Star-Crossed, the latest romantic drama on The CW, decides to throw a very specific wrench into the works as an obstacle for the show’s young lovers: one happens to be an alien.
Including aliens to entice viewers is not exactly a new idea for television. The X-Files did it, Roswell did it, you get the idea.
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The CW appears to be trying to capitalize on the current genre trend on TV with Star-Crossed, and the only way the network knows how to try to bring in viewers lately is by adding a love story to the mix as well. And to top it all off, they appear to have based the love story on this show on one of the most well-known fictional couples of all time, Romeo and Juliet.
But I have to be honest. There’s just nothing new to see here.
Star-Crossed is about the — you guessed it — star-crossed love between a human girl, Emery, and an alien boy, Roman. Or rather, an Atrian boy, as his people are from the planet Atria, which they escaped from some time before the pilot episode, during which their ship crash-lands on Earth seeking refuge after leaving the dying planet.
So we’ve got the typical boy-meets-girl story, except it’s supposedly complicated by the whole alien thing. However, in my opinion, there’s really not a whole lot of complication to be seen.
First off, the Atrians look almost exactly like humans, aside from some tattoos covering their faces and bodies. This is awfully convenient, and not exactly believable if you think too hard about what aliens from other planets presumably different from Earth would probably look like.
Secondly, it’s not like there’s an ongoing, open conflict going on between the Atrians and humans. The Atrians are all rounded up and kept in the Sector, guarded by American military and kept fairly controlled there. They’re not exactly friendly towards one another, and admittedly there are small skirmishes, along with a healthy dose of hostility and prejudice. But there aren’t constant battles in the streets or anything that would keep Roman and Emery in constant danger while trying to see each other.
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And like most shows on The CW, both Roman and Emery are young, white, straight, able-bodied and beautiful. With all that and the lack of any visible differences or major current confrontations between the two … species(?) that the two come from, it’s hard to believe they really have much to overcome to be together.
The second episode of Star-Crossed, titled “These Violent Delights Have Violent Ends,” touches a little more on the differences between the two groups, such as differentiation in religious practices, and tries to introduce more themes on equality and intolerance. There’s an interesting bit of deception on the part of one character that viewers may not initially expect, but it’s still not especially shocking or all that original.
I am prepared to cautiously continue watching Star-Crossed in the hopes that the initial episodes of its first season just need to work out some kinks, but so far, the bedrock for a strong show just isn’t there. It has shaky potential, but it needs to rise above cliche tropes and offer more than the same old, same old in order to keep viewers hooked.
Come on, Star-Crossed. Show us there’s intelligent life over on the planet CW. Shake things up, add more interesting storylines and prove to us that you’re the new little alien show that could.
Star-Crossed premieres tonight at 8pm on The CW.
(Image courtesy of The CW)