Roush Review: ‘Roswell, New Mexico’ Struggles to Recapture the Magic of the Original Series

Roswell, New Mexico
Ursula Coyote/The CW

Another day, another reboot. As The CW continues to indulge its nostalgia for the good old days of the WB network (following fall’s Charmed remake), we get to revisit the swoony human-alien romance of cult favorite Roswell (1999–2002).

It starts from scratch, aging the former teen protagonists to angst-filled adults. This allows for more graphic and diverse sexuality but robs the story of its Romeo-and-Juliet sweetness. Roswell, New Mexico further updates the premise with topical relevance by making human heroine Liz (Jeanine Mason) the daughter of ICE-fearing undocumented immigrants.

She thus understands the whole “alien” concept when, upon returning to her hometown as an accomplished scientist, she learns her high-school crush, police officer Max Evans (Nathan Dean Parsons), has been hiding his own otherworldly origin story.

Local prejudice and soap-operatic secrets complicate the growing attraction between Liz and super-sensitive Max — who, like his fellow closeted aliens, tries to keep his powers under wraps lest scary government agents catch on. This grown-up Roswell has its moments but mostly reminds us how hard it is to recapture the magic of an original.

Roswell, New Mexico, Series Premiere, Tuesday, January 15, 9/8c, The CW