This week Amber West and I review two mini-series on Why It’s Worth a Watch Wednesday: the BBC favorite, Doctor Who, and the new ABC paranormal mystery, The River.
The River has been described as a paranormal, action-packed, and adventurous program that falls into the horror, mystery, and fantasy genres.
Sounds interesting, doesn’t it?
First, a quick summary of The River:
The series follows the friends and family members of Dr. Emmet Cole (Bruce Greenwood), as they search for any signs that the famous television personality and wild life expert survived his last voyage into the Amazon.
Desperate for the opportunity to search for their loved one, the doctor’s wife (Tess, played by Leslie Hope) and son (Lincoln, played by Joe Anderson) agree to allow Dr. Cole’s former producer (Clark, played by Paul Blackthorne) to join and film the expedition “documentary” style, in exchange for his funding of the trip.
The search team also consists of: Lena (Eloise Mumford), a valued resource and the daughter of Emmet Cole’s missing cameraman; Emilio (Daniel Zacapa), the ship’s mechanic and his young daughter, Jahel (Paulina Gaitan); Captain Kurt (Thomas Kretschmann), a bodyguard hired to protect the crew but who also harbors a secret agenda; and lead cameraman, A.J. (Shaun Parkes).
Will the team discover the truth behind Emmet Cole’s disappearance, or will they too fall victim to The River?
Now, a bit of the story:
For over twenty years, Emmet Cole starred in a popular television series that explored the different parts of the world and the organisms that populate it. His catch phrase, “There’s magic out there,” reached out to millions of loyal viewers, but perhaps no one quite as much as his wife and son who traveled with him on his ship, the Magus, during his expeditions.
But on his latest voyage to the Amazon, Emmet leaves behind those that usually travel with him (his wife, his son, his producer, and his cameraman’s daughter). Instead, he hires a new crew and ventures out on his own searching for magic.
Magic is just what he finds – a mysterious magic in the Amazon. But before he can return with his discovery, he along with everyone else on his ship vanishes. Emmet was presumed dead by the world, that is until his emergency beacon activates six months later.
Tess, feeling a bit guilty for reasons we won’t mention, insists they find her husband. She decides to partner up using Clark’s financial resources to document her search for Emmet and builds the team, including her reluctant son, to find the ship and her husband (and the other missing people, but everyone has their own agenda out there).
Once the team locates the Magus, they board and immediately start watching footage taped by Lena’s dad (Russ, played by Lee Tergesen) and Jonas (Scott Michael Foster). It is obvious to the viewer that something in the Amazon is making Emmet appear like he is going crazy; but the team presses on despite the forces working against them — forces such as possessions, magical legends and curses, poisons, and ghosts.
So far, the search and recovery has yielded two of Emmet’s missing shipmates: Russ and Jonas; but still no Emmet. After seeing what happens to these men (no spoilers), one can only imagine Emmet’s fate is doomed.
For television, The River is actually very spooky and mysterious and the special effects are surprisingly good (Steven Spielberg is involved, after all). The season is short (only eight episodes long) and I’m hoping for some answers in the remaining two shows. While I am enjoying the series and it’s not sitting in my DVR queue very long, I’m still not so sure about the overall program’s rating.
A part of me feels that I should award the JFTV rating; The River is unlike anything else on network television today (American Horror Story is better, in my opinion), but I have a bad feeling that the direction of these final episodes could possibly leave a Lost feeling in my mouth. For that, and for that fear alone, I must award The River the SSTV rating. It’s still simmering; what can I say?
What do you think? Do you watch The River? Is it worthy of a higher rating? I’d love to hear from you!
Now click over to Amber’s blog and read her thoughts on the regenerating doctors of Doctor Who.
Come back next week when Amber and I review two new (or maybe old) TV shows. We like to keep everyone on their toes.
Remember to stop by the #watchwed hashtag in Twitter to discuss any of today’s reviews, or to mention any television programs that you’d like to see on Why It’s Worth a Watch Wednesday in the future.
A Recap of The WatchWed Review System:
GTV (Gourmet TV): Everything we want and more
MacTV (MacNCheese TV): Guilty pleasure. Not perfect, but is satisfies
GMacTV (Gourmet MacNCheese TV): A combination of fine wine and comfort food
JFTV (Junk food TV): It’s not great for us, but we’ll go back for seconds
TBPTV (Twice Baked Potato TV): Part gourmet and delicious, while absolutely horrible for our cholesterol
SSTV (Still Simmering TV): It has potential, but the jury is still out
NIV (Nyquil Induced Viewing): Perfect for that late night television sleep timer
LOTV (Liver&Onions TV): Do we really have to explain? Blech
25 Replies to “Why It’s Worth a Watch Wednesday – Lost in the Amazon”
Ooo, The River sounds right up my alley. Will check out – thanks!
We watched half of the first episode. Neither of us were that interested. There was something about the show that was just not right. I don’t know if it was the faux reality show angle, the un-likability of the characters, or what. But we didn’t get into it.
Loved your review, though. 😀
The unlikability of the characters…you may have hit the nail on the head with this one, Catie. I really can’t name one character at this point that I like and don’t want anything bad to happen to. That could also be a good thing, considering who knows what the ending will hold – maybe they all die? It’s not looking good. Even the beginning of the show says something about the video left behind…
Thanks for stopping by!
We watched the first eposode of The River and had to pass. While i love suspense and horror, just wasnt for me.
I gave up Ringer for this show. Mostly because my husband wanted to watch it and there was something else we watch on at the same time. I figure I can pick up Ringer later. This show looked so intriguing that hubby and I couldn’t resist. So far I’m really liking it, but I don’t LOVE it. I wouldn’t freak out if I missed an episode (like I would with Person of Interest, LOL). It’s super creepy and super weird. There’s definitely a lot of magic where they are exploring. I hated what happened with one of the people they found on the last episode, but this is a dark show, right? Anyway, I think I’ll have to agree on your rating.
It is definitely a dark show. I’m not sure anyone’s going to make it out alive. How about you, Lauralynn?
Thanks for stopping by!
PS. I haven’t given up Ringer for this, but I do have four or so Ringer episodes on my DVR to watch. I have zero The River episodes – we’re current. I think I like Ringer more, but we’re completely intrigued with The River…
It’s funny, we happened upon the last five minutes of the show last night, and couldn’t figure out what the heck was going on, LOL. And there’s only one episode left, correct?
On another topic…Survivor tonight! Squee!!
Oh, Kathy! I can definitely see how catching the last five minutes of The River would be confusing. Sometimes watching the entire 60 minutes is confusing. LOL
Survivor!!! I honestly can’t believe how much I dislike you-know-who. I think he may be one of the meanest people, genuinely mean, I’ve ever seen and he doesn’t deserve to be showcased on a show like that. BOO! C’mon guys!! Grow some and get rid of him! He’s a cancer!
Haven’t seen The River. An article on Yahoo yesterday said it’s on the bubble. (The article was about Fox cancelling Terranova and the search for another network). I think I passed by it channel surfing and didn’t stop. Maybe I should have>
Hey, Tom! I’m certainly not surprised that The River is on the bubble. Network TV may not be the best place for a show like this. And I’m really not surprised Fox pulled the plug on Terra Nova. Not because it wasn’t a decent show, but because of the expense. Fox doesn’t like to go out on a limb for much… I’d actually like to see SyFy or TNT pick it up for a 2nd season to see where it goes. Did you watch?
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I’ve been without TV for the past two months, but we just got cable the other day, so I’ll have to look for this show. It sounds good to me. Great review, Tiffany!
Without TV for two months? Lynn, that might just kill me. 🙂
I’m enjoying the River so far. Although I wish they hadn’t cut his hair 😦
Hahahahaha. The only thing I can think of as to why they cut his hair is because they probably shot the pilot months before waiting to see if it would get picked up. And by the time ABC grabbed it, the actor had already cut his hair in real life.
Thanks for the smile, Alica!
I know this is nitpicking, but while the premise is interesting, the title is DOA. The River? That’s it? Not exactly begging me to tune in. Maybe that’s why it didn’t register with me before. Great review, Tiffany.
Huh. You don’t like the name? Very interesting…. I thought the title and later the trailers were well done – left me wanting to know more about the show. For so long, all we knew is that The River was creepy and it was coming….but now that it’s here, so much of the show is spent off the boat in the Amazon and that is where it’s really creepy.
Thanks for stopping by, Julie!
Hmm. This is one I couldn’t get behind, and I try not too watch too many network shows because I don’t have the time. RE: American Horror Story, have you heard the news about next season, starting completely over, new house, but Jessica Lange, Evan Peterson (YAY!), Zachery Quinto and another gal (the lady of the house whose son was killed, can’t remember) will be back as all new characters. Going to be crazy.
Stacy, you KNOW how excited I am about American Horror Story. I’m sorry to see the Harmons won’t be back, but the fact that Constance and Tate will be TOTALLY makes up for it. I also saw Zachary Quinto and the woman that plays Nora (did you know she’s Jill Clayburgh’s daughter) would be back for season two as main characters. Yay! I’m really looking forward to this. 🙂
I haven’t watched this one, and I think your review has actually convinced me not to watch. Usually it’s the other way around 🙂 To be honest, I’m not a big fan of horror. I have enough trouble sleeping as it is. Loved your review though. if it wasn’t scary, the plot itself sounds really interesting.
I’ve seen several episodes and am really enjoying it. Also loved that comment with the news about more Horror Story!