The cruel realities of TV-critic triage caused me to drop The Event after sampling several episodes this fall, but NBC’s aliens-in-Alaska drama isn’t done with us yet. It returned last night with a two-hour special airing that found the detainees at war with one another, introduced Virginia Madsen as a troublesome Alaska senator and featured MSNBC’s Chris Matthews playing himself in one of those ubiquitous bits of NBC Universal cross-promotion. Again I’m struck at the caliber of talent the show has recruited to play characters that are two-dimensional at best, and the show remains to me an example of why it doesn’t work to put story before character: I will put in the work to make sense of a messy or frustrating plot if I care about the people involved, but no amount of effort can make me force myself to care about people for the sake of a story.
Of course, as I said, I have TV-critic-triaged this show, and it’s possible the return pleased regular viewers better. On the other hand, NBC had to be hoping that the return would impress more casual viewers to pep up the ratings. If you watched, was it engaging or, um, alienating?