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The Event is Uneventful

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You know a show isn't great when you stop the Hulu feed and open another window to watch Michio Kaku discuss quantum mechanics.

The Event makes you do that. NBC's science fiction, political thriller, possible-time-traveling-aliens-with-monkey-DNA program on Monday nights demands obvious comparisons to Lost--except without the smoke monsters, literary allusions and donkey-wheel time machines.

The mythological allure of Lost, with its endlessly fascinating puzzle-producing paradoxes, depended upon interest in character development. It wasn't that Desmond traveled through time--it was that Desmond in particular traveled through time. In The Event, though, you won't really give a rat's ass about what's-his-name or who's-her-face.

With Lost, viewers were provided narrative threads of genuine importance and ambiguous villains who could represent God, Mephistopheles, philosophers, even Orwellian animals. The Event, however, feels like all of the bad guys were recruited from deleted scenes of 24.

It's full of stock villains, maybe-aliens and young girls who look like Helen Thomas. The latter aspect is spectacularly disturbing, almost like the first time seeing Gollum, but it's also weirdly funny. Imagine Benjamin Button braiding another old-baby's hair--that kind of thing.

But the surprises are unsurprising because everything on The Event turns out to be something else. The fall finale--the show returns in February--still left every question unanswered and perhaps most important, we still don't know what the hell the titular event is--unless it was finding out that Hal Holbrook (the person, not the character he plays) isn't dead.