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Red Right Hand: (P)REVIEW: THE EVENT
*He is not a secret agent. Not at all.



The Event is a one-hour teaser.

It's clearly this year's front-runner to inherit the Lost slot in current popular culture, a slot that didn't really exist before. And I got to see it a couple of weeks ago and I'd read Nick Wauters script a few months ago (the mild pleasures of staffing season) and, as one might expect, some things were tweaked between the script and the show. And they might be the wrong things.

As a read, it was a little difficult to get into, largely owing to an inordinate number of flashbacks and, in fact, flashbacks couched within other flashbacks. Right off the bat, I was bumping all over the place on just tracking timeline, let alone it being an ensemble piece. So...yes, many characters to follow around as well.

This flashback structure remained unchanged.

I don't generally have a problem with flashbacks as a whole. It is generally good advice not to use them if you don't have to, and that said, I've been known to use it a few times.

Even if the nested flashbacks don't bother you, here's one thing that did bother me as a result of these seemingly unnecessary bits of viewer-time-travel. Each flashback was based around a single character. You get to see, essentially, from that character's point of view as they orbit the events of The Event. Unfortunately, that means at least one case of a flashback full of quick cuts, urgent shouting and general tension as a dude tries to stop a plane from taking off. It was the same plane we saw take off already in another guy's flashback.

They could have done something about that.

Instead they changed a little mysterious happening (not the event of The Event). It was downgraded from a real brainscratcher to a we've-sen-that-before thing. Spoilery, but not very spoilery: a guy goes to his cruise ship cabin and finds someone already in that room and no record of him ever being in said room. A typical Gaslight situation. In the script, somehow that room just utterly vanished. It wasn't even a room. It was a closet. I was both puzzled and intrigued and perhaps it would be explained later. That bit? Gone. It was better before. Sounds like a network note.

The future of this show is going to rest on making sure that the mysteries are intriguing and don't drag on too long without answers. They may lead to more questions, a la Lost and that's okay, but Lost had great characters and so far, in this show, every one is just a cog in the machine that is The Event.

What is The Event? Don't know. Because for lots and lots of talking about it by two-thirds of the cast, no one ever says what it is or gives a clue as to its nature, which leads to some very questionable dialogue. Combine with that where there's a scene of the President and some other suits sitting in a room talking about it and they flashback to the President and the same suits in a room talking about it.

The whole show is just a build up to the last two minutes, where you find out what genre of show you're really watching and your first indication of what The Event could be.

I have my initial theory, but they're could have to keep me interested long enough to find out if I'm right. I don't want to be right, also. It's too simple an idea that if I am right, they're not trying hard enough.

What is it? To protect the spoiler averse, here it is in Klingon (I think) : pIq ghotpu
©2024 Michael Patrick Sullivan
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