This show is probably one of the most gimmicky things I have ever seen. Basically, it looked at all the major successes of the recent past and meshed them into one. Very much like Lost, this show is playing with mystery and intrigue, trying to raise more questions than it answers (of course this was just the pilot episode, but the tone is pretty clear).
Aside from all the relevant political and historical references (9/11, Health Care Bill, Guantanamo Bay), this show operates on a pretty low estimation of viewer IQ. Over-explaining minute details and replaying similar scenes just makes it drag at times (which are meant to be highly dramatic).
If one thing is certain, The Event aspires to be Lost. Watch even a few minutes of the pilot, and you will see remarkable similarities in style.
There are plenty of gimmicky characteristics, but hey... It works. The Event has definitely peaked my interest, and people will be talking about this one for a while after they see it. As over-hyped as it was, The Event does not fall too far from its presented intrigue.