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Series / The River

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The River is an American television series about an expedition to find explorer Dr. Emmet Cole, who disappeared six months ago while exploring the Amazon. It is made by the director of Paranormal Activity, in the Found Footage format. Wikipedia describes it as "paranormal/adventure/horror."

Not to be confused with River.

The River contains examples of:

  • Ambition Is Evil:
    • Clark, the producer, is very ambitious.
    • Jonas Beckett. He really wanted that Peabody award.
  • Arc Words: "There's magic out there."
  • Bilingual Dialogue: Jahel only speaks Spanish but appears to understand English. Emilio, Lincoln, and Tess speak Spanish and English, but other characters (like Sammy) appear to only speak elementary Spanish.
  • Blind Weaponmaster: Or rather, a whole tribe of blind assassins
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  • Bolivian Army Ending: The river is rearranged by a pissed-off Jerkass God so the group can't leave its zone of influence... although, then again, it's a "found footage" show...
  • Bullying a Dragon: A.J. frequently bullies "the ghosts" in order to get footage.
  • Downer Ending: It doesn't look like they'll be leaving anytime soon. If ever.
  • Eat the Dog: Emmet considers this while lost in the amazon with his dog Salsa, but after much consideration, just can't go through with it.
  • El Spanish "-o": Sammy repeatedly tries to speak Spanish to Jahel.
  • Establishing Character Moment: Clark insists on filming Tess and Lincoln's first meeting; Kurt throws a man overboard for touching his guns.
  • Evil Brit: Either the demon that possessed Lincoln was British or the actor portraying him just used it as an excuse to drop his American accent.
  • Excited Kids' Show Host: Lots of kids liked watching Dr. Cole's show, and got upset when he disappeared.
  • Eye Scream: The specialty of the Los Ciegos. ("Los Ciegos" means "The blind" in Spanish.)
  • Genre Blindness:
    • The rescue team hears knocking from inside the panic room in the Magus's Creepy Basement, and they notice that it's been welded shut from the outside, and their first impulse is to cut it open. It's not Too Dumb to Live, since the obvious mundane explanation is that Jerkass pirates welded their victims in there, but clearly nobody present has seen a horror movie.
    • Also, let's set up camp in the middle of the jungle at a tree where someone hung a lot of creepy dolls.
  • Honor Before Reason: The cameramen. Sammy died for footage and A.J. won't put down his camera to help Lena when she was injured.
  • Ironic Echo: From possessed Lincoln: "There's magic out there."
  • Jerkass: AJ and Clark both come across as assholes at first, but the third episode pushes them both towards being a Jerk with a Heart of Gold.
  • Jerkass Gods:
    Emilio: God hates me, I know, or he would have made [my daughter Jahel] ugly.
    • The Boiuna definitely qualifies. Sure, it has a reason to be pissed about people trying to steal its secrets, but it's also a sadistic asshole who makes it clear that it loves tormenting the crew.
  • Kill the Ones You Love: Kurt must kill his fiance Hana after finding her infected with The Virus.
  • Literary Allusion Title: For the Show Within a Show - "The Undiscovered Country, from whose bourn no traveller returns", from Hamlet's "To be or not to be" soliloquy. Appropriately enough the line is referring to the afterlife.
  • Living Shadow: Corpo Seco is a shrieking blot of (un)living darkness.
  • Maniac Monkeys: The rescue team finds a monkey in the middle of the jungle wearing a doll mask.
  • Missing Mom: Jahel's. Turns out she's not actually dead...
  • Not Himself: Emmet realizes something is wrong with Lincoln after he tells his father he loves him. Even Emmet acknowledges this doesn't speak well of their family dynamic.
  • Our Ghosts Are Different: The crew of the Exodus appear to be completely normal at first, but are quickly revealed to be revenants forever adrift on the river until someone is available to take their place, allowing them to pass on.
  • "Shaggy Dog" Story: The crew rescues Rabbit, and Tess even gives a big speech on her questionable past and future ethics. Then a zombie gets her.
  • Short Runner: Only lasted eight episodes.
  • Show Within a Show: Dr. Cole's The Undiscovered Country.
  • The Teaser: A bit of The Undiscovered Country is shown before the opening credits.
  • This Is Gonna Suck: We hear one from Lincoln right before giving Jonas an injection of epinephrine.
  • "Well Done, Son!" Guy: Lincoln wants Tess to be proud of him for the medical research he's doing instead of following in his father's footsteps.
  • We Hardly Knew Ye:
    • All we really knew about Sammy before his death was that he was Jewish.
    • You guys remember Rabbit, right? Neither do we.
  • You Have to Have Jews: The first thing Sammy notes is that he's the only Jew around.
  • Your Princess Is in Another Castle!: In the first (and only) season finale, everyone is on the boat safe and sound, ready to return to the regular Amazon river. But the Boiuna won't let them leave, and the river physically reshapes itself so they can't leave.


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