Roswell: Season 1

Roswell Season 1 was a landmark for the WB and much like Buffy
and Dawson’s Creek was. It is a story about a girl named Liz Parker
and the 3 human looking aliens that were a result of the 1950’s
crash in Roswell, New Mexico. The story begins inside an alien
themed diner that Liz works at and accidentily she gets shot during a
hold up. Max, one of the aliens, who happened to have a crush on
Liz rushes over to Liz and uses his alien molecule altering powers
and dissolves the bullet and heals her wound, yeah that’s a mouth
full. But this is what sets the whole series in motion as the 10+ year
secret of Max, his sister Isabelle and their slightly perturbed buddy
Michael is revealed to too many people for it really to be considered
a secret.

The box set itself is packaged quite nicely, inside the cardboard
slipcase is some paperwork that look and smell just like Fox DVD ads
and 6 “skinny” DVD cases that each have it’s own cover art and
episode list on the back of the case. The art is really, really nice,
each cover contains a retro looking photo of the main characters of
the show. By retro I mean they look grainy and techocolored, kind of
like they photos were taken in black and white and then recolored. It
was actually quite cool to look at. The only main character missing
from the covers was Colin Hanks who is the son of Forest Gump
himself, Tom Hanks.

Speaking of Colin Hanks his character Alex for the first 6 or so
episodes is nearly nonexistant. Yet he had a nice cozy credit shot,
one would think that it was to appease his famous father or just to
cash in on the Hanks name. But once he actually gets to play a
actual part in the show it does shine through. For a few episodes
Buffy and Angel’s Julie Benz guest stars as a FBI agent who goes to
Roswell High to investigate the mysterious Max and company.

The general feeling being a new viewer to this series I felt that the
show seemed very much like Smallville version 1.0. Only the show
was from the perspective of the raven haired love interest rather than
the humanoid alien with super powers. The show does generally
focus on Liz Parker (Shiri Appleby) to begin with but as the show
changes pace midseason the focus draws more over to the aliens
which was much more interesting. What annoyed me early in the
show was that every episode began with Liz’s “journal” which with
every entry ended with “I’m Liz Parker and this is my life”, it just
seems silly that one would finish every journal entry, even in their
bizarre life where they are pining over an alien who has yet learned
to emote past stoic, with such a cliche saying. But like I mentioned
earlier it only lasts for about half the season and at least we don’t
get anymore inner monologues after that.

Jason Behr as decent of an actor that he is, is so amazingly “BLAH”
in this show that I hated him as much as I hated Liz’s journal entries.
This also remedies itself mid season, but only slightly. In every
scene it seemed as if Max was trying to act normal while squeezing
his cheeks together to hold in the prarie dogging poop coming out
his ass. Short of the episode that he gets drunk from a “swig” of
liquer and the one where he’s going through electrical shock torture
he wasn’t much on the emotional side of the acting spectrum.

Brendan Fehr, who played Michael on the otherhand was fantastic,
he was the typical angry teen who lived in the trailer park with his
foster father and has terrible control of his alien powers. Ok that’s not
THAT typical but he played his part probably the best of any of the
cast on the show. He started off being whiny but later on the
personality of his character pushes the story along by doing hot
headed things that just makes things happen. Brendan was able to
pull off being a jerk, who has a heart and is only a jerk because he
was mistreated in his childhood. His scenes with Maria (Majandra
Delfino) worked really well, you could feel the tension between
these two actors and it’s a wonder they didn’t hook up in real life… or
did they?

Majandra Delfino as Maria was pretty good, like she states herself
early in the show she’s the goofy sidekick. So that’s all she really is,
she hangs around Liz and makes out with Michael. Not much to her,
just there for some drama, her acting was a bit over done at some
times but she’s young and she gets pretty hot looking by season 2
and 3.

Katherine Heigl was completely misused. Her character started out
as a self centered bitch type character but later on she was pretty
much dumbed down to just moping about their situation. She
actually adds very little to the show in the first season other than the
some eye candy and very, very limited drama. What the show should
have done with her was put her next to a pool in every episode in a
tight pink bikini with little frills along the….. ahem…. anyway. Her
acting was as good as the script could give her and most of the time
she didn’t get very much.

The overall transfer of the DVD is really nice. It’s a lot brighter than
sister WB shows Angel and Buffy, you can actually see the characters
most of the time. Didn’t stop me from brightening the view though
still, just looked better to me. The DVDs are mixed in only Dolby
Digital 5.1 which though pretty nice is a half assed job. None of the
sound effects were mixed to the left, right or rear speakers.
Everything and I mean EVERYTHING came out of the center
speaker except for the music. Very cheap way of doing 5.1 but I
guess it works. The reason for the 5.1 remix was soley because they
couldn’t get the rights to most of the songs that they used in the
actual episodes. So you fans of the series, you’re in for a treat, this is
like Roswell REMIXED, short of 2 or 3 song and the opening theme
the entire soundtrack is changed. Whoo-hoo! This ain’t the Roswell
you remembered! Why they used this as a selling point on the
packaging is beyond me but since I never saw the show originally it
affected my enjoyment of the show somewhere between “not at all”
and “zilch”. There were only 2 documentaries one on the show and
one on “Roswell High” the book which were mildly interesting. The
two screen tests were ok but grainy and really not very entertaining
because one of the scenes was word for word of an episode. Add a
few commentaries and some terrible music video and that’s about it
for the features… a bit on the short side. I’d like to see bloopers.
Bring me the bloopers!

Overall season 1 of Roswell is quite a fun ride, I am actually excited
to check out season 2 when it is released. I enjoyed the overall story
which really only picked up near the end of the season but it’s great
buy to pick up if you want some entertaining, supernatural teenage
drama. At around $42 online you get 22 hours of interesting
storytelling fun. It’s quite a good deal. The extras aren’t very much to
look at but at least they added 5.1 Dolby Digital even though they
cheated on the mixing. The Transfer is pretty and some of the
acting is decent. I’m hooked to this show now, so bring on Season 2!!

Official Score