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.