Lovable Teen Aliens in Roswell

Thanks to cricketclark for sending this in!

From the New York Post:



“ROMEO and Juliet” meets “The X-Files” in “Roswell,” and we fall in love at first sight.

It turns out that a spaceship did, indeed, crash in the New Mexico desert in 1947. There were survivors.

They are passing for impossibly attractive but otherwise average teens until Max (Jason Behr) risks all protective anonymity by using his powers to save the life of Liz (Shiri Appleby) after she takes a stray bullet in a crowded diner.

“Five days ago I died,” Liz writes in her diary. “After that things got really weird.”

Things get romantic and otherwise spine-tingly, too, as Liz fails to convince her best friend Maria (Majandra Delfino) and assorted other busybodies that what she was covered in was catsup, not blood.

And then the jock, Kyle (Nick Wechsler), Liz has dated desultorily, sees the silver handprint on her tummy and tells his dad (William Sadler), who happens to be not just the sheriff but a second-generation conspiracy nut who’s got a picture that indicates there was at least one other alien out there in 1959, when Max and his sister, Isabel (Katherine Heigl), and his best friend, Michael (Brendan Fehr), were still pods.

They didn’t emerge until 1989, as putative 6-year-olds, one of the evocative images exchanged when Max “connects” with Liz.

The aliens also can monkey with molecular structure, which is how Max healed Liz and how Isabel listens to a CD without a player. The aliens also have a thing for Tabasco sauce.

Inspired by the “Roswell High” series of books and produced by a team that includes creator Jason Katims (“My So-Called Life”), director David Nutter (“The X-Files”) and Jonathan Frakes, who tonight makes a cameo appearance as his “Star Trekkin'” self, “Roswell” has atmosphere to spare.

It’s fast-paced but also not afraid to linger on images or feelings that make this easy on the eyes and the heart.

There’s the attraction on which Max, a sensitive soul who’s got ears and eyes that are worth studying, says he and Liz, a Katie Holmes-style beauty, must not act.

There’s the desperation of Michael – who looks like he’s the son of Larry Sanders and David Duchovny, and who had the bad luck to get an alcoholic piece of trailer-park trash as a guardian – to connect with anyone who might be able to tell the kids where they come from, who they are and that they are not alone.

There’s also the question of whether, in their otherworldly form, they look like any of the costumed crowds packing the annual Crash Festival, where the “merriment” is capped with the burning of alien effigies.

The suspense is compounded regularly as more people become hip to what’s happening. Even the substitute geometry teacher becomes suspect when Liz realizes that she knows too little about geometry and too much about Michael, who has trouble controlling his powers.

Liz is going to have to let her close friends (including Tom Hanks’ son Colin ) in on the secret if there is to be any hope that Max, Michael and Isabel will avoid capture and the inevitable slicing and dicing and grilling in the name of science and global security.

Indeed, the sheriff can expect regular visits and bigfooting by a rumpled fed (Richard Schiff who will be competing with himself as White House communications director on NBC’s “The West Wing”).

Like “Buffy the Vampire Slayer,” which also has mined adolescent alienation for ratings gold, “Roswell” promises to be wise, witty and watchable beyond its ostensible years.

Maria, like Buffy’s pals, tends to panic first and come through like a trouper later. She’s also good for most of the laughs.

“I can’t be a wacky friend to someone who’s already wacky. It’d be, like, redundant.”

“Roswell” is anything but redundant.

Indeed, its intrepid band of teenoids is downright inviting to anyone who, like Jennifer Love Hewitt’s Sarah, has tired of the never-ending pity patter on Fox’s “Party of Five.”


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