On August 31, 2020, the TV series The Game of Survival directed by Karen Oganesyan premiered on TNT. The series was filmed in Abkhazia in the genre of a psychological thriller with elements of drama and adventure. Remarkably, the main roles in the series were played not by actors who were bored by everyone, wandering from project to project, but by new interesting faces: Vladimir Veryovochkin, Linda Lapinsh, Mikhail Kremer, Valery Skorokosov and others. Of the familiar names here you can meet Alexandra Bortich, Alexei Chadov and Igor Vernik. The trick is that popular actors play themselves in the series, sometimes appearing to the viewer not in the best light.
The plot is that 16 people arrive from different regions of the country to shoot a reality show. They are brought to the remote taiga, where there is no communication, Internet and mobile phones. The goal of the project is to pass all the tests and win the biggest prize in the history of Russian television – 1 million euros, while “Remain Human”! According to all the canons of a reality show, people are completely different: here is the photographer Nikolai Subbota, and the assistant to the deputy Victoria Kempinen, MMA fighter Sergey Nechaev, a plumber with a criminal past Semyon Ivanovich Prikhodko, a cook in a kindergarten Marina, a restaurateur Suren, a journalist Tatyana, a veterinarian , model Maria, businessman Pavel, system administrator Andrey, traffic police inspector Dmitry, modest accountant Elena, and owner of a chain of gold jewelry Elena.
In the first series, everything looks pretty clear. The game is reminiscent of the popular show “The Last Hero”. Participants are divided into two teams, they choose a captain (they are MMA fighter and entrepreneur Elena) and go through an obstacle course. Already at the first stage, the characters are revealed from different sides. Elena shows herself to be domineering and self-centered, and Sergey, anticipating victory, begins to show off in front of the participants, due to which he loses the competition and lets the team down. Suren falls and injures his leg, but decides to continue playing. Later, Bortich and Chadov join the participants. They are self-confident, arrogant, they came for the sake of PR and a large fee. The host (Igor Vernik) informs the participants that at any moment they can return home if they knock on the gong three times.
The winning team receives fire and goes to their assigned accommodation. This is an abandoned cold house. The second team is left without a prize, they are assigned to a room by the river, which causes disappointment for many participants.
Nikolai Saturday from the first episodes shows himself nobly and decides to share fire with competitors, despite the prohibition of his captain. He makes his way through Taiga, hears gunshots, loses fire and gets to the members of the other team. There he is met unfriendly. While everyone is for himself and is sure that he will cope on his own.
Meanwhile, Karen’s leg is very swollen, the pain has become unbearable, and he decides to leave the game. Beats the gong three times and …. Nothing happens. Other team members try to call for help, but no one answers. They were left alone. This is where the fun begins!
Further, the participants discover that the entire film crew has been killed, there is nowhere to go, there is no connection. Prisoners attack their camp, rape the accountant and kill Captain Elena. Together we manage to deal with the criminals. Teams unite and look for a way to salvation.
The more time they spend in the taiga, the more strange and suspicious they discover. Many people think that this is the meaning of the game. Pass the most terrible tests and even murders. Karen shows herself to be a coward who can’t make up her mind, MMA fighter Sergei only gets angry but has nothing to offer for the team. Accountant Elena goes crazy after being raped, sees the dead and burns herself in the house. The most attractive characters seem to be Nikolai Subbota and Victoria Kempinen. But there are too many mysteries in Vic that no one can solve. They are too calm, too prepared, too secretive. Nikolai, on the other hand, experienced a great psychological trauma, in which he lost his closest people through his own fault, and as if he is trying to drown out the feeling of guilt for the past with good deeds.
Each character of the series is gradually revealed who is for the better and who is for the worse. Over the course of 12 episodes, the main actors die one after another without passing new tests (is this test or is it all real?) The director does not give unambiguous answers to the questions that arise during the viewing process. But the more you watch, the more the show gets addicted.
At the end of the last series, only the photographer remains among the survivors, who receives 1 million euros in his account and the message “You have reached a new level.” At the same time, some dead heroes are alive and say that they were forced to play. Definitely, there will be a second season, because the first does not reveal even half of the secrets. Is Vicki’s sister still alive? Who made Marina watch the players? Did the veterinarian Natalya survive, sacrificing her life for Nikolai? Or maybe it’s all a virtual game …