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‘The River’ on ABC: Boredom runs through it

A nature-loving TV host (Bruce Greenwood) disappears Amaz“The River” premiering Tuesday.

A nature-loving TV host (Bruce Greenwood) disappears in the Amazon on “The River,” premiering Tuesday.

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‘the river’ ★★

Two-hour series premiere 8 to 10 p.m. Tuesday on WLS-Channel 7

Updated: February 1, 2013 5:15PM



Pop some Dramamine before watching ABC’s new horror series, “The River,” because the shaky camera work is more likely to make you seasick than scared.

You can, however, skip the sleeping pill. “The River’s” two-hour premiere should suffice.

Billed as a thriller, the show tries hard to be terrifying and eerie in a “Paranormal Activity” kind of way. It ends up being hokey and, even worse, boring.

The plot centers on the search to find TV personality and nature enthusiast Dr. Emmet Cole (Bruce Greenwood, “Star Trek”), who disappeared deep in the Amazon while “looking for magic.”

The video clips we see of this khaki-clad eccentric would indicate the Amazon did us a big favor. But Cole’s wife, son and a television crew are determined to track him down.

Along the way, they stumble upon all sorts of inane badness, including a patch of jungle where toy dolls dangle from the trees. “What do you want from us???” Cole’s wife screams in this American Girl store gone awry, right before one of the dolls blinks its eyes — and I roll mine, for the umpteenth time.

I had high hopes for this show, given the solid cast and line-up of executive producers, including Steven Spielberg. But after swimming in its silliness for two hours, I can only say “The River” goes downhill fast.



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