Normally, TV slows down for the summer. I’m not sure why that is. Yeah, it’s a season for vacations. But when I think of relaxing, I think of kicking back and watching TV! Fortunately, it’s an interesting summer for TV. The problem is that much of the action is crammed into one time slot — Monday at 10:00 PM (Eastern Daylight Time). Two exciting shows are going head-to-head. It’s Under The Dome (CBS) vs. Siberia (NBC).
Initially, it seemed like Under The Dome was the clear winner. A show based on a book by Steven King has a serious edge. Plus, feeling trapped in a small town is a relatable theme. Meanwhile, Siberia is a pseudo reality show. Since it’s not immediately clear what Siberia is all about, it can be a tough show for people to start watching.
But as the Summer progressed, I found myself more excited with Siberia. It’s got a little bit of everything… suspense, adventure, drama, sci-fi/fantasy and fantastic storytelling. Last week’s episode “A Gathering Fog” was mainly about a bunch of people walking around in the snow. Yet, the pacing and mood was so gripping that I found it so incredibly entertaining. The character development is exceptional. Siberia has this habit of throwing conventional dangers into the mix, which gives the show a more real world feeling for me. I start to feel that I’m on the same adventure — stranded in the Siberian (actually Canadian) wilderness. It’s kinda like Survivorman (Les Stroud) meets Lost.
With Under The Dome, some of that initial magic has worn off. That’s because life in the dome feels static. Initially, there was a sense of desperation. I was amazed from the moment the dome dropped and cut a cow in half. I was wondering, how are the people going to live, where will they get their food, where will they get their water and how will the local government maintain control? Much of the Chester’s Mill police force was decimated in the early episodes. Characters on both sides of the dome struggled to understand what was going on.
But as the season progressed, I didn’t like where the story was going. It’s probably the mini-dome. It tries to give an explanation to the madness. So far, I’m not fully enjoying where the story is going. Perhaps the show would be better off by never revealing the origin of the dome.
Also, there’s a similarity to The Simpsons Movie.
And yet, what am I watching on Monday night? I’m watching Under The Dome! That’s because I was pulled into the CBS / Time Warner power struggle. Even though I cut cable TV years ago, I still use Time Warner Cable as my Internet provider. CBS blocks the videos because Time Warner stopped carrying CBS. In this battle, I’m siding with CBS. In about four years, my monthly Time Warner bill jumped from $14.95 to $52.29. Sure, maybe CBS is asking for too much money, but at least CBS is showing Time Warner how I feel. To ensure that I don’t miss Under The Dome, I catch the live broadcast. Then later, I watch Siberia online.
So, I like Siberia more. It’s not by a huge margin though. I think they’re both great shows. It’s surprising that I’m actually looking forward to network television shows — especially during the summer.