Reading this blog is not “The Event”

8 09 2010

I don’t know what “The Event” is. No one does. But thanks to the marketing campaign from NBC, I can’t wait to find out.

NBC has done a magnificent job of building up the hype for their new show. Their series of commercials saying “Plot point A is not The Event” has been the perfect balance of tease and reveal, but mostly tease. They really have not told us much at all about what the show is really about. What we do know is that some event happened and there is a big conspiracy to cover it up. Blair Underwood plays the President, who apparently doesn’t know about the event. Jason Ritter stars as a man whose girlfriend goes missing on a cruise ship. While he investigates her disappearance, he uncovers the conspiracy surrounding “The Event.” Laura Innes of “ER” fame plays the leader of a mysterious group of inmates somehow involved in “The Event.”

Personally, I’m guessing that the group of inmates are aliens and “The Event” was their arrival on Earth. I kind of hope I’m wrong and it actually is something more mysterious than that. I certainly will be tuning in Monday, Sept. 20 at 9 p.m. ET when the show debuts. The show’s creators are promising answers to big questions early on, hoping to avoid viewers tuning out when questions pile up exponentially faster than answers. I hope this is true. And I hope viewers who tune in for the first episode will stick it out for the whole season to find out what is really going on.

Last year, I was very excited to watch “FlashForward,” as were more than 12 million other people who watched the premiere episode on Sept. 27, 2009. By Dec. 6, 2009, only 7 million people watched the 11th episode. Almost half of the viewers had tuned out in less than three months.  There could be many reasons for this. But I bet in large part it was because viewers wanted answers immediately and didn’t get them.

And now that “Lost” has concluded after six mysterious, mind-bending seasons with many important questions left unanswered, genre fans are going to be even less willing to watch shows long-term that drag out mysteries with no sign of resolution. We love mysteries and strange happenings. But more often than not, we want some sort of explanation or resolution, even if it is a supernatural or magical answer. 

We only have to wait 12 more days to get our first taste of “The Event.” I hope it is worth the wait. Or else we might find out the answer to the question: If you have an “Event” and no one shows up to watch, is it really an “Event.”

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