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part of a small rebellion | by maryann johanson

question of the day: Why do I smell such an ominous vibe coming off NBC’s ‘The Event’?

I can’t help it. Whenever I hear or see something about NBC’s new drama The Event, which debuts on Monday night in the U.S. (and on Channel 4 in the U.K. in October), all I can think about is M. Night Shyamalan’s risible The Happening, and poor Alan Ruck having to deliver one of the most awful lines of dialogue in the history of movies: “There appears to be an event occurring.” Is this really the best thing to have potential viewers thinking about?

NBC’s official site for the show is remarkably cagey as to what the show is actually about, though it does promise something along the lines of “the biggest cover-up in U.S. history,” which will of course be exposed, eventually, probably somewhere around sweeps weeks in Season Seven, and that we’ll be

Begging For More

Get ready for the ride of a lifetime. Each week you’ll get more clues. Each week you’ll be more invested.

How can any show possibly live up to this? It got “huge buzz at Comic Con”! (but what doesn’t?), where showrunner Evan Katz apparently told Comic Con crowds, “We don’t want people to feel like we’re making this up as we go along.” (See? They know we’re maybe burnt out on shows that start off intriguing and then go nowhere.) SciFi Squad has a theory about aliens, or maybe terrorists — hey, maybe it’s about alien terrorists! io9 can only ask, plaintively, if perhaps The Event mightn’t be a decent enough show (if we keep our fingers crossed and eat all our vegetables).

Why do I smell such an ominous vibe coming off NBC’s The Event? Am I alone in this?

Of course I’m going to watch, in the hopes that the show will actually be entertaining, or perhaps in the hopes that it’ll be a train wreck like Shyamalan’s movie. I just hope it’s not like AMC’s new conspiracy drama Rubicon, the second dullest show on TV at the moment (after Syfy’s Haven).

(If you have a suggestion for a QOTD, feel free to email me. Responses to this QOTD sent by email will be ignored; please post your responses here.)

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  • RogerBW

    The big burn for me was Alias, in which it became increasingly obvious that the production team was making it up as they went along. I simply don’t trust this sort of long revelation to have anything behind it other than “meh, we’ll decide when we get there”. I shan’t be watching, specifically because of the way it’s been sold.

    (Actually, rather to my surprise, I’m quite enjoying Rubicon.)

  • given the scenery of snowbound valleys and mountain ranges, I’m getting the vibe that this is going to be something to do with the Tunguska Event. So, aliens. Again.

    Yawn. X-Files has desensitized me to this stuff. Going to go watch Heroes, uh the live-action Incredibles, um No Ordinary Family instead…

  • Yeah, so I saw a screening of the pilot at the Paley Center in NYC this past Saturday (along with other NBC fall premieres including Outsourced, Chase and Undercovers which I loved btw).

    No spoilers so I won’t go into detail or give a review, but…it’s kinda a mess. Very, very slow pacing, clear copying of both Lost and Fast Forward (after it went off the rails!), and yes, dull. And corny.

    What’s sad is that the cast has great potential. But they are wasted.

  • Aliens? Pshaw. Everybody knows Nikolai Tesla triggered the Tunguska Event during one of his globe-trotting battles with Cthulhu. Duh.

    I watched a ways into the first episode of Rubicon, concluded it was boring, turned it off.

    This is the first I’m hearing about The Event, but yeah, it sounds like typical X-Files/Lost/Heroes BS. It’s all going to be a game to see how long they can keep stringing along the more gullible members of the audience and make them believe the writers actually have any idea what they’re doing.

    I fully expect this scene (sans snarky commentary) to occur every other episode: http://tr.froup.com/tr.pl?421

  • JoshDM

    I watched a ways into the first episode of Rubicon, concluded it was boring, turned it off.

    This. A thousand times this. I even gave it 2 more episodes than you. Oh, so dull and plodding. I wanted to like it, but it’s almost as bad as that show with the seven jerks trapped in a town. And don’t tell me the lead woman in that show isn’t a jerk; she is a jerk, a selfish jerk.

    The Event looks like trash. I’ve heard it was originally just a down-to-earth incident, but the network requested a sci-fi element. I’ll watch it, but I think it’ll fail, as will No Ordinary Family as will The Cape, or “The Crape” as I like to refer to it. Diet Nightman.

  • MC

    The first two seasons of Alias were good. After that, yeah, you could tell that Abrams was devoting his time to getting Lost off the ground.

  • Michael

    “We don’t want people to feel like we’re making this up as we go along.”

    I like that he doesn’t actually SAY “we’re not making this up as we go along,” but just that they don’t want us to FEEL that they are. *sigh* I’m with you, RogerBW; marketing that panders so blatantly to my curiosity has quite the opposite effect.

  • CoriAnn

    What worries me most about this show, because of course I’m going to at least try to watch it, is that all of the publicity keeps saying, oh yes, it is a serialized story line but you can also jump into at any point, there are plenty of stand alone episodes, and we’ll hit a reset button a few episodes in too. I get it, I really do, television show makers are scared to have a big long ongoing story because they’re afraid that new viewers won’t want to jump in mid-season or mid-series for fear of not knowing what’s going on. But is that really truly still a concern in this day and age? With On Demand, online episodes, and DVDs so readily available for rent or purchase? I can’t even count how many shows I have stumbled across halfway through and ended up loving. And if I needed to figure out what was going on, I just went back and caught myself up. Not that difficult. Sigh. I know I am ranting, I just get so so sick of all of these “stand alone” episodes that do nothing to further plot line or real character development because the networks are scared that if the plot is intricate enough to be interesting, no one who hasn’t watched from the beginning will want to watch at all. Bah. And don’t get me started on series “resets.” My favorite kind of television stories contain people that have actual growth and events that have actual consequences down the road. Continuity is not a bad thing, folks, it really isn’t.

    Okay, um, so yeah. That’s why I’m getting a bad vibe off The Event at any rate. Going back into my hidey-hole now…

  • Der Bruno Stroszek

    I can’t even hear that simple, innocuous phrase – “The Event” – any more without thinking of this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wnd1jKcfBRE

  • Lisa

    Yeah this is going to suck I hate the trailer for it. Just say what the fuck it is then!!!!!!

    I got so burned by Alias as others have said. The first 2 seasons were brilliant. They never explained Rambaldi in a satisfactory way.

  • MC

    Another reason to be wary of The Event is NBC’s own history of cancellations. I mean, they cancelled a reality show days before the final episode was going to air. I mean, who does that?

    Any network that can throw the fans of a series under the bus like that… well, they are horrible people, simple as that.

  • LaSargenta

    @ MC, beg your pardon, but, are u serious about this:

    Any network that can throw the fans of a series under the bus like that… well, they are horrible people, simple as that.

    This is a network. They exist to sell soap. It isn’t a public service, and it certainly isn’t a public institution like a museum. Why would they care?

  • Networks do a lot of show-killing if their expectations aren’t meant. Even if the shows are critically adored, have a decent and vocal fanbase, but low ratings. We get candy-corn shows like NCIS and Walker: Texas Ranger because the majority of viewers like ‘comfort food’ type shows: anything with flavor or eccentricity rarely gets past year one of a series. It’s why the X-Files and Buffy were so extraordinary and why their comparative rip-offs (Dark Skies, Roswell) didn’t last too long (an exception, Smallville, was due to A) being based on an established fanbase franchise and B) having enough Ho-Yay between Clark and Lex to outgay shows like Will And Grace).

  • MC

    LaSargenta, to me there is a difference between pulling the plug on a series midstream, and doing it 48 hrs before its completion in the middle of the summer. That was just crossing a line to me.

    I know it is a business, but if it was another business, and someone screwed their customers that badly, would you as the owner of that business expect those people to happily return to you, especially when other businesses in your field haven’t done something that bad yet so they look better in comparison.

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