Wednesday, February 08, 2012

Episode One of The River on ABC - worth watching

Yes, The River on ABC is a limited run (8 episodes) series but after watching the first two episodes last night I have to say that I am intrigued by the story which The River has to tell. It has elements of Lost, The Blair Witch Project, The Shining and Paranormal Activity to it. It's a found-footage concept which may or may not have been overdone in recent years but still works because viewers know that there is likely an endpoint to The River.

The central story is about the mysterious disappearance of Dr. Emmet Cole who, for over 20 years, was the central star of a fictional nature show in which his family was heavily featured. A film crew, along with Cole's son, wife and a longtime childhood friend of Dr. Cole's son meet in the Amazon River in an attempt to locate and rescue Dr. Emmet Cole.

The River's major flaw, unfortunately, is bad acting. The British actor playing Dr. Cole's son is brutal in the delivery of his sometimes forced and cheesy lines. But what is lost in the bad acting is made up for in the suspense. Oh, sure, we see a glimpse of the spirit-like being or monster which is likely responsible for the mayhem in this uncharted area of the Amazon River but unlike Lost, which made viewers wait for what seemed like forever for an explanation or even a glimpse of the smoke monster, The River gets right down to business -- knowing that they have a mere eight hours to wrap the story up.

I wouldn't worry about The River on ABC being drawn out beyond its initial eight episode run because its lackluster ratings last night seem to indicate that it's a one and done. So sit back and enjoy the suspense which The River has to offer. It settles in to its permanent timeslot next Tuesday at 8 PM central on ABC.

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