If the NBC series THE EVENT is as good as the NBC pilot for THE EVENT is, we are in for another infuriatingly, invigoratingly, tantalizingly wonderful national cult obsession. While no one walks into a jet intake, a la Lost, which is one its spiritual, if not literal, influences, there are secret bases and unexplained happenings that would be a criminal offense to reveal, and story lines that unfold along character lines rather than lines chronological or lines that follow the direction of times arrow. There are plots, counterplots and nefarious doings by sinister government cabals a la 24, one of its other spiritual influences, and former home of one of the shows executive producers, Evan Katz. There is also black president (Blair Underwood), but in the interests of breaking new ground, hes also of Cuban descent with a bombshell wife and an adorable little boy.
In the first episode, a nice guy (Jason Ritter) with a plan to marry the woman he loves takes over an airplane at gunpoint. A woman (Laura Innes) has a secret so dangerous that shes shut away at a remote and secret facility in the wilds of Alaska. A president with high ideals runs afoul of the entrenched bureaucracy and of the CIA when he wants to champion human rights over secrecy. And a woman (Sarah Roemer) on a romantic cruise disappears without a trace after her boyfriend, the nice guy, dives into the pounding surf to save a total stranger. There is a method to all this madness, but the purveyors of this fare are smart enough to dangle much and reveal little.
The writing is sharp without being self-consciously clever, and the action is spare, to the point, and in both execution and concept, paced fast enough to keep the adrenalin pumping with just enough time to let whats happening sink in. Barely five minutes pass before something else intriguing, astonishing, and/or shocking takes place, all leading up to a climax that ties some of the plot points together, leaves others dangling (that would be the infuriating, tantalizing part), and ends with a line that may become one of the classics of television: I havent told you everything.
THE EVENT debuts on the small screen on September 20, 2010.