Star-Crossed, the second pilot I watched during my first day at Comic-Con, has one of the most intriguing, although not entirely original, set-ups that I’ve heard coming from the new fall TV season. In 2014, peaceful aliens arrive on Earth to simply find a new home; however, we humans assume they are here for war. Ten years later, we finally begin to integrate them into our society.
In a moving scene in the prologue, a young human girl’s family takes in a young alien boy soon after his ship arrives, but their gesture of good will ends in apparent disaster. This being a CW show, two things soon become evident. First, when the action jumps to the year 2024, the primary setting is high school. Second, the aliens must come from a planet that spawns only the hottest-looking young men and women. (We tell them apart only by their exotic, tattoo-like markings.)
Leading the pack is Matt Lanter, fresh off 90210. (We also tell him apart by his awful hairstyle.) In the panel following the screening, he claimed that Star-Crossed is “so different from 90210. That was a teen soap.” He further stated that this show has that aspect, but also a social element. Plus, he’s looking forward to the “dark sci-fi stuff”. After watching the pilot, I’m also looking forward to that. But there’s little to prove we’re going to actually see it.
Aimee Teegarden (Friday Night Lights) plays the little girl all grown up and echoed Lanter’s comment, “I love sci-fi; that’s my jam.” In fact, that seems to be the genre the creators are emphasizing in selling the show. Executive Producer Josh Applebaum (Alias) said during the panel, “One of the sources of inspiration was integration in schools”, but he quickly added that the show was going to do “a lot of sci-fi things”.
Like I said, we don’t experience many of those things in the pilot. I’m semi-interested in seeing the show develop and will probably give it a couple episodes to increase the sci-fi and decrease the teen drama. If it doesn’t, I already watch an excess of shows that I’m too old for; I don’t need one more underaged love triangle. On top of that, I get a strong vibe of a show we’ve seen before: Roswell. Star-Crossed is a lot like Roswell except its aliens are out in the open.
Speaking of underaged love triangles, actor Grey Damon, a veteran of both 90210 and Friday Night Lights, plays the human boyfriend of Teegarden’s character. Describing his character as “the straight man” during the panel, he unintentionally drew laughter from the audience. But he scrambled to continue, “Hey, the world is changing. We better all get on board!” An appropriate sentiment for the content of Star-Crossed, but one I’d like to see better realized for the execution.