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Monday, November 29, 2010

The Problem with The Event?

Sorry The Event fans, the show will be pulled for three months after December, due to low ratings. It had strong rating in the premiere (it was a pretty good premiere, too), but interest has waned. We aren't exactly bawling our eyes out either. We think the show wasn't nerdy enough, and the revelations weren't original enough. LOST, the show The Event wants to be, had cutting-edge scientific theories and geeky time travel as its inspiration. The Event picked aliens. Ho Hum. That's not mythology.

The Event was advertised as a LOST meets 24. But it had not as much character development as LOST mixed with not as much tension as 24. 24 also had so many memorable scenes and moments. The Event is another show that needs to go scene-by-scene and make sure each one is important, creepy, or entertaining. It got hard for us to care after a while.

Our worry now is that TV execs will think that people don't want serialized television (TV like LOST, Breaking Bad, and The Vampire Diaries, that tell a long story that you can't easily jump into). We don't think this is the case, because people tuned in for the premiere knowing it was serialized. One of us strongly prefers serials to procedurals (like House, Lie to Me, and Bones, where episodes stand on their own), but they aren't as stable or financially beneficial for networks. Networks like procedurals because they are easier to deal with and sell for syndication. They don't have to be run in order on other networks once the show has passed. But we think the emergence of serials is what made TV good again in the past fifteen years or so.

Keep the serialized TV shows, but make them good and original.


  1. I totally agree with this. The Event is entertaining enough, but to be honest I haven't watched it since about the 3rd episode or so, expecting to catch up with it online over Christmas. I hope it doesn't end up this year's Flash Forward or even Heroes, but it's certainly no LOST or X-Files! I think networks are looking too superficially at what LOST did: LOST was great because it combined a compelling mythology with great character development *and* philosophical depth. V touched on some of that last season, but all in all, each of the shows touted as the new LOST (V, Flash Forward, Heroes, The Event) have failed in at least one or two of those areas. Fringe, I think, is doing the best of any sci-fi show on network TV right now.

    I'm nervous about the state of network serial TV, as well, since this year's trend has been mediocre procedurals. The biggest problem with this year's crop of new shows is that so few of them have created any interest among viewers, like the last few new seasons have done. I loved Lone Star, but big 4 network TV wasn't ready for it, and while I think a show like Blue Bloods is pretty good for a procedural, I don't see the kind of character development there that makes serial shows like LOST, TVD, and Friday Night Lights so compelling. All my current fav dramas are serials because they're the kinds of shows that reward loyal viewership and put stock into character development.

    Sorry for the long post! I just wholeheartedly agree that something is amiss with the way network TV execs are thinking about serialized drama at the moment. How many more cop/lawyer procedurals do we really need?

  2. I agree completely with your analysis. Lost has cast such a large shadow that most shows feel inadequate in comparison towards it. The Event is a fun little show, but hardly an indepth, hardcore, sci/fi mindbender like Lost. I think it may be some time before I get hooked on a show like Lost again, and that is sad. What's worse is that I almost would rather watch Lost reruns on Bluray than most shows these days. Been trying out The Walking Dead, but it's too soon to tell if that show has any staying power. It's creepy as heck, though.

  3. I haven't watched this show at all, but I do prefer serialized television. As much as I enjoy Bones, I do prefer shows that have plot progression with the main characters from episode to episode. I think Grey's Anatomy is the perfect balance between a serial and a procedural.

  4. Cat: Good call on mentioning LOST's philosophy. Agree, agree, agree with everything you said.

    Jim Z: We will be trying out The Walking Dead possibly this week, because we've been hearing great things about it. With the weak crop of new shows, we are ready to see the one that has been touted as the best newbie of the season.

    Mrs. Potts: Bones has enough character development and centering and arcs that both Ern and Leeard love it. Agree about Grey's Anatomy. Those mixture shows are a great idea. If it is too much of a procedural, once you have seen enough and know the formula, there is nothing to keep you coming back if there isn't an overall arc. Bones has the love relationship between Booth and Brennan. That's something to look forward to. We quit watching House because it was SO procedural-y and the long-term stuff was dull and weird. House and Cuddy? Yuck.