It is the time of year where a host of new shows begin on US network TV, each vying to be the new Lost or 24 and not the new Flashforward.
The first of these that I thought sounded fun is The Event. It is being sold as a cross between Lost and 24, but that's not fair on it. It's much more the new Flashforward, but that's not fair on it either. The overall basic concept of a global event may be similar, but here the global event itself is shrouded in mystery and not just the causes of it. Plus this single episode is comfortably better than Flashforward ever got.
The fast paced pilot sets up a framework where we follow a character for a section of the episode (about 10 minutes each character) and cut between what is happening in the present and the past; similar to Lost's character centric episodes, but with multiple characters. This lends itself nicely to gradually revealing pieces of the puzzle. We are introduced to Sean Walker (Jason Ritter, son of John) who is hijacking a plane in the present while only a week earlier being on a romantic holiday with his girlfriend, government agent Simon Lee, the President and Michael Buchanan, father of Sean's girlfriend. Through these characters we see the hijacking of the plane in the present from a variety of angles and hints of conspiracies surrounding 97 secretly held prisoners referred to only as "them".
There was a lot of scope for mystery set up nicely and it was good to have an high paced action show not revolving around the bloody FBI for a change. Plus the final 2 minutes are truly "what the fuck". I will undoubtedly be giving this show at least a few more weeks, but it still has the potential to blow up in it's own face. Any show that deals with any kind of fictional global event and features the US President is in danger of becoming very stupid, very fast. Here's hoping this doesn't.