'Roswell: New Mexico' reboot has the potential to be an original story rather than a rehash of the 90's version
The characters and the storyline might be similar, but there are certain elements which prove that this reboot can very well be an original.
The CW reboot of the '90s show, 'Roswell', is not at all a reimagination of the Jason Katims-created show. Although both the shows refer to one original source, the book 'Roswell High' by Melinda Meltz, there are some stark differences between the two. 'Roswell: New Mexico', stars Nathan Parsons as Max Evans and Jeanine Mason as Liz Ortecho, and this time they are all grown up with responsibilities that are both complicated and perplexing.
Fans might still root for the '90s version, but it can be said that the reboot itself can serve as an entirely original series. Liz is a scientist who returns to Roswell only to discover that her childhood sweetheart, Max, who is now a deputy sheriff is actually an alien. Other than recreating the first scene of the original where Max brings Liz back from the dead with his powers, the rest of the show is thematic in nature. It revolves around the death of Liz's sister, Rosa, but the entire mystery is padded up with several contemporary themes such as immigration, discrimination against LGBTQ, and of course, the Wall.
These themes alone are enough to make the show stand on its own without being referred to the '90s adaptation of the book, but there are four more points which confirm that 'Roswell: New Mexico' can be an original in itself:
1. A Tiresome Adulthood
We were introduced to the history of Roswell and its saga with aliens by a group of angry teenagers in the '90s cult classic. As the show revolved around a group of school going children and traced their growth till graduation, 'Roswell' (1999-2002) gave a look into teenage love as it tried to overcome the obligations of two separate worlds. However, the reboot has done away with the tender age of the characters, and they are now all grown up with some real-world responsibilities. In his interview with MEAWW, at the Critics Choice Awards, Parson explained, "First of all, I am a deputy sheriff. So the responsibility of taking care of society and taking care of your time is a little bigger than midterms. Being able to be part of the growth of a character in 10 years is a big step."
2. Going back to the roots
One of the best things about the CW reboot is that it does not discriminate among its characters, and has completely done away with the plethora of white actors who had earlier represented indigenous characters on screen. 'Roswell: New Mexico' sees Latin, Native American, and Black actors take the center stage when it comes to representing the characters with authenticity. In an article about the reboot, creator Carina Adly Mackenzie mentioned that she wanted the characters to reverse the cast against what it was in the original. She wrote, "I don’t believe in color-blind casting. I want the characters’ experiences to reflect their ethnicity. I wanted Maria to be black, I wanted Kyle to be Mexican, and I wanted Alex to have Native American heritage, just like in the books. Those stories mattered."
3. When the majority becomes the minority
Like every creator, Mackenzie has certainly added her own edge to the show which makes it unique in its own way. While the original saw only white actors take over the roles of non-white characters, the creator of the reboot made sure that only the three alien siblings would be represented by white actors. By casting the aliens through white actors, Mackenzie has made her point that discrimination is everywhere- it doesn't matter if some race considers themselves superior to most. The aliens have powers with which they can easily wash off the entire human race but they are under the constant fear of being subjected to scientific experiments. They might be the superior ones, but they, after all, are aliens who are residing in a planet disguising themselves as humans, the species which dominates planet Earth.
4. Hot Sauce is so '90s, get the nail polish remover
The biggest and probably the most prominent difference in the reboot and the original is the portion to heal. We do remember watching the teenage aliens gulp an entire bottle of hot sauce every time they needed to heal themselves. However, in the reboot, the same purpose is being served by nail polish remover. There is a pretty valid reason behind the change, and Mackenzie explained to Entertainment Weekly that the reasons were legal. "We weren’t allowed to use hot sauce. We have the rights to the books, but we don’t have the rights to the original TV show, so anything that we do that references the original show in that way is a homage; it’s a treat for fans!” However, we do get a glimpse of the hot sauce when Liz is left in the floor covered in the sauce while Max tried to resurrect her in Episode 1.
'Roswell: New Mexico' returns to the CW on February 19 with Episode 6, titled 'Smells Like Teen Spirit'.