The Event (2010–2011)
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I am taken aback by all the haters and pseudo-intellectuals nit-picking this program to death. There is absolutely nothing so onerously out of joint with this show as to draw that level of ire. And some of us prefer a show that requires our attention instead of our minds drifting to the bills or what we're going to make for dinner tomorrow night. I turn my phone off (anyone old enough to remember turning the house phone ringer off for some mini-series everyone wanted to watch?). I swear, there is a generation that simply refuses to be satisfied with anything. If it is infused with reality, the creators lack imagination. If it is imaginative, it has reality boundaries because their "sophisticated" willful suspension of disbelief must be bought off first. It's a cliquish farce.
Make up your own mind.
Then, I was curious and went on IMDb. And was amazed yet again, for about 10 minutes, while reading the reviews. Out of 14, 13 "reviewers" gave it "2 stars"... People complain that they "couldn't follow up"... You know, sometimes it may worth your while, to actually PAY ATTENTION to what you're doing/watching.
If you liked "Flash Forward", and got disappointed when it was canceled (surely, due to the kind of feedback I just witnessed), you will definitely love this. If they manage to keep up with the anticipation left by the pilot, if they manage not to drain it like they did with "Lost", it has the potential of becoming one of the best series of late.
Cheers, and don't let the facts confuse you.
The show advertised itself as a "what if '24' and 'Lost' had a baby" TV offspring, and I am definitely getting that vibe. The constant pacing of action and suspense remind me of "24", but with more depth and realism, so it's not as cheesy and convoluted (oh don't get offended, I'm a huge "24" fan but I'll readily admit that "24" had a level of cheesiness and hokiness that was good for unintentional laughs). And the aura of mystery and plot development is reminiscent of "Lost." Admittedly, "Lost" had the more interesting character development, but "The Event" seems to have a stronger, more robust plot that certainly knows where it's headed, which makes me feel as if the writers for "The Event" already have a strong ending in plan many seasons in advance - you brave, disappointed "Lost" fans who hanged on until the series finale know EXACTLY what I'm talking about! There were some painfully sad moments that were very compelling. For example, Agent Lee, who seemingly never ages as a result of his extraterrestrial genes, ran into an elderly woman who was his girlfriend of apparently same age many decades ago, and had to pretend to not recognize his long-lost love for the Greater Good. Those were beautifully done, heart-wrenching scenes.
So far, I have been thoroughly satisfied with this show. Every episode has been great. I can see how someone who joins in midway might get confused and lose interest (of course - this IS a serialized drama!) - so I HIGHLY recommend starting from the first episode and watch at least three episodes. You WILL be hooked, guaranteed.
If this show gets canceled, I'll be hugely disappointed - it would really really say something about us as TV viewers if we allowed disappointing garbage like "Heroes" and "V" to run on for more than a season but allow a high-caliber show like "The Event" with excellent production value and strong plot to go off air. Watch it! You will love it, that is my promise.
Edit: I caught the season finale yesterday - I was THOROUGHLY satisfied with it. It was indeed a wild ride. Without giving anything away, I will just say what I saw in the last few seconds give me hope that we are in for a VERY exciting and compelling second season - that is, if the show's still on the air. Come on, NBC execs, don't let us down!
The cast seemed odd to me at first (as so many good actors from different acting backgrounds are in this ) but, as the show goes on, these actors seem to be in their prime! I believe every actor and the characters that they play.
I've read a bit of negative reviews on the show and, I only hope that people give it a chance. When Lost, or the X-Files or any great scifi show started, they didn't get the best results in their first season, but, we know that they are now considered some of the best scifi shows ever made. I feel that the Event may become part of the list and like so many other shows before it, will have a long running time on the air.
So Sophia's people are basically just 2 billion individuals. If they'd come to China and India, nobody would even NOTICE the surplus of 2 billion people. Currently we have 7 billion, by 2020 we'll have 10 billion anyway, so why are 2 billion aliens a big problem? They certainly have technology and knowledge to trade for land?
Of course this show needs to have it all: aliens, government conspiracies, secret templar like organizations (Dan Brown), weird Frenchmen, killers with a conscience and "I am your father, Luke" type daddy issue stories.
The US president Martinez can make all sorts of global decisions without involving the Russians and the Chinese. He also seems to be rather lazy, because he has all the time in the world to take care of all sorts of minor things himself. According to the screenwriter of this show, the president only does some cocktail parties and he meets for one meeting a day with his chief of staff and generals. Cool job! He has the time to lounge around at the hospital.
Of course all doctors - even scientists not working with humans - have stethoscopes around their necks and their acting is telenovela level at best.
Simon Lee always gets out of dangerous situations looking dapper without a stain of dirt on him. Very cool superpower!
Still Zeljko Ivanek, Bill Smitrovich and Laura Innes are great actors and I also like Ian Anthony Dale. The show is fun to watch.
It's worth pointing out that I had to rate this '1-star' because there's no option for none. There's a lack of cohesion practically everywhere, which wastes somewhat decent performances by Jason Ritter and Laura Innes, who can't possibly be taking this very seriously themselves. I think THE ONLY WAY this could be even somewhat redeeming is if the creators embrace the absolute absurdity of the circumstances and continue to just throw the most random crap our way. Maybe if they include pirates, tornadoes, Steven Seagal, killer hookers, gigantic Micro Machines, Johnny 5, Roseanne, the '69 Mets, Jeffrey Ross and a cymbal- clapping monkey might I even think about considering this a worthy- enough investment of my time. I highly doubt this will happen, about as much as I doubt this will culminate into something close to relevant.
Watching the last six or seven episodes was pure agony. You will wish for you life to be over rather than watch this garbage. The story was dragged out too much. The logic was illogical. The "hero" knew more about what an agent did than the agent. I was so relieved to find out that this show was cancelled.
The only positive is that the acting is pretty decent.
But laziness stopped me from switching the button and i watched on and on and on and then i realize, that the plot behind it actually has a much bigger mastermind to it and involves a lot of things happening at once. That doesn't mean its bad. It just means the writer and producers HAD BETTER explain and come to a conclusion with EVERY loose end they put out there. Otherwise, its damn interesting and addictive and now I am already on the last episode and CAN'T WAIT for Feb when the show returns!
The flashbacks aren't a problem for me AS LONG as the writers DO NOT make it like LOST. Hell, there's a fine line between staying focused and interested, and then there is just plain draining and exhausting to watch. And that was the case with Lost. So please guys, keep THE EVENT moving fast! Keep the flashbacks to a minimum if possible!
Acting wise, great for some. The ones that do it for me are Blake Sterling as the Head of CIA. That dude may be tiny but he sure is a force to be reckoned with. Thomas as the alien gone bad, and Vicky Roberts cos she's so hot! If The Event is able to withhold the audience's interests and keep us hooked with fresh, shocking twists for the rest of the hopefully many more seasons to come, and basically do what they have been doing for the 1st season, then i see this show lasting for as long as Lost did.
Then came the airplane subplot, where the writers made a monumental mess. How did the passengers/crew become infected? It seemed to be after the crash, since our protagonist did not become sick as he outran (!) the approaching helicopters. And we never understood if these helicopters belonged to the conspirators, the aliens or the government? And what was that atrocious cover up story of the plane crash? It disappeared in the Brazilian forest? Well, planes have crashed in the Amazon forest and actually have been found after days, specially one that would be probably be monitored by the Manaus radar in Brazil. How the US government would handle the Brazilian authorities to cover up their story? On a flight from the USA to Brazil, expect the majority of the passengers to be Brazilian and not Americans. So this would immediately draw the attention of Brazilian press and government! And then we find out that a Brazilian separatist movement was responsible for poisoning the passengers/crew! Do we have such movement here? I don't think so. But, since the USA is governed by a native Cuban from a Democrat / Republican alliance, I came to the belief that The Event takes place in a parallel Earth where all these bizarre things exist.
The plane plot is just one of the problems with this show. The authors do not have a hint of where they are going. They are more interested in creating far-fetched subplots with a lot of mindless action, paranoid conspiracy theories involving evil assassins and shadow players than rather making these minor stories glue together into a major credible story.
For instance, Jason Ritter's character manages to rescue his girlfriend and then decides to drive aimlessly through the USA. What is his main strategy? With what resources is he going to accomplish anything? It is completely ludicrous.
If The Event actually outlast a show like Jericho, it shall be one of the greatest injustices of TV shows.
The plot holes were so incredibly painful it wasn't funny.
So we have Sean Walker (played by Jason Ritter) on a plane - and he manages to get a gun onto the plane. Seriously? So you're asking us to completely suspend reality in the opening scene, because apparently the writers have never been through an airport security screening. Fine, then we go back in time to have a flashback. Cool - we need some set-up.
So Sean and his soon-to-be fiancé' Leila Buchanan (played by Sarah Roemer) are going on a cruise. Leila is a single mom, with her daughter being left with Leila's parents. Okay, fine. Then we flash forward. Then we flash back. That continues happening all throughout the whole episode - and basically ruined the whole episode.
Let's see - what other reality breaks were taken? I can handle Blair Underwood portraying a President. Except that his character, Elias Martinez, apparently was a Cuban refugee, based upon the comments made, which means he's not eligible to BE President of the United States.
In another scene, we have Sean on the plane, standing around being full of angst because he's trying to get into the cockpit of the plane. (Which is going to be 'crashed' into the President by Leila's father, in order to obtain the release of his granddaughter from kidnappers, even after his wife was killed in front of him...) Just so happens that there's an Air Marshal on the plane. Sean is distracted - Air Marshal has a clear shot at him. It would screw things up, but the Air Marshal isn't going to say, "Drop your gun!". He's going to put two into center of mass, one into the head, and take out the hijacker.
Oh, and in another flashback, Leila stayed on the cruise ship because she wasn't feeling well. Sean, who was supposed to be proposing to her, goes snorkeling with another woman that he'd rescued. He gets back onto the cruise ship and suddenly his key doesn't work for his room, someone else is in there, and the ship doesn't show any record of being on there. Except, of course, that also shows that the writers have never been on a cruise ship, either. When you come back onto a cruise ship after having been ashore, you have to swipe your card to get through security just to get back ON the ship. If his card didn't work on the room, it wouldn't work to get him onto the ship in the first place.
Oh, and obviously if the President has an IQ higher than room temperature, he's going to figure out that when the head of the CIA and his Vice-President, who were supposed to be at his speech and mysteriously weren't there when suddenly there was an assassination attempt is going to have something to talk about. And we won't even talk about the failure of the Secret Service as shown. The President would have been simply picked up, thrown into that car, and it would have been squealing tires to get out of there, regardless of what was going on - instead of suddenly everyone just sitting there watching an airplane heading at them.
I notice that here on IMDb that they have 8 episodes of this made. I'll be amazed if they all actually air.
Perhaps watching a series should be entertainment more so than work, but the sort of entertainment achieved only through considerable effort may be ultimately more rewarding. The video-game generation should be able to relate to this idea. However, given the amount of multi-tasking and attention-dividing that goes on nowadays, "The Event" will probably at best be able to hold only a niche audience for whatever duration it might last.
I watch "The Event" in a dark room with my attention laser-focused. I download the show the day after it is broadcast from a popular online store. This provides the ultimate distraction-less experience, since there are no ads, network logos, or video overlays reminding me to watch the next episode of "The Biggest Loser". I watched the first three episodes in immediate succession, and found it to be gripping, well- acted, and with good production values.
For some people, the most intriguing topics in life are those which don't really have any answers. Even for some of those topics which prove to ultimately have answers, the fun ends when the answers are found - unless it is later discovered that the answers were wrong. If you can muster fulfillment from riding the high of merely raising questions that are teased out in an intricate complex fashion, while also dealing with the tug-of-war that goes on when answers seem within grasp, but then are pulled away... then, you might be able to have some sort of positive experience from viewing "The Event". If all of this sounds too exhausting, you're probably right and you're definitely not alone.
I've watched the first three episodes and, well, I'm bored. It's not that the show doesn't have some A-list cast members doing their best (Innes, Underwood, Ivanek, Collins), but even they can't breathe life into a storyline that's just ho hum. Every one of them deserves better material.
The Jason Ritter character and his girlfriend are there to appeal to a young audience, I guess, but are really a tired and uninteresting plot device. Every time the show switches to their little saga, I channel surf (and often watch another network's commercials).
I'll watch one more episode, but if things don't pick up that will be the last.
It will be a surprise if this show finishes its first season.
The story is OK enough, but the series suffers from a number of problems.
First of all, they never get the pacing right. Most of the episodes are split between 2 separate story arcs. One of them, the Sean-side is mostly very boring. The first episodes are OK, but later on i caught myself skipping whole sections of an episode, because Sean and his accomplices don't get stuff done or its just uninteresting and pointless, what they do most of the time. It doesn't advance the story. They lurk around in the dark, and are following leads which often don't explain anything. Most of the time its just stuffing. Only in the last 2 or 3 episodes this pace picks up a little bit. The president story arc is much more interesting and often interrupted with the slow paced Sean-arc(Further reduced in watchability due to the horrible performance of Sarah Roemer).
Another problem are the very wooden and unconvincing performances of the whole cast. 2 or 3 of them are doing an OK job, but primary Leila has only one look, and one emotion. In every scene may it be sad, agitated or happy, she just looks like she's about to laugh.
That's awkward at its best, and unbelievable at its worst.
The story arc is spread over to many episodes. A good writer could have told this story with a good suspension arc and pace with half of the 22 episodes.
In the end, i'm not really sure what this series is trying to tell us, if anything at all. We are all selfish and aggressive bastards? We know that already. Benevolent aliens are better than us? No, they turn into us and plan a genocide.
The event is only mentioned at the end of the first season, and literally has little to do with everything that has happened in the first season. There are 2 or 3 connections but thats it.
The bottom line is, that "The Event" is slow paced, in times boring and uninspired, the performances are wooden and unbelievable and the story arc stretched extra thin to fill 22 episodes.
If you can see it on TV, you can do that, but i wouldn't pay money for it.
When I saw (mid)"season finale" at the end of tonight's episode... I said to myself--"hiatus!" And as we all know, that's showbiz teevee talk for dead in the water.
I mean really...writing this bad does not belong on network TV in the 21st century. No wonder cable kicks their ass. I have been a science fiction fan all of my life. I enjoy popular entertainment. But this mess of a series with several actors that I normally admire who deserve much better material is a great disappointment.
Are they really aliens? *yawn* (And isn't that a sad commentary on what should be an exhilarating human discovery?) Did the creators ever watch Lost or The X-Files, intelligently written series that handled this sort of material in a compelling fashion? 'Suspense' should not provoke annoyance. Dialogue should not provoke groans and eye rolling. Actors should not look so embarrassed with the material that they can't wait for it to end no matter what they say to the press.
I was not a "Heroes" fan, but to replace that, at least, fairly competent show with something this atrocious is completely baffling to me. Who green lights something so bad it brings ever decreasing returns every time it airs? Maybe a few network v.p.s or programmers who gave the go ahead for this will be on their way out as well.
We're in a mini neo golden age of TV again with incredibly well written, directed, acted programs like Mad Men and Breaking Bad given to us by AMC who used to show nothing but Maria Montez movies! and NBC, a 'real' network once upon a time, gives us a throwback to the worst kind of scifi schlock, with wooden acting, cliché plotting, and pitiful writing and directing. What were you thinking? I know there are talented writers out here--why employ hacks?! I am sorry for Laura Innes and the other actors who have had previous successful series and I wish you something better in the near future.
It definitely captured my attention. The concept of a conspiracy, interlaced with intrigue, and science fiction will keep me tuned in for hopefully many more seasons.
I was very disappointed that V, Flash-Forward, Surface, and for that matter The Invaders, Star Trek, X-Files, etc. were cancelled.
These are the types of programs that should be on TV. Shows that actually make you think, or present new ideas to the public.
Please no more of the mindless drivel from contemporary programming (Biggest Loser, Apprentice, and my personal NOT favorite Deal or No Deal)
The plot is not easy. This is not for casual viewing while you read a book. You will get lost. Whether the plane disappearing at the end of the pilot is "The Event" or not is not apparent through the first 4 episodes, but with each episode, the info that is revealed about the characters and situations in the show becomes more and more fascinating, and the suspense created by the lack of knowing who are the good guys and the bad guys continues to escalate. The science fiction aspect with the aliens who landed in 1944 and are only 1% different from us in their DNA adds to the whole mystique and must surely be a tremendous key to the whole thing.
Unlike some other reviews I have seen, I think the writing is crisp and edgy much like 24 (which i have only seen on rare occasions). The acting is superb. I find myself really waiting impatiently for the next episode. They've got me hooked and I seriously want to find out what is going on here!