Saturday, November 19, 2022

channel freakboy: ROSWELL (1999-2002)


The DVD sets of Roswell, seasons 1, 2 and 3.

Hello, my name is John and I’m a teen drama addict.

Oh, I was a hardcore WB network junkie back in the day.  From Buffy the Vampire Slayer to Angel to Dawson’s Creek to Popular to Grosse Pointe, I couldn’t stop!  So it was fate, and absolutely no surprise, that I was in the middle of rewatching ROSWELL when Rebecca of Taking Up Room announced The Fake Teenager Festivus Blogathon Thank you for perfect timing, Rebecca! 

The fake teenager festivus, hosted by taking up room.  November 18-20, 2022.

Shiri Appleby as Liz Parker  and Jason Behr as Max Evans
Liz and Max

Speaking of perfect timing, Liz Parker (high school science major by day, waitress by evening) is lucky that Max Evans (high school student by day, half-extraterrestrial by genetic design) was at the Crashdown Cafe when she was accidentally shot.  Max used his alien powers to save Liz and turn her life topsy-turvy!  Now Liz, along with best friends Maria (Jetta driver by day, aspiring musician by night), Alex (lovesick goofball by day, suave romantic in dreams), and ex-boyfriend Kyle (former football jock by day turned Buddhist by Zen), must deal with mysterious government agents, out of this world threats and other teen aliens.  Max isn’t the only one in town.  There is his sister Isabel (perfect student by day, Christmas Nazi at holidays), their friend Michael (less than perfect student by day, screw-up by day and night), and eventually Tess (new student by day, manipulator by choice).  The half-aliens were in the infamous 1947 flying saucer crash and incubated in pods for decades, so they carry a lot of baggage and backstory.

Majandra Delfino as Maria DeLuca and Brendan Fehr as Michael Guerin
Maria and Michael 

ROSWELL aired for two seasons on the WB network and then for one season on UPN.  Both of these networks eventually combined to form the CW.  Anyhoo, the first season is a great mix of teen angst, humor and low-key sci-fi, and I still very much enjoy it.  The second season amps up the sci-fi stuff and isn’t quite as focused, but is still entertaining and better than I remembered.  The third season starts off all wannabe edgy, probably as a result of the different network, but eventually gets back to the heart of the show, which is the complicated but caring relationships between the alien and human teenagers. 

Katherine Heigl as Isabel Evans and Colin Hanks as Alex Whitman
Isabel and Alex 

Speaking of teenagers, while not as painfully obvious as other shows, there are plenty of fake ones to be found.  Shiri Appleby as Liz Parker, Katherine Heigl as Isabel Evans, Brendan Fehr as Michael Guerin, Nick Wechsleras Kyle Valenti, and Colin Hanks(yes, Tom’s son) as Alex Whitman were all in their early 20’s when ROSWELL hit the airwaves.  Depending on lighting and camera angle, they are sometimes believable early on, but one among them is not.  The most obvious fake teenager award goes to Jason Behr as Max Evans, who was clearly 25 during the first season.  However, I must give ROSWELL props for a couple of real teenagers in the cast.  Majandra Delfino as Maria DeLuca and Emilie de Ravin as Tess Harding were 18, though they were in their early 20’s by the final season. 

Nick Wechsler as Kyle Valenti and William Sadler as Jim Valenti
Kyle and his sheriff father Jim (William Sadler)

Much like other teen dramas from that era, the acting is good but not always great.  The same can be said for some of the storylines.  Though all in all, interesting and likable characters lifts ROSWELL above other teen dramas.  In fact, it was good enough to receive a remake series on the CW titled ROSWELL, NEW MEXICO (2019-2022’, which I also recommend.  No fake teenagers can be found because the characters are all adults, but there’s enough residual teen angst vibe to please fans.  Plus, it has a natural inclusiveness that the original series would have probably not been allowed to explore.  

Brendan Fehr as Michael Guerin, Emilie de Ravin as Tess Harding, Jason Behr as Max Evans and Katherine Heigl as Isabel Evans
Michael, Tess, Max and Isabel

In conclusion…

One reason I enjoy ROSWELL, both then and now, is the relatable quality of how the aliens often feel like outsiders.  So, if you’ve ever felt that way or you’re addicted to teen drama like me, then grab some Tabasco sauce because ROSWELL may be the television series for you!  I mean, you can’t go wrong when “Here With Me” by Dido is the theme song! 

Thank you for reading or listening to my half-blind words.

Freak Out, 


P.S.  Click the pic ⤵️ for an older post about seriously fake teenagers and the dangers of jazz… 

A woman has a wild, jazz-crazed look on her face.


After visiting ROSWELL, swing through STURGEONS, an idyllic small town perfect for seeking revenge! 


Desire for connection, danger of revenge, damage from the past.  Haunting sturgeons, by john L. Harmon.  Available from an Amazon near you!


  1. Laughed out loud at your capsule descriptions of the characters - "Jetta driver by day..."! I've read my fair share of UFO literature, but I never considered that the original Roswell crash aliens could have unleashed hunky, angst-ridden human-alien hybrids on the world. Now that's a concept! The CW has certainly risen from humble cable origins to become the premier purveyor of all-things youthful (and faux-youthful). Great stuff!

    1. Thank you, brian!
      There's a lot of humor centered around the Jetta in the first season, so I had to mention it.

      And yeah, I guess the aliens behind the crash new what they were doing with genetics! Lol

  2. I'd never heard of this series, but the premise sounds really intriguing. Your excellent review has sold me!

    1. Thank you very much! It has its ups and downs, but overall is worth watching! Enjoy!

  3. Fun review, John. As Brian mentioned, your character descriptions are hilarious. This show sounds like an unholy mix of X-files and Beverly Hills 90210 (9021-UFO?).

    1. Thank you, barry! Your television mashup description is probably not too far off, with an emphasis on the x-files. Lol

  4. Funny descriptions of the Roswell kids. There is a basic formula in the CW programs and you've nailed it!

    1. Thank you! It helps that I've watched way too many of these type of shows! Lol

  5. Ah, this makes me nostalgic, too--it was fun seeing Jason Behr on this show after he was on Dawson's Creek. Thanks again for joining the blogathon, John. This was great! :-)

    1. You're welcome and thank you very much, rebecca! Maybe one day I'll break down and revisit Dawson's Creek!