Based on a history of disappointment with heavily serialized series, I kept one foot on the floor in my initial review of “The Event,” NBC’s new Monday-night drama, despite admiring the pilot. Yet after watching screeners of episodes 2 and 3, I can elevate that to a more unqualified endorsement.
The second hour is the key, essentially diving right into a pretty straightforward explanation of what all the clues dropped in the premiere were about. It’s a bold but savvy move (and we won’t spoil them), since making clear what “The Event” is all about still leaves a plethora of paths for the show to follow, and plenty of twists to pursue.
The show also continues to make use of the device in which the narrative leaps around in time, which if nothing else forces an audience to focus on what’s happening more intently. Still, the experience of watching the show — given its emphasis on action, action, action in these first three hours — is really closer to “24” (the last hangout of exec producer Evan Katz) than “Lost,” which, based on the cryptic nature of the opening hour, was the initial and obvious basis of comparison.
In addition, the disheartening initial results for Fox’s “Lone Star” — the odd show out, it appears, at 9 p.m. Mondays, as Variety’s Michael Schneider noted in an in-depth analysis of its face-first landing — would seem to bode well for “The Event” retaining its audience the second week. Based on what I’ve seen, most of those who return ought to be pretty close to hooked. The down side is that by premiering the show in the fall, NBC will likely have to break up the season, since a lot of in-season reruns can be deadly with such an endeavor.
For all that, let me add one closing word of caution: “Heroes.”