07/02/2013 06:29 am ET Updated Jul 02, 2013

'Siberia' Premiere: Murder Mystery Masquerading As A Reality Show (VIDEO)

NBC's latest summer entry doesn't look or feel like anything else on television. Okay, well actually it looks a lot like a competition reality show, but that's the brilliant deception. This new scripted offering takes place during a reality show shoot in "Siberia" -- hence the name -- only things quickly begin to spiral out of control.

The premise of the game is that 14 contestants must survive a winter in Siberia for a chance at a half a million dollars. By the end of the episode, though, one of them is dead. Sure the whole thing is a bit much, but Zap2It thinks that works in its favor. "Is ‘Siberia’ a little hokey at times?" they asked. "Of course it is, but how else could the show simulate the feel and look of a reality show ... No one thinks viewers see everything on the 'Kardashians,' and the ‘Real Housewives’ are constantly scripted and directed."

Utilizing the "found footage" style -- with the reality television twist -- is certainly a unique way to explore a surreal world. The new series has hints of the short-lived summer drama "The River" blended with the strangers-trapped-together-in-a-weird-place vibe of "Lost."

"Siberia proves that it’s getting harder to tell the difference between a ‘real’ show and a scripted one," wrote EW of the new show. "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."

The mystery -- and dangers -- deepen on "Siberia," Mondays at 10 p.m. ET on NBC.

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