Friday, October 1, 2010

The Event: The Next Lost or The Next FlashForward?

The critics loved it, the media hailed it as the next "Lost", but how long can the show survive on air, really? After all, the same thing also happened to "FlashForward" and that show got canceled last season after only airing one season. 

Here is my own personal review of "The Event" after watching the first two episodes. The Event is definitely trying to be the next "Lost". I guess the people behind the show could see that there is a vacancy left after "Lost" ended its run and that there is an opportunity for a similar type of show to thrive of network television. The show has similarities and references to "Lost" (The plane crash, the pacing, the over-arcing mysteries), be it intentional or not. However, if it is indeed intentional then some viewers (meaning: ME) might find it to be rather cheap and unoriginal. Like, can't they come up with something original without similar traits with the pre-existing source and yet could achieve the success of said source? 

Oh, wait, It's Hollywood...

Another minus for me would be the confusing pacing. The format of the episodes and the pacing back and forth was not done as professionally as "Lost". Where Lost had succeeded, "The Event" has failed. "Lost" kept it simple with just two time lines per episodes (present and flashback/flashforward/flash-sideways), but "The Event" has the present plus 5 days ago plus 8 days ago plus 12 years ago plus however-long ago. Who could keep track of that!? I could see how that might become a problem with inattentive viewers (meaning: ME). While "Lost" made each time line as distinct as possible visually and story-wise for the viewers to differentiate, each time jump in "The Event" just felt jumbled to me. And this is coming from a guy who has watched more than his share of non-linear movies and shows (Memento, Inception, and Damages to name a few) and managed to dig them!

So yes, I find that the format and the pacing of "The Event" to be a rather amateurish attempt to mimic the traits of a great show. And by banking on however much leftover cult audiences Lost still has and the general sci-fi aficionados, I don't think the show has long to survive. Besides, the season-long storyline could be a turn off for the mainstream audience. That's what got "FlashForward" cancelled and that's also what got "Lost" and "Damages" to lose a good chunk of their viewership in the end. You have to watch every episode in detail, miss one and the next time you're sitting in front of your TV to watch a new episode, you'll find yourself turning your head to your couch mate saying, "Huh!?" when you ask him to catch you up.

Capturing the loyalty and interests of the audiences with complex mysteries and storylines is a difficult task indeed and that is something only a few shows had achieved and managed to pull off quite beautifully. Whether "The Event" can hold a candle to "Lost" and fill up the big gaping hole in the heart of its fans or become another casualty  in the ratings war, remains to be seen. Although it would be such a shame if the show ever gets canceled since it boasts some of the best talents in television such as Laura Innes, Zeljko Ivanek, Blair Underwood, and the newest heartthrob, Jason Ritter.

The Event at the Internet Movie Database
The Event at

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