The Event TV Review

The first (maybe) in what will undoubtedly be a long string of big-budget punishments for the popularity of LOST, NBC‘s The Event is filled to bursting with misdirection, pseudo-camp drama, and the kind of “shockers” that not only force your brain to include the cover track “Dun Dun Dunnnnnn”s, but are difficult describe outside the realm of nonsensical soundbites and liberal repetition of “really”s.

Following the life of random nobody Sean Walker (Jason Ritter), the President of the United States (Blair Underwood), and everyone in-between, the show takes viewers on a wild ride investigation into an incredible cover-up, and the mysterious detainees who are apparently connected with same.

Jumping around in time, for no reason apart from the fact that it is “all clever and whatnot,” we watch as Sean sort of tries to hijack a plane, then move back and forth between his less-than-stellar efforts to talk to the pilot, and the circumstances that led to his being there.

Meanwhile, the President is taking some government bigwig or other to task for keeping secrets from him, and is moving toward exposing the enormous secret which has apparently been under wraps for quite some time. His advisors don’t like the idea, he doesn’t care, and someone may or may not be out to stop him from revealing the truth.

Specifically designed to keep us guessing while doling out lots of information, The Event gives us disappearances, strange connections, and (maybe, I guess, who cares?) aliens or something. Hooray.

Much like last season’s FlashForward, this is ultimately a fairly lame effort at screwy for the sake of screwy, and “twisty narrative” for the its own sake as well. Unfortunately, also like that other show, there’s probably far too much money thrown at the thing for it to go away quickly, no matter what the ratings.

Then again, when you’re dealing with these cliffhanging nonsense plays, it’s tough to guess which ones are going to connect with audiences, and which ones are going to leave people rolling their eyes (it isn’t like there are legitimate positives to mention about LOST), but so far we haven’t run into any that seem to recall that LOST didn’t really start off at full sprint – in the case of either storytelling, or pure wackiness.

The whole thing is doubly unfortunate, because there are a lot of actors I want to enjoy here, and for the most part they are giving solid efforts. Jason Ritter is not only a personal favorite, but he’s certainly giving it the old college try.

It may turn into a guilty pleasure for many, and if the winds of fortune blow the right way, it may hold onto decent ratings as a result, but in the end it is a misguided attempt. It works on the theory that taking a dull, marginally interesting sentence, and saying it in an awkward, convoluted fashion (and with lots of exclamation points) somehow bestows intelligence and complexity on it.

“The Event” is an emotional, high-octane conspiracy thriller that follows Sean Walker (Jason Ritter, “The Class”), an Everyman who investigates the mysterious disappearance of his would-be fiancée, Leila (Sarah Roemer, “Disturbia”), and unwittingly begins to expose the biggest cover-up in U.S. history.

Sean’s quest will send ripples through the lives of an eclectic band of strangers, including newly elected U.S. President Elias Martinez (Golden Globe nominee Blair Underwood, “In Treatment”); Sophia Maguire (Emmy Award nominee Laura Innes, “ER”), who is the leader of a mysterious group of detainees; and Leila’s shadowy father (Scott Patterson, “Gilmore Girls”). Their futures are on a collision course in a global conspiracy that could ultimately change the fate of mankind.

Ian Anthony Dale (“Daybreak”), Clifton Collins, Jr., Taylor Cole (“The Violent Kind”), Lisa Vidal (“The Division”), Bill Smitrovich (“The Practice”) and Emmy winner Željko Ivanek (“Damages”) also star in the ensemble drama.



Marc Eastman is the owner and operator of Are You Screening? and has been writing film reviews for over a decade, and several branches of the internet's film review world have seen his name. He is also a member of The Broadcast Film Critics Association and The Broadcast Television Journalists Association.