Pilot Review: The Event

Stuff is happening. Someone’s girlfriend has disappeared, the President of the United States wants to announce something, there’s a secretive woman in Alaska and someone’s trying to crash a plane. None of these things is The Event.

The pilot of The Event goes out of its way to be mystifying, as if the ideas (or suggestions of ideas) aren’t befuddling enough, the whole thing jumps about in time like a child who’s off their attention deficit disorder drugs and is trying to tell us a story. “Oh, but I forgot to tell you this bit, so this thing happened first, but this thing happened before that thing. Oh but I forgot to mention this bit!” Either that or it’s like a drunk telling a joke… and then passing out before getting to the punchline. Because after 45 minutes of bumbling around, the cliffhanger line was delivered, the screen cut to black and everyone went “yeah, and?!”.

The endless ’13 weeks ago’ and ‘9 hours earlier’ were a strange mix of both confusing enough to make me want to start taking notes and yet slow enough to make me bored. Then once you’re fed up of that motif, they start giving little introduction cards for different character names, retelling sections of the story from different sides. Unfortunately many of the things they chose to repeat weren’t actually very interesting once, let alone twice – for example we get to see both sides of a phone call from a dad to his daughter mostly comprising of an agreement that it’s too loud to hear each other and they’ll ring back later. Edge of seat stuff!

Buried somewhere in amongst all this stuff though were some interesting ideas, which have the potential to twist together well. Each idea individually wasn’t necessarily completely original, but the combination and handling worked well.

Potential is the key word for this pilot, there’s the potential for an interesting series, but it’s buried within a pretty terrible pilot. There was some terrible writing, in addition to trying to be too clever with the time and point of view jumps, they were painfully coy, talking about The Event and The Prisoners in hushed, clearly capitalising tones. There was also some cheesy acting, some terrible dialogue and some ropey special effects. I’m gonna stick with The Event for a couple of episodes at least, because I think the concept is solid and am hopefully that everything else will settle down after poorly delivered pilot.

The Event will air on Channel 4 “this autumn, just weeks after its American debut.”

TV Squad – “‘The Event’ was a well-paced hour that played skillfully with time, and if the characters were a little thin, well, it’s a pilot — it’ll take time to give characters shading and dimension.”

CliqueClack – In any case, I’m here for the long-haul, and hopefully I won’t be coming back every week simply to bitch the show out for being too slow, boring or predictable (or, God forbid, all three).

Links: Official website, wikipedia, imdb, tv.com


One thought on “Pilot Review: The Event

  1. Pingback: Narrative Devices

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