What reality shows can offer all of this? No matter how seriously participants take their reality shows, everyone knows that none of it matters. But in the fictional world of “Siberia,” this is actual life or death. It’s hard to reconcile this.

Creepy things that happened this time

With Tommy’s death ruled “a fall” by the show’s host, the remaining contestants are offered $5000 to walk away. Only George accepts the deal. In case you needed proof that these people were idiots, this may be your moment.

Everyone processes the departure until the Giant Game Box hands out a treasure map and some bullets. Naturally, everyone thinks this is a gun and gets very excited. While Miljan takes a shot at maybe raping Esther and Johnny creeps-out Carolina, Daniel the Nerd spots the X.

Only there’s nothing there.

There may have been no gun, but the Giant Game Box has another present. This one is … a snake? Seriously, “Siberia”? At least Sam knows his snake-handling and no one suffers a fatal bite. And under the snake is a key — the key to the shed Miljan and Irene found in episode 1. The group is ecstatic to find a bunch of food in that shed. Now they have to keep hold of it through the winter so as to not go all Donner Party on each other.

After this, bad things happen. Johnny randomly lops off a finger but still manages to be a jerk about it. Daniel wanders into the woods to mourn Tommy — he finds blood, giant footprints, hieroglyphics and Sabina in the process. Esther, meanwhile, feeds Victoria the funky mushrooms. This makes Victoria hallucinate in a very non-fun manner.

She leaves the next morning. When asked for an explanation, Victoria simply replies, “You’re all gonna die.”

Cheerful, isn’t it?

Top reasons why this isn’t a real reality show

  • A gun? Seriously, they’d give a bunch of stranded reality-show people an actual gun? Because the people who want to be TV stars are the best people to carry firearms …
  • Only one person wanted to leave Siberia after a mysterious death. Even with the offer of $5000, only George was smart enough to walk away. No way.
  • If you want your contestants to survive, don’t hand them a possibly venomous snake.
  • Sabina is far too weird to be believable on a show like this.
  • Legally, they would probably have to have some medics available.
  • No camera operators are this stoic. When faced with blood and insanity and possible monsters, most people say something.
  • The lighting is too good.
  • In the big moments, almost all of the contestants are involved in the A-plot. Unless they’re out running through the woods, of course.

“Siberia” in summary — Episode 2

  • Contestants removed to date: 4
  • Serious medical issues: 2 — Johnny’s finger and Victoria’s bout with psychedelic mushrooms
  • Giant Game Box presents: 2 (useless treasure map/bullets and snake/key)
  • MVP: Sam — the guy can pick up snakes!
  • LVP (least valuable player): Miljan — the wannabe rapist narrowly edged out Johnny
  • Creepiest twist: Random hieroglyphics are always scarier than monster footprints

Posted by:Laurel Brown