• Network: NBC
  • Series Premiere Date: Sep 20, 2010
  • Season #: 1
Metascore
67

Generally favorable reviews - based on 28 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 18 out of 28
  2. Negative: 1 out of 28
  1. 60
    The lack of a human entry point renders the whole thing passionless. It's more of a slick contraption than a truly thrilling hour.
  2. Will The Event turn out to be another "FlashForward" or the next "Lost"? I'm betting cautiously on the latter.
  3. One hopes that producers don't drag out the mystery for too long, because so far The Event delivers, especially its doozy of a climax.
  4. Reviewed by: Dan Fienberg
    30
    Maybe there is some steak to accompany this sizzle, but I wish somebody would bring it to the table already. It seems rude to extend an invitation to so many people without delivering an event.
  5. The Event seems prepared to make its characters as complex as its storyline, always an event worth attending.
  6. 80
    Neatly staged, with one surprise after another in a geometric progression of suspense, The Event's pilot episode leaves a lot of tantalizingly unanswered questions.
  7. The Event is such a blur of shadowy operatives, dubious motives, cryptic dialogue and mystifying time shifts that by the end, many viewers may be not so much curious as simply confused.
  8. 75
    Is this a Guantanamo allegory or is it just more freaking aliens who look human but really have insect heads under their masks? I'd like to sum it all up for you here, but, like "Lost," this is a series that is going to take some time to figure out.
  9. Reviewed by: Verne Gay
    75
    Lots of eye candy, mystery, intrigue, questions, and superlative production values. But who's ready to jump back in this pool again?
  10. 75
    I look forward to The Payoff. [27 Sep 2010, p.54]
  11. It's too soon to tell if The Event, the latest entry in the networks' race to find the next "Lost," isn't merely the next "FlashForward," since, by the end of an intriguing-enough pilot, you won't know much more than you did coming in (including whether NBC's willing to hang in there long enough for us to get some answers). But the cast is good.
  12. After all those promos, people have the feeling they've seen the whole first episode, which they probably have.
  13. NBC only made the premiere available for review, so I can't offer any guarantees that subsequent episodes will not disappoint, but as a pilot, "The Event" gets this series off to a rollicking start.
  14. Reviewed by: Daynah Burnett
    40
    What's ultimately frustrating about The Event is not the lack of answers (though the pilot does conclude with Sophie telling President Martinez, "I haven't told you everything") or the dreadfully lazy characterizations. It's the insistence that the plot somehow taps into something that's happening right now in the United States.
  15. 75
    The suspenseful, unpredictable pilot suggests one of the most intriguing serial dramas of the fall season. [But] We once wrote the same thing about "Flashforward."
  16. There's always a need for a pulse-pounding mystery with a little paranormal thrown in. If The Event proves it can let out the story while reeling viewers back each week, it could be something special.
  17. Reviewed by: Troy Patterson
    60
    Watching these post-Lost sci-fi-mytho-mystery series, you also watch yourself watching, and the thrill of alertness passes for decent entertainment even when other pleasures are in short supply. When Sean returned from a day trip to find that his girlfriend had vanished as if redacted from the file of life, I was kind of glad to see her gone. With her murky disappearance out of the way, we were on our way to achieving clarity-or at least toward failing to achieve it.
  18. With its large ensemble cast and frequent flashbacks--visiting and revisiting events that occurred from 23 minutes to 13 months in the past--watching Event is like riding a contraption that is half time machine and half bumper car.
  19. The Event was a well-paced hour that played skillfully with time, and if the characters were a little thin, well, it's a pilot--it'll take time to give characters shading and dimension.
  20. The Event is bright and showy and too in thrall to its own hysteria to feel unsettling. It doesn't quiet down enough to disturb, and as a result its claims to relevance seem merely perfunctory
  21. Reviewed by: James Poniewozik
    50
    In the pilot I saw no emotion, so much as situations recognizable as "scenarios you set up when you want to generate emotion": e.g., the interminable cruise vacation Sean and his fiancee take to get you invested in them before her disappearance. The debut delivers the "high-octane" much better.
  22. Reviewed by: Matt Roush
    70
    The pilot is such a mixed bag it's hard to predict. Often very entertaining as it piles on the mysteries and cliffhanger climaxes, it's also hopelessly and almost comically convoluted, presenting scenes with a "23 minutes earlier" or "13 months earlier" or "11 days earlier" tag with such frequency you end up barely knowing, let alone caring, when and where you are at any given time.
  23. 40
    If you can tolerate the overly histrionic pilot and are curious enough to find out what "the event" actually is, of which there is no mention in the pilot, then NBC has a Lost-esque show on its hands. Count me out.
  24. 75
    The Event knows the game it's playing and its risks. You can tell from the wink-at-the-audience last line, delivered by the always-welcome Innes: "I haven't told you everything." Tell us more--and soon would probably be best.
  25. Reviewed by: Brian Lowry
    80
    NBC's stab at a big, serialized "Lost"-like premise gets off to an enticing start, though as with any such exercise, the ability to provide forward momentum--and satisfying answers--tends to quickly separate the few genuine events from the canceled afterthoughts.
  26. Its pilot episode (which will be repeated Saturday from 8-9 p.m.) felt like a fusion of "E.T." and a "Frontline" documentary on Guantanamo.
  27. 60
    The Event is an intentional mess, daring you to go wherever it thinks it's going. Within the first five minutes, potential viewers will have to make their own personal choice: Am I up for this?
  28. Will it mete out enough answers to keep viewers tuning in? And can it sustain the mystery all season? We're dubious, but we're already engaged enough that we'll give the show a chance.
User Score
6.2

Generally favorable reviews- based on 139 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 26 out of 49
  2. Negative: 14 out of 49
  1. Oct 11, 2010
    10
    The flashbacks and complex plot may be annoying at some levels, but when you start putting the pieces together it get so much better. The writing is brilliant and although I have little to no clue on what is going on, it only makes me want to watch the show more and figure it out. Full Review »
  2. Sep 28, 2010
    2
    Two episodes is enough. The Event is just another overblown, glossy, Bruckheimer-esque action thriller with a soap opera-ready cast and plot holes big enough to fly the vanishing jetliner through. The producers clearly wanted to cash in on the popularity of 24 and Lost, but the show lacks the tension and edge that both of those former series managed to carry on occasion. Despite the mystery of the conspiracy theories and the ulterior motives of some characters, The Event falls flat on several levels. It doesn't engage the viewer or give us any characters that hold our interest. It's like one big game of Sims where you drop random people into a prefab plot and just play things out. If you want intelligence-insulting, mindless action TV with plastic actors and no substance, then The Event is perfect for you. For all the explosions, bloodcurdling screams, chases and tense confrontations it has, the show simply has a limited brain and no soul. Full Review »
  3. Oct 12, 2010
    5
    Good premise, but bad execution. None of the characters I particularly like or relate to. At least with Flash Forward, you related to the characters in some shape or form. The time shifting in the episodes is a bit jarring, I agree. Full Review »