Tonight on “The Event,” Blair Underwood returns to television as America’s first Afro-Cuban president. And while the show’s storyline will eventually relate to his character’s background, the biggest hurdle for “The Event” will be surpassing the lofty expectations of viewers, who for the past decade have grown up with two great serialized dramas in “24” and “Lost.”
The parallels between “The Event” and the first season of “24” are striking. An everyman, played by Jason Ritter, attempts to locate his missing girlfriend and stumbles upon a United States cover-up. In the White House, a man of color attempts to govern whilst dealing with a potential global crisis and presidential assassination attempt. And the show, which requires a long-term commitment and a great attention to detail, will ask viewers to jump into a fast-paced series that’s part action, part conspiracy, and part sci-fi.
Last week, I got the opportunity to speak to Blair Underwood and Jason Ritter of “The Event.” With the help of followers on my Facebook fan page, I asked Blair a couple of questions regarding not only how his new role as the president compares to his other dramatic works, but how this president will be different from any other Commander-in-Chief we’ve seen on television.
MICHAEL LANGSTON MOORE: I’m wondering how portraying the President on “The Event” compares to some of your other dramatic works that you’ve done on television, especially shows that people still love today like “L.A. Law” and even the short-lived “City of Angels?”
Also, can you tell us whether President Martinez gets his hands dirty in this show? On television, we often see presidents sitting in the Oval Office, dealing with a crisis from afar. But in “The Event,” I’m wondering if your character gets out of the White House and tries to really get to the bottom of what’s going on?
BLAIR UNDERWOOD: I’m sure he will. Right now a lot of his work has been in and around the White House and the offices but, no, he’s very much involved. For instance, in the pilot you seem him immediately he learns about these detainees and again this is in the trailer, I’m not giving anything away. The first thing he says is, “I want to meet them.” They’re in Alaska. We know they’re in Alaska.
So he goes directly to see them. And he’s the kind of president, he is hands on. And actually you’ll see very soon, I think the third episode, he leaves the White House again to be hands on, so he does get his hands dirty. I think it’s important to him.
For more of my interview with Blair Underwood of “The Event” (as well as co-star Jason Ritter), check out my television blog THE SCREEN FIEND, where you’ll be able to hear the actual audio from the interview.
Find out whether “The Event” is worth the hype tonight at 9 pm ET on NBC!
Be sure to follow MICHAEL LANGSTON MOORE on his FACEBOOK fan page, as well as his new television blog THE SCREEN FIEND.
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Michael also writes for the Boston TV Examiner and Celebrity Icons Examiner columns.
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