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Wednesday, February 8, 2012

The River: AKA: Ok, That Was Freaky

I may have gotten abnormally pumped for last night's two hour premier of The River on ABC. I remembered the script from last pilot season, and although I wasn't overly blown away by it, I thought it was interesting, and more importantly, I NEEDED to see it after I discovered that Joe Anderson (Across the Universe, The Grey) was staring in it. I am nothing if not loyal to the actors I love, and further more the idea of his lovely little British face being broadcast into my home on a weekly bias, but I digress.

I realize it will be hard to talk about the show with out spoiling some of it, and since it is a horror/thriller type show, you should probably go watch it first before you read on. 


You have been warned.  

Ok, so the pilot episode was fine, I mean it was a pilot, and I'm just going to come right out and say it, pilot episodes are never really that good. There's just too much that needs to be explained, too much to set up. They are necessary evils, but I've always found it unfair to judge anything too harshly before at least the third episode. Also I find it unfair, especially with these types of shows because I've read the pilots and know exactly what is going to happen and therefore miss the thrills and scares as they are intended. That being said I found the first hour, which consisted of the actual pilot, to be interesting, and I was intrigued by the fact that they got rid of their "big baddy" with in the span of the first hour. Clearly the question became where would they go next? I mean sure the Amazon itself is bound to be a frightening place, as it is pretty unknown as far as places on earth go, throw in the established fact that "real magic" good and bad exists and you open a world of frightening possibilities.

Cut to the terror inducing episode that was "Marbeley". I will flat out admit to the fact that toys, specifically, dolls and stuffed animals, adorning sculptures and or trees, that are left to the elements.  The get all weathered and gross looking and remind me of death and decay, not to mention the fact that Syfy's Destination Truth - Island of the Dolls episode scarred me for life. Seriously, if you've never seen it, go watch, but I warn you it is terrifying. Clearly, this episode was destined to freak me out from the very beginning.

I spent the next hour or so on the edge of my seat, in true genre fashion, and much to the annoyance of The Boy, often yelping and or yelling at the tv. After all who decides the best place to camp in under an offering tree, where the offerings are made to fend off a vengeful spirit? And I'm sorry, but who doesn't think that taking one of said offerings off the tree is a bad idea? I swear if I had seen Lincoln walking around carrying Marbeley I would have flipped at him to put it back.

But it wasn't all thrills and chills, the first two episodes did manage to lay some groundwork for the upcoming series. Emmet Cole is indeed alive, they have given us multiple reason to believe that this is a fact and not just wishful thinking on the part of the crew.  Also some interesting foreshadowing as to the importance of the character of Lena was made. There was definitely a reason as to why Emmet choice to stay in contact with Lena and not his family while on this mission, and it is not for the reason she thinks. It wasn't because she was "expendable", it was because, as shown by the footage of her as a child, she is the strong child who the man "as old as the hills" spoke of.

By the end of the episode, I was left sitting on the couch, curled up in a blanket, next to The Boy, significantly freaked. This was the type of scare I had expected the pilot of American Horror Story to induce. Will I continue to watch the next 6 weeks of The River? Hell yes! Will I watch it alone? HELL NO!

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