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The River (PREVIEW)

Famous explorer Dr. Emmet Cole ( played by Bruce Greenwood) has the most popular television show that’s been on air for many years. The show is all about the magic of wildlife that the world has to offer and Dr. Emmet Cole takes his family around the world to show the rest of the world the magic that’s out there. While on a search deep in the Amazon, Dr. Emmet Cole goes missing. For six months the world hopes that their hero will come out of the Amazon to continue on with his beloved show. But he is not found by the search parties and so he is declared to be dead. Lincoln (played by Joe Anderson), Dr Emmet Cole’s son, is approached by his mother Tess (played Leslie Hope) that she had received a signal from Dr. Emmet’s beacon. With this information a crew is put together that includes both mother and son, the daughter of one of the crew members that went missing with Dr. Emmet Cole, and the ships driver that once worked for Dr. Emmet Cole for 28 years, to go search the Amazon for the source of the beacon and possibly find Dr. Emmet Cole.

This pilot episode of the “The River” had a decent opening by showing past clips of the show that made the character Dr. Emmet Cole so popular. With the way this opening is set up I was given all the information that I would need to know about the character and a backstory of the character but done in a quick few minutes. Which I liked because there was less time being used to set up this character and more time being used to show the progression of the main story. However, what I really liked about this pilot is the mystery in it.

Here’s a show that is about a guy that goes off in search for magic and has disappeared. When a search party goes looking for him they not only find his boat, they find it damaged and covered with jungle growth. But more importantly they find a mysterious monster or possibly a evil spirit that killed the first crew and is now hunting down the crew of the search party. With this monster thing trying to kill this search party, tapes that are found that show the main character doing some crazy things while acting in strange manners, I was taken along for a ride that made me want to see and know more.

What caught my attention about this show is that it gave me the feeling of a movie rather than a television show. Sure it was dragged out to last 45 minutes but it has a movie feel to it more so than a television show. It also has a decent sized cast that are all together in most of the same scenes instead of being spread apart and only showing one or two of them at a time. Though I wasn’t too impressed with the performance levels of some of the actors on the show. It’s mainly with the son Lincoln played by Joe Anderson that didn’t impress me. When he was needing to be angry he just came across as whiney, though it’s possible that he was supposed to be that, in any case the way this character was portrayed was a little annoying. And the performance of Leslie Hope as the wife/mother Tess Cole, was rigid and stiff making the character seem like her feelings were being forced and fake and not making me connect with her.

Aside from the minor acting skills or lack of on some of the actors parts, “The River” was enjoyable to watch. I like the idea of having a show that holds a mystery to it that will make me tune in each week in hopes to learn more about what’s going on. With how this pilot episode had a lot of action going on in it yet also holding a lot of mystery to it, I’m now waiting to see the second episode to know how the show will progress. 


Lee Roberts
Review by Lee Roberts
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