Roswell Episode Review
I was born on Walker Air Force Base in mid-July of 1961. I played on Roswell’s streets, empty from the base closing in later years and graduated from Roswell High School, Class of 1978. The excitement over my hometown amuses me. As a kid, the Roswell Incident was something best not talked about. I’ve always joked with people-who find my origins fascinating-the aliens came, saw nothing to do and never returned.
With time, things change and Roswell is no exception. The base hospital I emerged into this life at is now the New Mexico Rehabilitation Center, the former Fourth of July street dance-complete with live mariachi bands-has become the annual Alien Celebration/parade. The town which scorned its one and only science fiction and fantasy convention in 1990 now embraces its alien heritage with paraphanelia everywhere and the official alien museum. They brought in the year 2000 by turning an old silo into the world’s largest laser and sending messages into space.
I have visited the alien museum, situated in a former movie theater and carefully laid out so visitors must pass through the gift shop in order to exit. Roswell is a retirement community and they remember well from their Route 55 days how best to greet the tourists. The museum has among its exhibits, props from the movie. I particularly enjoyed a wall of cartoon strips collected over the years. It makes for an interesting afternoon, though I find the Robert Goddard exhibit in the Roswell Museum and Art Center which includes a replica of his workshop, some of his early rockets, a moon rock and a space suit to be much more intriguing.
Don’t get me wrong. I don’t spit on the whole Roswell phenomena. I wear my alien t-shirts with the best of them. This is mythology to me, like the tales of Coyote and Crow handed down by Native Americans. It is no wonder then, I approach books, movies or television shows about the incident with a smirk and my skeptic foot forward. I finally got around to watching the movie Roswell (1994) early this year. Once I stopped listening to my internal critic whine about the wrongness of the landscape, I enjoyed the movie. I particularly loved the flashback variations evolving with each telling of the tales. If you like stories about rumor and government scandal, you’ll love this movie; and yeah, I noticed every teeny Roswell reference in Independence Day.
The most recent variation on the Roswell Incident is the new television show, Roswell. Its heros are alien survivors of the 1947 crash. Max, Mike and Isabell conceal their identities by posing as teenagers who attend Roswell High School. I can’t say any of my classmates were aliens but there were a couple of teachers we would have sworn came from another world.
The authority figures as villains and issues of who-do-you-trust are similar to the young adult series Animorphs, though with a more soap opera-like appearance. Maria is strikingly similar to the character of Mimi on Days of Our Lives . If you like Dawson’s Creek, you’ll like Roswell. Jason Behr [Max] came to Roswell from Dawson’s Creek.
Tonight’s episode: Blind Date revolves around Liz [not an alien] having issues with dating someone ‘not normal’. She wins a radio contest ending up with a college guy for a blind date. They get tired of every word and action being aired by an annoying radio personality and run off.
Max has his first experience being drunk, which is much more interesting than the blind date. He becomes uninhibited and uses his alien powers to try to win Liz back. Meanwhile, Mike figures out some important information and sets fire to the library lawn in the shape of a signal. Why didn’t the fire department show up? Maria, whom I tuned in expecting to be Hispanic, gets the job as the lead singer for a band–a set up just so she can sing the romantic song at the end.
The show’s music is great and they impressed me by plugging the bands at the credits. I loved the suspenseful ending with the dark man going back to the extinguished signal fire and, with a touch, igniting it again. I’d like to see more intrigue like that than all the sappy lovelorn scenes. The alien slant to Roswell is what it has going for it. I hope they give us more.
- Review of “Blind Date”
- The Ring’s the Thing