Why It’s Worth a Watch Wednesday – Lost in the Amazon

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.

See? 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.

Lost in the Amazon at night… spooky!

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

Tele-Tuesday: A New Year Full of the Paranormal

We briefly discussed how the supernatural is taking over the world, the world of television that is, last week in our Why It’s Worth a Watch review of the SyFy network’s Being Human.

Blame it on this love for the paranormal, but we announce with excitement that there’s not only one, or two, but three new science fiction shows airing on not one, or two, but three different networks in the next few weeks.  Not all three are one hundred percent supernatural, but all three have the crucial element of sci-fi – leaving the audience believing in fantastical events, whether realistic or not.

*****

Lost Girl

What if we made a habit of waking up next to dead lovers?

That’s the story of Bo’s life (Anna Silk), her life as a succubus.

Lost Girl follows Bo as she attempts to control her power and balance her supernatural and human lives.

Bo works alongside a combination of supernatural beings and human friends: Kenzi (Ksenia Solo, Life Unexpected), Bo’s best friend and scam artist with many “street” talents; Dyson (Kristen Holden-Reid, The Tudors), a police detective and a wolf shape-shifter; Lauren (Zoie Palmer), a human doctor with valuable knowledge of the supernatural Fae organization, an organization that we can only assume is a supernatural council of sorts; and Trick (Rick Howland), the owner of a town pub where good and bad, supernatural and human, mingle.

Looks like Bo can hold her own, succubus or no succubus

Lost Girl has aired in Canada for the past few television seasons, and has been renewed for a third.  The SyFy network recently acquired the rights to air the first two seasons, and the series premiered last night.

But don’t worry; if you missed the pilot episode, you can catch the encore presentation this Saturday, January 21st at 10pm CST. 

Lost Girl airs on SyFy’s Monday night’s 9pm CST time slot following Being Human.

*****

Touch

He’s back… Jack’s back…only this time not as our beloved Jack Bauer.  Instead, Kiefer Sutherland returns to the Fox network as Martin Bohm, a single father to an autistic and mute son.  A son (Jake, played by David Mazouz), who despite his lack of verbal communication and social skills, possesses a greater ability – the ability to see things that no one else can and communicate solely by using numbers.

Touch also stars the great Danny Glover as Professor Arthur Dewitt, an expert who will help Martin better understand Jake, even if his methods are a bit unorthodox.  It is crucial that Martin establish a better relationship with his son and build a solid home, since social worker Clea Hopkins (Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Undercovers) is watching his every move.

Touch premieres on Fox, January 25th.

*****

The River

The River has been described as a paranormal, action-packed, and adventurous program, that also falls into the horror, mystery, and fantasy genres.

Sounds interesting, doesn’t it?

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, 24) and son (Lincoln, played  by Joe Anderson, The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 2) agree to allow Dr. Cole’s former producer (Clark, played by Paul Blackthorne, the great Harry Dresdon from The Dresdon Files) 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; Emilio (Daniel Zacapa), the mechanic; and Captain Kurt (Thomas Kretschmann), a bodyguard.

Will the team discover the truth behind Dr. Cole’s disappearance, or will they too fall victim to The River?

The River premieres on the ABC network February 7th.

*****

What do you think – did you catch the pilot episode of Lost Girl?  Do you plan to watch Touch or The River?  Which show has the most promise and why?  I’d love to hear from you!