Last night kicked off the beginning of premiere week for the new fall TV season. Technically, it started Sunday, but most were watching football or doing nothing at all. Many fan favorites returning from cliffhangers while some showed debuted for the first time ever, hoping to attract a brand new audience to their brand new show. I tuned into two brand new shows and one returning. How I Met Your Mother, The Event and Hawaii Five-O. The 30 minutes in between HIMYM and The Event I spent at Cartoon Network, in case anyone is wondering.
Just to get it out of the way, HIMYM was funny as usual. I may have to rewatch this episode due to missing a few things due to a badly timed nap and later a badly timed phone call. But apparently we are off to a good start.
I’m going to jump ahead and talk about Hawaii Five-O which I’ll admit I didn’t give my full attention to. For what it’s worth, it’s not a bad show and I’ll watch a few episodes due to my like of Daniel Dae Kim aka Jin from LOST and Scott Caan who I’m a fan of due to the Ocean’s movies. From what I saw, it wasn’t too bad. I wasn’t blown away, nor was I expecting to be. I never watched the original show, so I really didn’t know what to expect to be honest. But despite not fully paying attention or being thoroughly impressed, I’ll try out the show a few more times but I don’t see myself making any commitments to watch it. I even wonder if this show is a hit, I haven’t read too many reviews about it yet, but I know a lot of the Twitterverse followed the same route I did and tuned into this show after The Event. And like The Event, a good chunk of people liked it, while the others dismissed it.
And it’s The Event that I’ve been waiting to see and here to talk about. All the while, replaying the teasers and commercials we saw all summer long telling us what wasn’t “the event.” I was also convinced over the summer that “the event” wouldn’t be shown until possibly the second episode… unless that was deliberately misleading information. To which I say, good show sir. Even if it wasn’t the last five minutes of the show, or we won’t see it until the last episode, I’m interested.
But what everyone is and was talking about: is this our answer to the void left by LOST (and apparently 24 for those who watched that show)? Or is this possibly a show that will follow in FlashForward‘s footsteps and only be a one season show? I hope not, because like FlashForward, The Event has a five season plan that I hope they can follow through.
It’s no question LOST changed the game when it comes to best pilot ever for a serial drama. I think Heroes may have come close and kept it going with their stellar first season. But I hope The Event learns from past serial shows how to survive in this ADD entertainment world we live in. What is that exactly? As most shows do, they take a break in the winter. Where I think FlashForward failed is they took too long of a break, and fans forgot and/or lost interest by the time it came back on. I know I did. Plus a good handful of the writers/producers left the show, so there were signs something was wrong. The same happened with Heroes. I didn’t follow LOST until late in the game, but I like how they handled their last season, they only showed one rerun.
Story is also of crucial importance. And so far, there is more than enough going on in The Event that I don’t worry that will be its’ problem. It was and is continuing to be compared to LOST in many ways: airplanes, flashbacks, tropical areas, multiple character back stories. Oh yeah, and lots of mystery. All that’s missing is a couple polar bears and a smoke monster. Who are these prisoners? (I guessed aliens, like a bunch of other critics did too.) Where did this dude’s girlfriend go? What’s so special about these characters and who are they really? And by the way, for people like me, character development is what made LOST and even Heroes so great.
I wanted to keep this somewhat spoiler free so people still have the chance to watch the pilot for themselves. I’m pretty sure it’s not really a secret at this point, but the payoff was definitely worth the build-up of that hour watching these characters fight about this airplane and vacationing in paradise and dealing with government cover-ups.
So I don’t know about you, but I’m in. For the sake of having at least one serial drama to be committed to (since there aren’t any left unless you want to count Fringe), I ask that you check it out too. I’m interested in seeing where this is going and hoping this show becomes a hit so I can at least see a second season. But it’s so early in the game, who knows what’s in store? And in time, I think the LOST comparisons will start to fade as long as this show gets the chance to make a name for itself and NBC doesn’t do anything foolish. What’s also interesting, and probably what producers intended, it’s got people talking. If the ads didn’t get you, hearing your friends and family talk about it will. Or it might. Some have already signed off. Some are reluctant. I know this, and so do they. But I’m always up for a good story and I hope we get to see this one played out until it’s planned ending.
But we shall see. See you at The Event next Monday at 9PM, Indoobians!
And for the reviews I’ve read so far: CNN, EW’s Ken Tucker and Doc Jensen.
[…] I even wonder if this show is a hit, I haven’t read too many reviews about it yet, but I know a lot of the Twitterverse followed the same route I did and tuned into this show after The Event . And like The Event , a good chunk of people …Continued […]
I didn’t think The Event came anywhere near Lost. With the possible exception of the Paolo & Nikki episode, even the worst episode of Lost was better than the Event pilot. Having said that, it still roused my curiosity, so I’ll be watching episode two when I get a chance. My guess is that the prisoners are from the future. The thing about the pilot is that while it was interesting, it wasn’t all that fun to watch, which is worth noting.
I always thought the reason that Heroes failed was because instead of developing the characters and their relationships, the writers kept running them in circles. Compare that to the evolution of Sawyer in Lost, and you can see why Lost lasted six years (with fans jonesing for more) and Heroes got canceled. It’s a shame too, because that first season of Heroes was phenomenal. But those Heroes characters were stunted.
What about Fringe?
After watching the second episode of The Event, my feeling towards it have changed. I still plan on hanging in there for as long as I can, and I’ll still consider myself a fan, but it’s losing its status as “appointment TV” for me. And I totally agree with you, it doesn’t compare at all to any Lost episodes. Although, for me, I think the worst Lost episode is when Jack was in Singapore, where he got his tattoo. We can discuss that later.
What The Event doesn’t have that it needs to, strong character development. I’m not thoroughly interested in these people. So I don’t feel this is character driven as Lost was. And maybe, just maybe, we aren’t ready for a show like this so soon after the end of Lost (and 24 or even Heroes for those who compare it to those shows since they all ended last season). Oh yeah, episode 2 had people comparing it to Heroes. So I don’t know where this show is going, but I’m along for the ride.
But speaking of Heroes and Lost and even FlashForward, I’m going to do some research to write up something of why these shows succeeded or failed. It’ll probably be mostly filled with my opinion and observations.
I think they all failed or succeeded for the same reason – the determiner seems to be characters that the audience cares about. I never really cared about any of the characters on FlashForward, which is why I didn’t watch it regularly and didn’t really care when it was canceled. In fact, they all seemed cold to me. I already shared my ideas about Heroes, although they possibly started out with the most potential and failed to fulfill it.
Jack was actually in Thailand, not Singapore (sorry to be a stickler about the details, but you understand). That episode was not one of the best, but I thought it was way better than the Paolo/Nikkie episode. I don’t even like when those two are in scenes in the previous few episodes. Something about Paolo and/or Nikki pulls me out of the story. They just don’t belong.
You see? That’s how much I disliked that episode lol. But you are correct, Thailand. The last time I watched the episode I think I just did something else until it was over. I’m not about to defend Paolo and Nikki but I loved how Sawyer and Hurley reacted to them with that whole “who are you?” act… which we, as the audience, also felt. Maybe if they had been introduced earlier, they wouldn’t seem so out of place. Fortunately that was the only major flaw, since all other characters I had no issues with, original and new. In fact, I really enjoyed Daniel and Miles. I was sad that Daniel got shot, but after watching it the 2nd or 3rd time, I understand why it happened and even why it pained Eloise so much to push him into studying. Although to be honest, she’s always been a constant mystery to me. She knows so much more and it’s never explained how she knows all that she does, even in the afterlife. I was even surprised at how early we learned about her in season 3 (or 2?) but she really doesn’t make her mark until much later.
As for FlashForward, I never thought about it until now, all the characters were pretty cold. I liked the premise but I think it could’ve been executed better. I dunno how exactly. But it had a season break that lasted too long. So long people stopped caring and lost interest. Plus showrunners and writers left which isn’t a good sign (similar to Heroes) and all of that equaled the death of the show. I know it took me about a month to finish watching it. I really wasn’t interested anymore, especially once I predicted it wasn’t going to get a second season.
And I dunno if you heard about this show “Persons Unknown” or if you’re able to find it, but that what kept my interest even though it was also not renewed for a second season. It was a summer show, and if it wasn’t for my sister, I never would’ve known it was on. It’s about 7 people trapped in a ghost town and being watched by a Big Brother like organization. The first few episodes were good as you learned about each character and a little about their life before they ended up there, but I felt it had a good ending and set up for the second season if it had one.
The second episode of The Event triggered my curiosity, so I’ll keep watching for now. Right now, my problem with that show is that the writers/producers don’t seem interested in making the audience care about the characters. So far, there’s been very little to help the audience forge an emotional connection. Another problem is that the whole show seems extremely dark. It’s like there’s a big cloud over it. One of the things that made Lost so great was this balance of dark and light, which makes a speculative fiction story more believable since that’s how real life is. My final problem was the scene where Leila sends Sean off to go snorkeling with some other attractive female. Sorry, but even the least jealous of girls wouldn’t do that, especially when they hardly know the other girl and don’t like her much to begin with. I think The Event needs to focus less on being so mysterious and get more into the characters, perhaps add a little humor for balance, and use flashbacks only when they are essential to the story.
You know we should have like a TV critic show, kinda like Siskel and Ebert back in the day? I watched this episode with my parents and they said the same exact thing about Leila letting Sean go out with whatsherface alone. I felt that was odd too. There were a lot of things I found to be odd and out of place/character. Jumping back to the first episode, the big question I kept hearing (on Twitter) was how did Sean get his gun on the plane? Unless this is something that will be answered in a flash back… which I will admit is getting a bit annoying. I know it’s necessary for the story they are trying to tell, but I’m failing to see the point. I really don’t want to compare it to Lost but it really has the same scent, or at least it’s trying to make a show that would do better after rewatching the entire season to fully understand what happened, like Lost. But I will give it a few more weeks before I decide how devoted I’ll stay to the show. Maybe I’ll let my DVR record them and then one day just watch them back to back.
I guess flashbacks and flashforwards have become a new storytelling device. Actually, since they’re not new, they’ve become favored. I think it’s clever to show what is going to happen but it only works if it’s unbelievable. Then, the audience watches to see how it happened. For example, when we see future Jack on Lost and he’s got the beard and the drug problem… the audience can’t imagine how he got to that state and will watch to find out. The Event seems to jump around in time for no particular reason. They did a better job of it in the second episode, so maybe they’ll smooth it out. I’m going to give it a few more episodes too, but they really need to focus on the characters in the near future or the show doesn’t stand a chance. I like your idea of a critic show, sounds like fun!
I was thinking of another show I watch that employs flashbacks/forwards all the time: How I Met Your Mother, which is on the same night as The Event. I initially misread the “unbelievable” part of a time jump, but this show is set up as a flashback from the perspective of a guy telling a story in 2030. 30 Rock also does this too. So yeah, this flashback stuff isn’t new. But these shows that I mentioned do it for comical reasons, and sometimes for the sake of story.
Anyway, I think it was the third episode that they had only one flashback. That was pretty nice because it didn’t break up the action. I think the 4th episode had specific flashbacks for our hero, so I’m hoping this will be important later, like showing him how he taught her how to swim… I didn’t see this as important. It was sweet, but maybe that was some of the character development we’ve been looking for? I’ll be writing a follow up post soon since the first episode premiered.
I hate most TV, but I LOVE The Event. The last hour episode I watched felt like 15 minutes and I was so reeled in and bummed when it ended, felt like I got cut off just before the climax of a movie. The Event is really pulling me in and succeeding to make a regular watcher out of me. I think the last show I watched regularly was Sex and the City; yes, that long ago. Am enjoying The Event. And the commercials are better than the Super Bowl commercials. Go figure.
I tried to watch Lost, but coming in the middle is impossible, just all this melodrama that made no sense – was boring.
I think with The Event, a person could actually jump in the middle because some of the basic premises are easily understandable and obvious: special guy on the run and aliens up to some secret mission. Plus, there is always all this action happening and surprises to keep you on your toes, whether you know what is going on or not.
Sex and the City is a show I have a constant debate about visiting, and it has nothing to do with it being a “chick show” as my friends call it. I had been curious about the movies as well, but we’ll see. I have a long list of TV shows to catch up on, so I’ll get back to you on that.
I agree with you about The Event having those reeling in and cliff-hanging endings. That is in fact what keeps me coming back each week. I think, so far, with this show, I care less about the individual characters than I do about all of them and what the ultimate end game will be… which at this point I assume would be the season finale, hopefully not the series finale. I hope this show hangs in there because I will find myself bored on Monday nights lol.
As for Lost, I was just like you and came in the middle. I highly recommend, and Melissa can back me up on it, that this show is worth watching from the beginning. There are people who flat out don’t like the show even from the beginning, and if you are in that group… well… I will like you a little less. I jest. But I highly recommend checking out whenever you get the chance, and maybe you can see why so many people compare The Event to Lost. I’m hoping The Event will step out from the shadow of all the shows it’s compared with. But I’m with them until the end. But I feel like Lost, this show will start to get deeper to the point outsiders won’t be able to jump in the middle to follow along. I could be wrong, but I’m too invested to step out to find out.