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Posted at 8:48 AM ET, 09/21/2010

'The Event': Attempting a 'Lost' connection

By Jen Chaney

In "The Event," Jason Ritter hasn't gone searching for smoke monsters ... yet. (NBC)

"The Event" premiered on NBC last night in a blatant attempt to create the next great television mystery, a primetime puzzle in the same vein as the recently departed "Lost." But just how blatant is the show's bid for "Lost"-ness? This list of similarities between the two dramas demonstrates.

Note: "Event" spoilers lie ahead.

Much of the action in the "Lost" pilot takes place on an airplane that's about to crash.

Much of the action in "The Event" pilot ... also takes place on an airplane that's about to crash.

"Lost" gave us a hero named John (Terry O'Quinn), who made a habit of carrying knives on his person.

"The Event" gives us a hero named Sean (Jason Ritter), who seemingly has made a habit of carrying guns on his person -- and somehow getting them past airport security.

"Lost" frequently relied on flashbacks to tell its toggling-between-time tale

"The Event" also uses flashbacks, but already has me more confused than I was when the "Lost" island kept moving.

The "Lost" cast featured a cast member -- Matthew Fox -- then best known for his role on a popular TV drama that debuted in the '90s: "Party of Five."

"The Event" features a cast member -- Laura Innes -- best known for her role on a popular TV drama that debuted in the '90s: "E.R."

The crucial flight number in "Lost" was 815.

The crucial flight number in "The Event" is 514, which is just 815 backwards, with the first number divided by 2. (Um, yeah. I obviously spent way too much time decoding numbers during our "Lost" dueling analysis days.)

The action in the "Lost" pilot gave us a gorgeous tropical island as a backdrop.

The action in "The Event" also gives us a gorgeous tropical island as a backdrop, thanks to Sean and his fiancee's cruise through the Caribbean.

In an early episode of "Lost," Jack Shepard attempts to rescue a seemingly drowning woman in the ocean. He fails.

In "The Event," Sean Walker attempts to rescue a seemingly drowning woman in the ocean. He succeeds.

In "Lost," various Oceanic and Ajira Airlines flights must travel through a special "window" in order to reach the perpetually moving island.

At the end of "The Event" pilot, an airplane appears to travel through a wormhole, then disappears.

At the end of the "Lost" pilot, I was absolutely hooked.

At the end of "The Event" pilot, I was not. But I am rooting for that likable Jason Ritter ... so maybe there's hope?

"Lost" fans, did any of you watch "The Event"? See any other similarities that I neglected to mention here?

By Jen Chaney  | September 21, 2010; 8:48 AM ET
Categories:  Lost, Pop Culture, TV  
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I didn't watch The Event. I'm tired of getting sucked into the advertising of a seemingly good "Lost-like" show, I get invested, then it gets cancelled and a bunch of questions never get answered (rememeber The Nine?). Of course some people can say that about Lost, but I was satisfied with that ending. In fact when I first heard about Lost, I thought it was a stupid idea and didn't watch it. But a friend watched the first season and told me I needed to check it out. So I bought season 1 on DVD that summer and from the pilot I was in.

Posted by: luvlydawter | September 21, 2010 9:20 AM | Report abuse

Lost + 24 = The Event.

After a summer of reruns, viewers can easily be enticed with shiny new things.

Posted by: db_in_va | September 21, 2010 9:39 AM | Report abuse

I liked the 'Event' -- it really has only the fact of being science-fictionesque, as something in common with Lost. I ADORED 'Lost' until the bitter end when I absolutely hated the ending. The ending has pretty much ruined the series for me although I do want to see the special clip on the new DVD set. I will NOT buy the set, but one of these days I will get around to it on Netflix. I too have mourned the abrupt endings of series shows -- 'The 9', 'Invasion', 'Flashforward' -- but I will keep watching new ones in hopes that one will catch on. After all, if no one watches out of fear of it being cancelled, then it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy! ;-)

Posted by: moneel | September 21, 2010 10:08 AM | Report abuse

We smelt the Lost/24 hybrid coming & avoided it like the plague. The Mrs. liked "Lonestar", which seems 50% original & 50% "Dallas" from the '70s. Lots of egomaniacal characters w/ plenty of potential for endless deceit & treachery. She did not like (Grandchild of)"Hawaii Five O", for the exact reason I liked it; way more action & gratuitous violence than we normally watch. Gotta admit, it feels pretty good to watch a cop whack an uncooperative suspect across the face w/ an ashtray.

Posted by: nonsensical2001 | September 21, 2010 10:20 AM | Report abuse

I think this *could* turn out to be a good show, but it definitely annoyed me. I suspect I may be done with these byzantine, twisty-turny, never-ending mega-mystery shows. Just tell me a freaking story already. I found the fast-paced intercutting of characters and timelines disconcerting - Donnie Doodlebug, 5 minutes ago; Captain Spamhammer, 11 days ago; Dr. Deep, 6 months ago. Pick a timeline and stick with it, for pity's sake. Have mercy on those of use who come home fried from twelve hour work days - we're meant to follow this mishigos and be entertained by it?

And nothing for nothing, but Little Ritter just looked dirty. I mean really - can't he shower? Bathe? Wipe himself down with a moist towelette. He's on television; he should try not to look like he dumpster dives for dinner. Honestly, he made Ethan Hawke look clean and fresh-smelling.

The plane getting sucked into the sky was interesting. It just wasn't enough to get me to tune in next week.

Posted by: seabelly1 | September 21, 2010 10:43 AM | Report abuse

I just spent the last 6 years of my life in Lost-land, being moved around in time, lost literally & figuratively, being engaged, bored, hot & bothered, annoyed & satisfied all at once.

It was an long, strange, exhausting, all consuming trip & I'm not quite ready to go back, despite what Jack says, or get back on that plane & island again.

I. just. don't. have. it. in. me.

I'll be sticking to lighter shows like Glee, Modern Family & the Thursday nite NBC lineup for a few years.

Posted by: wadejg | September 21, 2010 11:00 AM | Report abuse

since you've already given the spoiler warning....

the event is about a president discovering that there are space aliens among us, wanting to release said information, and having to fight his way through the intelligence agency to do so. There were wiki entries on the show that were removed - but just as wikileaks showed to the DD you dont turn back the clock on the intarwebs...

i'm not sure it's a good show - but then 4/5 arent.

Posted by: quintiliusvarus | September 21, 2010 11:56 AM | Report abuse

**Lost featured Benjamin Linus, a mysterious person with a questionable past who knew what was going on but wouldn't tell anyone.

The Event featured Sophia Maguire, a mysterious person with a questionable past who knew what was going on but wouldn't tell anyone.

(I know, most dramas have a mysterious person with a questionable past that know what's going on but don't say)

Posted by: Dr_Bob | September 21, 2010 12:18 PM | Report abuse

Did not watch. For another series w/ reliable short-term happy endings and long-term cliffhangers, check out Burn Notice

Posted by: HardyW | September 21, 2010 12:45 PM | Report abuse

I was skeptical about Lost, watched the pilot, and was completely hooked. I was skeptical about The Event, watched the pilot, and probably would have given up on it already if I wasn't a Laura Innes fan from ER. My main problem with TE is that I couldn't care less about the young hero and his missing girlfriend.

On a purely speculative note, I'm not sure if the "detainees" are aliens, or humans who have experienced a time-space shifting event.

Posted by: dericksch | September 21, 2010 1:30 PM | Report abuse

Did it bug anyone else that, as the plane was heading towards the ground, the epaulets of the pilot kept changing (from scene to scene) between stars (like a general) and the usual gold stripes of a commercial pilot? Think it was intentional??

Posted by: TusconSteve | September 21, 2010 1:53 PM | Report abuse

The most important similarity between the premiere of The Event and the finale of Lost is that both were non-events.

Posted by: sasquatchbigfoot | September 21, 2010 2:27 PM | Report abuse

Oh snap, Cryptid!

Posted by: Nosy_Parker | September 21, 2010 2:43 PM | Report abuse

@TusconSteve- That's a really good catch and I think it may be intentional (esp. with something like a pilot). If this is not about aliens, it could be about a parallel Earth (similar to Fringe). Upon rewatching the scene, I noticed that the pilot with the silver stars was encompassed by the flashing light with hints of red (maybe in this reality he succeeds in crashing the plane). We then see Sean (who's in the plane with the pilot with Gold bars) encompassed by Bluish White light similar to the Space-Time Vortex color.

The other reason why I think it could be about a parallel reality, is because the title has a reversed (mirrored) E. (subtle hint?)

It would be easy for the writers to "fool" the viewers when they give timelines of "11 months ago"--because it could be 11 months ago in World A, and 3 weeks ago in World B.

Posted by: iRonX | September 21, 2010 4:18 PM | Report abuse

Here's a novel concept: evaluate any new show on its own merits. Did you like it? Was it entertaining? Did you like the plot/characters/subject matter? Would you want to watch it again?

The rest is irrelevant.

Posted by: pfallsgirl | September 21, 2010 5:16 PM | Report abuse


This show is not about space aliens. The prisoners in the Alaska camp represent an allegory.

This show is about America's shadow government, and the technologies it is using to conduct a silent coup d'etat.

I found the pilot compelling and very well done. The time shifts tell the story from the perspective of different characters.

"Rubicon" leaves viewers feeling cheated as well as befuddled, due to its leaden pacing.

"The Event" moves, brilliantly.

This looks like a winner with an important message to Washington elitists who can't seem to see the forest for the trees.

I believe the spooks call that "entrainment."

Posted by: scrivener50 | September 23, 2010 12:20 AM | Report abuse

I watched The Event and seen lots of things similar to Lost, I had it on just wasn't glued to the TV like I was with the Lost Premiere. I agree with the other post I wanted to give it a chance for Laura Innes from ER & Blair Underwood however the young couple bored me they didn't grab me the way Jack & Kate did from the beginning of Lost - Too bad cuz it looks like they are going to be the main characters! I think the show might be good but I am missing Lost too much to give any similar show a chance.... Lost was such a good show nothing really can or will compare... I loved Lost from beginning to end! I will say this, I am just so glad to have regular TV Shows back and not a ton of Reality shows!

Posted by: marijo123 | September 24, 2010 4:31 PM | Report abuse

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