Is it possible to find a connection with someone who was literally from another world? Would it be possible to fall in love with that person if the whole world was against it from happening? That's part of the premise behind the CW's new show "Star-Crossed," which had two people from different walks of life defying all of the odds. Sure, the results have been done before in different degrees, but the execution seemed to be somewhat better than the others.
"Star-Crossed" followed Emery Whitehill (Aimee Teegarden) crossed paths with Roman (Matt Lanter) on a regular basis, even though the odds were against them meeting again. The first time occured when they were both 6 years old. Emery was a young girl who found Roman hiding in the shed behind her house as he tried to hide from the people after him. It turned out that Roman was an Atrian boy that was on the alien spaceship that crash landed on Earth. The arrival of the Atrians caused widespread panic and left a body count in its wake. Emery allowed Roman to stay and brought him food, until he was taken away by soldiers. She believed that he dead and moved on with her life as ten years passed. Emery spent years in the hospital as she recovered from her illness and returned to high school as she met a potential suitor in Grayson (Grey Damon) who was the key to fitting in with the popular crowd, which included mean girl Taylor (Natalie Hall). Emery was also struggling with the rapidly failing health of her friend Julia (Malese Jow) and the arrival of a group of Atrian students attending her high school to see if they can become part of the human race. For ten years, Roman was interned at a very heavily guarded camp known as the Sector to keep them away from the human population. In a desperate act to save Julia's life, Emery and Julia head into the Sector for something to cure her; but they left nothing instead. Roman also decided to escape the camp to save his friends from getting into trouble, but he also made a risky move that could get him into greater trouble if he was caught. Will Roman's actions earn him a chance to be with Emery or a lifetime away from the only person he ever trusted?
In terms of questions, the show posed a few big ones, such as one involving the true extent of Roman's powers. Viewers saw that towards the end of the series that he was able to heal Julia by absorbing what made her so sick with the help of a needle and a red flower. The series premiere seemed to be working on two different stories to appease to two different types of viewers: mystery and romantic drama. The same thing can be said for other CW shows, but this show has managed to put a realistic spin on one of the most Science Fiction related stories on the network. The episode allowed the tension to properly build between the locals and the Atrians, which ended with Emery's father accidentally killing Roman's father who happened to be in the wrong place at the worst possible time. That plot point will likely serve as a major point in the human versus atrian story, and as a stumbling block in the budding Emery and Roman romance. Let's hope that the show doesn't make the mistake of pairing off Roman and Emery together too soon, because it would take a lot of the tension out of the series. Rushing an on-screen romantic pairing ended up hindering the CW's "Beauty and the Beast" in its second season, which forced a break-up between the main characters to keep things going smoothly. The audience needs to get to know the main characters before it can root for a pairing between Emery and Roman, which will likely happen because Lanter and Teegarden clearly have some strong chemistry that was slowly building through the premiere. Hopefully, the show will try to create some credible obstacles to keep Emery and Roman apart, while building up the proper amount of background for the characters in order for viewers to find out what happened during the ten years they were apart. Only time will tell if that's the case.
As for breakout performances, Lanter, Teegarden and Jow led the pack as three very different teenagers who had a lot more in common than they thought. Even though Lanter had played the brooding bad boy before on "90210," he managed to bring a level of vulnerability to Roman as he tried to find a human connection with Emery. He managed to bring the right amount of calm, in his scenes with Teegarden, and attitude when he was forced to confront some high school bullies. Lanter provided some strong sarcasm that made viewers root for his character, even when he was potentially in the wrong. He also managed to make Roman's vulnerability a weakness as he helped heal Jow's ailing Julia. Teegarden had the challenging task of becoming the every girl who struggled to fit in and still managed to find love in the least likely of places. She provided Emery with a sense of innocence and sadness as she tried to move on from her time at the hospital. Teegarden gave Emery a realistic dilemma about whether to follow her head or her heart when it came to making good choices, but it's too early to tell whether she made the right call. Teegarden and Lanter shared a friendly rapport that could turn into believable on-screen chemistry as the season unfolded. Let's hope that the show will provide some strong material to connect with their chemistry. Jow, on the other hand, had the challenging task of being labeled in a minor supporting role as Emery's sick friend, until Lanter's Roman saved her life. She provided Julia with the right balance of sadness and acceptance as she learned to accept her possibly grim fate. It should be interesting to see if her character will change in any way after Roman used his powers on her. Will Jow's Julia be the same or completely different? Hopefully, the results will be interesting either way.
"Star-Crossed" premiered on February 17th and airs Mondays at 8:00 pm on the CW.
Verdict: The show decided to wisely allow the relationship between the main character evolve naturally, while the tension slowly grew around them in an effort to not make their story the central part of each episode.
TV Score: 3 out of 5 stars
1 Star (Mediocre)
2 Stars (Averagely Entertaining)
3 Stars (Decent Enough to Pass Muster)
4 Stars (Near Perfect)
5 Stars (Gold Standard)