‘Roswell’ teen aliens ready to move on

Thanks to Chaz and Addison for sending this in. The writer actually writes for my local paper :)

‘Roswell’ teen aliens ready to move on
By DAVE MASON
Scripps Howard News Service

HOLLYWOOD – Shiri Appleby, who stars as Liz Parker on the alien series “Roswell,” is ready for her character’s own independence day.

“I’m glad the writers have made her stronger,” Appleby said. “You see her growing up.”

In fact, it would be good for Liz to learn she can be happy without Max Evans (Jason Behr), the alien teen-ager she has loved since he saved her life in the “Roswell” pilot, Appleby said.

“I really want her to move on in her life, rather than be in a relationship with him,” Appleby said. “She’s a little bit possessed. She’s not discovering who she is without him.”

But Appleby said she’s glad “Roswell” has returned to focusing on relationships instead of purely science fiction. She didn’t say what the writers have planned for Liz and Max in future episodes but noted she knows fans like that relationship.

Appleby talked about the show with a reporter as she and other stars mingled with fans during a “Roswell” party at the “Soul Train” set at Paramount Pictures. “Roswell” is produced at another sound stage on the same lot. A trip to Hollywood, the party and a tour of the “Roswell” sets made up the grand prize for winners in a national radio contest.

Most of the young fans there were dedicated viewers, bringing photos for Appleby and others to sign. Some of the folks said they hadn’t seen “Roswell” but entered the contest for the trip to Hollywood.

Getting everyone to see “Roswell” remains a problem for the show, but the series is getting adequate ratings for the network it’s on. “Roswell,” which recently was No. 108 in the ratings, airs at 9 p.m. most Tuesdays on UPN.

During that week, it was the network’s sixth-highest rated show and wasn’t that far behind reruns of “Enterprise” or “Buffy the Vampire Slayer.”

(“Roswell” is preempted this week (Jan. 8); the network is airing the half-hour sitcoms “The Hughleys” and “One On One” instead.)

UPN picked up the series, based on Melinda Metz’s “Roswell High” book series, after The WB canceled the show last year.

Moving on with their lives is a theme for Appeby’s Liz and the rest of the “Roswell” characters this season.

“Now that they are on Earth to stay, they have so many choices to make,” Metz said. Metz, who joined the series as a staff writer, co-wrote last Tuesday’s episode, which showed how the characters celebrated New Year’s Eve.

For the most part, the “Roswell” characters “are still in high school; they’re on Earth permanently,” Metz said, adding, “I think ‘Roswell’ is a parallel for kids who feel alienated, who feel they’re complete outsiders.”

Ronald D. Moore, the former “Star Trek” producer and writer who is now the co-executive producer of “Roswell,” explained further. “Ultimately, it’s a show about growing up,” said Moore, who with Brannon Braga co-wrote the scripts of “Star Trek: Generations” and “Star Trek: First Contact.”

Majandra Delfino, who stars as the human Maria DeLuca on the series, said it’s time for her character to move beyond her boyfriend, the alien Michael (Michael Fehr). “He’s not a very good boyfriend,” she said.

Arguably, neither is Max at times. He led Liz into trouble by getting her to help him to pretend to rob a convenience store so he could get a look at a spaceship. Later, Max found out the ship couldn’t be flown, but don’t expect him to give up on trying to leave Earth. The son he had with not-to-be-trusted alien Tess is elsewhere in the galaxy.

There’s room for smiles amid all the gloom on “Roswell.” This season, Max’s alien sister Isabel Evans (Katherine Heigl) got married, showing the characters can have their own lives.

And you can expect more humor.

(There’s a plot spoiler in the next paragraph.)

An upcoming episode, “I Married An Alien,” is a spoof of “Bewitched” and includes something you’ve never heard on “Roswell” – a laugh track.

When Isabel starts dreaming of a simpler life, she begins to see everything in terms of a 1960s sitcom, Moore said.

Appleby’s life, meanwhile, is a world apart from Liz’s.

For one thing, “I’ve never had a serious boyfriend,” Appleby said. Appleby is continuing her studies at the University of Southern California, and she recently starred in the upcoming independent movie, “Swimfan85.” In it, “I’m the girlfriend of a boy who has a fatal attraction,” she said, comparing the plot to the Michael Douglas-Glenn Close movie.

(Coincidentally, “Swimfan85” is produced by Douglas’ Further Films. Jesse Bradford and Erika Christensen also star.)

“It’s a serious psychological thriller,” Appleby said. “It was fun and really sexy and very interesting.”

“Roswell,” meanwhile, is making time for music. William Sadler, who plays former Sheriff Jim Valenti on “Roswell,” said he’s enjoying Jim’s new career as a country band leader. In fact, Sadler wrote the songs the band played at Isabel’s wedding.

Sadler joked he was ready for a “Roswell” episode to end with an announcement, “Tonight’s episode included music by William Sadler.”

“I’m having fun with the band,” Sadler said, “and I would like to see him (Valenti) have a romance and solve a mystery.

“When I was sheriff, I was the biggest problem these kids had. Then I became their friend, and I was still the sheriff.”

Valenti’s involvement with the alien teenagers led him to lose his job as sheriff, and his new country band is the first sign of him moving on with his life. Yes, that’s the theme for everyone this season on Roswell.