All summer long, the promos for this show kept flying at us, usually while we were watching the late, unlamented Persons Unknown. “Are we watching this?” we asked. “Maybe we’ll watch this.” After the less-than-impressive wrapup of Persons Unknown, you might think we’d be a bit wary about diving into another of these ensemble cast-mystery-adventure-type shows again. But we admit it, we can’t get enough of them if they’re done well. As with Persons Unknown (can you tell we’re a bit touchy about the aptly abbreviated PU?), we make no guarantees as to the quality of this series going forward. All we can tell you is we enjoyed the pilot, which had some nicely tense pacing to it and a genuine WTF moment in the last couple of minutes.
Of course that WTF moment may be a little off-putting to a lot of viewers because it’s putting the sci-fi front and center right from the get go. Unlike Lost, which slowly added the more fantastic elements to its story, The Event is letting you know ahead of time what you’re dealing with. In fact, so influential was Lost and so controversial was its ending that the show does tend to haunt these newer efforts. So much seems to be a response to it, either a “Like Lost, but X!” response or “Check out how different we are from Lost!” With its time-jumping and scenes set on plummeting airplanes and tropical islands, it was kind of hard to get away from the comparison.
On the other hand, you could argue that some of these tropes are more of a post-9/11 thing than a post-Lost thing. After all, Lost‘s harrowing plane crash was itself a response to 9/11-stoked fears. All good speculative fiction tells us something about who we are or what world we live in, so when The Event offers us President Shmarack Fauxbama discussing the release of illegally detained prisoners from a secret detention facility, it tends to resonate a bit with the viewers.
Anyway, there’s just enough here to keep us interested and the pilot presented it all in a mostly slick package that demonstrated these people know how to tell a story. It remains to be seen if they’ll be able to keep up the pace, but we’re adding this one to our blog menu anyway. If it gets bad, we’ll just get bitchy.
If you want to know more about the show, our pal Mo Ryan at AOL’s TV Squad has a nice little rundown of things you should know before deciding whether to dive in once more. We’ll be back here in a week with a more in depth recap and review of the first two episodes.
If you haven’t seen the pilot episode, why, here it is, as if by magic:
We’ll throw these mostly non-spoiler discussion points out for those who have seen it:
* So, that “event” at the end there? That’s not THE Event, right? We’re still leading up to whatever that is.
* “They saved us.” So what are we talking about here? Aliens, time-travelers? People from alternate realities? Throw out your theories.
* Are those the worst Secret Service agents ever?
[Photo credit: NBC TV]
Labels: The Event