‘The Event’ Premiere Review & Discussion

Published 5 years ago by

the event pilot nbc The Event Premiere Review & Discussion

Unless you’ve been living in a box for the past few months, you will most certainly have been bombarded with NBC’s non-stop promotion of The Event. With Lost now off the air, NBC is no doubt setting The Event up to take its place in the hearts and minds of viewers. With the manner of which NBC is consistently promoting this series, one has to wonder whether viewers will be intrigued or completely turned off. Especially since the pilot doesn’t serve to answer the question that have been beckoning every television and radio commercial – what is “the event?”

Setting aside the poorly written ad-copies, viewers should now know (thanks to Lost) that whatever “the event” is, it will never be as entertaining as watching the characters’ journeys throughout. Of course, if six seasons of questions and five episodes of answers isn’t your type of series, you’ll be happy to hear that the producers have no plan to withhold what exactly “the event” is.

… just don’t expect to find out in The Event series premiere.

Preview (courtesy of NBC)

The Event premieres with a conspiracy of both national and global proportions. Sean Walker (Jason Ritter), stumbles into a national conspiracy after his girlfriend Leila (Sarah Roemer) mysteriously disappears from a Caribbean cruise. Elsewhere, President Elias Martinez (Blair Underwood) is scheduled to announce the release of a group of detainees led by Sophia Maguire (Laura Innes) — despite the disapproval of his Director of National Intelligence, Blake Sterling (Zeljko Ivanek). Their futures are on a collision course in a global conspiracy that could ultimately change the fate of mankind.


Like Lost or, dare I say, Flashforward, not much is revealed in the pilot about what this ominous “event” is. Therefore, this review is based solely on the talent of the main cast, the intentions of the producers and the future potential of the series. Unfortunately, many viewers may not be able to look at the series the same way.  With NBC promoting The Event every chance they get, many of those who tune in will be disappointed to find that the appearance of some kind of “event” only occurs in the episode’s final moments… and even then, it’s only minimal.

the event jason ritter The Event Premiere Review & Discussion

Until those final moments, viewers will no doubt be confused and/or annoyed with the way in which the producers chose to convey the initial plot of the series. Instead of a single, coherent storyline, the producers chose to jump around from various moments of the past, to present day events (not the event – and it’s not time travel. Think Damages). While any other series would be crucified with this poor choice in storytelling (especially since it’s done somewhat poorly), one has to give The Event a little leeway because in this television environment, it’s not easy to capture an audience with this type of ambiguous series. I have a feeling that once more information regarding “the event” is revealed that the poorly realized time jumps will be lessened, as in the pilot they only serve to create artificial excitement and a sense of intrigue; Something that I hope will be replaced by actual excitement and intrigue as the series progresses.

Much of what will make this series work is the cast. Jason Ritter, Blair Underwood and Zeljko Ivanek are all great in the pilot and with the addition of Clifton Collins Jr. (he’s not in the pilot), they certainly have the talent to support an amazing story. In the beginning, much of the story revolves around Jason Ritter’s character, Sean Walker, and his girlfriend Leila Buchanan, played by Sarah Roemer as they go on a Caribbean cruise. If you’ve seen any television in the past ten years, you will be familiar with this type of premise. Their initial storyline is more or less a means by which the writers can unravel their intriguing storyline. While the first reveal of “something’s not right” isn’t as exciting as one would have expected, the subsequent events and thought-out subplots certainly help sell it.

Of course, there’s no way such an “event” could happen without some kind of government cover-up. Since government cover-ups aren’t exactly something new to television dramas, The Event needs to be able to separate themselves apart for the rest. Fortunately, Blair Underwood as President Elias Martinez serves as an apparent surrogate to the audience. In this sense, the cover-up does not start from the top as the President is one of the last people to learn that the CIA has a secret prison in which they keep people that are connected to “the event.” Unfortunately, the audience isn’t let in on what exactly is going on as the President is eventually brought in on the cover-up.

nbc the event premier ritter girlfriend The Event Premiere Review & Discussion

With Zeljko Ivanek playing as Director of National Intelligence, Blake Sterling, NBC couldn’t have picked a better actor to play the apparent “bad guy.” With Sterling holding all of the information to “the event” and the CIA cover-up, it’s truly a joy to watch the back and forth between the President and Sterling, as the President wants to know and see everything and Sterling is forced to comply.

After a quick trip to the Arctic prison, the President meets with those connected to “the event” and decides that it’s time for the nation to know. While those watching will no doubt be excited to see this particular event unfold, it’s quickly interrupted by a full-sized passenger jet flying straight towards the president.

As the series comes to a close, we are waiting to see the giant airliner crash into the President’s vacation house and the scene of the press conference. Although, in the pilot’s last moments, something happens and the plane somehow disappears. While the episode ends before anything else can be explained, viewers are left knowing that what just happened has something to do with “the event” and that “they” helped save the President from an airplane assassination.

the event blair underwood nbc The Event Premiere Review & Discussion

Final Thoughts

The series premiere of The Event is the textbook definition of potential. With a great cast and somewhat intriguing plot, if any series is going to make this ominous, ambiguous type of storytelling work following Lost, this certainly will.

The Event airs Monday’s @9pm, on NBC

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  1. NBC replaced struggling Chuck in the 8 p.m. hour with news special Matt Lauer Reports: George W. Bush, and it finished an uneventful fourth with a 4.9/ 8 in the overnights. Next was now officially failing The Event, which sunk to a series-low 4.0/ 6 at 9 p.m. (#3), followed by also recent entry Chase at a last-place 3.3/ 6 at 10 p.m. Although The Event and Chase were both renewed for the remainder of the season, NBC could always reverse its decision.

  2. The “Event” just gonna be a long draw out version of “LOST” isn’t it?

  3. I forsee the same thing happening to this that happened to Flashforward. People interested for first few episodes, huge promotion, then complete and utter bomb which ends up being cancelled after a single full season, with no resolution at the end of the season.

  4. Message to “the religious followers of The Even3t:

    Enjoy your “fix of watching the EVENT” because you are all in denial of what is about to happen. What you may ask? The cancellation of yet another program and like “junkies” become angry, upset, and can’t see the forest for the trees and rant and rave about another cancellation. If you still continue to watch after this “Warning” then be prepared for the “letdown, disappointment, and look for your depression pills and tissues.

    To the rest of you who have come to the realization that this program is what it is a failure, disappointment, a feeble attempt “to copy” parts of other successful shows I salute you for not “torturing yourself with this program any further!!

    • Johnny has a full time job now everyone. His obsecession with watching
      ‘The Event’ has landed him a job letting us know how his expertise in critiquing the show is for our own good and he galantly “warns” us to prepare for the “letdown and disappointment” we are about to experience as the cancellation of this program approaches. Plus, he reminds us to get our “depression pills and tissue” ready.

      All I can say is what a guy. Johnny, you are an honorable and caring soul.

      • APRIL:

        Your sarcasm has been noted April.

        Unfortunately it is too late for you to recover from the mesmerizing of having watched the Ev3nt so far and the “kool ade” you have swallowed which has already affected your reasoning and your ability to respect another’s opinion (mine).

        I will pray for you April that something can still be done for you as you recover in hospital ward awaiting treatment for better health in the future.

        • Johnny, thank you for the prayers, I can always use a bit of divine intervention.

          Vic, I’m sorry, but I am so amused by Johnny’s ferver regarding the event I just can’t help responding. I’m not sure if he is serious or just entertaining himself and others on this blog. He’s just too cute, and he is having so much fun.

  5. Johnny..
    Please make yourself a ‘cancelled show’.

    On another note: woo hoo.. can’t wait to see what all the old-age-to-youth-transformation comes from? You got to love it, this show has all the inner workings from a Stephen King novel!

    I, for one, love the read!


      Please be reminded of the RULES: NO PROFANITY OR PERSONAL ATTACKS,

      If you have difficulty in comprehending what this means have your mother or father explain this to you, “please make yourself a ‘canceled show’. Being a female I would have expected more self-control but it seems you find it necessary to argue, prolong,continue to amuse yourself by not “letting it go” or ‘forget and forgive’.

      I forgive you Gretzilla and hope it is still not too late for you to get help with some anger therapy.

  6. Good Lord, people – stop bickering or I’ll shut comments down on this article.


    • Vic, I’m sorry, but I am so amused by Johnny’s ferver regarding the event I just can’t help responding. I’m not sure if he is serious or just entertaining himself and others on this blog. He’s just too cute, and he is having so much fun.

      • cute. that is a word. just stop watching the show.

        • Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, adopted in 1948, states that:

          “Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.

  7. This is a good show…


    The dialogues are a bit adolescent and cheesy.

  8. What ever happened to the Event TV series…I really loved this show…I even went on line to try and purchase the series and its no where to be found…this movie is a true depiction of what is going on in our government today and what is to come in the future…I am so looking forward to its continuation….

  9. Will this February 28 relaunch help the EVENT? Based on recent TV history, the answer is no. Just look at “V” and “Flashforward”. While some viewers clarly love the show, more than half who watched the first episode have already lost interest. The EVENT has been losing viewers, sometimes as much as 15 or 20% in one week, and to date has never shown an increase week to week in the demo. The most recent installment garnered just a 1.7 rating in the demo and 5.19 million viewers. People who were interested in the The EVENT have wither already tried it and stuck around or given up on it. Those who haven’t watched previously are very unlikely to give a try because they assume that they’ve missed too much back story already. On top of that, when the show returns, the ratings will likely be lower than what they are now. By the time The EVENT returns February 28, many casual fans will have already gotten involved with other shows. There will be 12 more episodes and then you will have to wait and see if there is more to follow.

  10. The writers of the show “The Event” really need to be fired. The last episodes of the President acting on emotion resulting in him slaughtering two bus loads of passive aliens just was stupid and irresponsible. No president would act that way and now it makes the United States the enemy. They then just leave a gap as to why the aliens did not retaliate with their weapon that destoyed the Washington Monument after it recharged. Like the president would forget about the big weapon that would destroy everything…lol. Then you have the reason why the aliens need to come to our planet. They are coming here as refugees because their sun is going to explode. So now we have the premise of us killing “Illegal Aliens” needing a home…lol. They should of went with the idea of the visitors as refugees from a planet that was being conquored by another race. Then we could of allied with the refugees to battle the oncoming threat from a warring race of other aliens…a much better story line and it leaves a lot of space for numerous episodes. The storyline that they have chosen though, leaves nothing to the imagination and nothing to build on. I am afraid that the last episodes have sealed the demise of this show.

  11. I’m loving this show but it has me pulling my hair out!
    I’m on the edge of my seat every week and can’t wait for Mondays to roll around!

  12. After the April 18th episode, I now know what Hal Holbrook’s character was. He has now turned the ball over to Sean and Vicky to save the world. Vicky has now turned into one of the “good guys”. Now about the First Lady. Did you see the look on her face after she told the President that story about her parents being here illegally? President Martinez bought the whole story. This is getting more interesting every episode. God, I hope NBC keeps this going especially now there is a plot by the Vice President against the President. Hang on for the ride folks.

  13. i totally love this show. and i seriously dont believe the presidents wife came illegally from cuba. i think she is one of the sleepers. furthermore, the bus load of alieans needed to be killed to finally wrap up the fight between thomas and sophia. otherwise we would be wondering throughout the whole season who would win. i find it interesting that sophia has gone back on her word and now wishes to destroy the aliens. elias had to blow up the busses. he needed to show that he would no longer tolerate them and that the safety of the united states would come at any cost. on the other hand, no one is talking about julia’s message left on dempsey’s phone! i dont speak french and im going crazy searching the internet trying to figure out what she told him. plus, why has no one brought up the sentenials?? did you all forget??? they have been here since man was created and was given the knowledge and power to safe earth if the “sleepers” had ever decieded to re-take earth. after all, has no one remembered thomas, sophia, and simon all mention that it was theirs first?? they have said it 3 times now. obviously, they left earth after the first signs of human life started to form. why else would they come back here, mention “it was ours first”, and fight so hard to take it back over!? unless, they know theyre are not any more viable planets out there to live on. seriously, how can you not over analyze this show and fall in love with it?? I KNOW I HAVE!!!!

    • Don’t fall in love with it any more. The Event has not been renewed.


    President Jarvis is seated in the Oval Office, when, suddenly, a steady beam of light is cascading down from the heavens in front of his desk. Already a pawn of the Sleepers, he dared not think another group of aliens were about to change World History in a way not currently imagined. President Martinez is still in a coma, and just as the beam fades out, a man is there in the Oval Office with President Jarvis. “Mr. President,” the man says, ” what Sophia and her people are intending to do is absolutely unnecessary.”

    An obviously agitated President Jarvis responds with, “Who are you and whatever do you mean?”

    “Who I am is of no great importance. And what I mean is that it is not necessary to murder a third of the Earth’s population to make room for the two billion people that Sophia is planning to transport here.”

    “Their Sun is going Super Nova and ours isn’t. Yet we already anticipated that our Sun will do exactly what their’s is doing, and we built an artificial planet to accommodate up to twelve billion people. They claim to be more advanced than you, yet they are resorting to something as crude as the Spanish Flu to wipe you out, when they had three billion years to prepare for the demise of their own Sun. They can create a vortex to send an airplane across the country, yet they did not manage to build themselves an ark to save themselves from certain extinction

  15. Well, The Event will not be renewed. No suprise because all the shows I like have not been renewed. I just hope NBC puts an ending that has closure. What good is a cliffhanger when there will be no next season? One of the shows I liked was “No Ordinary Family”. That had a cliffhanger but was not renewed. What a waste. I like Michael Chiklis from “The Shield” and hopes he finds another show.

  16. It will be sad tonight. The last episode of The Event. No doubt it will be a cliff hanger which will mean squat!! I wish the SyFy channel would pick it up with new episodes. It would be on my schedule to watch. Probably no time to film a closure episode. Enjoy all you Event fans.

  17. why are they not continuing any of my fav shows???? :( everyone i know is in love with the event. so why cancel it??? if you have so many viewers as i see online through the internet why even think it?

  18. So The Event was cancelled just when it was getting interesting!
    Turned out to be just another FlashForward/SG Universe, too clever for its own good.

    If I bought a book and the last few pages were missing I would want my money back. Why is TV any different?

    They could at least release the entire story so that we could read the rest of The Event.

    • I agree with you! I really loved this show, I think there was enough interest to see it through.

  19. The Event is great. Hope there is another one soon.

  20. Why is it not renewing?

  21. I haven’t read all the comments nor do I want to. The first part of The Event was a little confusing and quite frankly they never reveal what the event is because they don’t get the chance to. I watched all 22 episodes and LOVED this series. It is a shame it was cancelled but NBC is notorious for this and thus far no one picked it up which is a travesty. All the characters make this show. Laura Innis was outstanding as the leader of the aliens who in all actuality are NOT aliens. Even though they cancelled it, it ends on at least somewhat of a good note but it should be picked up by someone else, the actors hunted down and put back on TV as a miniseries and completed. All of these cancellations of good shows is why I never heard of it until two years after the fact. I stay away from primetime channels because they make too many premature cancellations. I am totally in disagreement with the reviewer here that seems to take pride out of bashing a really good series. The series is not bad. What people didn’t like (some) was the flashbacks. They became less and less as time went on but they were the fastest way to put in back story. If you are intelligent you would have followed it. If you are looking for some frivolous entertainment, this show wouldn’t be it. It was a really good scifi story that got cut too soon. I’m a senior and have never had a rating box in my home or my parents. Those things mean NOTHING.