After watching the pilot episode of The Event at Comic-Con and interviewing the cast, I had no clue what the event actually is – which is exactly what I’m looking for in a series. If six years of watching Lost taught me anything, it was to trust the creative team and your patience will be rewarded.
The Event has the potential to be a very satisfying viewing experience because it contains three essential qualities that I require in a show for both a time and an emotional commitment: cast, chemistry and compelling creative.
The LOST Factor
Despite what you might have heard otherwise, The Event is not Lost — nor is it trying to be. If anything, this new series has extracted a few of the more successful elements from Lost and integrated them in quickly and smoothly.
While fans of genre shows like Lost and Fringe will enjoy The Event, I would classify it more as a mystery drama than as a sci-fi series. That being said, Lost was a hot topic at The Event press roundtables at Comic-Con earlier this summer. Actor Scott Patterson (Gilmore Girls) describes The Event as a show ‘for Lost people. I thought Lost was brilliant.’But he added that ‘I’ve been in the business for a long time and I’ve never felt a surge like this (for The Event); the buzz, the energy.’
The pilot episode of The Event is a suspenseful adventure that introduces us to an intriguing combination of characters. They are brought to life by the very impressive ensemble cast, from the incredibly engaging Jason Ritter to the charismatic Blair Underwood and virtually unrecognizable Scott Patterson to the king of characters we love to hate — Zeljko Ivanek (Damages, Heroes, Lost, True Blood).
The danger with a large cast of characters is that there are too many to keep track of or care about, especially when secrets are finally revealed (case in point: Happytown). However, it will not take long for you to become engrossed in the entanglements unfolding on The Event. We are led down several paths that are clearly going to converge and/or merge with surprising results, and an emotional resonance with these characters will set in sooner than later. You will feel exactly what Sean (Ritter) is going through and want to know far more about Sophia (Laura Innes). You will be drawn to President Martinez (Underwood) and the First Lady (Lisa Vidal), and question the loyalties of the President’s team. There is no doubt that this will be a show that you think about long after each episode airs.
Ian Anthony Dale, who plays government operative Simon Lee on The Event, revealed that series creator, co-executive producer and writer Nick Wauters ‘gave us each confidential dossiers that contained information relevant only to our characters, to help us create our back story and be able to play the scenes with a certain amount of truth.’While Dale was unable to further elaborate out of respect for a spoiler-free audience, he did state that Simon would be a ‘bridge to connect the different story lines. As Simon becomes more and more entrenched in all these characters’lives and their dilemmas, his loyalties will be tested.’
Questions & Answers
According to Lisa Vidal (Southland), aka the FLOTUS (which is how Vidal referred to the First Lady when her fictional husband Blair Underwood stopped by), ‘there is a lot that you don’t see coming and there will be questions answered in the second episode.’Patterson reiterated, ‘the second episode answered a lot of questions for me and it will for the audience. The producers don’t want to leave an audience frustrated. Every week the audience will be fascinated and satisfied.’
Taylor Cole (Heroes), who plays Vicky – one of the more mysterious characters on The Event, also reassured us that each episode of The Event offers ‘just enough cliffhanger to draw you in next week.’
The Last 10 Minutes
In the spirit of remaining spoiler-free, I will simply alert you to the fact that what you witness in the final ten minutes of the pilot will determine whether or not you’re on board for the rest of the season. Every great show eventually features a WTF moment, but usually not in the very first episode. The Event boldly presents such a moment, and thus establishes itself as a must-watch series and my top pick for best new show of the 2010 fall season.
Required Viewing & Fan Support
I absolutely recommend that you set a season pass for The Event on your DVR, as it may quickly become appointment television. But I must also stress how important it is for you to continue watching and talking about the show online. As you are no doubt aware, networks have a quick hook these days and propensity for yanking quality shows off the air before allowing proper time for building buzz and fan interactivity. Together the fans of The Event have the potential and power to ensure that it does not end prematurely.
You can become a fan of the show on Facebook and use their official handle when discussing The Event on Twitter. Make sure to also check out the official site The Event is Coming, as well as a comprehensive show wiki and fan sites The Event Log and The Event Community.
The Event premieres on Monday, September 20 at 9/8c on NBC. I strongly suggest that you avoid reading or sharing spoilers for this series, and disregard any that you might have already heard. The few I’ve seen have been way off base, and that is indeed an excellent sign.
Trust me when I tell you that you do not want to miss the debut of this series. It is a riveting hour of high quality television, and stands tall among the crop of average new shows premiering throughout the month.