Why It’s Worth Your While To Revisit Roswell

Teenage angst and erm, aliens. What more could a girl want?


by Delphine Chui |
Published on

Aliens. We're all a little bit obsessed with the idea that they might exist, right? Now let’s imagine that they do and that they just happen to look like super- hunky American teenagers. Enter, Roswell.

Roswell, New Mexico has been infamous since the summer of 1947 when a supposed UFO incident was reported after inhabitants believed they witnessed a crash-landing of a spaceship. The government assured everyone it was actually just a big old boring military Air Force surveillance balloon but there are still a million conspiracy theories out there. Was it all one huge cover-up? Who knows. Naturally, Hollywood took advantage of the story and decided to morph it into a teen drama where some crazy, extra-terrestrial shit goes down.

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Running from 1999-2002 across three wonderfully weird series, Roswell was Dawsons Creek-meets-ET, or The X-Files and Buffy The Vampire Slayer in one. It follows a young man called Max, his sister Isabel and their best friend, Michael, as they attempt to survive high school and ignore the fact that they aren’t actually fully human. Obviously their plans to remain the mysterious and ridiculously good-looking wallflowers go awry when they fall in love with lowly civilians after Max decides to save a human girl's life when she's involved in a town shooting. Cue exposed powers, deadly secrets and epic teen romance.

As if that doesn't sound convincing enough, here is exactly why you need to take a chance on this sci-fi series...

It could be true. We guess.

Look. It was actually quite a clever idea for a series. Basically, that 'balloon' that landed in Roswell really was a spaceship and there were three survivors who then grew up among the humans. And, considering that this backwater town survives off of the alien tourism complete with a UFO-themed café, they were sort of asking for it to be true...

Star-crossed love = epic

Even when at times the storylines didn’t quite make sense, the chemistry between the couples was always otherworldly. Our favourite were Michael (the incredibly good-looking Brendan Fehr), the brooding Ryan Atwood of the bunch and his equally troubled but human girlfriend Maria (Majandra Delfino). Their on-and-off relationship was intense and everything you wanted from a teen drama.

Aliens (and humans) happen to be very hot

You’ll recognise a lot of this beautiful cast. Before Knocked Up and various other rom-coms, Katherine Heigl starred as Isabel, the sarcastic, untrusting alien sister who ends up falling for the token geek, Colin Hanks (yep, as in Tom Hanks' son.) Then, there's Shiri Appleby, who was Adam's ex-girlfriend in the last series of Girls, and plays Max’s love interest. Oh, and if you’re a Revenge fan, you’ll also recognise the Sheriff’s son, played by Nick Wechsler.

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The soundtrack is full of teenage angst

Dido's Here With Me provided the opening credit song and it was everything. The track was no longer just about any boring old break-up, it made it about a grand-scale, forbidden interspecies relationship. Deep. The rest of it was all late ’90s/early 00s classics like Nelly Furtado’s I’m Like A Bird, Foo Fighters’ Everlong and Sheryl Crow’s I Shall Believe.

It had a solid fanbase

When fans anticipated it being cancelled after the first series, they joined forces and started a campaign to save the show. The American TV channel network obviously listened as it stayed on air for another two seasons.


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Follow Delphine on Twitter @DelphineChui

This article originally appeared on The Debrief.

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