Hollywood is a business of trends. Vampires. Angels. Time travel. You name it. We’ve seen them all. But Hollywood’s recent trend — which has extended to several years back — consists of reviving the past in the form of reboots, our favorite classic shows that have forever cemented a place in our hearts. Whether it’s because Hollywood knows that nostalgia is a powerful thing or because there just aren’t too many original ideas, but reboots are the latest trend that I don’t see going away anytime soon.
But there’s also this sense of uncertainty when it comes to reboots. Of wondering if the reboot can recapture the magic that was the original. Of wondering if this will be one big colossal failure. We’ve seen our share of reboots. There have been few good. But we’ve also seen our share of poorly done reboots, which is always in the back of your mind before you delve back into a world that seems foreign yet familiar.
This season, The CW has two reboots gearing up for pilot season: Roswell and Charmed. Both shows were staples of my childhood among other WB favorites like Dawson’s Creek, Felicity, and Buffy the Vampire Slayer. But of the two currently in the pilot stage — Roswell and Charmed — for me, Roswell is the one that I have the highest hopes for. Whether it’s the Julie Plec factor or the potential for a story like Roswell in the here and now, I feel optimistic for what this revival has in store. But as always, I have that uncertainty that I couldn’t eradicate if I wanted to. Part of the excitement of these revivals isn’t just the optimism it’s the uncertainty of what lies ahead. That can be a good thing or a bad thing. As far as Roswell is concerned, let’s hope it’s a good thing.
Here’s a synopsis of The CW’s imagining of this Roswell reboot:
After reluctantly returning to her tourist-trap hometown of Roswell, New Mexico, the daughter of undocumented immigrants discovers a shocking truth about her teenage crush who is now a police officer: he’s an alien who has kept his unearthly abilities hidden his entire life. She protects his secret as the two reconnect and begin to investigate his origins, but when a violent attack and long-standing government cover-up point to a greater alien presence on Earth, the politics of fear and hatred threaten to expose him and destroy their deepening romance.
Here are 5 reasons we’re excited (and optimistic) for The CW’s Roswell reboot (should The CW choose to greenlight it):
1. The Nostalgia
There’s no denying the sense of nostalgia that comes with hearing the name Roswell. I can remember exactly where I was and what I was doing when this glorious show was on the air. It was one of those staples in my young life. The WB was my everything. I learned about life through these shows, and I fell in love with these beautiful characters and my first ships. The reason that revivals are a trend in the first place is because of that nostalgia. That feeling that you get when you think back on your viewing experience. That feeling that you get when you go back and rewatch those shows that defined your childhood. Every time I rewatch any of these shows it’s like I’m transported back in time, much like listening to a ‘90s song. These characters and their stories are as alive as they’ve ever been. Liz and Max. Maria and Michael. Isabel. Alex. Sheriff Valenti. Names that still to this day register emotions. The thought of revisiting the feeling that the original show gave to me is one of the many reasons that I’m excited to see this new take on Roswell.
2. Reviving the Essence
Roswell was a show about aliens. But it was so much more than that. Roswell was about life. It was about growing up, first experiences, making mistakes, and ultimately the power of love and acceptance. Yes, aliens was the draw. But it wasn’t the reason we stayed. We stayed for the characters. We stayed for their relationships. We stayed because we cared. Just as I want for any present or future revivals or reboots, I want these new shows to embody the essence that the original shows possessed. While the original Roswell existed in a different time, the heart of the story is one that transcends time. As long as this reboot can recapture the heart and soul of the original it’ll be a success. And perhaps introduce a new generation to the Roswell universe.
3. A Modern Spin
The original Roswell series aired in the late 1990s/early 2000s, which might not seem like a long time ago, but it’s actually a lifetime ago. Part of the magic of the shows we love — the shows from that golden age of teen drama — is the time in which they were taking place. Where boldness was unconventional and innovating. Where television was that older sibling that we never had. Personally speaking, Roswell and the WB dramas were the shows that helped me during adolescence. Times have certainly changed since then so it’ll be interesting to see how that affects the tone of this reboot. With the many issues facing young adults in today’s world, there are so many potential storylines that Roswell could explore that could really send a powerful message. While these shows were always pushing the boundaries, at their core they were about life. Roswell, while using the alien storyline as a huge draw, was a story about teenagers growing up, their relationships, and figuring out the individual power within them all. That’s something that translates beyond generations.
4. The Characters
The reason why Roswell had such an impact on fans — like any show — was because of the characters. This complex cast of characters managed to be relatable and mysterious at the same time as we went on these journeys with them. The heart of any story are the people that live in this world. Aliens? Sure, intriguing and thrilling. It was the allure that drew us in. But it was the characters that really made Roswell a show that I still recall fondly. I still remember watching this show with my friends and experiencing these trials and tribulations right along with them. I remember the tears. I remember the joy. I remember the array of emotions that came with watching these characters tackle life as it came. And those emotions wouldn’t have been as heightened had I not given a damn. Which is why I have such high hopes for this show. It’s also the reason why I’m nervous. Taking a concept and replicating isn’t as easy as you’d like to believe. It’s not about the plot as it is about as the characters, at least according to the passionate fans that make these shows possible. That’s the reason we throw ourselves into this world. That’s the reason we care. It’s why we felt the need to tune in live every week. It’s the reason why I, still to this day, care. So I really hope that Roswell can manage to not replicate but create compelling, complex, and diverse characters that we can fall in love with and live and die with.
5. The Ships
Even before I knew what shipping was, I was all about shipping. And the WB was the cause of that. For some season the word “ship,” when not implying a water-bound vessel, is a dirty word. But the reason that shipping has always been a significant part of the viewing experience — before it even was called “shipping” — is because as viewers we care about these characters in a very real way. We respond to what we love. And there’s nothing quite like a ship to hook, line, and sink you. Investing in a relationship that seems bigger than yourself can be invigorating, painful, and powerful. Ships and fandom have the power to bring people — strangers — together to form friendships and families. Roswell had those kind of ships. The kind of ships that left a lasting impact on us. The kind of ships that I still remember to this day. Whether it was Liz and Max or Michael and Maria or hell even Isabel and Alex, there was a little something for everyone. No relationship was the same. Each relationship was compelling and served the greater purpose of growing these teenagers in the very best way possible. I lived and died by Liz & Max and Michael & Maria. The chemistry was fire. They challenged each other. They made each other better. They broke our hearts. They rose us up. And if this Roswell reboot can manage to capture even a sliver of those ships, then we’d be happy. But something tells me that these potential ships are in good hands.
The CW’s Upfronts are mid-May, and we’ll know by then whether The CW has picked up the Roswell reboot. But something tells us this is as close to “a sure thing” as any of the pilots with the CW this year.