Sunday, November 22, 2015



Last night I finished watching the six-part British TV Drama, "River" and thought it the best thing I'd seen in ages, but I didn't trust my opinion since the main character, River, is mourning the loss of his partner, Stevie (DS Jackie Stevenson) throughout.  I checked a couple of reviews & the reviewers were a bit bothered by the "cliche" of dead people appearing as malevolent ghosts, but I don't watch that much TV and wasn't bothered.  Besides, the people who appear to detective John River aren't ghosts but manifestations of his own thinking.  They don't tell him anything he doesn't know or doesn't believe at the time.

The series ran on BBC One beginning on 13 October 2015 and on Netflix internationally on 18 November 2015.  I should watch it again to form a more balanced opinion.  I don't recall seeing the actor who plays River, Stellan Skarsgard, before, but I recall seeing Nicola Walker in "Touching Evil."  I don't think I was impressed by her acting in Touching Evil but I thought her brilliant in "River."  My impression is that she outshines Stellan Skarsgard -- maybe because she does an excellent job playing differently, but not too differently, depending upon what is going on with River at the time; whereas River is dark and brooding in the first episode and only blossoms as a character toward the end.  Stevie is fully blossomed in the first scene, riding in a car with River, singing along with a song playing on the radio "I love to love" and trying to get River, who insists he can't sing (and I gather the actor Skarsgard really can't; which detracts a little, especially because Nicola Walker is so good).

River is bent upon solving the murder of Stevie and does despite the "cliche" of his bosses boss who wants to get rid of him and has him undergo a psych evaluation figuring that will do it, but the psychologist turns out to be someone who has a special interest in patients who have dead people appear to them and doesn't think that disqualifies River from doing his job.

There are crimes beyond Stevie's murder and River solves them all, and somehow despite the evil we have seen the ending is satisfactory.  River is still crazy, but he'll go on being a brilliant detective solving crimes.  Those who doubted him doubt him no longer.  In fact they adjust to his seeing "manifests" and are okay with it.

I didn't know there were only six parts to the series when I was watching.  I thought this was but the first season of an ongoing TV series, but apparently not.  I was hoping there would be more but couldn't imagine how a season two could be written or that it could possibly be as good.

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