Image Credit: Mario Perez/ABC
ABC’s The River has garnered about as much positive buzz as any midseason show, which is to say it’s been received about ten times better than 90 percent of fall’s offerings. That’s promising. More promising? The show’s executive producers Zack Estrin and Michael Green have a collective knowledge and appreciation for so-called genre television that has well-prepared them for the impending trek down The River. And they want you to feel ready for the journey, too.
So here’s their advice and a (spoiler-free!) preview of what’s to come as you gear up for the ride:
1. YOU WILL GET SCARED…BUT NOT TO DEATH
The general consensus? The River is scary. Be ready for that. But the show is, as Green says, nothing you should lose sleep over. “We were definitely going for a roller coaster, meaning a thrill ride that you know you’ll be safe on and you’ll have fun going on — not a car accident that you want to avoid,” he says. “And we equate the torture porn — Hostel/Saw kind of movies — as a car accident we would avoid at all costs.” It’s more Poltergeist than Saw, assesses Estrin. “But you know what else do I think is important to know? Don’t watch it alone,” he says.
2. ‘PACK YOUR CYNICISM AT THE DOOR’
As fans of so-called genre-TV themselves, Estrin and Green know viewers often feel burned when answers are sacrificed to the cancellation gods, but, says Estrin, it’s no time to give up the quest for a show that will stick. “There’s been a lot of genre fans who feel jilted [when] other shows — whether it be V or Flash Forward or any of these other things — that have had shorter lives than hoped. So quite often they will approach a show already angry that something bad’s going to happen,” says Estrin. “We’ve even seen on the boards, people are [saying], ‘I’m not going to watch this simply because ABC was mean to F Troop in 19-whatever.’ We have had such an amazing experience with the new regime at ABC, who was so completely supportive of taking these kind of big risks. I really think it’s a new era of TV and fans have a lot to be excited for.” Adds Green: “[The network] wants this to work, so maybe they have 20 million friends they can bring.” READ FULL STORY »