Television / Science Fiction

Roswell: Season Two

Distributed By:  20th Century Fox

Reviewed by Justine Manzano

            So, I recently began a new obsession.  That obsession resulted in a recent review of Roswell: Season 1.  Yes, I am a fan of a show that has been dead since 2002.  And it didn’t take me long to jump right on Season 2.  But my extensive knowledge of television told me to beware.  My love affair with Roswell, New Mexico could very well be over.  You see, back in 2000, in between Season 1 and 2, The WB (as it was known at the time) had just about cancelled Roswell, but the show was rescued by its intense fan base.  The series was one of the very few shows that have ever been successful at this – Farscape got a 4 hour mini-series and Jericho got a shortened second season before its death.  Roswell was the only show besides Baywatch to get more than that out of a fan revival in our recent past.  But with Roswell being picked up for a second season came a great deal of changes imposed by the network.  The clothing had to be harder looking and skimpier and the series had to get less relationshippy and way more sci-fi.  And that idea scared me – could it be that the new season of Roswell would be completely destroyed by the network’s suggestions? 

            So, I finished Season 2, and some things have changed – some for the better, some for the worse.  If you didn’t read my first season review, here is the roundup.  The series follows four aliens –Max (Jason Behr), Isabel (Katherine Heigl), Michael (Brendan Fehr) and Tess (Emilie de Ravin), who crash landed on Earth in the famous and documented crash in Roswell, New Mexico, which was supposedly followed by a government cover-up.  The only humans to know the truth about it are Liz (Shiri Appleby), Max’s on-again, off-again girlfriend, Maria (Majandra Delfino), Michael’s on-again, off-again girlfriend, Alex (Colin Hanks), who is crazy in love with Isabel, Kyle (Nick Weschler), the Sheriff’s son, who’s life Max saved when he was shot, and Sheriff Valenti, who was there when said gunshot was healed. 

            This portion of the series takes place just as the summer ends and the crew from the first season reunites. Liz has been away for the summer after Season 1’s big season finale reveal, and when she returns she does her best to stay as far away from Max and the alien drama as possible.  The rest of the crew jumps right into the fray, as a new rival alien race known as “The Skins” enters into pursuit of our gang. Awesome plot lines include the arrival of Future Max, who tells Liz that if she gets back together with Max, the world could end (this episode also leads to a horribly embarrassing moment that will have you covering your eyes as you watch), the arrival of duplicates of the four aliens, tougher versions who are from New York (this one was vaguely insulting to me, a New Yorker, who doesn’t look like I’ve lived in a sewer all my life, but it is also the site of one of Katherine Heigl’s most brilliant performances), a death in the group that leaves the gang divided on whether or not it was a suicide, an accident or murder (great performances all around), and the unveiling of a murderer among them. 

            So, the Roswell writers took the changes forced on them with the new season and did their best with them.  Though, at times the show may have been a bit campy in its choices, it mostly stayed true to the original.  This year wasn’t as much about the kids trying to stay hidden from the FBI and the others who didn’t already know, and it was much less about the relationships between the characters.  However, what it lacked in inter-personal relationships, it more than made up for in the bits of the mystery that became revealed, your increased understanding of the motives of all of the characters, and the action between the Roswell aliens and those around them. 

            All in all, I think the second season of this series was good, but I am not surprised that the show was canceled after this season because it was not what the fans were used to.  The fans of this show fell in love with a balanced supernatural love story, and this season did away with the balance between the two.  Thankfully, however, this series was later renewed on a different network, and brought back to its former glory.  So, does that mean this season is a waste and shouldn’t be watched?  Quite the opposite, actually.  The season, while different has some essential storylines and plot points which can not be missed, and the over-science-fiction quality isn’t even that bad.  So, the verdict – check out Season 2 of Roswell.  Chances are you’ll like it. 

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