The Event Recipe

For a show that almost lost me in the first 20 minutes, The Event has really grown on me (it’s my second favourite freshman show, just a hair behind Lost Girl). It’s a fun new episodic series with some heavy influences from some of my fav shows, and I’m glad it got a full season pickup. I thought I’d take a look at the makeup of The Event, and why that’s such a winning recipe for me.

Let’s start off with what most people will say is the heaviest influence, Lost. I disagree with this, as I said in my freshmen roundup post, but anyway. I’m sure that any show from now on that features flashbacks or a narrative that jumps around in time will be compared to Lost, even though the structure is quite different. In Lost, the flashbacks were all about building character, letting the viewer get to know each of the castaways much better than they knew each other. With The Event, the flashbacks fulfill several different functions. Sometimes they build character, sometimes they give exposition (one of my favourites is the flashback to how Sean and Leila met. Ostensibly it’s the meet cute/showing us the strength of their relationship, but it’s also where Sean mentions that he’s a CS major, so a few minutes later when he starts hacking the FBI database we aren’t surprised), and quite often The Event uses the flashbacks as a means to not give the viewer information until the point it becomes necessary for them to have it.

Okay, that was a far more in-depth analysis of the flashbacks than I planned to have, so I’ll cut to the chase re: The Event and Lost: the thing The Event owes to Lost the most is the time and effort it puts into developing the characters. We’re just six eps in and I feel like we really know Sean and Simon at this point.

Now, on to 24. I feel The Event owes a lot more to Bauer, from the powerful conspiracy to the level of politics involved. Throw in a strong-willed, rather Palmer-esque President and a double agent (but with a twist, as opposed to every double agent in 24, this one you actually root for!), and of course the quality action scenes and the spirit of 24 is alive and well in The Event. Oh and speaking of the action scenes, the ‘escaping from a collapsing building’ scene that capped off this week’s ep was really, really well done.

Before I wrap this up, there is one more show that I feel had a real influence on The Event, and that’s The Invaders. The connections are a bit more ethereal than with the other two shows, and The Invaders wasn’t exactly the greatest show, but they’re there (though with a pretty significant difference in that in The Event the aliens and the conspiracy aren’t one and the same). It’s hard to explain, but if you’ve seen any of The Invaders you’d see the connections.

So, the character-driven aspect of Lost, the politics and action of 24, and the je ne sais quoi of a kinda crappy old cult show. Plus aliens. Does this mean you’ll love The Event? I dunno, but it explains why I’m enjoying the hell out of it.

I’m gonna be seriously pissed if they actually killed my favourite character already, though.

-Jerk

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~ by Jerk on October 27, 2010.

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