Set in the small town of Roswell, New Mexico, Roswell centres around the lives of three teenage alien-hybrids and their friends. Based on the series of books Roswell High by Melinda Metz and from developer/executive producer Jason Katims (Friday Night Lights, Parenthood), Roswell expertly explores the struggles of adolescence over the backdrop of a supernatural plot-line. The looming threat that the teenagers could be exposed for what they truly are is the engine that drives the show.
When Liz Parker (Shiri Appleby) is shot in a freak accident in the Crashdown Café, alien/human hybrid Max Evans (Jason Behr) comes to her aid. This one act threatens to shatter the façade of ‘normal’ life that the hybrids Max Evans, Isabel Evans (Katherine Heigl) and Michael Guerin (Brendan Fehr) have built for themselves, setting in motion a dramatic series of events that propel the series forward. This act also ignites the romantic relationship that becomes the focal point of the show. Appleby and Behr have a tangible on-screen chemistry that makes their relationship feel truly genuine, but it is the support of the rest of cast (including Majandra Delfino, Nick Wechsler and William Sadler) that really makes Roswell what it is.
Season One offers a great start to the show, setting up the mythology surrounding the aliens and delving into the different dynamics between the characters. These teenagers aren’t your typical stereotypes and their story is far from normal. The multiple plotlines and complex themes at play (such as death, sex and betrayal) in season two make it by far the best one. Season two also offers standout performances from Shiri Appleby, most notably in the episode ‘It’s Too Late and It’s Too Bad’, where we see a very different side to Liz Parker in response to very distressing circumstances.
Though Roswell lasted a mere three seasons it has remained a cult classic. Like many shows from the late nineties/early noughties, it offers a real sense of nostalgia. Paired with excellent acting, well-rounded writing and (for the most part) interesting and gripping plotlines, Roswell is a show to be binge-watched again and again.
Special shout-out: Kyle Valenti’s (Nick Wechsler) hilarious one-liners offer a welcome respite during some particularly intense moments.
Favourite episode: ‘Viva Las Vegas’
Image: kalhh @ Pixabay