We're six episodes in, with #7 tonight, on NBC's thriller-science fiction-conspiracy adventure melodrama The Event (can't do that backwards "E" font here), and I can't quite figure out whether I like it or not. It's mysterious, it's time-shifting, it's action-packed (sometimes), and has some good performances by a talented troupe of actors. I wish it were as sure-fire as, let's say, the first season of 24, but to its credit at least it's not quite as confusing as late-era Lost. Most importantly, it's still early enough for anybody to jump in and play catch-up (if necessary) to be able to enjoy the rest of this season. NBC has all episodes available for online viewing (click the "Video" tab), and you might be able to find some on your NBC On-Demand menu if you've got it.
There are plenty of things to admire about The Event. The cast -- Blair Underwood, Jason Ritter (who does his father proud once again), the always-intriguing Zelijko Ivanek, Laura Innes, the charismatic Ian Anthony Dale -- is more than competent. The premise -- crash-landed human-looking extraterrestrials sequestered for decades in remote Alaska start acting up -- is tantalizing. The execution is top-notch, with great action sequences -- like a scary plane ride which becomes positively supernatural or an apocalyptic building dematerialization -- well-done and fun to watch.
It was a treat to see veteran actress Salome Jens in Episode #106 "Loyalty" playing -- well, let's not give everything away...but she was superb. I also loved the appearance last time of actress Paula Malcomson (Sons of Anarchy, Caprica, ER, Deadwood) as Madeline, a reporter who's been investigating the mysterious goings-on and has gotten nothing but grief for it. What I didn't love was the way the characters played by Ritter and Sarah Roemer (as his girlfriend) reacted to the reporter's impassioned explanation of the dangerous conspiracy. They looked at her like she was crazy, practically rolling their eyes, a completely inconsistent reaction since pair had just been through quite a few improbably weird experiences of their own -- kidnappings, that crazy plane anomaly, multiple murders, and more -- which should have made them the last people to scoff at her.
Soapbox Minute Here: (I hate when that happens; my other prime example of the same thing is in the movie Independence Day. Yeah, the movie's full of stupid stuff, but when washed-up ostracized pilot and former UFO-abductee Randy Quaid has been recruited to fly a near-death mission -- and this is when Earth is being attacked by big giant spaceships and aliens right above their heads -- the other guys still laugh at him when he references his previous UFO experience. Like, what the hell are you guys laughing at? He was right, you assholes! Oooo...I hate that!)
Am I going to try to catch The Event tonight? Sure, or else soon On Demand or online. If you crave a little high-tech sci-fi mystery, I think you should be there, too. The Event airs at 9pm on NBC. Here's the preview for tonight's episode "I Know Who You Are":