'The Event' Review: The Perfect Rebound for 'Lost' Fans
Monday, September 20, 2010
Sometimes the best way to get over a bad break-up is to get right back on the horse. Such is the case with The Event, NBC's fascinating new mystery premiering tonight at 9pm. While the bad taste of Lost's painfully unsatisfying conclusion might turn some fans off of a new show in the same vein, The Event is definitely worth your time for people who haven't given up on the love of a good mystery.
To describe what the actual "Event" is would spoil the premiere, but the pilot features a slew of interesting storylines all leading up to something big. The main story features Sean Walker (Jason Ritter), a man who goes on vacation with his girlfriend and has his life turned around when she vanishes, seemingly without a trace. Several days later he finds himself on an airplane that is being used to target the president (Blair Underwood) at his child's birthday party.
The president, meanwhile, is planning a huge press conference to reveal the secrets of a government facility that seems like an Alaskan Gitmo, run by Sophia Maguire (Laura Innes). Sophia is clearly the key to everything, and Innes is great at keeping you curious about who or what she is.
What is this facility and who are its inhabitants/prisoners? That's the question, and the show attempts to answer it with a pilot that jumps between various timelines at a frenetic pace. The episode features jumps that span minutes, days or even months.
This time-shifting device is a point many critics are complaining about, but they seem to be missing the whole idea, because it's actually what makes The Event so great.
The Event isn't just another TV show where you can plop down on the couch for an hour and turn your brain off. The show demands that its audience actually pay attention and use their brains to follow the action. If you like to think and be challenged by a show, following The Event is like solving the Sunday New York Times crossword puzzle, and I mean that as a compliment.
Lost revolutionized TV by creating a mystery that kept fans glued to their televisions for years, only to end by ignoring all that mystery and settling for a rather pedestrian emotional finale. The Event, however, looks like it's far more concerned with the mystery. Maybe I'm giving the show too much credit from the start, but I'm fully invested.
This isn't just another Lost rip-off like Invasion, FlashForward or any of the other clones. The Event has a lot of balls in the air and the actual mystery is the driving force. When you finally see what "the Event" is, you'll be so confused that you'll have no choice but to be sucked in.
I'm coming out of a six-year TV relationship with Lost and my brain needs something new to keep it stimulated. The Event is, without a doubt, that stimulation. It's my new TV relationship and I'm eager to share this passion with many new fans who are looking for the same things in a TV show that I am.
If you want to be cautious after having your heart broken by Lost, that's fine, but this show may not be for you. However, I implore all sci-fi fans to take the leap and dare to fall in love all over again. If you're like me, you'll be glad you did.
(Image courtesy of NBC)