‘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. Won’t be watching it off my DVR till Thursday but I’m looking forward to it. At first I had no interest but over the last two weeks I’ve started wanting to see it.

  2. Thoroughly enjoyed it. Had flashbacking like LOST and mystical occurrences like the same. Will be following this series until they slip up.

    • They did, already! :-)

    • Seems a little like Donnie Darko to me …

  3. Donnie Darko anyone? …

  4. Wow. This was really weak in my opinion. Didn’t grab me AT ALL.



  5. im watching it now, ive never been a fan of Underwwod, EVER. he’s annoying to watch on screen to me

  6. From what I’ve seen and read, I’m thinking this series may introduce the little known “Doctrine of Convergent Timeline Paradow” to the television viewing masses. The doctrine tells of future beings coming back to their past at various times, for the purposes of either preventing or causing changes in the earth’s time-space continuim. Such a subject matter would also require the introducion of “Exopolitics” (human to space-time aliens). Consider the characters and events: disappearances of people and planes, President, CIA, prisoners. All the pieces could fit.

  7. Watching it now….I think it’s boring !

  8. yawn…jumping timelines is so tired…so wannabe artistic, so lame. I dont see this one going anywhere.

    not going to follow this one

  9. Kind of disappointed in this one. The flipping back and forth and forward and back through time wasn’t necessary except possibly to have action at the beginning to ‘hook’ us in, which drives me crazy. Make something interesting at the beginning, it doesn’t have to be action! And then re-showing previous content on more than one occasion without any additional reveal or info? Not cool. Not enough mystery or intrigue, even though there was lots unsaid. Weird combination.

    I’ll likely watch until Clifton Collins Jr. is in it and then re-assess, because he’s a world of awesome.

  10. I think ive been living in a box lol! Im not much of a tv show person just movies 8-)

  11. So I live in a box, spares me from being brain drained by tv advertising. (Jokes on you!)
    “Their futures are on a collision course in a global conspiracy that could ultimately change the fate of mankind”. That’s like a typical tuesday for me,,,
    Read the review, sounds a lot like Dark Skies vs Lost. ^
    I’m betting the plane was a hologram.
    Keep me posted SR, I don’t have time to actually watch this show. X-)

  12. I must live in a box too, I’ve never heard of this untill now.
    Then again, I don’t live in North-America, so I’m prolly outside NBC’s focus groups anyways.

  13. I think the “Event” is the sporatic story line , mixed with an hour of commercials. NBC has broken into new territory to get viewers to watch endless commercials, with 2 mintues of story lines. This is a marketing triumph.

  14. Boring. Wife made me finish watching after 15 minutes of not knowing what was going on. Too many flashbacks. Will not be watching it again.

  15. Well we have a group of people. Those people are not “Americans” (as was pointed out on a few occasions) and they are being and have been held for a long time. (4 plus years?)

    I think the daughters home was probably a bait and switch. Meaning the person we saw on the ground was not who we thought it SHOULD be.

    The pilot was Ritters girlfriends father.

    Overall it was “ok”.

    I dont like the presidents portrayal. His attitude is so cliche.

    The bozo in the the truck trying to stop the plane… they should have left it at the phone call. He would have NEVER gotten that close.

    Danko (he will always be Danko) was great, typecasted? meh he does it well why break it?

    Ritter was better then I expected him.

    I concur either Aliens or Time travelers from the future. However I have a very strict mind set when it comes to time travel so will lean more towards aliens. :D

    I will give it 3 more weeks.

  16. Ever since i saw the first trailer for this, it reeked of Flash Forward, which i hated. It does have a little bit of intrigue, but i don’t think the viewing public has much patience for vaguely drawn out storylines. And the flashback is just getting old now that it’s been used to death in other series. I’ll give this a few more weeks to say yea or nay.

  17. I think it is clear that the 97 detainees are scientists from the future. Hence, they have a research lab at their prison. They are either stuck here and trying to get back, or they are trying to change the present to alter future events.

    Isn’t the creator of this show the creator of the 4400?

    That show had future people trying to alter past events as well.

    I really enjoyed the pilot. So there people!

  18. Sorry but this pilot episode was a failure. The fact is, NBC showed too many trailers prior to the show’s debut and the trailers covered 90% of the entire pilot episode. That is pretty weak. There were too many commercials and there was even a point when the show came back from commercial for about 2 minutes and then went back to commercial, which is infuriating. Add to that I did not care too much for any of the characters. Flashbacks do not automatically equal gripping storytelling, as was seen in this episode. I will try again next week but they better get on with it or I am done with this. And I am sorry but this was nowhere near Lost in regard to story, character, suspense, and or mystery. Sorry to sound so harsh but it had to be said.

  19. Honestly, the story line, can be repeated. Its what the writers do with it that counts. Lets face it, how many times have audencies watched the Titanic sink, but what story is made out of it. Be it time travel or aliens, or JR waking up from a dream? It can be interesting, I know I will try it at least another episode.

  20. I was looking forward to this premier, but found myself disappointed.
    Too much back and forth – hard to keep track.
    I didn’t feel a connection with any of the characters either.

    I will keep watching though and hopefully it will get better.

    I was a huge 24 and Lost fan and am already having withdrawals from those being gone. I hope The Event satisfies this need.

  21. The show is going to e an epic fail, It might have been good if they had just followed a story line but jumping back in time about 7 times in the first episode is just to much.
    People will spend more time trying to figure out where and when they are rather than just being able to watch and enjoy the show. They should have just called it ‘flashback’ as it is a copy of flashforward in reverse and we all know how many seasons that lasted for.

  22. Seemed like more FlashForward than Lost. Just didn’t make me care enough to tune in next week.

  23. I was never a fan of LOST, but have been waiting for this series to begin; for one, I thought the subject matter, whether aliens or time travelers, is a great escape.. suspense worth waiting to see what happens next. I give it a 5-STAR rating for first show.. can’t wait to see what comes in the next couple of weeks.. the foundation.. Woo Hoo.

  24. Not bad. I’m DVR’n it so it’s not like I have to miss anything…

  25. Unwatchable. Wayyyyyyy too much back and forth in time to set up the story. And too many commercials. After a while I just fell asleep – woke up as the plane went into attack mode and then vanished. Good special effect so I may give it 1 or 2 more weeks. I would rather ABC brought back Flash Forward–THAT I could follow!

  26. I guess I must have been excited to see Jason Ritter in a series again. The guy can act! And maybe that’s what kept me glued. I stayed with the plot line and it felt pretty suspenseful. I felt as if I was on that plane! If they can keep it up then they’ll have a winner on their hands. The production was also almost movie-like (big budget)…again, not sure if they can keep that up following the premiere. Overall for me the acting carried the plot and made it all believable for the most part.

    • Wow, Mike. I was completely bored, annoyed by the ADD flashbacks which were gimmicky and didn’t feel any connection whatsoever to anything going on.

      Oh, and AWESOME secret service agents – based on how far the plane was when they got the president in the SUV they could’ve been at least a couple of blocks away by the time it was supposed to hit.


  27. Weak opener with too many very short flashbacks to try to “piece” things together. The great thing about the lengthy flashbacks in LOST was that it gave you a lot of information about the character which made you establish a connection with each one. However, the cast has the potential to make a better show than at least Flashforward.

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