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Roswell, New Mexico

TV review by
Joyce Slaton, Common Sense Media
Roswell, New Mexico TV Poster Image
Aliens of all kinds in worthy update of '90s cult fave.

Parents say

age 13+
Based on 1 review

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.

Positive Messages

Messages of courage and teamwork shine through, as a diverse group of friends join forces (some supernatural) to resist evil in many forms. 

Positive Role Models & Representations

Contrasting portrayals of first-generation immigrants and Mexican Americans who've lived in U.S. for a long time make intriguing portrait of nuanced type of racism not often found on TV. Liz is a tough, strong young woman who fights for those she loves; Max is a kind man who searches for answers about who he is, where he came from. 

Violence

Violence is mild: two men stand chest-to-chest bristling (standoff later turns into a passionate kiss); a drive-by shooting injures a character but she is quickly healed by supernatural means. 

Sex

Characters are young, cute, interested; expect flirting, dating, kissing, both same- and opposite-sex. One scene shows woman in her underwear on top of man with blindfold on, implying some type of BDSM; she says he promised to "obey" her "all night." A woman is in a bra in a nonsexual context (examining a bruise). Jokes can have a blue tinge, as when one character accuses another of masturbating to Russian literature. 

Language

Language includes "ass," "bitch," "hell." Insults can have racial bent, like when one character says he thought a Latina went "back to her own country," while another woman says she thought that character was deported. 

Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

One character has a problem with alcohol, winds up in a drunk tank, having been arrested for what he did while drinking. A character refers to smoking "weed" in his trailer, another works at a bar; expect to see scenes there with characters drinking cocktails, beers, shots of liquor. A character refers to being "tipsy." 

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Roswell, New Mexico is a show about aliens (both political and from outer space) living in the town famous for a reputed 1947 UFO crash. It's a reboot of the show Roswell, which debuted in 1999 and was itself based on the Roswell High book series by Melinda Metz. Most of the new show's content is appropriate for young teens and tweens: Violence is soft-pedaled, as in a scene in which a young woman who was the victim of a drive-by shooting is instantly healed by otherworldly means; viewers see blood on her clothes, but no gore. A character works in a bar where people drink shots, cocktails, and beer; a character refers to being "tipsy," and another talks about having "weed" in his trailer. Language includes "ass," "bitch," and "hell," and insults can have an racial slant. Expect both same- and opposite-sex kissing, romantic triangles, and the occasional scene like one in which a woman is shown straddling a man, both in their underwear, while he wears a blindfold and she mentions that he promised to "obey" her "all night." 

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Parent of a 13, 13, 14, and 15 year old Written byDio fry January 31, 2019

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What's the story?

Jumping off from the aliens-live-among-us! series Roswell of the late '90s, ROSWELL, NEW MEXICO returns to the town made famous by the reputed 1947 alien spaceship crash, and finds Liz (Jeanine Mason) and Max (Nathan Parsons) aged up to 20-somethings. They haven't spoken in a decade, but after Liz loses her job and returns to town, they meet again, and soon she's swept up in drama both political (anti-immigrant racism threatens to tear her small town apart) and personal (where Liz goes, love triangles will follow!). But when Liz discovers that Max, his sister Isobel (Lily Cowles), and their constant companion Michael (Michael Vlamis) are actually aliens who arrived in her town's legendary crash, she has a whole new set of complications on her hands. 

Is it any good?

One literal meaning of the word "alien" is other, an idea intriguingly explored in this update of 1999-2002 series Roswell, which sews up heady notions about assimilation in its mythology. On the first Roswell, Liz and Max were high school students, dealing with the alienation of adolescence. In this savvy redo, they're aged up to 20-somethings, and their unease is given a political spin. Liz, named Liz Parker in Roswell, is now Liz Ortecho, a first-generation immigrant in a town beset with racial hatred. The biomedical project that took her out of town for more than a decade has been defunded ("Because someone needs a wall," she snipes in the pilot), and now she's stuck back in her hometown, where people can't decide whether to hate her more for her undocumented dad's status or for the car accident that killed three people and that everyone blames on Liz's party-girl sister. 

Liz's status is nicely contrasted with that of Sheriff Valenti (Rosa Arredondo), who hails from a Mexican American family that's been in the U.S. for generations. The Ortecho family, Valenti complains, makes "good immigrants" look bad: Why can't they just assimilate into American culture like her family and keep their heads down? As another form of alien-ness atop Isobel, Michael, and Max's otherworldly status, this conflict is intriguing and fresh, lifting this series above just another average supernatural show. 

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about why shows about aliens and space are popular. What about these types of setups are appealing to viewers? Where's the attraction? Do you enjoy shows about otherworldly happenings or people? 

  • Why is it common to reboot TV shows and movies? Does it demonstrate a lack of fresh inspiration, or do some stories deserve to be told again?

  • How do the characters on Roswell, New Mexico demonstrate courage and teamwork? Why are these important character strengths?

TV details

Character Strengths

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