Amid a torrent of reality nonsense and cookie cutter TV The River brings something fresh and suspenseful.
There is a "Lost-ish" quality about it, in that the characters are slowly developed and of course the premise of a group of people in the middle of nowhere with some seriously freaky stuff going on.
The River however has a faster pace and a clearer cut goal, that of finding Emmet Cole, a missing naturist/TV host and his filming crew. This makes for a simpler show, one that anyone can get on board with without needing to watch it from the beginning.
The "found footage" bit, well, whatever. I don't necessarily see the point, but I don't find it distracting as some might.
The actors aren't delivering any Emmy-winning performances...yet. If ABC gives this show a chance beyond season 1, I only see The River getting better.