Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 64% (Critics) / 100% (Audience)
Created By: Meredith Averill
Written By: Cole Haddon
Starring: Aimee Teegarden, Matt Lanter, Malese Jow and Grey Damon
Network: The CW
Synopsis:About an epic romance between a human girl and an alien boy when he and eight others of his kind are integrated into a suburban high school 10 years after they landed on Earth and were consigned to an internment camp. (Source)
The underlying premise of what would happen if aliens looking for refuge were to crash land on US soil is a good one. I especially found the reaction that the US government, military and citizens in general had to ring very true. We would shoot first, quarantine second and ask questions much, much later. So the alien Atrian race being put on a combination internment camp/reservation while activists on both sides work to integrate the Atrians into human society is intriguing. And creating a comparison between the integration of the Atrian teenagers into high school with the integration of black students into Central High School in 1957 was a very smart use of real world history to bolster the onscreen story even though the show seems to go out of it’s way to not mention it at all.
The dual subplots of the pro-integration people not being quite as benevolent as they present themselves and the Atrian’s possibly secretly plotting to take over Earth are also interesting and I would hope that those subplots would get some room to grow instead of being buried under the teen drama/love story.
I do think that the show would have benefited by making the aliens look a bit more alien looking. Maybe add a brow or forehead prosthesis or pointy ears. I would have even taken some type of odd contact lenses to make the eyes more alien. But slapping a couple tattoos on a group of ridiculously photogenic young men and women straight out of The CW casting mold makes the fear and hatred directed towards the Atrians a bit of a tough sell. This type of reaction was much more believable when the ALIEN NATION series did it because those characters looked and behaved incredibly alien but on STAR-CROSSED it is not coming across that well.
It would be like if a cruise ship full of Maori crash landed on US shores and the citizenry went all xenophobic out of the blue. Tattoos are not inherently frightening, people!
The two actors at the center of the love story that is the main plot of this show have almost zero romantic chemistry. Matt Lanter is a decent actor and he was very good in all the facets of emotion he was asked to convey but Aimee Teegarden was just so one note at all times and really needs to step her game up if this whole Romeo and Juliet from Mars thing is going to work.
Final Verdict: Not an instant attention grabber but surprisingly better than I thought it would be. STAR-CROSSED is more on the shallow ROSWELL side of the drama scale when it has the potential to be much more. The social allegories and shadowy conspiracy angles are vastly more interesting than the love story so it will be interesting to see if this show decides to build on it’s strengths or try to make it’s weaker aspects the showcase of the series.