WB’s ‘Roswell’ is a Fine Romance

I found this in the Detroit Free Press.

WB’s ‘Roswell’ is a Fine Romance

October 6, 1999
by Mike Duffy

Do not hide from “Roswell.”

That would be a mistake. Especially if you’re a sucker for a fine romance.

Strange magic emerges from this enchanting new WB teen drama, one of the fall season’s best new series, debuting after “Dawson’s Creek” at 9 tonight, WDWB-TV, Channel 20.

On the surface, there’s no denying that “Roswell” might seem absolutely ludicrous.

Get this: Besides the standard-issue WB cast of ultra-attractive young people with perfect teeth and dreamy complexions, the whole crazy story revolves around a trio of teenage space aliens.

And not just any galaxy-hopping adolescents either.

These teens are descendants of the beings who were on board the crash of an alien spacecraft that, according to tabloid legend, crashed in the New Mexico desert near the town of Roswell in 1947.

Done snickering yet? Now get ready for a smart interstellar twist on Romeo and Juliet.

“Roswell” is the captivating handiwork of executive producers Jason Katims (“Relativity,” “My So-Called Life”) and David Nutter (“The X-Files”). With wit and intelligence, they transform what might have been little more than high concept hokum into a clever, evocative mix of sci-fi, suspense and raging teenybopera hormones.

A cosmic bond is quickly forged when Max Evans (Jason Behr, “Dawson’s Creek”) uses his otherworldly powers to save the life of Liz Parker (Shiri Appleby) after she’s accidentally shot in the terrific opening scenes.

So begins a star-crossed odyssey between our sensitive Romeo from another planet and his Earthling Juliet.

Max has been quietly infatuated with Liz since childhood.

But wait, shouldn’t Max, his sister, Isabel (Katherine Heigl), and their friend, Michael Guerin (Brendan Fehr, “Disturbing Behavior”), all be over 50 by now? Nope, they emerged from space alien incubation only 16 years ago.

They’re living with local families and passing for human as students at West Roswell High School. Of course, Max’s impulsive act of supernatural resuscitation suddenly puts their secret in jeopardy.

Pretty soon, UFO-obsessed Sheriff Valenti (William Sadler, “The Shawshank Redemption”) is snooping around. So are agents from the FBI. And it’s obvious that something wild really rocked Liz’s world.

“Max Evans has put a force on me. It’s like my whole life changed in an instant,” she says in a reflective voice-over moment.

Every step of the way, from the sharp, observant writing of Katims & Co. to the winning performances of Behr, Appleby and the rest of the cast, this refreshing and unusual series confounds expectations. And it does so while striking rich emotional chords.

So get ready. There’s a teenage love meteorite headed this way.

Open your heart and “Roswell” will put a spell on you, too.

MIKE DUFFY can be reached at 1-313-222-6520 or