Archive for the ‘The Event’ Category

The Event – 1.03: Protect Them From The Truth

October 7, 2010

“Do you know how many people use ‘password’ as their password?” – Sean

Some more stuff happened this week.  Sean escapes the custody of the FBI agents that arrested him and tries to sneak into an FBI office in order to track down information about his girlfriend’s kidnappers, only to get caught and taken into custody again.  Some federal agents try to seize him after they realize he may be connected to what’s going on with the aliens, but he manages to escape with the help of one of the FBI agents (who starts to become suspicious of the federal agents after they, y’know, try and kill everyone at the office).  One of the alien captives agrees to spill the beans about the aliens’ schemes and the whereabouts of the aliens who aren’t captive, only to get stabbed to death by his girlfriend moments before he can say anything (in order to ensure the safety of her people).  Also, Sean’s girlfriend, Leila, kinda gets knocked around a bit by her captor, Vicky.  Not much really on that particular plot thread, but I guess it’s nice to know that she’s still alive or something.  Oh yeah, and the passengers of the plane that disappeared were presumed to be dead (their unconscious, unmoving bodies found in the middle of the desert where the plane crashed), but it turns out that every single last one of them is alive and is regaining consciousness at the end of the episode.

I say all this with a certain amount of detachment and brevity (summing up an hour’s worth of activity into about 3 sentences), but the truth is, I’m still having a lot of fun with this show since last week.  The intrigue and the mystery and the suspense have been kicked up a notch ever since the plane so mysteriously disappeared from the Miami sky, and it’s kept me excited and wondering what will happen next.  However, I am beginning to realize that after spending so much time time providing a decent amount of background in the pilot episode, we’ve been going through some pretty shallow waters in the pursuit of keeping viewers watching the show week after week.  It’s been a lot more exciting than how it started out, but it’s beginning to feel like we’ve been running non-stop without taking a moment to catch our breath.  Besides Sean, the only characters we’ve really spent any amount of decent time with so far is the president and Sophia, both of whom have spent most of their time standing off with each other.  We have a decent amount of semi-interesting characters to play around with, but other than the predicament they currently find themselves in, we don’t know a whole lot about them.  Leila taunts Vicky by claiming that Sean will never stop looking for her.  Well, that’s all fine and dandy, but it doesn’t add a whole lot to his character.  He loves his girlfriend, he’s a good and kind-hearted man, and he’ll never give up.  Wow, that’s like... every generic action hero ever!  Sean’s a likable guy!  Let’s find out a little bit more about him and what makes him tick!  We get a few hints, like when he saves the very same FBI agent that arrested him in the last episode from a fiery car crash at the beginning of this episode, but overall we spend most of the time running or dealing with the current plot twist.  It’s a minor complaint from a show that is being billed as a big suspense thriller show anyways, and we’re way early in the show’s run, so it’s not like it’ll never ever be addressed, but it’s what was running through my mind as I watched the latest episode.  I’m going to start complaining if we go into the winter hiatus and we still barely know anything about our little main character, but for now, I’m just bringing it up as a point of interest.

I guess what I’m trying to say is, this show so far seems a bit like 24, providing us with constant twists and thrills to keep us invested, rather than perhaps something like Battlestar Galactica, which did a fantastic job melding both the suspense and the deep character storylines (well, for the first couple seasons anyways).  And that’s not necessarily a bad thing at all.  I loved 24!  Maybe this is a show that just deals with suspenseful twists and turns designed to keep the viewer excited and guessing.  It’s working so far; who’s to say that it shouldn’t keep working?


The Event – 1.02: To Keep Us Safe

September 29, 2010

“They have a hidden agenda, sir.  I know it in my bones.” – Sterling

See, The Event? Was that so hard?  Just show a few things actually happening, and you’re suddenly a million times more interesting!  After spending an hour with the show last week and pretty much only seeing a vanishing plane, I was ready to give up on this show if it didn’t get more interesting fast.  Truth be told, I was sorta looking forward to getting the time back, or at least being able to invest it in a different show.  Instead, The Event decided that it finally wants to peel back a few more layers and actually show us a few things.  The plane reappears and crash lands in Arizona, some weird black helicopters descend on the plane and basically kill everyone dead, and Sean manages to get away from the crash site, only to wind up in a hospital and under the custody of the police.  Seems he is wanted for the murder of Greg, one of the two new friends that he and his girlfriend met on the cruise ship a week ago.  Sean is innocent, of course, but the people who did murder Greg also are holding Sean’s missing girlfriend, Leila, hostage.  Oh yeah, and that other new friend they met on the cruise ship, Vicky?  Yeah, she’s in cahoots with the kidnappers/murderers, who were also the ones that convinced Leila’s dad to hijack the plane and attempt to kill the president with it.

Meanwhile, we learn a bit more about the 97 prisoners kept in Russia that the president had just found out about in the last episode (he was planning on holding a press conference announcing their existence and freeing them from captivity).  It turns out, they were discovered nearly 70 years ago, and are aliens!  Or rather, they’re humanoids that are similar to us, but possess significant differences in their DNA sequence.  Everyone involved in this particular conspiracy seems to believe that this means that they are extraterrestrial, but I’m more inclined to believe that this might mean they are a highly evolved version of the human.  I’d put my money on an upcoming revelation that the 97 prisoners were actually time travelers, and not aliens.  Either way, we learn a few things about them this episode: there’s more than just the 97 in captivity (some of the original group discovered by the government managed to avoid capture), they are responsible for what happened to that plane, and the director of National Intelligence, Sterling, believes they’re hiding something.  They go really out of the way to make it seem like this Sterling guy is obsessed with proving that the aliens are hostile.  We don’t know anything about the aliens.  For all we know, they might as well be trying to enslave all of humanity.  Yet based on Sterling’s creep factor and the fact that he described knowing something because he “feels it in his bones,” I’m inclined to side with the aliens.  That Sterling guy is just bad news, and there’s going to be some upcoming twist involving that is going to further paint his character in a bad light.  I know it in my bones.

One thing about the show that is getting very distracting, though, is its need to constantly give us some backstory on the current scene by showing a lengthy flashback sequence, complete with “_____ YEARS AGO” caption.  I understand that there are a lot of details they’re trying to fill in along the way, but literally having one per act is going overboard.  The rate at which the show jumps us back in time the wide ranges of times in which we flash back to make the show feel very unfocused, a bit like we’re getting the story told by someone who has severe ADD.  We start out simple and reasonable enough with “TEN DAYS AGO”, then 10 minutes later, we’ve escalated to “ELEVEN YEARS AGO.”  By the time we hit “NOVEMBER 2ND, 1944”, I had to laugh.  It was getting absolutely ridiculous, almost to the point of self-parody.  I get that they’re trying to keep us on our toes by bouncing us around the storyline, but it’s honestly much more distracting at this point than it is exciting.  I would have much preferred a smaller number of flashbacks, all limited to relatively the same timeframe.

So we’ve got a lot of different factions at work here: there’s the aliens, the government that has the aliens captive, the extremist group trying to kill the president for some reason, the non-captive aliens that may or may not be trying to free the captives (they even have a mole on the inside, Agent Lee), and the people caught in the middle of it all, like Sean or his kidnapped girlfriend.  Last week was a very uneven and unexciting introduction to the series, and it would have gone a long way to incorporate some of the scenes from this second episode into the first.  I wasn’t sure if I would be keeping this show on my TV schedule (apparently so did a lot of other people, ratings are down from last week), but I’m glad I at least stuck it out through this week, as things look much more promising for the show.  Unlike last time, I’m actually looking forward to seeing how some of the new developments will be addressed or resolved.  We’ll see how long The Event can keep this pace and momentum.

The Event – 1.01: I Haven’t Told You Everything

September 21, 2010

“They saved us” – Sophia

I missed the whole Lost phenomenon over the last few years, so I was somewhat intrigued by the prospect of a new serial thriller/mystery series that would keep me excited, confused, and guessing.  And with the way the show has been being hyped over the past few weeks, I figured I’d at least have to watch the premiere since everyone else was probably going to as well.  The ads did a good job of selling the show as a suspenseful mystery that would keep us glued week after week.  Sign me up!

Well, the premiere has come and gone, and…well, not to go for the super-obvious joke here, but for a show called The Event, it just wasn’t terribly eventful.  The show began with a man on the run.  We don’t know whether he’s a good guy or a bad guy, but we do know that he’s being hunted by what looks like some kind of authority or enforcement agency.  We’re given his background over the course of the episode.  His very detailed background.  We learn that he’s in love, he’s trying to propose to his girlfriend, he meets some people while on vacation, his girlfriend mysteriously disappears on the cruise ship they were staying on…..aaaand suddenly he’s on a plane and trying to keep the pilot from crashing into the president’s retreat, killing the first family.  Oh yeah, and the pilot is his girlfriend’s dad for some reason.  And also the plane mysteriously disappears seconds before hitting it’s target.  In Lost, the plane crashed, and here, the plane didn’t crash.  I see what you did there, NBC.

In the end, we’re not even sure what “The Event” is.  Was it the mysterious disappearance of the plane?  Is it something else that will happen at a date TBD?  I guess that’s the point?  I get that they’re trying to build suspense and trying to surround everything in a shroud of mystery to keep us intrigued, but I felt like what they did in this episode, they could have done in a half hour, trimming some scenes and perhaps saving some others for future episodes, and instead give us more exposition.  I’d be more interested in trying to find out what happened if you show me more of what happened.  I’m reminded of how I felt about Flashforward last season:  I’m interested, but I’m not excited.  The bad news is that it took me a few episodes to feel that way about Flashforward, whereas I already feel that way about The Event after a single episode.  There’s a lot to be built upon and there’s an exciting show in there somewhere, for sure, but the pacing of the episodes better pick up pretty soon, or this show is going to start seriously dragging.  The characters seem fun and likeable enough; I certainly wasn’t tired of any of them after an hour.  Show them doing more things!

I’m reminded that some of my favorite shows take a few episodes to get into their natural swing and rhythm, so I’ll be sticking by this show just to see whether things improve.  We’ll see how things turn out.