Written by Leonard
Before I start this review of the new show I will preface it with full transparency. The original is still my favorite show 20 years later. It is still the standard by which I judge all things against. When they announced Roswell was being remade, I fully expected to ignore its existence like I am doing for fellow rebooted show Charmed.
But then it was announced Jeanine Mason was signed to play Liz.
I’ve loved Jeanine ever since seeing her win “So You Think You Can Dance” 5 from 10 years ago. Go look up the necklace dance. [Jeanine and Jason – If it kills me] Seeing as she was involved, I conceded to give the new show a fair shot, even though I was still highly skeptical. I knew CW was going to follow the “How to Hollywood Remake in 2019” manual. I kept tabs on the production and sure enough they did.
Early reports did nothing to quell my fears that it would suck as most current remakes/reboots do. I had 2 chances to see the premiere early but ultimately did not. I could have gone to the New York Comic Con screening of the Pilot but wasn’t willing to pay the excessive secondary ticket prices. At Thanksgiving, my cousin told me he had access to the first 3 episodes but I’ll just say food coma is real. I also did try to re-read the Roswell High books for the first time in almost 20 years. I got through the first 3 and started the fourth but I got the flu last week of which I am still recovering, so I was not up to continuing (I will review those later).
But anyway here we are now, actual release day.
#101 The Pilot
We start with Liz arriving back in Roswell complaining about being checkpointed at the city limits. It turns out the officer checking her is Max, now a deputy. Sheriff Valenti (now Kyle’s mom instead of dad) recognizes Liz and lets her through.
Liz arrives home, greets her father and eventually closes up the Crashdown when Max comes in. Liz and Max share a milkshake when the shooting happens and Max heals her. Max gives chase until eventually collapsing. He contacts Isobel telepathically to help him (leaving her husband tied up in bed). Liz sees a bruise on her chest where the bullet hit so she goes to the hospital to see Kyle to get a CT Scan. We find Michael in lock up for being drunk. Max and Isobel arrive and we basically have a rehash of the first Max, Michael and Isobel scene at the taco joint in the original.
Michael now arrives at his trailer and finds Alex, an amputee back from Baghdad, trying to peek in. Michael has what appear to be pieces of the ship. Liz pulls up to a roadside grave of 3 which includes her sister’s. We now see a flashback to high school with Liz and Rosa talking about Max. Liz tracks Max down and brings him another milkshake (from which she gets his DNA from) and asks about the shooting. Maria now a bartender at Wild Pony is reading racist Hank’s hand when Liz walks in. They drink to Rosa.
Max comes home to find Isobel looking for a picture of the 3 of them for the reunion. Max tells Isobel he will tell Liz their secret. Liz spots Kyle after leaving and are making out in the car until Kyle spots the handprint (now rainbow colored) prompting Liz to stop the hookup. The following morning Max comes to the Crashdown where Liz shows him the handprint, Max asks her to take a drive with him. Alex’s Dad comes to the hospital to see Kyle who was instructed by his father “if you see the handprint go to Manes”. Max takes Liz to the pods and explains their history. Sgt Manes takes Kyle to an underground facility called Project Shepherd.
Isobel and Michael are at the reunion to maintain appearances. Michael says if he could he would erase Liz’s memories if Liz turns on them. Isobel does not want to use her powers anymore. Michael tells her to prepare herself if she has to make erase Liz’s memories and make her leave Roswell … just like she did 10 years prior. Isobel gives him a look.
Max connects with Liz to show her the first time they met as kids – she came up to him on the playground and gave him 1 ear bud to listen to music, we then see multiple shots of tween and teen Max and Liz listening to music and hanging together. She tries to kiss Max. Max tells her the handprint is a psychic bond between them and she feels an echo of everything Max feels. The handprint will fade in a couple days or a week. She tells him she’ll kiss him then.
Back at the facility Manes explains to Kyle that the UFO carried an army of monsters. Back at the reunion, Alex spots Michael and they talk about earlier. Max and Liz arrive, people are staring at Liz, Maria gets the band to play Mrs. Potter’s Lullaby from earlier to cheer Liz up (it was Rosa’s favorite song). Liz and Maria dance. We see flashbacks of teenage Max watching Liz Kyle and Maria at the Crashdown. Alex stares at an old picture of himself, Michael comes up to him they talk and they kiss. Max tells Isobel that he told Liz and she can be trusted. Isobel says you didn’t tell her the truth about, but Max interrupts that she can never know about what happened to Rosa.
The Liz and Max portrayal in this new iteration is fine. I actually don’t mind the immigration stuff as the initial character set up but I don’t need the political stuff to be pushed any further from this point forward. Maria, Isobel, Alex and Kyle’s characters after only 60 minutes is still too early to tell where their characters are headed. Alex’s dad is essentially Book Valenti, so he’s the big bad. I expect him to be despicable. The portrayal of Michael is where it tries way too hard to be different. He’s supposedly the smartest of the 3 but chooses to do nothing with his brains. This Michael is the very epitome of the Hollywood 2019 Guide on how to make your reboot / remake different than the original. Choose at least 1, the more the better. Roswell went for all of the above.
1) Make it dark or say it’s darker
2) Gender swap a character(s)
3) Make a character(s) a minority
4) Make a character(s) LGBT
Original Roswell Pilot – 10
Roswell New Mexico Pilot – 6.5