Aliens, Teenagers, so many easy metaphors squandered!

I often watch random television in the background when I’m working on projects around the apartment in the evening, it tends to give me more… structure than working to music does. Netflix Instant View has been great in this regard, tons of tv shows available that I saw parts of in the original airing. This week and a bit I’ve been watching Roswell.

It came out about the same time as Buffy, another show that I dismissed in the first season or so but came to (obviously) enjoy. Featuring a young Katherine Heigel and two other actors as survivors of the original Roswell landing, incubated in pods, and awoken as children in the 80s. They’re adopted by local Roswell families after they’re found wandering in the desert. We join the action as they’re high school students discovering their “special destiny” and hijinks ensue. Later episodes also feature a young Emilie de Ravin with a questionable American accent (which, in her defense, gets better as the show progresses).

The first season was a bit wobbly, as all first seasons often are–and if you compare it with season one of Buffy, it holds up okay. Then, with meddling from UPN it does a sharp turn into more sci-fi oriented plots in the second season. In the much maligned third season it seems to be trying to find some balance between the two–but has now decimated its own mythology enough that it never really finds its feet or direction again. It somehow made sense to see Ron Moore’s name in the credits the other day.