Disappointed with the River (Spoilers Included)

Greenwood, Mississippi
February 8, 2012 12:13am CST
I had been very much been looking forward to watching the 2-hour premiere episode of the River that aired tonight, but now, after having seen it, I'm feeling decidedly underwhelmed. I think it's especially important for shows that deal with supernatural elements to have realistic characters whose reactions to the weirdness they're confronted with seem genuine and spontaneous. The River's characters just didn't seem to act like real human beings would to me. For one thing, they're extremely credulous...no one seems particularly surprised by the sudden appearance of ghosts or folk legends come to life. They also seem to lack emotion; the death of one of their crew was basically greeted with indifference, and the fact that he was killed by a ghost didn't dissuade Tess from trying to communicate with the said entity nor did it stop another crew member from openly and unnecessarily taunting a different spirit! I actually like the concept for the show, but to do justice to the story the writers need to be more character-focused. As it is, the characters do whatever they need to do to move the story forward, regardless of whether that behavior is realistic or not. The ghost had to be released so it was convenient for the characters to believe Emmet was alive and shut up in a room inside the ship (which made no sense at all...based on the sounds coming from the ship, it sounded more like an animal had been trapped inside). Likewise, Lincoln knew just how to get his mother back after she had drowned even though a few minutes before he hadn't even remembered the details of the legend of the drowned child. Seriously, who would suddenly stop searching for their drowning mother in order to start digging up an old grave in the vague hope of appeasing an avenging spirit? Sigh...I wanted this show to be so much better!
5 responses
• United States
8 Feb 12
Yeah, I watched it last night too and I didn't realize any of this until I read your post. You're right about the characters, but I guess it just didn't really bother me that much that they just knew what to do. The second hour of the show I thought was the scariest..especially the part with the dolls! For the most part though, I think the show was pretty good. It had a very creepy atmosphere that always kept me anticipating something scary to happen. I also think that the way it was filmed sort of has an effect of how creepy it is. Hopefully the episodes to come will improve and become a bit more realistic.
• Greenwood, Mississippi
9 Feb 12
Yeah, I actually liked how it was filmed too. The scenery and setting were quite good; I don't know if it was shot on location in Brazil, but the footage of the river and the surrounding landscape was excellent. It also was fast-paced which is good for a scary show and definitely established a menacing atmosphere...unfortunately, the focus on keeping the action going contributed to the bad character development.
• United States
9 Feb 12
But usually it's like that in the horror genre. You have to sacrifice fast-paced and menacing for well developed characters. If you spend too much time on development, then you lose the creepy atmosphere and good scares. I think as the story progresses though we find out more and more about Lincoln and his relationship with his dad as well as the mom. As for the other characters, they don't really tell us much about them. Hopefully as the story continues, they'll reveal a bit more about the characters.
1 person likes this
@stealthy (8190)
• United States
8 Feb 12
I didn't watch it partly because it just didn't look that good to me and partly because it was on opposite other shows that I usually watch. All the trailers were just too much jumping around and flashing from small bits of scenes to other small bits of scenes. There just wasn't anything that grabbed my attention.
• Greenwood, Mississippi
9 Feb 12
Are you still watching Ringer? I taped it yesterday so I could watch the River, but next week I'll just go back to watching Ringer at 8 CST.
@jillhill (37354)
• United States
8 Feb 12
I am glad I didn't stay up to watch it then...it looked interesting....Thanks for the heads up!
• Greenwood, Mississippi
9 Feb 12
To be fair, there's a big variance in opinion about the show. You might still want to give it a try and make up your own mind -- I think there's only going to be 6 or 8 episodes made altogether so you don't need to worry about getting too far behind to catch up!
@chiwasaki (4666)
• Philippines
9 Dec 12
I agree with you. I have noticed that these characters are not strong. I mean, you can easily forget them and move on to your next television series. Their reaction towards the ghost and supernatural is not really normal. When you see a black shadow like that, I think it is normal that they will freak out but they are very cool about it.
@starrm (124)
• United States
20 Feb 12
I agree on a lot. The acting, in general, has been subpar. If this show wasn't filmed and shot as a faux documentary, it would be much less interesting. The concept is great and I think the last episode or two has helped to pick up some momentum. It remains to be seen how strong the story and concept are and if the acting will continue to be a burden to the show.