I have no idea why this photo is so dark and depressing. "The Event" is not a dour show. From left are Laura Innes as Sophia Gavras, Ian Anthony Dale as Simon Lee, Jason Ritter as Sean Walker, Bill Smitrovich as Winston Jarvis, Blair Underwood as President Martinez, Lisa Vidal as Christina Martinez and Zeljko Ivanek as Blake Sterling.

By Gina Carbone
opus619@gmail.com

I had zero interest in “The Event” going into the fall TV season. I already watch far too much TV. The last thing I need is another flashback-happy, twist-heavy, “we’re asking A LOT of you” show to get addicted to, just so it can either disappoint me or get canceled.

But I got sucked in anyway.

Basically I got bored one night and went to On Demand to check out what shows I could watch for free. I usually ignore NBC except for Thursday and Saturday nights, but I found “The Event” and gave it a shot. I was immediately annoyed by the constant flashes to last week, five years ago, three months ago, whatever. And I can’t stand the backwards second E in Event. Stop it.

But I got sucked in anyway.

First of all, I’ll follow Laura Innes to the ends of the Earth. I totally buy her as an alien leader. I also buy Clifton Collins Jr. as the alien answer to a desperate terrorist.

I love seeing Željko Ivanek again, even if he’s back to playing slimy bureaucrats. Blair Underwood is a little too much of a cliched president for my tastes, but part of that is just because he was so unexpectedly raw on “In Treatment” and now I will settle for nothing less.

I like Jason Ritter, an unlikely show star in that he’s not typically “hot” or charismatic. He’s just sweet, smart Sean who adores his would-be fiancee Leila (Sarah Roemer, the gorgeous one in the couple) and will do anything to protect her.

At first the flashbacks were so rapid and constant they felt like the time-traveling wipeouts on “Lost.” I expected to get a nosebleed. Either the flashes are slowing down or I’m just getting used to them. At any rate, I don’t feel as confused as I used to. And I certainly don’t feel as confused as I did watching “Lost” with its 20 different characters, flashbacks, flashforwards, flash sideways and time travel.

Looking good! Still not sure why there's some kind of dark Harry Potter background to these shots.

But more than anything, what’s keeping me watching “The Event” is the emotional angle.

I’m rooting for the aliens, especially CIA agent/undercover alien Simon, played by Ian Anthony Dale, who should probably change his last name to Daaaaamn. He tripped my “Who is THAT?” wire from the start. According to IMDb, the 32-year-old St. Paul, Minnesota native is 6-feet-tall and of Japanese, French, English and general Gorgeous-ish descent.

The most recent episode, “Loyalty,” was not only action-packed in tracking Sophia (Laura Innes) on the loose, but in the moving flashbacks with Simon and his true love from 1954, Violet.

Thomas (Clifton Collins Jr.) made Simon leave her so she wouldn’t grow suspicious by his slow aging. When Simon had to say goodbye, then met up with old Violet later in life, I was near tears. What a beautiful human moment to include on a sci-fi action show.

More of that, please.

Feel free to cut some Sean and Leila scenes to give us more Simon. And feel free to cut all of the First Lady’s (Lisa Vidal) scenes. I’m so sick of watching her walk in to give President Martinez the hairy eyeball for making tough calls. Stop guilt tripping him; run for the office yourself next time, if you hate every decision he makes.

Actually, feel free to cut most of the human scenes and just focus on the aliens. I can’t wait till we learn more about them. I want the captives to be freed from Mount Inostranka in Alaska, where they’ve been since the 1944, and yet … what would they do if they were free? What is the master plan? Didn’t Sophia say the late William (Omid Abtahi) couldn’t have told the president what their plan was because, if he had, they would all be dead?

Episode 7, “I Know Who You Are,” airs tomorrow night (Nov. 8). Unfortunately I have to watch “Dancing with the Stars” at 9 p.m. on Mondays, but here’s a description of what I’ll be watching later On Demand: “Sterling becomes suspicious of the people close to him; Sophia prepares Thomas and the rest of the detainees for the next part of their mission; Madeline (Paula Malcomson) helps Sean look for answers.”

Even my dad likes the show and asked me if I could catch him up on what’s happening. No one should ever ask me to give a quick synopsis of anything, so I directed him to “The Event’s” Wikipedia page. Catch up on episodes online here at the official NBC site.

I hope this show continues with episodes like “Loyalty” and doesn’t tease out the truth about the aliens for five or six seasons. The longer we’re left in the dark, the more annoyed we tend to be about the eventual resolution. Get it out of the way sooner rather than later and let us just enjoy the characters instead of the “What is The Event?” suspense.

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