The Event: "Pilot" - Sept. 20 on NBC - Grading & Discussion

Discussion in 'Science Fiction & Fantasy' started by Aragorn, Sep 20, 2010.

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Grading

  1. Excellent

    8.2%
  2. Above average

    30.6%
  3. Average

    32.7%
  4. Below average

    20.4%
  5. Poor

    8.2%
  1. Starbreaker

    Starbreaker Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Yeah, I'm not completely sold this is going to be OMG awesome either, but I don't have enough information to write essays about the pilot.
     
  2. Brent

    Brent Admiral Admiral

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    Well, we do have enough information to grade the pilot, which is what this thread is for.
     
  3. Ancient Mariner

    Ancient Mariner Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Agreed. We should just cast a vote and leave it at that. No need to discuss specifics. Heck, no need to even post at all! Especially not on a message board. That'd be as silly as, oh I don't know, complaining about people sharing and discussing their opinions ... on message boards. :rolleyes:
     
  4. Jack Bauer

    Jack Bauer Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    I think the main problem with the pilot is that it crammed way too much into an hour. It probably would've been better if they focused on Sean Walker and what was going on in the plane and with his girlfriend. It came out a little too scatter shot. What the Lost pilot did was start out with a lot of action and then it settled down for more character stuff in the middle of the episode then the last few minutes of part one had an action sequence. I've read that The Event tones down the time jumping around somewhat (I'm not sure to what extent) after the pilot.
     
  5. startrekwatcher

    startrekwatcher Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Shows these days don't have the luxury of finding their footing. They have to hit the ground running if they ever hope to survive in an ever growing sea of television offerings.

    It is one thing to start out with a compelling set of characters and an intriguing set of mysteries that you know will take years to be resolved and another thing to start out with bland characters and weak storylines that have no panache.

    It is even worse to attempt to cover up these shortcomings by turning everything into a blur of confusion and awkward storytelling gimmicks. Just look at the glut of cancelled LOST wannabes such as Invasion, Threshold, Flash Forward, Surface, The Nine, Life on Mars, Daybreak, Heroes and soon V.

    That's why I think writers these days need to forget about LOST and all the new fangled storytelling fads and stick to the tried and true. No one says we need to go back to the ultra simplistic storytelling styles of "TOS" Or "Leave it To Beaver" or all the boring cookie cutter procedurals with obvious endings(CSI, Criminal Minds, NCIS, L&O)but we don't need to go all the way to the other extreme of overly complicated shows. They are too much for both the viewers and the writers.

    Streamline it down to a modest ensemble cast--when there are a large number of players involved I can't form a connection with them. Don't let the plot overwhelm the characters--balance them. Don't worry about having a mythology. Don't worry about interconnecting characters or stories--there isn't anything objectionable with a few independent arcs that you break the cast down into--traditional primetime dramas have been doing that for decades.

    Stop worrying about all the games and tricks and just stick to telling a good story--in other words substance over style or structure. Writers these days seem to be forgetting all of this and simply don't know how to tell a good story so they overcomplicate it or drown them in gimmicks.
     
  6. Starbreaker

    Starbreaker Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Yeah, I didn't say that. Of course we're here to discuss the episode, but some people take it to the extreme.
     
  7. Shurik

    Shurik Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    The ending was interesting but all the stuff before it felt like a 40-minute long trailer ... Hopefully it'll become more coherent in the future and won't turn into another Flashforward ...
     
  8. Trekker4747

    Trekker4747 Boldly going... Premium Member

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    Or Lost.
     
  9. Brent

    Brent Admiral Admiral

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    ^ i see what you did there ;)
     
  10. JWD75

    JWD75 Commander Red Shirt

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    I don't think that I'm going to waste my time with this show any further. The flashbacks were unnecessary and frustrating and the characters totally failed to capture my interest. I've also sick of serialized television. It seems that these type of shows either get cancelled before they can tell their stories in full or they end with a whimper like Lost.
     
  11. Kaijima

    Kaijima Captain Captain

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    Someone has got to, for the good of all mankind, cut off the hands of the next television writer who uses a "24 hours / 8 days / 1 year earlier" cut to create a sense of false suspense.
     
  12. Mooch

    Mooch Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    I would have enjoyed it more if they told it in order, and spent more time on each scene. I found everything very rushed and disjointed. I liked the scenes with the parents and the cruising couple. Too bad he didn't get time to look in the safe for his ring. I wonder if it was there? :p

    I'm getting pretty tired of shows about Presidents. I'm pretty sure the US would never elect a cuban as president, not anytime soon anyway!
     
  13. Mr Light

    Mr Light Admiral Admiral

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    Well I'm definitely intrigued. It's not A Plus "LOST" or anything but it's definitely interesting. Unless "No Ordinary Family" is shockingly excellent this should be my favorite new show of the year.

    So I'm guessing that the "detainees" are aliens or future humans or angels, and they teleported the plane away to save the Notbama and their leader lady. And the evil government conspiracy which was keeping them captive is the one who blackmailed Gilmore Guy into kamikazing Notbama.
     
  14. Mr. Laser Beam

    Mr. Laser Beam Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    ^ "Notbama"... :guffaw:
     
  15. Starbreaker

    Starbreaker Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Yeah, I found the whole black president with an agenda for closing down a detainment base thing kind of... silly.
     
  16. stj

    stj Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    It is of course not unheard of for Black Cubans to come to the United States, just as Irish emigrate to the UK in massive numbers. But there's a reason the skin tones in Cuba have been darkening a lot over the last fifty years. And the notion that a gusano would have those kind of moral principles is quite silly.

    (Also, it's a hell of a lot safer to be a dissident in Cuba than Mexico or Colombia or Peru or Argentina. Well, it was. It appears that elements in the government are going to try to steal state property and become capitalists. Which means the Cuban government will likely start breaking bad on the ordinary people getting screwed over. That however will in the end be approved, as a step forward to true freedom, i.e., the right to take your profits and buy what you want.)
     
  17. Ancient Mariner

    Ancient Mariner Vice Admiral Admiral

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    WTF are you saying? :wtf:
     
  18. Peter the Younger

    Peter the Younger Commodore Commodore

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    I think Starbreaker was referring to the too-obvious similarities to Obama and Guantanamo. I agree with him there, it was very ham-fisted messaging (and clearly written some time ago, since at present, it looks unlikely that Guantanamo will be closed any time soon.)
     
  19. Locutus of Bored

    Locutus of Bored BRexiting the Briefing Room Moderator

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    This is the most over-hyped show of the season already and it just got started. The contrast between expectation and result for this show is pretty high. The guy who said people were just looking for reasons to hate this (there's always got to be one for every new show) doesn't know what he's talking about. I, and I know a lot of others here were really looking forward to 'The Event,' and it turned out to be dead on arrival. The excellent reviews and NBC's overdone promotion certainly played a part in being disappointed by this, but the episode itself was completely lackluster as well.

    Not even the big *gasp* moment made me that interested. Disappearing planes ('Lost') and portals to other locations, dimensions, or times have been done on TV before; and in fact are still being done now on 'Fringe,' 'Stargate Universe,' and other shows.

    Not to mention the most obvious rip-off of Lost (though it's not the only show to do it, it's the most prominent recent example in this genre) with the out-of-sequence storytelling. Lost's flashbacks served a purpose most of the time by introducing in-depth character backstories, tying in past events with the present mythology, and occasionally throwing you a curveball by making you think you were watching a flashback when you weren't. Also, the A-story remained linear at the same time. Here, the poor execution of the flashbacks deperately screamed "see Lost fans, we're just like your favorite show!" With the exception of the discussion about and the intro to the detainees, nothing in that story couldn't or shouldn't have been told linearly.

    I could forgive being derivative and using gimmicky storytelling techniques if the charcters were the least bit compelling. Sean "Stutter" Walker annoys the living hell out of me and he appears to be what passes for a lead in this ensemble. Ian Anthony Dale was overacting like there's no tomorrow. The only one who was slightly compelling was detainee lady from ER, but she was barely in the episode.

    Beyond that, most of the big twists were telegraphed a mile away. The annoying couple hanging out with the leads on the cruise were obviously up to no good, and the promos said there would be a kidnapping. While I didn't exactly know what or how, I knew something supernatural was going to happen to the plane from the previews and knowing that the show involved supernatural elements yet none had appeared up until then. The only thing that was really surprising was the girl's mother being shot. Even the dad piloting the jet was foreshadowed with the pilot-like comment before driving his daughter and her boyfriend to the cruise.

    Instead of wasting time with flashbacks, they should have told the story linearly and included how Sean got involved with the plot aboard the jet and whether it was because he was given or overheard inside information from the kidnappers or because of some supernatural gift of his own (psychic perhaps). Now they're probably going to be revisiting that in numerous future episodes and making that the first big mystery to solve; and I couldn't care less.

    How worthless are the President's Secret Service agents? They get him to the truck alright but then leave him to get in and shut the door on his own and just sit there as the plane approaches with his door wide open. I get that strange things were afoot at the local Circle K, but what the hell? He could have survived the crash inside the armored truck so long as the plane didn't land right on top of it.

    About the only thing I found compelling were two bits of very brief dialogue that have the potential to lead to a lot more. The first was when they said the detainees were "not Americans." Now normally, that would be no big deal and you could just say that meant they were Canadians or something given that the two we were introduced to have American or Canadian accents. But I don't think that was the intent here. Clearly they're otherworldy in some way; whether it be from an alternate dimension, time, aliens, or angels. The second thing was when ER detainee lady said "THEY saved us" after the plane did the time warp agaaaaaain. Obviously the detainees are a separate faction from whomever is behind "the event."

    The factions so far appear to be:

    A) The Detainees:
    ---- Know about the upcoming "event" and who's behind it.
    ---- Possibly supernatural in some way (psychics perhaps?) yet not supernatural enough or unwilling to wield power over their jailers due to personal ethics.
    ---- Possibly just otherworldy and have inside information from being refugees or heralds of whoever "They" are.
    ---- Have infiltrated some government agencies like the FBI to achieve their goals and/or protect themselves.
    ---- Not entirely truthful even to their "allies" whether out of fear or ulterior motive.
    ---- Possibly related to B).

    B) "They":
    ---- Likely behind "the event" in the near future or trying to alter/prevent it.
    ---- Definitely supernatural or supertechnological.
    ---- Possibly benevolent or just appear to be so while just manipulating things (good or bad) to achieve a desired outcome. The President and/or ER detainee lady's life would appear to be useful to their ultimate goals.
    ---- Possibly related to A).

    C) Benign Government:
    ---- Don't know the full story.
    ---- Willing to free and work with the detainees.
    ---- Represent a threat to another faction for sharing information about the event and/or other reasons.

    D) Hostile Government:
    ---- Wish to keep the detainees and their story a secret.
    ---- Will definitely imprison "people" indefinetely to keep that secret and possibly even kidnap and kill for it if related to faction E).
    ---- Probably know more than the President but not the full story.
    ---- Not in the immediate danger zone when the plane crash was immenent.

    E) Kidnappers/Killers:
    ---- Willing to kidnap, kill, assassinate, and cause terrorist acts to achieve their goals.
    ---- Well-connected enough to place numerous "agents" undercover in the passengers and crew of a cruise and erase personal information from the computer.
    ---- Work through coercion rather than direct action against big targets.
    ---- Definitely foes of faction A) and C) and possibly B).
    ---- Possibly working for or in alliance with faction D).

    F) Innocents/The Coerced:
    ---- Victims of crimes to get them to do things for other factions.
    ---- Probably knowingly or unknowingly more intimately involved in events even before the crimes than they appear to be at first glance.

    Anyway, those two bits of dialogue and the premise of the show are enough to warrant me giving it a shot for a while, but I really hope they drop the non-linear storytelling gimmick and develop the characters and events in a more interesting way. A show called 'The Event' that can't even drum up some remotely interesting events in the pilot isn't going to hold my interest for long.

    On a side note, the symbol ∃ means:

    In predicate logic, an existential quantification is the predication of a property or relation to at least one member of the domain. It is denoted by the logical operator symbol ∃ (pronounced "there exists" or "for some"), which is called the existential quantifier. Existential quantification is distinct from universal quantification ("for all"), which asserts that the property or relation holds for any members of the domain.

    Perhaps that means "some will survive, but not all;" denoting an extinction level "event." Also, the focus on the "EV∃" in event could signify the "eve of destruction" or duality of some kind; perhaps in the form of an alternate universe with copies of people from this universe (too 'Fringe'-like) or clones of long since abducted humans beings returned by the aliens or future humans with a purpose (too '4400'-like). I can't help but think of 'ST: Nemesis' when I see the backwards "E," and though it's probably a real longshot, I hope that didn't serve as an inspiration. However, maybe I'm overthinking this and it's just an attempt at having a cool title logo. ;)
     
  20. Starbreaker

    Starbreaker Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Yeah. That's all I was saying. This thread is confusing the hell out of me. :lol: