Pretty people, high school angst, and face tattoos (so hot right now): Star-Crossed has all of the elements for a successful CW drama. Does it meet the mail?
Let’s bitch it out…
I’m not gonna lie: I was super pumped when I saw the trailer for this show last year. For one thing, I’m game for anything involving a former Friday Night Lights-er (though Aimee Teegarden is almost unrecognizable from her FNL days, conforming to the sunken cheeks and uber-tanned aesthetic of The CW. She looks like a Nina Dobrev clone now). But mostly, I was looking for a solid alien-human teen romance to fill the Roswell-sized hole in my heart.
In Star-Crossed, aliens from Atria (as good a name as any I guess), land on earth in 2014. They arrive in Louisiana, because aliens always tend to come to the U.S in these types of situations. Atrians think they’re seeking refuge (from what, we’re not quite sure) while the humans begin defending their homeland. During the battle, a young girl named Emery hides an Atrian boy in her shed. He is eventually captured, though she thinks he died.
Fast forward ten years, and the remaining Atrians are contained in a Sector (think Native American Reservation but militarized). We meet a grown up Emery (Teegarden) and Roman (Matt Lanter), who – shocking! – survived. Thanks to a de-segregation pilot program, seven Atrian teens begin attending a human high school, with all of the protests and teen hate you’d expect. When the Atrian group slo-mo walks through the high school halls as everyone turns and stares at them, it’s very Twilight-y, but less pale. Eventually, Roman and Emery realize they are each other’s shed buddies, save each other a few times, and almost kiss (man this pilot’s moving at the speed of light. An almost kiss in the first episode? Nice).
While I’m not ready to go out and get my Star-Crossed fan face tattoo just yet, the pilot shows some elements of promise:
- First, the ending. In traditional star-crossed lovers fashion, Emery’s dad is set up as the “fair” military commander in charge of the Atrian Sector. Roman’s dad is a sympathetic Atrian leader who wants to co-exist peacefully with the humans. In the final scene, Emery’s father shoots Roman’s. Does he live or die? Either way this will obviously put our budding romance on ice.
- Atrians have secret saffron that they can shoot in their arm and cure human ailments. Alright, I may not have the science down pat on this, but the end result is the same. They can cure humans and have kept it a secret for 10 years! After seeing how distraught Emery is, Roman heals her friend Julia (Malese Jow) when she almost dies. Which leads me to…
- The autoimmune deficiency disease that Emery and Julia have. Instead of being some generic popular girl at school with the quarterback boyfriend, Emery has been stuck in the hospital for the past four years. It’s an interesting backstory that I want to learn more about.
Although a lot of the show so far has that distinct CW flavour, these elements may help to make it its own distinct series. Here’s hoping.
- The future technology consistency leaves a little to be desired. Emery needs to use her finger print just to open her high school locker, but she was able to enter a government facility by stealing her dad’s ID badge? I feel like that level of security is worthy of at least an eye scan!
- I’m glad they addressed the fact that Atrians have a native language and had to learn English. I was thinking to myself five minutes in, “if that little boy starts speaking English, I’m turning off the TV.”
- Man, The CW really takes care of its own. It took me a few minutes to realize that Julia is Anna from The Vampire Diaries. And Grayson (Grey Damon) was on The Secret Circle.
- I’ve never seen 90210 so I’m unfamiliar with Matt Lanter as an actor, but some of his line delivery are so stiff and painful to me. Fans of Matt: is this usual? Will he get better?! Should we begin collecting money for a dialogue coach?
What did you think of Star-Crossed? Did the pilot pique your interest enough to keep watching? Do you think it’s distinct enough as a series from other CW shows? Sound off below.
Star-Crossed airs Mondays at 8pm EST on The CW.
John Hall says
In all the promotional stuff, she looks more like Rachel Bilson than Ninva Dobrev. She’s curvier than Rachel Bilson though (also her being on Friday Night Lights is pretty much the only reason I bothered to check it out).
I’m not sure how much I care for what I saw of it (about the first 20 min). I don’t have an issue with aliens looking pretty much exactly like humans (reminds me of the birthing matrix in the 1980s Man of Steel comics that re-introduced Superman), but that close to human without being human is weird and takes me out of it a bit. Let me know if it gets better.
Anyway, a show like this should be able to hold it’s own simply as some sort of teen drama, without the supernatural element. I thought Roswell could do that, excepting that the male lead had the most boring personality ever.
Yeah the first 20 minutes were definitely not great…I try to give it a pass on a pilot as there’s so much set-up and exposition.
You are SO right about the male lead on Roswell, he was my least favorite character.