The Event

TV review by
Joyce Slaton, Common Sense Media
The Event TV Poster Image
Absorbing catering reality show can feel like an ad.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.

Positive Messages

The series pays proper respect to working towards perfection and pushing relentlessly for quality; however, such messages often feel like they're thinly veiled ads for a for-profit business. 

Positive Role Models

We see professionals hard at work, expending lots of energy and attempting to make guests comfortable and happy with great food, served when they need it. Catering VIPs can be a little snappish when hurrying up waiters or cooks, but they're never unprofessional. 

Violence
Sex
Language

Cursing is infrequent but "goddamn" is heard; "f--k" is bleeped. 

Consumerism

Company names are mentioned frequently, including Wolfgang Puck Catering and the entities throwing parties: the Screen Actors Guild, People magazine. We see logos flashed frequently, and hear at length how prestigious Wolfgang Puck Catering and Puck himself are. 

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Clients drink wine and cocktails at parties; no one acts drunk. 

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that The Event is a reality series about a California catering company that provides food and drink for huge celebrity parties. Iffy content is infrequent: chefs and other bigwigs in the company sometimes demand a little impatiently that their employees work faster, but no one is unprofessional or personally insults anyone. Cursing is infrequent: "goddamn" and a bleeped "f--k." Clients drink wine and cocktails at dinners and parties, but no one acts drunk. Professionals care deeply about doing a good job, and work long, hard hours trying to get good-quality food and drinks in the hands of clients at the right moments. The most questionable part of the series is in the advertising-adjacent messages. We hear frequently how prestigious and important both Puck and his catering company are; interviewees underline how far they go to ensure quality of product and service. 

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What's the story?

In California, celebrity chef Wolfgang Puck is famous for his Spago restaurants, and reality show THE EVENT attempts to bring the same kind of acclaim to Wolfgang Puck Catering. THE EVENT takes viewers behind the scenes as the company plans and executes food and drink for huge celebrity laden parties like awards ceremonies and TV premieres. The catering company takes on every detail, from cooking to plating to serving, as we learn just how much goes into getting food and drink seamlessly into the hands of partygoers. 

Is it any good?

Getting a backstage view of the nitpicky and endless details that go into throwing a big successful party is fascinating, even if this docuseries occasionally veers too far into advertorial land. Did we ever need to hear how exacting the standards of Puck's catering company are, how fervent the attention to perfection and service? Such a thing should be perfectly obvious from what we see and hear: a sous chef painstakingly washing each leaf of gem lettuce to ensure it doesn't have a speck of sand on it, waiters practicing smoothly bussing 1,286 place settings during a two-minute commercial break, a catering exec demonstrating that each and every vegetable inside the rows of salad servings is a perfect square. Repeatedly uttering portentous statements like "Wolfgang Puck Catering is the world's most prestigious catering empire" is a bit much. 

Viewers who can ignore the hype, however, are in for a treat, as The Event zooms closely in on the details of prepping for and serving huge glamorous parties, from floral arrangements to lights to wine and water glasses lined up just so. Sometimes the events in question have a bit of extra drama, such as when a long-planned Screen Actors Guild awards ceremony suddenly requests a vegan menu. But even without that, the party preparation is plenty absorbing as we watch trained professionals on the job. If you've ever stood at a party holding a drink and an appetizer, you likely didn't appreciate the work that went into getting you your victuals just right. The Event may just change that. 

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the unglamorous side of the restaurant world. How much education, hard work, and risk does it take to become a chef? Does the work look hard? Rewarding? 

  • The catering professionals on this show talk a lot about serving guests well. Why does that matter? Is it a matter of pride for these pros, or is it all about getting jobs and making money? How do they show pride in their work? 

  • Throwing parties that put so many people to work is an expensive endeavor. Why doesn't this show talk more about the costs of parties? Why would they prefer to talk more about their artistry and creations rather than what they cost? 

TV details

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