The Roush Review by Matt Roush-Roswell

Thanks to MyrnaLynne for this :)

The Roush Review by Matt Roush

Spaced Out: “Roswell Beams to UPN with ‘Buffy’

A year ago I argued for WB to save ‘Roswell.’ Now I’m wondering why anyone would want to spare it.

Having watched this teen-alien romantic thriller deteriorate in year 2 from guilty pleasure to pleasure-free embarrassment, I was shocked when UPN rescued it from arch rival WB’s cancellation heap. (UPN outbidding WB for ‘Buffy the Vampire Slayer’ is another cutthroat matter entirely.)

In the fall, ‘Buffy’ will no longer be teamed with its spin-off ‘Angel’
on Tuesday, thanks to the game of corporate chicken between companies, (‘Angel” stays behind on WB, now airing Monday sat 9 p.m./ET.) Instead, ‘Buffy’ will be followed on UPN at 9 p.m./ET by ‘Roswell,’ which in theory makes
sense but in reality is like displaying a Picasso alongside an Archie comic.

‘Buffy’ layers its violent allegories with emotional empathy, nimble wit and barbed humor, all of which is beyond ‘Roswell’s’ muddled reach.

“You aliens are the most pathetic group of people I’ve ever met,”
muttered the sheriff’s son, Kyle (Nick Wechsler), in a May episode that had me chuckling in agreement as he mocked the E.T.’s ‘boring and brooding’ nature.

By then the show had become so convulted, comic-relief human Maria (Majandra Delfino) was opening each episode with a recap on a chalkboard. As if we still cared, espically after that “alien summit” episode in New York City, a laughably self-important low point.

Truth is, “Roswell” did improve in its last weeks, spinning a mystery around the death of good-guy Alex (Colin Hanks) that was reavealed to be the handiwork of alien siren Tess (Emilie de Ravin), who seduced fellow alien Max (Jason Behr) into impregnating her with, yes, an alien baby.

Playing Nancy drew with ridiculousness earnestness was Max’s strident soul mate, Liz (the robotic Shiri Appleby), who as the season ended was reunited with her pensive beau while Tess soared into the cosmos alone.

When Max and Liz gaze at each other, it’s possibly to recall the show’s early irresistiblity. Alas, that spaceship has sailed.

And with WB fighting back in the same time period this fall with the promising ‘Smallville,’ about a teen Clark Kent who’se just learning how super he is, I figure my alienation from ‘Roswell’ will only intensify.