'The Event' Review: 10 Things to Know and Intel from the Show's Creator
If my opinion on the drama (which is below) isn't enough for you, I've also gotten some intel on 'The Event' from creator Nick Wauters; exclusive video and casting news follows. Wauters explained how the show will progress and evolve, how it will be augmented with online content, and how he and the show's writers plan to avoid making viewers feel like Charlie Brown after Lucy has pulled the football away.
Ten Things to Know About 'The Event':
1. My mini-review: I thought 'The Event's' first hour was compelling; it kept my interest and it made me want to see more, which is all I can ask of any pilot. The show has an extremely appealing lead in Jason Ritter, who plays Sean, a vacationing good guy who gets caught up in a terrifying mystery. So if you're having 'FlashForward' anxiety attacks, just know that Ritter is far more endearing than Joseph Fiennes ever was in that arcane and off-putting ABC show. 'The Event' was a well-paced hour that played skillfully with time, and if the characters were a little thin, well, it's a pilot -- it'll take time to give characters shading and dimension.
2. The cast is swell, especially Laura Innes as the mysterious Sophia Maguire, Blair Underwood as President Elias Martinez, Scott Patterson as avuncular dad Michael Buchanan and Zeljko Ivanek as presidential advisor Blake Sterling. As Michael Ausiello reported, Hal Holbrook will be featured in a multi-episode arc. Guest stars Paula Malcolmson ('Sons of Anarchy,' 'Caprica,' 'Deadwood'), D.B. Sweeney and Clea Duvall will appear on 'The Event' as well.
3. 'The Event' creator and co-executive producer Nick Wauters knows the characters in the pilot need to be fleshed out if the show wants to build an audience. "It's all about the characters. That's been my focus since I wrote the pilot," Wauters said. "Ironically, there was not a lot of time to spend on who these characters are in the pilot, but that's what the show is going to be about. There's going to be a lot of action, adventure and plot but it's going to be how these people act and react in this world we've created."
4. After the pilot, the show will continue to have flashbacks, but they'll usually be more character-based. "They'll be used more to give people more information and highlight something in a character's past more than to play on plot points," Wauters said. "For example, we'll see when Sean met [his girlfriend] Leila for the first time."
5. You're not the only one who was nervous about taking on another mythology-based show. So were the actors. "I think some of the actors were a bit reluctant at first," Wauters said. "Once they knew we had a plan and they found out more about that plan, that sold them."
6. 'The Event' producers know you don't want to hear the words "Trust us." "When I said that at TCA [a press event in July], I regretted it the second I said it," Wauters admitted. "I know it's been said in the past by other writers on other shows. I had the same reaction as the [TCA] audience when I said it." In any case, "the only way you're going to know if the show is right for you is to watch it and see if it captures you. We just want people to give us a chance."
7. The plan is to pay off mini-arcs within the season every five or six episodes, and answers will not be held back for inordinate periods of time. "There will be big reveals and big clues in each episode," Wauters said. "It will be a balance between a mystery and a thriller and a character piece, and there's always a little touch of sci-fi. But that's one of many elements. Sometimes you'll forget it's there until something weird happens again."
8. If you do give 'The Event' a chance and like it, there will be a host of online extras that may enhance your experience of the show. Characters from 'The Event' are already tweeting about their lives (you can find those twitter accounts here and here), and those tweets may offer additional information about what's going on. "Some of their tweets seem innocuous right now and don't mean anything, but after you watch the pilot, they will enhance your understanding and experience of the pilot" and beyond, Wauters noted.
9. Look for a Web site called truthseeker5314.com, which will have supplementary videos and information about the mysterious events that begin to unfold on the show (you can also follow @truthseeker5314 on Twitter). The idea behind the Web site is that the intel is coming from a character on the show -- someone that viewers meet early on (though the real identity of TruthSeeker5314 will be shrouded in mystery for a while). "It's someone who has access to top-level, top-secret information. The site is written as if that character really exists and is gathering all these clues and different pieces of information together," Wauters said.
10. Each week, a video called Deconstructing 'The Event' on the show's NBC site will give viewers extra information about that week's episode. But Wauters said the show's team would not go overboard with the additional content. "The online stuff will be about complementing the world of the TV show. It's just extras for people who want more clues, and hopefully we'll even have additional stories that parallel what's on the show."
Freaked by anything that occurred in 'The Event's' first hour? Wauters and executive producer Steve Stark will answer questions on Twitter immediately after the show's premiere. Come back to TV Squad Monday night for a recap of the episode, and check out Stay Tuned in the morning for exclusive information from Wauters regarding what you can expect next week on the show.
Follow @MoRyan on Twitter.