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Star-Crossed -Episode 1.01-Preview-More Than What You See

Before I begin my preview I am going to start with a timeline of sorts just to show how my final reaction has been changed.

When Oxygen was first picked up, I was genuinely intrigued by what I read. As a fan of Roswell, there was a big void in my heart that needed filling. As I read other comments, I realized I wasn't the only who had the same void. Soon I was reading everywhere that this was Roswell/Beauty and the Beast 2.0, and I'll admit it stung and put me off a little.
Then the news broke that the name was changing into Star-Crossed(Not a Fan)and I realized what I may be in for, but like Roswell, there could be so much more to the story than an ill-fated romance.
I read the script over the summer and was more or less optimistic about what I read, sure the aliens just had tattoos, and there was some cheesy dialogue, but at times I saw glimpses of what the show was really going for, a modern/future day twist to segregation and forbidden love between races. I was intrigued enough to know that if handled right, it had potential, and to want to recap the episodes for this site.
When the CW announced the spring schedule and put Star-Crossed on Monday nights as a lead-in, I started to think, well maybe this isn't that good, maybe everyone is right.
Then the promo spots started appearing. The show was not making too much of a case for itself with the name, and the cheesy promo spots about there being only one human who understood them(Eye Roll). My excitement started dwindling, my friends were making fun of it, and even I was skeptical.
I mean look at this poster...Major Cheese.

Then I had the chance to take a look at the first two episodes of Star-Crossed. I'm glad I never backed out of it. After watching them I am genuinely excited about the potential of the series. Everyone seems to expect The 100 to be pretty good with it's post apocalypse earth and politics(romance and love triangles withstanding), I feel you should expect the same from Star-Crossed, there are politics, activist groups, pretty amazing future tech, and the potential for compelling plots moving forward.
So here I am going to give you a preview of what to expect from the pilot, and hopefully whet your appetite to watch.

Who: The Atrian's have been living in a guarded sector since their arrival and subsequent capture ten years ago, living separate from the humans, until now.
Roman's father, the Atrian Leader, thinks it's a good idea to integrate with the humans in order to prove they mean no harm to them. So they choose seven Atrian teens to go to the local high school.Which include his own daughter and son, Roman (Matt Lanter).

What: The Atrian Seven are met with protestors and anger, Roman thinks humans aren't all they are cracked up to be. Well until he spies Emery, a girl who showed him kindness on arrival day all those years ago. Emery(Aimee Teegarden), while intrigued by the Atrians is distracted, why? Well it has to do with her friend Julia, and I'll leave it at that... Any who's, they'll be drawn together by circumstance rekindling a flame that once was. (Way to quickly I might add.0 There will be a love triangle(It's still the C-Dub)and it's all Romeo and Juliet, West Side Story, so buckle in for that. The Atrian's appear to follow Roman's father's mantra for wanting peace, but things are always more complicated than they appear. The Humans are resistant to accept the Atrians into their world, and a group called the Red-hawks seems hell-bent on stopping sending the Atrians away, either back into space or into the grave.

When: Earth 2024

Afterthoughts: Here's what doesn't work for me in the pilot episode, the romance between the two leads, Yes they share a past (a very brief one), but it feels contrived and forced, and Miss Teegarden seems quite bored when it comes to these scenes. Elsewhere she holds up well, but when it comes time to deliver cheesy dialogue and longing stares, she checks out. This would be a problem if romance where the only thing the show had going for it, it's not. The glimpses of the Humans vs. Atrians we get in the pilot mixed with some of the future tech make for a compelling reason to watch, one that gets even better in the second episode. Since this a preview of the pilot I won't get into the second episode but I implore you, give it until at least the end of the second episode before deciding if it's dead in the water.

For me, most pilots are never stellar, they have so much exposition to introduce it makes it hard to see the potential and you tune out. This one mainly focuses on Roman(Lanter) and Emery(Teegarden), and their respective views on the Atrian invasion, Confinement, and Integration as well as dealing with crossing paths once more. The episode ends on a cliffhanger, but not one that I feel will make viewers want to set a date with the show, but will pique curiosity nonetheless. The cliffhanger has repercussions that will probably have a role in what makes the two leads so Star-Crossed(See what I did there?).

When I read the script I was disappointed that the Atrians (Who at the time were Orion's) had no apparent alien powers. I'm still curious as to if tattoo's, two hearts(Mentioned, not confirmed) and this-one-other-thing-I-will-not-mention-because-it's-a-major-spoiler are their only alien attributes.

Characters to watch: Gloria Valdez (Victoria Gabrielle Platt)- Her motives seem questionable, why is she, a human who seemingly hates the Atrians, intent on this integration?
The Red-Hawks-okay, while not really a character, the anti-alien group brings to mind the skinheads and the KKK when thinking of a real-life counterpart. I doubt they will stick to banners and yelling as the story progresses.
Grayson(Grey Damon)- He can't just be a pretty face, right?.....
Lukas (Titus Makin Jr.)- Emery's friend who is funny and charming, Hopefully he breaks out and is not just the token friend.

Episode MVP:Matt Lanter- out of the two leads, he seems to be the one who is more into the role, as a fan of 90210, not once did I see Lanter as Liam, he was Roman to me. He plays his role with a reserve, curiosity and wit that you'd expect from an alien being forced to integrate with a bunch of high-schoolers. He also carries the cheesy romance heavy scenes, because well, Teegarden seems unmoved.(Champagne problems, Ya'll!)

Episode LVP: Grayson- He can't just be a pretty face right? In this episode he's very Kyle Valenti to Teegarden's Liz Parker."I pine for you, why must you want to gawk after alien boy, am I not pretty?"

Why you should watch: It's airing against the Olympics, what else do you have to watch? (I kid, I Kid)
It's definitely got some growing to do, and the romance seems forced, but there are other things to look for. The politics within the Atrian Sector, the cool future tech, the Red-Hawks and their take on the Atrians, the government's take on the Atrians, and oh yeah that one-other-thing-I-will-not-mention-because-it's-a-major-spoiler and it's residual effects.

Final Grade: C+
While not a hit out of the gate, it's not a thud either(At least content wise, ratings will be another story)I argue that anyone dismissing it as BatB meets Roswell at least check it out first and then make your assumptions. I'm all for expression as long as you know what you're talking about. The show really does make the Atrian Culture seem foreign and inhuman yet similar, and the race and political stuff are handled nicely. it's worth a look.

SO what do you think? Will you check out Star-Crossed when it premieres Monday, February 17th @8/7c on the CW? What are you most excited about? Be sure to check out my official pilot recap after the episode airs!

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