• Network:
  • Series Premiere Date: Feb 7, 2012
  • Season #: 1
The River Image

Generally favorable reviews - based on 29 Critics What's this?

User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 90 Ratings

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  • Summary: The search for explorer Dr. Emmet Cole (Bruce Greenwood) in the Amazon jungle by his family and friends is the focus of this series created by the writers of the "Paranormal Activity" movies.
  • Genre(s): Drama
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 18 out of 29
  2. Negative: 0 out of 29
  1. Reviewed by: Tom Gliatto
    Feb 3, 2012
    The scares are not as over-the-top as American Horror Story but more chilling because they're applied glancingly. [13 Feb 2012, p.44]
  2. Reviewed by: Ken Tucker
    Apr 13, 2012
    The performances are good but constrained by the parameters of scary-story acting.
  3. Reviewed by: Robert Bianco
    Feb 7, 2012
    A strong cast and that things-that-go-bump-in-the-night shooting style so far keep the show on course.
  4. Reviewed by: Tim Goodman
    Feb 6, 2012
    You have a series that cobbles together a pretty strong rooting interest.
  5. Reviewed by: Chris Heller
    Feb 7, 2012
    The series manages to serve up a legitimate fright or two, but it needs to slow down.
  6. Reviewed by: Ed Bark
    Feb 6, 2012
    The River in comparison seems like stale tap water, unworthy of any prolonged big drink of time or effort.
  7. Reviewed by: Mike Hale
    Feb 6, 2012
    The mixture of "Lost" storytelling and "Paranormal" style is neither intriguing nor particularly scary, and it doesn't help that there's hardly a glimmer of humor.

See all 29 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 20 out of 39
  2. Negative: 15 out of 39
  1. Feb 11, 2012
    Was actually impressed with The River. I went into it expecting it to be the same 'ol. But I was pleasantly surprised. I can't wait to see how it turns out. Expand
  2. Feb 9, 2012
    This show has a lot of potential, the premise is good, it just needs some time. The more and more I watched the more and more interesting it became. I do not get the critisism this is a good show, I hope it stays steady in the ratings next week, I hope people give it a chance because it is something fresh. I am tired of the same old cop shows, tired concepts, etc. This just might work. Expand
  3. kap
    Mar 7, 2012
    I absolutely am hooked by this show. Has a fair amount of tense moments as well as an addictive plot line. It has become my Tuesday night routine and will miss it after the season is over. Expand
  4. Apr 28, 2012
    The River is enjoyable to watch, but mostly it is because of the wrong reasons. The River is a bad show; it's got bad acting, poorly written dialogue and cheesy music that ruins the horror feel of the series. But the show is indeed fun to watch! The show isn't creepy but it does have it's fair share of creepy moments to it. If you are bored and looking for something cheap and silly to watch, The River is your show. Expand
  5. Feb 24, 2012
    I wanted to like this one. In the first scene though, it's makers blew the realism big time. Mom enters a bar with a film crew, and within minutes (if not seconds), her son is opening his heart about how Daddy was never around. There's no hesitation whatsoever about describing their dysfunctional relationship on camera - They go for in-your-face camera and hidden camera at once, making the scene awkward and unrealistic. They could have approached the family tension in far subtler and effective ways. Instead the introduction felt like a soad opera and they lost me. I'm very glad that there's actually enough quality TV out there nowadays, that I don't have to suffer through a show like The River, waiting for scraps of redeeming dialogue. Expand
  6. Feb 10, 2012
    The comparisons between The River LOST are natural, but the two shows have little in common. LOST was shot nicer and had a more dedicated story arch. The River appears to be more of a 'adventure every episode' format. Comparisons with Supernatural are more apt, but it lacks the charm and scares of that show. The biggest let-down is the camera work, which does little to help the show. If anything, it hinders it. The River could have capitalise don its suspense more if it opted for a more traditional approach. But currently it is just painful to watch as the cameras give away obvious suspense moment (the camera man paradoxically never looks at what everyone else is staring at, mouths gaping, until the last second).

    The River is an interesting idea and a fair premise: a light paranormal yarn that will scare anyone who can't stomach American Horror Story. But it still falls short.
  7. Feb 26, 2012
    I've seen episodes of Sesame Street that were more suspenseful than this show. The writing is vacuous and lacks any sense of humor. The acting is acceptable but unremarkable. The show simply moves way too fast for its own good. If you want to create legitimate scares, you must build suspense, you must make your viewers care about the characters for them to care if they are in danger.

    This was one of the worst premiers I've ever seen, don't waste 45 minutes of your life on it.

See all 39 User Reviews