Picks and Pans Review: Roswell
The WB (Wednesdays, 9 p.m. ET)
Show of the week
“Okay, I’m still confused,” human high-schooler Liz (Shiri Appleby) says to alien classmate Max (Jason Behr) in episode two of this drama series. “If you really crash-landed in 1947, are you really 16 or are you like 52 in a 16-year-old’s body?” Max, an ostensible earthling who confided his extraterrestrial origin to Liz in the Oct. 6 pilot, replies with some nonsense about emerging from an incubation pod in Roswell, N. Mex., in 1989. But here’s all the explanation anyone needs: Teen shows are the rage this season; it’s handy to combine elements of The X-Files and Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and hey, logic is irrelevant.
Though it seems a product of calculation more than inspiration, Roswell has appeal. There’s a sweetness to the two-different-worlds romance of Liz and Max, and you’ll appreciate the plight of Michael (Brendan Fehr), a less friendly teen alien stuck in a trailer park with a nasty human foster father. But Liz’s voice-over diary entries are dispensable, and Majandra Delfino provides too little comic relief as Maria, her self-described “wacky friend.”
Bottom Line: Contrived but intriguing