- Science Fiction
In the TV and film industry’s never-ending quest to reboot old favorites, it shouldn’t be a surprise that the much-beloved alien-teen hit of 1999, Roswell, was up for reinvention. Brooding hotties + paranormal abilities + potential life-or-death danger is like the secret sauce recipe for the CW. So how did the aged-up Roswell, New Mexico compare to the original? Is it worth the commitment to tune in? Stephanie and Mandy C teaming up to uncover the tough answers.
THIS WEEK ON ROSWELL, NEW MEXICO
Liz Ortecho has finally come home to Roswell after spending a decade away after high school. She’s a biomedical scientist; daughter to the local cafe owner, an undocumented immigrant; and, oh yeah, still the town pariah thanks to her late sister’s unfortunate choices. Things heat way up right as she’s sharing a moment with Max Evans, local cop and her former high school lab partner (naturally, because they have so much chemistry), when Liz gets shot! Max saves her life using his secret alien powers, risking the tentative safety he; his sister, Isobel; and their fellow alien-in-hiding, Michael, have carved out for themselves in their tiny desert town. Liz promises she won’t tell anyone their true origins, but only time will tell, especially as it seems the three are carrying around even darker secrets, like what exactly happened between Isobel and Liz’s sister…
YOU’RE FROM WHERE?!
– The biggest shock for me is Isobel’s mind control powers and what she may have done to Rosa. I am already picturing the drama that will unfold upon that reveal.
– I suppose it will only be a shock to old fans, but Alex and Michael both being gay (or bisexual?) and having a secret relationship is certainly a change. I was a huge Michael/Maria fan (gotta love that sexy bickering) so I’m a little sad we’re seeing an Alex and Michael who already share a complicated history, but I am intrigued about what Alex told his dad about Michael and why Michael is so bitter about it (did he find out about their secret relationship in high school, perhaps?).
WE DON’T KNOW ANYTHING ABOUT THESE CZECHOSLOVAKIANS
– For any OG Roswell fans, you know you were comparing old to new, just like we were. I even went back and watched the original’s pilot after the new one aired. There were definitely a lot of callbacks and direct moments that were replicated, though enough was changed that it didn’t feel like a shot-for-shot remake.
– The main characters’ personalities felt pretty true to their original counterparts, which has me a bit concerned since they were, you know, teenagers and these are supposed to be twenty-eight year olds who have hopefully moved past some of their earlier dramas. Ten years later and people are still pining for the ones they boned (in Michael and Alex’s case) or didn’t bone (in Max and Liz’s case) and haven’t even seen in the flesh for God knows how long? Hmmm.
– I liked that for both Lizes their first moments in the Crashdown were playing into a true believer’s naivety. In general, I found Jeanine Mason much more believable and natural here than she was in Grey’s Anatomy. I remember first seeing her as a dancer (then winner) of So You Think You Can Dance way back when, and in Grey’s it was weird to see her playing a role as opposed to being herself, but I didn’t really have that problem in Roswell, New Mexico.
– When Max jumps on top of Liz to heal her, he looks, um, VERY into it. Like, VERY. I’m pretty sure he was trying to portray intense concentration but the visuals made me LOL.
– In both shows, Max and Liz share a moment where Max exposes his feelings via a mental DM with a dramatic song playing in the background. Original Roswell had the lovers together in a quiet moment in a darkened Crashdown, while the reboot had the couple standing in a hideously breathtaking desert with the worst sunset ever going down over their shoulders (this seemed to call back to a different-but-similar emotional moment in the OG Pilot, where Max and Liz were framed in front of a shower of fireworks that were perfectly timed to end when Max turned Liz down). I’ll admit I preferred the original, as the whole Max knowing Liz’s feelings about her mom and the cupcake dress and how he clung to the idea of Liz because he was a lonely alien-child just spoke to my shipper heart (why, yes, I could recite that whole scene along with them. What of it?). New Max and Liz share more of a history, as they seemed to be actual friends growing up, but to me Max came across a bit more desperate (the long shot of teen Max standing all mope-y outside the Crashdown watching teen Liz and Kyle dance was awkward).
– Yay, there is a Maria AND an Alex, which I had been wondering about. New Maria seems fine enough; still similarly quirky with her side-hustle fortune-telling, but I’ll reserve judgment on if she’s as neurotic and loveable as Delfino’s Maria. We didn’t get any interaction between Liz/Maria/Alex at all, which makes me question if they were even friends in high school.
– I like that whether she’s a teen or an adult, Liz is still a scientist and goes out to get her own facts (stealing Max’s DNA from a pencil or a milkshake straw) before completely freaking out.
ROSWELLIAN OF THE WEEK: Liz
It’s obviously Liz. Not only did she a second lease on life, but she was brought back by a hot dude that she’s been crushing on for years. Plus she just found out aliens exist, which, while completely crazy, IS kind of cool, right?
WE NEED ANSWERS
– First off, is this show going to get a theme song? Because Roswell’s was pure perfection, so they probably shouldn’t even try, but I’d at least like the chance to reject it.
– They are definitely leaning into today’s political climate with ICE checkpoints and not-so-veiled comments about Liz’s project funding being cut because “SOMEBODY needs to build a wall”. On one hand, go for it; on the other…do I like this? It takes me out of the fantasy and back into today’s hellscape, and I don’t know if I want that in my escapism.
– I’m making a snap judgment here, but I don’t think I like new Isobel. This feeling is later solidified by the rumblings that she’s messed with people’s minds, including Liz’s sister (and maybe mother? Or is it just a coincidence that there is actual mental illness in Liz’s family AND her sister happens to get mind-scrambled by aliens?). What happened to Rosa and those two dead girls? Did Isobel kill them and cover it up?
– Hey, it’s Tyler from The Vampire Diaries! I had no idea he was going to be in this, did I? I feel like Michael Trevino is actually a perfect spiritual fit for Kyle. The more serious question is: Will he become as good a comic relief?
– Obligatory shirtless scene! Are all alien Michaels doomed to have weird, messy hair? (And don’t get me wrong, I was an OG Michael fan, but I will fully admit his gravity-defying spiked hair was bonkers.)
– So Kyle now knows about secret military operation Project Shepherd, AND that his dad was a part of it. Are the aliens also in the know about it and the other alien that supposedly survived the crash? Or will this be revealed piecemeal throughout the season?
So let’s discuss! Did you watch it? Will you KEEP watching it? We plan to recap the show for the foreseeable future, at least long enough to give it a chance to make it their own. Were you a new fan or a lover of the original series?
Stay tuned for next week’s episode, “So Much For the Afterglow”: Liz pisses off the other aliens by staying in town and learning more of their secrets.