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October 4, 2015

Pilot Watch: 'The Event'

by Joel Keller, posted Jul 20th 2010 3:03PM
The cast of 'The Event' on NBC
From now through August, we're going to be taking a quick look at the fall and mid-season pilots that the networks sent to critics after their upfront presentations.

Keep in mind that in each case, our opinions are based on a pilot that could be completely recast and reworked between now and the fall.

Show: 'The Event'
Network: NBC
Timeslot: Mondays, 9PM ET

The lowdown:
Usually in this space, I give a canned description of the pilot -- and, by extension, the series' -- general premise. But 'The Event' is a hard one to pin down. The story flashes back and forth in whatever increments it needs in order to explain what's going on in the present. What we know is that in the span of eleven days, Sean Walker (Jason Ritter) has gone from a happy guy who's about to ask his girlfriend Leila (Sarah Roemer) to marry him to a desperate man who pulls a gun as a plane is taking off from Miami. In the meantime, the new president (Blair Underwood) is finding out about an Alaskan prison run by the CIA, whose mysterious prisoners are led by the equally mysterious Sophia (Laura Innes). By the end of the episode, an event happens which might very well affect the fate of mankind.

What we're saying:
For some reason, NBC decided to fill the timeslot vacated by the confounding 'Heroes' with a show that has the potential to be equally confounding. Just like every show of this ilk, where something big happens in the pilot and the rest of the series is spent either explaining it, going back in time to set things up and reveal clues, or both, 'The Event' can go one of two ways. Either it'll go on and be compelling and a must-watch roller-coaster ride like 'Lost,' or it'll plod along and never capture the excitement of the pilot until it's too late, like 'FlashForward.'

The oddest aspect of the pilot was that, to be honest, the story didn't do much for me right up until "the event" itself. The characters weren't very compelling, and the timeshifting method of storytelling was becoming more grating than anything else. Through most of the pilot, I was mostly wondering how Scott Patterson could possibly be playing the father of Roemer's character, who's likely in her mid-20s (he can, by the way... he's 52, shockingly enough). But once "the event" happened, I was hooked... at least for another episode or so, which is usually all these serialized shows get from audiences, who no longer have the energy or patience to follow another 'Lost' or 'Heroes' unless they think it's going to last.

Here's a preview:

Tell us what you think. Are you willing to invest in another serialized show?

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nope, not for me! this show's pilot has been on many tv stations ~ what gives with that?? you can tell by the likes of these type of show how people's minds are MESSED UP!

September 27 2010 at 10:01 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

My current take on these kind of shows? If they survive their first season, I'll watch them in repeats or on DVD. But I am no longer going to be set up to be either confused and bored to tears, or fall in love only to have the network pull the plug.

September 09 2010 at 4:13 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I'm excited about this show too, but am wary like other posters here. I really liked Flashfoward, but the writers seemed to be floundering as to which direction it should go. I don't watch much TV for the same reasons - either they get cancelled or they're just not good. I wonder if much planning goes into these shows past the pilot. Alan Ball knew how Six Feet Under would end and now he has True Blood. Maybe a little more thought should go into the life of the stories. Shows like LOST and The X-Files are rare. Maybe that's a good thing.

September 08 2010 at 10:17 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I cannot wait for this show. It will replace my passt obsession with House. I am so excited!!!!

September 07 2010 at 11:47 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I'm not really into getting into shows these days, mainly on ABC, NBC & CBS because the shows I loved got cancelled and the new shows that I go so into it was crazy got cancelled. Either they were cancelled mid season or at the very end when they left you hanging. I'm just tired of getting into shows and turning around to find out they've been cancelled when many many friends and family watched the same shows I did. So I don't watch much TV or shows or new shows on ABC, NBC, or CBS I've given up hope. I quit investing my time in any show on those channels. For example I loved Trauma especially because my dad and brother are EMT and they cancelled it. So what if it's not completely true, it's a dang show. (I read people complained because it wasn't all true)

August 30 2010 at 10:48 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

It looks like it has the same flaw as FlashForward: the cool stuff only happens in the first episode.

August 24 2010 at 11:56 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

while still waiting for the outcome of "Persons Unknown" - don't know if another serialized 'event' is going to be such a big event...

August 20 2010 at 5:30 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

This is one show I'm actually excited for. I'm still searching for that LOST, BSG replacement

July 20 2010 at 4:28 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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