By Will Wade,
Common Sense Media Reviewer
Common Sense Media Reviewers
Muddled conspiracy thriller is all action, no explanation.
A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this TV show.
Not everything is what it seems in this thriller, when new friends might have a hidden agenda and even trusted family members might be involved in a conspiracy. And the government certainly can't be trusted to tell the whole truth, though that might be because there are some shadowy agencies that answer to no master and won't even tell the president the full story.
Positive Role Models
Sean Walker is an everyday guy who's drawn into a dangerous conspiracy and is willing to go way beyond his boundaries to help find his missing girlfriend, even trying to hijack a plane. His goals are noble, and though his methods are questionable (see: the aforementioned plane hijacking), his over-the-top actions seem less iffy when you consider that they're in response to being swept up in a way over-the-top conspiracy.
Violence & Scariness
Characters draw their guns in tense situations and sometimes end up in intense firefights. Some people are shot to death, and bodies are later shown in pools of blood. The show seems to race from one intense scene of conflict to another, with lots of amped-up stress. Even when there's no fighting, it seems to loom heavily over the moment.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Heavy flirting, with some embracing and kissing.
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Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Regular social drinking, plus a few scenes in which people drink more heavily at bars (including downing shots) and later seem quite tipsy.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that this conspiracy thriller has all the elements of an exciting suspense yarn -- including high-stress chase scenes, shootouts, secret government agencies, and unexplainable events. Expect flirting, kissing, and regular social drinking (sometimes to the point of tipsiness), as well as some intense action scenes and weapons use that might be too violent for younger viewers. Even viewers who are old enough to handle the content may be challenged by the plot, which jumps around in time and presents plenty of conflict without many explanations.
Where to Watch
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What's the Story?
During a Caribbean cruise, Sean Walker's girlfriend, Leila (Sarah Roemer), mysteriously disappears -- and the ship's crew seems to have no record that either of them ever boarded the vessel. As he tries to find out what happened, Walker (Jason Ritter) is soon embroiled in a massive global conspiracy that reaches all the way to the highest levels of government and beyond.
Is It Any Good?
The show's premise certainly sounds like an interesting starting point for a high-stakes thriller, but THE EVENT needs more than that to become a fully-baked series. The story jumps back and forth in time: A week ago, Walker is snorkeling in the ocean; a few minutes ago, he's trying to hijack a plane; a year ago, the president of the United States (Blair Underwood) learns that a government official has been hiding secrets even from him (they don't say what those secrets are, but the official is played by Zeljko Ivanek, so you know it's gotta be something shady).
But there's nothing to connect all these dots. We jump right into Walker's hijacking attempt but don't know why he's doing it, so why should we care? With whom should we sympathize? The best conspiracy shows start with something familiar to viewers and then diverge into unfamiliar territory, inviting us along. Lost began with a plane crash, something viewers could understand, before it all went screwy. But The Event jumps right into the craziness with no explanation and then gets even less comprehensible. Yes, the show seems intriguing, but it also asks a lot from viewers, and many won't be willing to wait for things to start making sense.
Talk to Your Kids About ...
Families can talk about conspiracies. Do you think the government might be hiding something? Many movies and TV shows seem to think so -- why is this theme so common?
How does this show compare to other conspiracy thrillers, including big hits like Lost (and near misses like FlashForward)?
How does the violence and action in this show compare to others you've seen? Is it necessary to the plot? Why or why not?
- Premiere date: September 20, 2010
- Cast: Blair Underwood, Jason Ritter, Laura Innes, Zeljko Ivanek
- Network: NBC
- Genre: Action
- TV rating: TV-PG
- Last updated: June 1, 2023
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