With the turn of the centuries from the 20th to the 21st, the book publishing world was awash with lots of new literature for the young adult readership. J.K. Rowling’s “Harry Potter”, while initially geared for children, eventually became teensier. And then there are the likes of Stephenie Meyer’s “Twilight” saga, which alongside “Potter” get turned into blockbuster movies. Others on the other hand, like “Roswell High” by Melinda Metz, might get turned into TV series as “Roswell” on the former The WB from 1999 to 2002. It has a remake with a pilot airing this week on The CW.
The Hollywood Reporter tells us that The CW has added to its library of TV show remakes now that their reboot of “Roswell”, conveniently subtitled “New Mexico”, has aired Tuesday on their network. The show retells the plot from the original series and their shared literary source, namely of a Roswell diner waitress and her encounter with three people who are revealed to be extraterrestrials hiding in plain sight, particularly her eventual relationship with one of them. “Roswell, New Mexico” is an interesting study in adaptation, as it takes elements from the books that were changed in the first “Roswell series”, and alters other things.
Case in point, “Roswell High” and “Roswell” have the main characters be high school students; “New Mexico” ages them by about ten years to young adults with jobs and professions. Next, the lead girl in “Roswell High” was the Hispanic Liz Ortecho, whitewashed into Liz Parker as portrayed by Shiri Appleby in “Roswell”; “New Mexico” restores Liz’s Latino name and background, actually making the latter more important as part of her character sub-arc in series. That is because Liz Ortecho (Jeanine Mason) is the citizen child of undocumented Mexican immigrants, and her federally-funded lab-work got axed as said funding was diverted towards building some wall.
Political references aside, that backstory explains why Liz moves from her Denver workplace back to her Roswell hometown, where she reconnects with her old school buddies, particularly her crush Max Evans (Nathan Parson), now a sheriff’s deputy currently looking into a rash of race-related hate crimes in the area. There’s also the fact that he is keeping secret his true identity as an alien, like his now-married “sister” Isobel (Lily Cowles) and their common friend Michael (Michael Vlamis). Things come to a head when, as with the original show and books, Liz gets shot while at work and Max uses his alien powers to heal her. Only trouble is forthcoming.
“Roswell, New Mexico” also stars Tyler Blackburn, Michael Trevino, Heather Hemmens and Karan Oberoi. It airs Tuesdays on The CW.
Image courtesy of Bleeding Cool