Roswell, based on the Roswell High series of books by Melinda Metz, traces the lives of four "hybrid" aliens through their high school years. It was created by Jason Katims and stars Jason Behr (The Grudge), Shiri Appleby (Charlie Wilson's War), Katherine Heigl (Grey's Anatomy), Brendan Fehr (CSI: Miami), Emilie de Ravin (Lost) and Majandra Delfino. The first two seasons aired on the WB channel.
Though it was canceled in 2002, its short life delivered immense entertainment and outstanding performances by the entire cast. The DVDs are still available in Gainesville and surrounding area Walmarts, Borders and through Amazon.com.
The plot line skillfully intertwines the everyday problems of awkward teens growing up in a small town with the more otherworldly problems the hybrids and their human friends face with alien enemies and human alien hunters. Human Liz (Shiri Appleby) asks hybrid Izzy (Katherine Heigl) about her lack of involvement with the guys at school. Iz's answer is, "Do you ever feel afraid to let people see who you really are?...Well, multiply that by a thousand." And then she changes the color of Liz's nail polish and says at least she "can do fun things like that".
The alien teens all have different special powers. Only Michael (Brendan Fehr) has trouble controlling his which becomes comic relief in some otherwise tense situations. As they grow, their powers gradually grow and expand. They are told by their shape-shifter protector that all their powers are human, just a thousand years ahead of current human development.
A Gainsvillian fan states he started watching the show because he had been to Roswell and remembers well his drive through a long stretch of darkness between Albuquerque and Roswell. He began to feel a "little creepy" in the pitch blackness, with no other traffic, silently pleading with the aliens to leave him alone. He found the show entertaining and continued to watch it through its many incarnations in all three seasons.
An interest in aliens or teenage angst are not required to enjoy the show. The character development is sophisticated, and plot development is twisty and entertaining. The third season gets a little far fetched and the characters do not seem as real. This was the season the show was taken over by UPN. They tarted up the girls a bit and changed some of the basic facts of the previous two seasons. Max (Jason Behr) shows up in the first episode with red hair, perhaps from his stint in The Shipping News. Joe Pantoliano joins the cast as another shape-shifting caretaker but his method of dispatching too- inquisitive humans, though claimed to be "how shape-shifters kill", is completely different, thus insulting the audience's intelligence.
Despite the shortcomings of the third season (undoubtedly the reason for its quick demise) the series is worth the watch as each of its young actors are extremely talented and made up for some shoddy plot development. Then you can look up their more contemporary works.