Monday, July 26, 2010

Not for review: NBC's "The Event"

"Not for review" is an occasional series of pieces in which I offer my thoughts on the pilots for this year's new shows. These are not reviews, as many of the pilots sent to press aren't final versions. Roles can be recast; scenes can be re-edited and many other changes can be made. These are simply my first impressions based on watching early versions of the shows.

The show: NBC's "The Event"
The premise: Sean Walker (Jason Ritter) finds himself embroiled in a vast conspiracy that might also involve his future father-in-law (Scott Patterson), the U.S. President (Blair Underwood) and a shadowy sect of detainees in Alaska. They're all linked to some earth shaking "event" -- but what is the event? Damned if I know.
My thoughts: Um, OK. I have no idea what to say about this show. The version that I saw jumped around in time so much -- and leap-frogged from character to character so frequently -- that it was tricky to follow. But even if it had been linear, I'm not sure that would have helped. The pilot for "The Event" is maddeningly cryptic. In fact, it makes "Lost" look like a "Dick and Jane" book. What does Walker have to do with this conspiracy? What about the creepy figure played by Laura Innes? What is "The Event"? I don't know!
Sure, the show is suspenseful and contains a cast full of likable actors. But it better find a direction -- quickly -- before it goes the way of other secret-keeping sci-fi shows like "Flash Forward."

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