T.V. Show Review: ABC’s “The River”


ABC debuted a new television show titled The River last Tuesday (February 7th). The show is co-created/co-produced by none other than one of our favorite lucky S.O.B.’s of the past 3 years, Oren Peli, who wrote/produced/directed the first Paranormal Activity film and has had a hand in all of the subsequent sequels. The show is also co-produced by Steven Spielberg, who is also co-producing NBC’s new show Smash which is about a group of characters coming together to create a Broadway musical about Marilyn Monroe…Okaaaaaaaaaaaay Mr. Spielberg. Terra Nova I understand, but Smash is a little out of left field if you ask me.

"The River" Promo Logo

The River is about a group of adventure /exploration T.V. show makers who go on a (you guessed it) river journey to find the host and crew of the show who went missing on an uncharted Amazon river six months at of the start pilot episode. The group runs into all sorts of mysterious spirits, magical tribes and supernatural beings along their journey and so you know it’s gonna get ghost-a-licious.

If you haven’t seen any of The River, I have some good news for you and I have some bad news. Which do you want first? Good or Bad?…Unfortunately this isn’t a choose your own (river) adventure post so I’ll make the decision for you

The Bad News: Each episode of The River aired thus far is shot like all the films of the Paranormal Activity franchise which includes shaky camera work, surveillance cameras that are set up on the crew’s boat similar to the ones set up in the house of Paranormal Activity, and sped up time lapse. The time lapse by the way has appeared in all three episodes aired so far. I know you may have assumed that already, but I just want to stress how much you don’t need time lapse in EVERY episode. Another bad thing about the show is that it has the pace of a Paranormal Activity movie in each episode. You know how nothing happens for the first half of the movie then all hell breaks loose for the second half. Each episode works exactly like that which peaks my interest right now but how soon will it be before I get too tired of watching the first half of the episode.

The Good News: The show is actually kind of intriguing for the moment. Every week there’s a new “ghost/magic people/spirit” and they have to deal with it however they can whilst still trying to solve the mystery of where the host and his crew disappeared to. The 3rd and latest episode of the season titled “Los Ciegos” had a cool story that revealed a lot of character development in the end so I was pleased. ALSOOOOO this season is slated to only have 13 episodes or less this season so if you’ve read my previous post you’ll realize why it gets a big f***cking gold star for the time being.

All in all if you like Paranormal Activity then give The River a try, but if you didn’t care for the former then you might want to skip out on the latter and perhaps watch Smash, co-produced by Steven Spielberg. I know I said that fact previously in the post, but I still just cannot comprehend.

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4 thoughts on “T.V. Show Review: ABC’s “The River”

  1. revjonflores says:

    Shaky cam makes my 44 year old brain go a little goofy…don’t know if I can watch more of this series or not, though I was moderately intrigued by the pilot.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Thought the first part of the first episode was a good start on a reasonable story, but it soon went downhill with a dragonfly carrying the “speaking spirit” of the lost character (via the mechanics daughter) Then when they discovered the “tree of dolls” I found the story line going too off-point of the original task to maintain much interest. It seemed that the writers had seperate ideas for the two episodes and when they couldn’t link them together, they just filmed it anyway to continue the series. Have totally lost interest. Too bad, it could have been a pretty good story if the writing hadn’t gone so far afield.

  3. Arthur Fonzarelli says:

    I was a huge fan of the third Paranormal Activity, so that’s what initially grabbed mine and my wife’s attention. Personally, I think that it was great how they have the large story as well as a “side story” in each episode, if they were just looking for Dr Emmet nonstop without encountering the dangers that he did, I think I’d lose my interest. One of my only gripes is that the audio is a little too good. I think I fell in love with Paranormal Activity because it did really seem like it was footage from a real handheld camera. The grainy picture and the audio just gave me that feeling. However, the picture did look amazing with my DISH HD, it’s always a huge bonus. I have been excited about this episode since I heard a customer mention it since I work at DISH, she wanted to make sure that she got ABC in HD in her area.

  4. […] T.V. Show Review: ABC’s “The River” by Chris B. […]

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