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Why Roswell, New Mexico Is a Great TV Reboot

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Why Roswell, New Mexico Is a Great TV Reboot


ROSWELL, NEW MEXICO, (aka ROSWELL NEW MEXICO), from left: Jeanine Mason, Nathan Parsons, 'Pilot', (Season 1, ep. 101, aired Jan. 15, 2019). photo: Ursula Coyote / The CW / Courtesy: Everett Collection

TV is packed with revivals and reboots, and there are plenty more coming. Too often, though, these shows falter at finding a way to stand on their own two feet, and this seems to affect dramas even more than comedies. Unexpectedly, it’s The CW’s sci-fi drama Roswell, New Mexico that offers a blueprint for how reboots can be at their best.

Where too many reboots justify their existence with nostalgia (or, cynically, a desire to take advantage of name recognition), Roswell, New Mexico has a genuine reason to exist. The original Roswell used its alien characters as a metaphor for teenagers feeling like they don’t fit in, but the word “alien” has a totally different connotation in 2020 America, and this Roswell leans into that wholeheartedly.

Its heroine, Liz (Jeanine Mason), is Latina, daughter of an undocumented immigrant in a small community with plenty of subtle and not-so-subtle bigotry. There’s a constant tension between her experiences and the experiences of the “real” aliens — all of whom appear to be white humans. It’s the sci-fi/drama mirror to One Day at a Time (arguably the best comedy reboot, and definitely one other shows should learn from), and not just because both shows are Latinx-led: it’s because they both understand how to take the themes of an existing property and update them thoughtfully and with a focus on character, not heavy-handedness.

It’s the sparkling, electric chemistry between Vlamis and Blackburn that has unexpectedly elevated the storyline to the pantheon of truly iconic TV relationships.

Roswell, New Mexico‘s other secret sauce? Lucking into a signature “ship” that’s all its own. Liz and her broody alien beau Max (Nathan Parsons) are still the heartfelt romantic leads of the show, but the show’s signature relationship is a creation unique to this version: bisexual alien mechanic Michael (Michael Vlamis) and Alex (Tyler Blackburn), a half-Native American Air Force captain who lost part of his leg in combat. The writing of their epic, decade-spanning love story immediately won fans, but it’s the sparkling, electric chemistry between Vlamis and Blackburn that has unexpectedly elevated the storyline to the pantheon of truly iconic TV relationships. It was, perhaps, a risk, given how beloved the original version’s Michael/Maria pairing was, but it’s proved these risks pay off and that reboots benefit from not imitating their predecessors or taking new routes to the same endgame.

That’s not to say it’s perfect, of course. Roswell has a knack for intriguing side characters, but with 13-episode seasons, it’s inevitable that there’s a bit of a letdown because they don’t get the screen time and development we’d like. Season two has given much more screen time to Maria (Heather Hemmens) but has also attempted an ill-advised love-triangle plot that’s distracted from her journey of self-discovery and turned the crackling energy between Michael and Alex into an exhausting cycle of “it’s over” declarations. Still, it’s a smart and witty show whose best moments are truly great and, more importantly, truly its own. Other reboots should take notes.





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Kim Kardashian and Kanye West in Tropical Island Fortress to Avoid Paparazzi

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Kim Kardashian and Kanye West in Tropical Island Fortress to Avoid Paparazzi




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Pictures of Meghan Markle Laughing

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Pictures of Meghan Markle Laughing


Meghan Markle is a beautiful person inside and out, but she really lights up a room with her smile. During various royal appearances, the Duchess of Sussex has caught a big case of the giggles, which resulted in some priceless pictures. Whether she’s laughing with Prince Charles and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, about a bee trying to attack Prince Harry, sharing an inside joke with Queen Elizabeth II, or cutting loose during a mini dance party during her South African royal tour, there’s just something so infectious about her laugh. See some of the funniest moments ahead.





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A Who’s The Boss? Sequel Is in the Works at Sony

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A Who’s The Boss? Sequel Is in the Works at Sony


WHO'S THE BOSS?, from left: Katherine Helmond, Alyssa Milano, Tony Danza, (1990), 1984-92. photo: Craig Sjodin / Columbia Pictures Television / Courtesy: Everett Collection

Get ready to feel like it’s 1984 again, because a sequel to Who’s the Boss? is currently in the works! On Aug. 4, Variety announced that a new iteration of the beloved sitcom is being developed at Sony, with original stars Tony Danza and Alyssa Milano set to reprise their roles as Tony Micelli and Samantha Micelli, respectively. At the moment, Judith Light and Danny Pintauro are not attached to the project, but they could be if creators can find a way to work their characters’ stories into the narrative.

According to the publication: “The new show will take place 30 years after the events of the original series and be centered around former major-league baseball player and retired housekeeper Tony and his relationship with his daughter Samantha, who is now a single mother and living in the house in which the original series was set.” A release date has not been revealed yet.

Who’s the Boss? aired for eight seasons from 1984 to 1992, but even after all these years, it still maintains its pop culture status.





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