ABC’s “The River” Complete Series DVD Review

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From Executive Producer Steven Spielberg, and the director of “Paranormal Activity” Oren Peli, a truly harrowing and hair-raising series comes to DVD. “The River: The Complete First Season” tells the tale of famed wildlife explorer and TV personality Dr. Emmet Cole who went looking for magic deep in the uncharted Amazon and never returned.

If you like thrilling suspense, drama, horror and a tinge of sci-fi you’ll love “The River.” The series focuses on the exploits of Dr. Emmet Cole and his quest seeking the source of magic as caught in a reality-television style documentary. As the story unfolds unexplained phenomena takes our adventurers into uncharted territory while you, the viewer, get sucked in to witnessing this uncovered footage.

I saw this show half-way through it’s initial run on t.v. and was hooked. There are so many layers of this series from the acting, story, effects and sound design that are brilliant. One aspect I really liked is the way camera scenes are cut to make it look like reality t.v. Each one of the cameras has a particular look, color and tone that gives each cut a personality. As I watched an episode I those various camera angles and effects really help accentuate the store and mood giving this series something very unique from what is currently being broadcast.

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Bruce Greenwood - The River

Another standout was the performance from actor Bruce Greenwood. Viewers may remember Greenwood from his portrayal of Captain Pike in 2009’s “Star Trek” or as the voice of Batman in the “Young Justice” animated series. He has a great screen presence and the role of Dr. Cole really suits him. I can see his character doing the next Disneynature film or hosting his own show on Animal Planet. Both writers and actor did a great job establishing his character where you get to care about him and his research as well as his fellow crew.

The package contains the entire eight show run, which I consider a mini-series if anything. There is also a few bonus features as well that are well produced and really add to the value of the set. The audio commentary is sound and insightful, deleted scenes and “The Magic Out There” feature takes you into the production of the show including interviews with the writers, cast and crew of this phenomenal show.

Even though the show wasn’t renewed for a second season the series wraps up pretty well with its final cliff-hanger which is something similar to what you would expect from a theatrical release film. What ABC should have done is called it a mini-series and the public probably would have responded differently. It’s a shame there will be no more episodes of this fine program but at the very least you can experience this series at home.

Order  “The River: The Complete First Season” on DVD today!

  • ABC’s “The River” Season One DVD Loaded with Exclusive Bonus Materials – Available May 22, 2012 (
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