Here a reboot, there a reboot, everywhere a reboot!
In the golden age of Hollywood do-overs, it’s tough to stand out.
When the next reboot hits the screen, viewers are intrigued at first, wanting to see what new ideas have been filtered into an already established world. But many reboots don’t stick (that’s probably a discussion for some other time).
There is one reboot that’s getting it mostly right, though, and would be a delicious addition to your weekly schedule. That show is Roswell, New Mexico.
For starters, this is a re-imaging that gets it right.
It's far from an original reboot in every sense of the word. Liz and Max are there, Michael and Maria are too, but this isn’t just a high school alien story set in the famous small New Mexico town.
The series fits perfectly into the stratosphere of 2020, dealing with storylines that are relevant and relatable.
There’s diversity, and bold topics being discussed nearly every hour. The writers take chances within their storylines and have crafted a show that feels very different from its predecessor and yet familiar at the same time.
Topics like immigration and abortion are not just dropped in as throwaway lines. They are a part of the narrative. The show speaks directly to its present-day audience and is all the better for it.
Another part of the narrative is romance. And let’s be real here people, who doesn’t love a good 'ship these days?
Roswell has two iconic ships that have taken the fanbase as a whole by storm. And the series is only in its sophomore season, with a third one on the horizon, so the sky is the limit in regards to where these relationships can go.
Max and Liz, commonly known as Echo, are the main ship of the show, and their relationship is destiny personified. They belong together, and it’s painstakingly clear from their first moments on screen that they’re each other’s soulmates.
And it never comes across as boring. Their story plays out beautifully throughout Roswell, New Mexico Season 1, and is a treat for fans of a good old-fashioned romance story.
On the flipside, Michael and Alex, affectionately nicknamed Malex, don’t have it nearly as easy as Echo. Their relationship has been hard and fraught with years of conflict, trauma, and regret.
But when the two of them are around each other, the sparks are flying off the screen. You find yourself almost shielding your eyes because you feel like a voyeur sitting in your living room, watching such intimate moments between the two.
Echo may be the big love story the show wants to portray, but Malex gives them a run for their money. You’ll never be able to hear the word “cosmic’ again without thinking about Malex’s love.
Both romances are captivating, though, and the heartbeat of the new series.
While the Malex chemistry is off the charts, the cast as a whole has a tremendous amount of chemistry amongst them.
One major thing that every good ensemble show needs is chemistry, from the A characters to the D characters. There will be a day when two characters who never interact with one another will be thrust into a storyline, and if there’s no chemistry between the actors, a whole plotline can fall apart.
Roswell, New Mexico does not have that problem.
Jeanine Mason is a force as the main protagonist, and she lends a comfortability to everyone she shares a scene with. As the lead of the show, that’s critical, and she pulls it off every hour.
Michael Vlamis is an absolute dream as the misunderstood alien with a chip on his shoulder, and a lot of love bubbling under that greasy exterior. And he literally has chemistry with air.
He makes everyone around him better.
But Tyler Blackburn and Lily Cowles are indeed the unsung heroes. They have an innate ability to connect with whoever is across from them, especially Tyler, who does so much with the material he’s given. Which quite frankly at times doesn’t seem like enough.
Now if only the two shared more scenes with each other.
One area of improvement would be the curious decision not to have all the principal characters interacting regularly. Maria and Kyle have been massively underutilized at times, and unable to break away from the shadows of the larger figures.
Maria is an important character within the series, who has intimate relationships with all the other main characters. Giving her a storyline of her own was a great step in the right direction, but it still feels like she could be used even more.
Perhaps in future seasons, we’ll see more of a group dynamic amongst the core group of characters that has them all interacting on a more regular basis.
Employing flashbacks can be a tricky thing, but here they’re used effectively to detail plot specific events and to provide insight into the emotions of the characters.
The 1947 flashbacks throughout Roswell, New Mexico Season 2 have especially been paramount in not only understanding alien mythology more but also exploring the backgrounds of the characters we’ve come to love.
At its core this is a science-fiction show about aliens living among us. And the show succeeds in giving us that. There’s drama, angst, love, misfortune, and hope. All the things you’re looking for in your next binge appropriate show.
Is this show perfect? Of course not. There are some pacing issues, and as previously mentioned, not all the characters have reached their potential. But as the show continues to find its way, we’ll be along for the otherworldly ride.
Let me know in the comments if you’re enjoying this re-imaging as much as we are!
Roswell, New Mexico airs Mondays on The CW.
Whitney Evans is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter.