'Roswell: New Mexico' premiere fails to do justice to its otherwise brilliant themes

The reboot does pull in several contemporary issues but, like many other new TV shows, fails to really dig deep into them


                            'Roswell: New Mexico' premiere fails to do justice to its otherwise brilliant themes

The CW's reboot of the 1990s cult classic 'Roswell' has failed to meet expectations. Although it takes inspiration from the original 'Roswell High' book series by Melinda Metz, the show doesn't strike the right balance between mystery and fantasy.

Coming from producer Julie Plec who directed the pilot episode, 'Roswell: New Mexico' follows that same group of characters as in the original show, only this time, instead of teenagers, the characters are adults with some real-world responsibilities. The show stars Nathan Parsons as Max Evans and Jeanine Mason as Liz Ortecho.

In its attempt to make itself relatable to the audience, the show has pulled in several contemporary issues like immigration and bigotry. Unfortunately, none of that seems to be working in the show's favor.

The Tuesday premiere saw the lowest-rated and the least-watched hour on the English language broadcast networks. The premiere was barely able to achieve 1.5 million viewers with a minimum of 0.4/2 rating points among adult viewers between the demographic age of 18-49.

Although 'Roswell: New Mexico' did try to pull in several interesting angles, it somehow failed to fully explore them. We do get a sense of the discriminating attitude that the characters are subjected to in the tiny town but, somewhere down the line, the show forgets to emphasize on the issue and moves on after barely scratching the surface. 

'Roswell: New Mexico' did try to pull in several interesting angles but it somehow fails to fully explore them (IMDb)
'Roswell: New Mexico' did try to pull in several interesting angles but it somehow fails to fully explore them (IMDb)

The story follows Liz who arrives in Roswell and soon discovers that, after her sister's untimely death, the entire town had turned against her father holding him responsible for his daughter's death. We find out that he was being targeted solely on the basis of being an immigrant, but is that the rightful way of projecting intolerance?

What 'Roswell: New Mexico' has done with its theme of intolerance is that it reduces it to a blatant blame game. At some point into the pilot episode, we are told that Liz's sister was disliked all over the town for her unruly nature, substance abuse, and her tendency to crash her car into other people's property. However, their attitude towards Liz is completely different.



 

When Liz is stopped at a checkpoint, the cop tells her that they do not doubt her since she has always been the good girl in town. This is the exact point that the show misses. People of Roswell did not really hate the Ortecho family for being immigrants, it was only an added factor to their already existing fear of the family's youngest daughter who was a complete nuisance. However, Liz continues to perceive everything with an extremely immature outlook as she blasts the cop saying the government should be the one under surveillance at checkpoints.

Liz's identity as an outsider is established but she is not really seen as a victim of stark discrimination (IMDb)
Liz's identity as an outsider is established but she is not really seen as a victim of stark discrimination (IMDb)

Liz's anger is somehow justified when she is projected as the victim during an attack on her cafe where the attackers claim that she should head back home since she does not belong there. Other than that, she is picked on by a couple of her schoolmates at their high school reunion but Liz manages to overlook it all with a little help from her best friend Maria.

We have characters who are struggling to live in a society that is hostile towards anything unconventional but, at the same time, we barely get to see the part where the characters themselves are to be blamed. What we get is cliched dialogue spoken by a group of extremely boring characters who are trying very hard to make themselves look interesting. 



 

'Roswell: New Mexico' returns with the second episode titled 'So Much For the Afterglow' on January 22, and we hope the show will do justice to its otherwise brilliant themes.