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The River: A TV Series Worth Watching?

The River TV seriesAre you ready for a scare? ABC is hoping that you are since tonight marks the debut of The River, their new paranormal/adventure/horror series.

On The River, famed explorer and TV host Dr. Emmet Cole (Bruce Greenwood) went looking for magic in the uncharted Amazon and vanished six months ago. Now, Dr. Cole’s emergency beacon has suddenly gone off. His wife (Leslie Hope) and son (Joe Anderson) join a rescue party that’s funded by a documentary that’s documenting the dangerous rescue. Others in the cast include Paul Blackthorne, Eloise Mumford, Daniel Zacapa, and Thomas Kretschmann.

Is The River worth your time? Here’s what some of the critics say:

Boston Herald: “The makers of the River deserve credit for spilling so much of their X-Files myth-ology from the start, but there’s not enough reason to book passage on this voyage of the bland.”

NY Daily News: “The problem with ABC’s new paranormal mystery drama The River is that when your story revolves around a guy who disappeared, the viewer has to care about finding him. No offense to Dr. Emmet Cole (Bruce Greenwood), but to be honest, tramping through the remote corners of the Amazon in search of clues to his current whereabouts feels like it may be more trouble than it’s worth… If the central mystery is more finite and manageable [than Lost] — what happened to Dr. Cole? — then perhaps the larger story won’t become overwhelming. Perhaps. The River still requires the viewer to pay at least semi-close attention, though, and the question is how many will want to sign on for the ride.

THR: “Finally, a successor to Lost with potential. There’s a whole lot going on in this horror-adventure from the creator of Paranormal Activity, but whether the series can last beyond its initial eight-episode order without the suspense petering out remains to be seen.”

Boston Globe: “Whether or not viewers take themselves to The River, ABC and the creators deserve credit for one thing: There is nothing that looks like this show on television right now… Employing a similar found footage” approach provides The River” with several layers of visuals and ably conjures the sticky humidity, cramped quarters, and general grime of its settings on the ship and in the jungle.”

USA Today: “If you’re looking for depth or common sense, look away from The River (ABC, Tuesday, 9 ET/PT; *** out of four), a lost-in-the-Amazon spook show that is, intellectually speaking, closer to Lost in Space than Lost. If, however, you’re in the mood for a weekly dose of first-rate and practically gore-free frights — the kind that may give you nightmares, but won’t turn your stomach or cause your children to ask you embarrassing American Horror-style questions about sexual perversions — this is the trip for you.”

LA Times: “As on an episodic crime procedural, The River seems poised to offer a series of discrete encounters with the otherworldly, written with a copy of The Big Book of Amazonian Folk Tales open nearby, as it goes along its long-arc way. This many minutes into a horror film, all the characters but one would already be dead, given the near-universal tendency to run toward rather than away from the loud crash or the rustling in the brush… But as this is television, there is some investment in keeping them alive.”

Washington Post: “There’s paranormal, and then there’s para-puhleeez. The line between those two can be quite fine, especially when results vary from viewer to viewer.”

NY Times: “The River is the second new show in two nights, after Smash, and the third this season (after Terra Nova) to bear the imprimatur of Steven Spielberg as executive producer. Add those to his films War Horse and The Adventures of Tintin, released within a week of each other in December, and there may be a lesson about spreading yourself too thin.”

What do you think? Will you watch the two-hour premiere of The River? If you’ve seen it, will you watch the next episode?

 

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{ 47 comments… read them below or add one }

Kim September 30, 2012 at 9:45 pm

I love this show and could not wait for the next episode!!! Has it been cancelled??? Can’t find any info on it at all!!!!

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JOSH June 14, 2012 at 3:19 pm

THIS IS ONE OF THE BEST SHOWS I’VE SEEN, WHAT U NEED TO DO IS HAVE MORE ADVERTISING, IT WAS MY MOM THAT TURNED ME ON TO THE RIVER AND SHE HAD NEVER HEARD OF IT BEFORE EITHER, SHE SAW IT AT BEST BUY AND THOUGHT IT LOOKED GOOD SO SHE BOUGHT IT. SHE REALLY ENJOYED IT ALOT SO SHE GAVE IT TO ME TO WATCH AND AS I ALREADY SAID I REALLY ENJOYED IT. WE BOTH REALLY WANT IT TO CONTINUE.

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Julie March 27, 2012 at 9:27 pm

I like this show I would like to go on like mystey of the show! please don’t cancel it!

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Mags March 13, 2012 at 8:25 pm

The river is an awesome show!!! Have been watching every episode and there better be more!! Jesus I hope zombies take over the world!

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haailey March 13, 2012 at 4:47 pm

I lovee this show :)

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kamryn March 7, 2012 at 9:15 pm

WTF ARE YOU GUYS CRITISIZING THE BEST SHOW ON EARTH!!!! YOU GUYS ARE GOING TO MAKE EVERYONE WHO LOVES THIS SHOW PISSED OFF BECAUSE OF YOUR STUPID LITTLE LIES COME ON WE ALL KNOW YOUR INTO THE SHOW SO STOP RUINING IT FOR OTHER PEOPLE K?!

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Matt February 21, 2012 at 11:57 pm

A show about the supernatural unrealistic? Tell me what show about the supernatural is realistic, and I don’t mean believing in it. Alot of people mention Lost for example, I guess you mean to say that a giant smoke monster as the dark side of an island, A yin yang representative, where people heal from injuries, plus whispers everywhere of those trapped, and visions, 6 numbers having meaning around the world which bring bad luck, and are also representations is real and happens all the time. But ACTUAL myths and legends around the Amazon like the evil spirits and the dolls in the trees and others no no that isn’t. Then the cameras, now most of the PA movies are security mounted cameras, but let’s look at Blair witch, Cloverfield, the one in the building with zombies, those all especially you could not tells WTF was going on. Watch those and then watch The River again, which mounted and slow walking is the majority and running shaky camera usage is not only minimal, but also way way better than the movies. It seems people are just looking for excuses to not like The River, maybe a reality show they watched in that time slot got canceled and the river put in it’s place and now there’s hell to pay

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Bob February 19, 2012 at 1:29 pm

I was a bit disappointed but it might still have potential. But hey, don’t the writers know, that not spanish is spoken in Brazil but PORTUGUESE!!! Come on…

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cp February 17, 2012 at 1:29 am

oh yeah, i forgot…the mystical native girl possessed by a bug wasn’t even formulaic, it was just stupid

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cp February 17, 2012 at 1:25 am

blinking baby dolls and ‘sink holes’? watched first episode, wanted to like it…just bad…only 10 year olds would be scared or want to watch more!

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Barbara Yates February 15, 2012 at 9:40 am

I will watch it because it’s a lot better than most of the crap on TV right now, ie: The voice, The X Factor, American Idol, Survivor….what is it about humans acting inhumanely that Americans love so much? I think it’s more like a lack of education, so say what you will, they poo pooed Lost and the X-Files too and look at their legacy. So, if you have a brain and you like to be entertained by something other than reality crap, tune in to The River, the scenery alone is incredible. By the way, all intelligent shows (Fringe, X-Files, et) have low ratings, and what does that mean you ask: lack of education and intelligence among American viewers…duh!

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jake February 10, 2012 at 9:15 pm

The cameraman should go back to kindergarten… and take the sound crew with him. Raspberries!

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