J.D. Lafrance
Roswell: Season Two DVD Review

Roswell: Season Two

December 23, 2003

Director: Lawrence Trilling, Paul Shapiro, Bill L. Norton, Patrick R. Norris, Jefery Levy, Michael Lange, Allan Kroeker, Frederick King Keller, David Grossman, Bruce Seth Green, James A. Contner, Rodney Charters, ,
Starring: Jason Behr, Katherine Heigl, Brendan Fehr, Shiri Appleby, Majandra Delfino, William Sadler, Nick Wechsler, Colin Hanks, Desmond Askew, ,

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DVD Review

J.D. Lafrance

Those teenage Tabasco lovers are back with more conspiracies and alien love triangles in the state of weird that is Roswell.

At the end of season one Max and his alien buddies had their cover blown by releasing a signal that would announce their position to other aliens around the world. The summer then passed with no odd events until we catch up with the gang at the start of this season with Liz arriving back in town after blowing Max off, and a new owner of the UFO museum sets up shop with a (predictably) alterior motive. Then there’s the new waitress at the Crashdown Cafe who has her eye on Michael…

The first season pretty much blew its collective wad towards the end, exposing Max, Isobel, Michael and Tess to Sheriff Valenti and revealing the real reason they were on Earth – that Max was a king from another planet and Michael his first officer in an intergalactic war (natch). Isobel was destined to be with Michael, and Tess with Max, but with the exception of Tess, nobody sees this happening anytime soon (growing up as brothers and sisters doesn’t really help). So where is there left to go with the story now it’s grown out of its simple aliens-must-keep-selves-secret premise? Well, you introduce a new nasty called The Skins (name says it all) who also have the ability to look like regular humans, and you give the gang a new gizmo to puzzle over; in this case a Grenalith.

After twenty-two episodes of having Max and Liz pine over each other and then decide ‘maybe it ain’t gonna happen’, the prospect of another twenty-two doesn’t inspire much sympathy. You just want to slap them around the face and say ‘get on with it’. So when the Max from 2014 travels back in time to warn Liz they can never be together or they’ll lose the war, you just know that’s going to make the attraction all the more intense. Oh and remember the annoying cockney bloke from Go? He’s the new owner of the UFO museum; a crackpot abductee with a young daughter who has cancer and…Gee, maybe Max could cure her with his special powers…

Having said this, season two still has plenty of great moments, whether it’s the stand-alone episode ‘Summer of 47’ where a veteran recounts his experiences of the Roswell crash using the main cast as his characters in a neat duality play (Michael is a soldier, Maria a reporter etc) or ‘Meet The Dupes’, where four dopplegangers from New York arrive to cause trouble with their loud hair and Mickey Blue Eyes accents. There are neat post-modern recaps of the story so far at the beginning of every other episode as Maria tells the audience directly what’s going on like a teacher explaining to slow students. Fans will also be pleased to see she’s ditched the awful haircut she had at the start of the first run (the name Dwayne Dibbly springs to mind) in favour of long golden tresses. Sigh.

Like sequels, the next part in the story, however strong, automatically loses the element of originality. There are moments that stretch credibility here, but this is science-fiction after all. The first season was more restrained; basically a normal teen angst show with a bit of The X-Files thrown in. Here we have everything ramped up to eleven, and this is the best thing the creators of the show could have done. It also leaves them nowhere to go but up with season three, where credibility was lost forever and the show was cancelled.

Special Features:

As well as the commentaries that are broken up over the six discs (roughly one per disc), there’s a host (snigger) of bonus features to get under your skin (groan). First up is a rather nauseating clip-show of the more intimate moments for the girls called ‘A Little Something Extra For The Fans’, complete with uber romantic score. The Storyboard to Scene section is self-explanatory, while the Shiri and Majandra Show reveals the real driving force behind the show as the two girls reminisce about bullying the writers to give their characters better boyfriends, and how fans still come up to them in the street years later.

‘Here With Me: The Making of Roswell’ is a reasonably broad overview by the writers/cast/directors of the stand-out episodes of the season, or a total lovefest depending on your view of said show. Overall this is everything a fanboy (or girl) could want on a DVD.

J.D. is a freelance writer who is currently doing research for a book on the films of Michael Mann. He likes reading anything written by Jack Kerouac, James Ellroy, J.D. Salinger, Harlan Ellison or Thomas Pynchon. J.D. is currently addicted to the T.V. series 24 and enjoys drinking a lot of Sprite. This is not a blatant plug for the beverage but if they ever decided to give him a lifetime supply he certainly wouldn’t turn them down.
view all DVD reviews by JD Lafrance


Rating: 85%



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