Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Event Television

When the 2010 batch of new Fall shows were announced over the summer, NBC's latest creation The Event caught my eye. I instantly tried to dismiss it as another Flash Forward (terrible show by the way) and NBC's new flagpole sci fi offerings have not turned out well over the years. Think back to Heroes, Bionic Woman, even My Own Worst Enemy. After much debate, I decided to include it in my exclusive roster of shows I watch. Maybe it was the backwards E in the logo that eventually hooked me in.

I am happy to say that The Event is television done right. Especially television in THIS DECADE done right. Yes it borrows key elements from several pioneering shows (Lost, 24, The X-Files) but it borrows all the right elements and weaves them into a fresh look at alien conspiracy. The X-Files will most likely always be my favorite drama of all-time (although Fringe is closing in a bit) and I feel like the creators and writers of this new show grew up on Mulder and Scully and know the proper way to set up all the essential variables needed to put on a convincing mythology story arc.

The actors don't really matter here as the plot and general mystery of the story drives the tension. NBC did manage to field a solid cast though including Laura Ines (who I hated on ER but sort of like in this show), Jason Ritter (serviceable lead actor / son of the late Jon Ritter) and the always creepy Zeljko Ivanek (most memorably from 24). The coup of the overall casting, however, is letting Blair Underwood play the President. I'm not sure why it took all these years for this to happen. He does a great job of playing an enforcing and competent Commander in Chief. I suppose Dennis Haysbert paved the way for all of this.

The Event borrows the flash forward/flash back narrative style of storytelling from Lost. It's not quite done in the same way and only used when needed to explain the back story. I felt that Lost got too caught up with the flashbacks/forwards and sometimes forced them on the audience. While a lot of what is happening in The Event seems to be borrowed, I'm hoping that the writers can blaze their own trail and not rely too much on tricks that have been done before. The ending of episode two with a puzzling scene in the desert proves that this series has plenty of ammunition to offer up.

BONUS REVIEW! I hadn't gotten around to posting my review of Devil from the mind of the fallen genius of cinema, Mr. M. Night Shyamalan. Night used to be my favorite director working today then he threw up all over himself with "Lady in the Water" and the even more craptacular "The Happening." I put these movies in quotes because I refuse to believe they actually happened. Lucky for us, Devil was not directed by Night who solely concentrated on the screenplay for this one.

The premise was kinda cool: 5 random people meet in an elevator that breaks down and begin to realize that one of them is.... wait for it.... THE DEVIL! The plot keeps you guessing as to which seemingly ordinary individual is that Devil. Some pretty cool camera work and decent tension bring out an average film that's a step up from recent M. Night fare. 3 stars for Devil. Wait for it on DVD.

(speaking of Devils, fast forward to 4:10 of this classic SNL clip)


Mommy, Esq. said...

We watched the first Event and I hated the whole "three months ago" and "seventeen minutes before that" and "12 years later" crap. I'm willing to watch another episode before putting it out to pasture.

Jordan said...

All that back and forth stuff is relevant though. Sets the stage for what's going on in the second episode. I say watch EP 2 and if you still hate it, then bail (I will lose a lot of respect for you though).