Series profile: The Event
Is this the most hyped secret conspiracy ever? 😉
Gone to the movies lately? Watched TV? Driven? Shopped? You’ve probably seen ads for The Event, a new series debuting tonight (Monday, September 20th on NBC).
They’ve really tried to build up the mythic, mysterious aura of the show. They don’t even tell us what it’s about…just what it isn’t.
The reviews on the pilot episode are pretty good…it’s one of those where there is more concern about it being able to sustain than getting off the ground.
It’s tough to maintain an overarching story for a season…or more. People were mad at Persons Unknown this summer, which promised a resolution…and, well, you might not have finished watching it yet, so I’ll leave it with people being mad.
Even Lost, the archetypical long-running “what is it” show, had a lot of critics for its resolution.
Present a mystery, and people want to solve it. Solve it, and people are going to be disappointed. You’ve asked them to speculate. People are very clever: they may come up with something better than you did. Or, they may feel you didn’t make it possible to solve, if they didn’t.
My hope here is that the mystery element fades pretty quickly…that it’s just a hook to get viewers into the show.
SPOILERY SPECULATION: a lot of what they are showing us is familiar to people who follow the UFO literature. The President asks, but is told he doesn’t have a need to know. It’s telling people about it that is the problem. there are “prisoners”. It could certainly be something else, but the scenario fits with a revelation that the US is dealing with aliens, maybe keeping a bunch of them prisoner. It could also be something parallel, like the prisoners are time travelers who are stuck in this time. In the conspiracy, the government may have allowed bad things to happen (like abductions or cattle mutilations) in exchange for technology. Revealing that to the country would be something the “shadow government” might kill to prevent. The drama could also come from someone outside (a “regular joe”…or scientist of some kind) accidentally discovering the conspiracy. Remember, this is just all me guessing, and could be totally wrong. I’m not suggesting any of this would be true, by the way…just that the scenarios are out there. Oh, one other possibility: Alternative 3. A TV programme was broadcast in the UK in 1977 which suggested that British scientists who had disappeared were involved in a secret project to escape climate change by going to Mars via the moon. It appears that some viewers took it as fact… END SPOILERY SPECULATION
What about pedigree for the show?
Nick Wauters is the driver of the show…and he doesn’t have a huge track record. He did write for The 4400, Eureka, and Medium.
Jeffrey Reiner is directing several episodes, and he has an interesting resume. He directed episodes and was a producer for both Trauma (one of my Significant Other’s favorite shows) and Friday Night Lights.
As to the actors:
- Jason Ritter was a regular on Joan of Arcadia, and has a theatre background. He’s also produced. He is the son of John Ritter
- Sarah Roemer has young, edgy roles on her resume, including Disturbia and Wristcutters
- Blair Underwood brings the veteran TV, mainstream appeal. This is his ninth series (regular or recurring role) since L.A. Law
- Zeljko Ivanek is a character actor with some great credits, including True Blood (Magister), Damages, Big Love, and Heroes
It’s a large cast (which can be a challenge for viewers), and you are a likely to recognize other actors as well.
My feeling? I’m going to try it. My guess is that it has a big debut…and then we’ll see . They’ll have a challenge to keep the story going through the season…I hope it works, and that it’s great…but I always hope for that. 🙂
What do you think? Feel free to let me know.
This post by Bufo Calvin originally appeared in the The Measured Circle