While “The River” wasn’t my favourite new series when it came out a few months ago — the “found footage” genre just isn’t for me, however, I do like the unique site it built for “The Undiscovered Country,” the show within the show.
The unique site has all the elements of a proper TV site, with episode recaps, video, galleries, and “news” that lines up with the fictional storylines within “The River.” This is a great extension that shows how tranmedia-ish elements can pad out the world of a series. As a non-fan, I haven’t really dug into the blog posts to see if there are any clues about the big mystery within the show, but if I was, I would be all over it. For most sites, this kind of thing would be a “nice to have,” but considering “The River” is meant to be considered “real,” then a site like this would be a must. It’s a great way to build out the story-world, and provide a little bit of an interactive easter egg for audiences.
I should also mention that “The Undiscovered Country” looks really great, as it should. For the “30 Rock” one-offs, I can get behind making them look lacklustre if it’s just related to a gag… but when a feature is much more essential to the mythology, it should be really thought out, planned and deftly designed as this one has.