Roswell Review in The Standard Examiner

Thanks to Megan for sending this in!

From The Standard Examiner:

What’s a nice space-alien teen to do when a murderous space vixen seduces him, then steals his broken-down spaceship to flee with their unborn child, leaving him stranded on Earth with his supremely ticked-off human girlfriend?

Well, how about robbing a convenience store?

“Roswell” returns at 8 p.m. Tuesday (KPNZ Channel 24), moving to UPN for its third season. Let the angst-driven weirdness begin.

“Roswell,” for the uninitiated (and that will be most of you), is a sullen teen soap about moody, small-town teens who feel like outsiders.

And they should, because they are either space aliens or alienated humans who are close friends with space aliens.

The WB canceled “Roswell” for low ratings. Seems the small-town-teen-space soap never quite found its niche. Go figure.

Consider the premise: Three aliens, raised by adoptive human parents who don’t know their secret, attempt to blend into the teen scene in Roswell, N.M.

Their plan works great until the early moments of the premiere episode, when alien Max (actor Jason Behr) uses his otherworldly power to save the life of human Liz (Shiri Appleby) for whom he had the hots.

Max and Liz become a sort of interplanetary Romeo and Juliet, surrounded by the other aliens and a few of Liz”s trustworthy friends.

From there, it becomes a full-blown soap, packed with hidden identities, villains, misunderstandings and betrayals. Hence the aforementioned murder, alien embryo and stolen ship.

Now consider UPN’s “Buffy the Vampire Slayer,” which also fled The WB for UPN. Buffy (Sarah Michelle Gellar) leads a group of humans(two of whom are self-taught witches), joined by a vampire and a former demon. (They also had a werewolf, but he left to make movies and do cartoon voice-overs.)

So why is “Buffy” a hit with critics and viewers while “Roswell” strikes out?

“Roswell” takes itself seriously. We laugh at “Roswell.” We laugh with “Buffy.”

“Buffy” is totally aware of how absurd it is and laughs at itself throughout while still managing to make a few points about how it feels to be different from those around you.

“Roswell” needs to lighten up a little and to laugh at itself.

Need more proof that humor can extend the alien life span? “War of the Worlds” lasted two years; “Mork & Mindy” lasted four.

“Starman” lasted one year; “My Favorite Martian” lasted three.

“The Visitor” lasted one year; “ALF” lasted four.

Maybe the pouty “Roswell” aliens should eat a few cats, or try to work the phrase “Nanoo, nanoo” into their conversations.

Truth be told, I am not a space doctor; I only play one in this column. I’m not sure what prescription could make “Roswell” better. So, fans of the small-town-teen-space-soap genre, enjoy it while you can.