Who: “Star Crossed,” currently airs on network TV, specifically the CW, Mondays at 8:00 PM.
What: “Star Crossed,” a science fiction romance depicting an Earth of the not-too-distant future on which crashes a host of refugee aliens called “Atrians” who seek asylum and shelter from their home planet. The Earth population does not welcome them with open arms, however, and they are forced to co-exist by being relegated to a “sector” to live, except for a group of teenagers who are permitted under armed guard to attend a local high school. One of the aliens and one of the humans instantly connect due to having met as children, but societal prejudices reign supreme.
In September 2014, a spaceship crash lands outside Baton Rouge, and the survivors are met with hostility by American military and law enforcement. They are rounded up and herded into a camp called the “Sector,” where they are forced to live. Roman, as a child, is able to hide temporarily in the shed of Emery, a young girl whose father works for the government. Emery watches, however, as soldiers come to take Roman, shooting him in the process and leading her to believe he has died.
In September 2024, Emery (Aimee Teegarden) is attending her senior year of high school, after having been previously and semi-permanently living in a hospital ward due to having an acute auto-immune disorder. Somehow, she was cured and is able to attend her first semester along with the Atrians, who are being allowed to integrate, one might say, for the very first time too. While her welcome is inauspicious, the Atrians are challenged by anti-alien protests and bullied by many students inside the school. Yet, Roman (Matt Lanter), now grown, catches sight of the kind, shy girl who fed and sheltered him when he was young. While the Atrians have trouble adjusting to high school – and more trouble than the average American teen – Emery finds herself instantly accepted, yet she is immediately drawn to Roman, as he is to her. This bond is strengthened when Emery and her friend Julia (Malese Jow, The Vampire Diaries), her friend from the hospital who is sick with the same disorder, sneak into the forbidden Sector looking for an alien herb believed to have curative properties. Roman helps Emery to escape; Emery returns the favor when confrontations between humans and Atrians reach fever pitch. It seems the two are “star crossed” in love and in life, doomed to an attraction that can only bring them difficulty in the end, though Roman, at least for now, is willing to take the risk and subvert the taboos.
When: The series premiered on the CW, Monday, February 16, 2014, at 8:00 PM.
Where: The show is set in what appears to be Baton Rouge, Louisiana.
Why: As a lover of all science fiction, I was intrigued by the premise of the show, even though it seemed to combine Roswell with Romeo and Juliet. I had no high expectations, however, as the teen angst quotient had potential to be rather high with this one, for better or for worse.
How – as in How’s It Going? (THOUGHTS…at present)
As May sweeps round to a close and “up fronts,” when the new season’s schedules are announced by each of the major networks, are poised to begin, the networks have been making sweeping and swift final decisions regarding what stays and what goes, i.e. what is renewed for another season and what is canceled. Because the purpose of this blog is to be more editorial about particular shows this viewer watches rather than a major entertainment news outlet to report scoops, spoilers, and other television-related sound bytes (for now), this blogger will report the cancellations and reviews as I have time to write about them.
Yesterday, the CW canceled mid-season freshman science fiction drama Star-Crossed, among others. Behind on the show given life/blog balancing issues (hey, I’m new at this!), this viewer has watched six episodes of the original thirteen ordered; twelve have aired. The original review of the pilot can be found here.
This viewer rated the pilot three stars, meaning there was some things I liked, and some things I didn’t. What I generally liked: the character of Roman and the performance of the actor portraying him, i.e. Matt Lanter; the visual effects, sparingly used but stunning; and the character of Julia, portrayed by Malese Jow. What I generally didn’t like: the painfully pedantic parallel to prejudice and bigotry as historically and presently relevant in this country; the adult actors as a whole; the lead actress, Aimee Teegarden, and her portrayal of “star-crossed” lover Emery; and the overly hormonal and angst-ridden teenager/first world problem undercurrent of the story, target audience and airing network aside.
Three stars typically calls for a six episode trial, so, to that end, this viewer accomplished watching the three-star trial number of episodes. Unfortunately, my opinions didn’t really improve, though they didn’t deteriorate, either. Star-Crossed is a largely predictable affair, with requisite tropes, including plucky best friend, obstacle love triangle, the forbidden love underlying the title, and an ongoing battle between prejudiced humans and aliens alike. This viewer believes the story offered true potential, but the dialogue writing was somewhat lackluster, and the performances covered such a wide range of engaging to wooden, never more clearly than between the two leads. It was difficult for me to get excited about watching it; it was such a derivative combination of science fiction influences as well as saccharine and formulaic romance. Still, I hope Matt Lanter can find a new project; he’s a handsome, charismatic, and talented actor.
The now series finale is scheduled to air Monday, May 12, 2014, at 8:00 PM on the CW. While there will no doubt be some disappointed fans out there, this viewer is going to cut losses and stop watching the program, for among the six episodes that I have watched, the pattern was the same: Emery and Roman look longingly at each other; Roman spurs her attempts at communication for her “safety;” Emery seeks solace with the son of the leaders of the Red Hawks, the anti-alien answer to the Ku Klux Klan, who also happens to have feelings for her; violence brews between the Red Hawks and the “Trags,” the Atrians’ answer to modern terrorism/revolutionaries seeking to better the plight of their people; and so it goes and so on. Like I previously suggested, the story had potential, but as this viewer has encountered no real loose ends in the six episodes I’ve seen (other than whether the star-crossed lovers can acknowledge and consummate their forbidden love), I will save time, stop watching, and remove it from the blog’s watch list.
Fluctuating to generally poor ratings couldn’t buoy the drowning potential of Star-Crossed, despite the CW’s generally forgiving nature where ratings are concerned, as it continues to stand up to the other four networks. Sadly, it wasn’t the best offering out there, either, as middling production qualities met unrealized story possibility. RIP Star-Crossed. I won’t miss you too much, but I’m sure others will.
THE FUTURE OF THE SHOW:
Canceled! After six episodes, this viewer has officially stopped watching and removed it from the watch list. One episode remains and will air on Monday, May 12, 2014, at 8:00 PM.