To be honest, I was very leery of Star-Crossed at first. This was for a variety of reasons, not least of which being I’ve been burned by The CW in the past, but I gave the show a shot for exactly one reason – aliens. And I’m very glad I did.
The basic premise is that in 2014 a group of aliens called the Atrians landed on Earth, and one alien child named Roman (Matt Lanter) was helped by a human child named Emery (Aimee Teegarden). Fast forward ten years to 2024, and the humans are attempting to “integrate” the Atrians into their society instead of keeping them solely confined to the Atrain-only Sector.
The plan is that a group of high-schoolers, known as the Atrain Seven, will attend school alongside their human cohort. Naturally, this means Roman and Emery meet each other again after ten years apart, and things take off from there.
The concept of discrimination against the Atrian Seven and the Sector often hits close to home given the USA’s history of unfair treatment of racial minorities, and these scenes where individuals, whose only outer differentiating feature are a series of tattoos, are treated differently can be hard to watch. I’m hoping the show will make more of an effort to bring this potentially very interesting social critique to light in future episodes.
But what makes Star-Crossed so engrossing after only a few episodes? And why should you give it a chance of you’re not watching it already? Read on to find out! I’ve tried to avoid spoilers, so you should be able to read freely.
Not Just a Love Story
In spite of the fact that the show is called Star-Crossed (after “star crossed lovers”) and evokes Romeo and Juliet, the potential romance between Emery and Roman hasn’t played into the plotlines in a major way.
Instead the show seems much more interested in exploring the politics of Atrain society and how it intermeshes – or more often doesn’t – with the human world. By focusing on the politics rather than the love story, Star-Crossed has given itself more scenarios to work with, most of which can turn disastrous at any given time.
Mixing Up Dynamics
In yet another shift away from your typical love story, Roman has actively avoided Emery in most of the show’s four episodes so far. Of course, it never works, and he always has to end up talking to her. But still, not the best way to interact with your potential crush. It sure is fun to watch though.
As the show moves forward, it continues producing odd character pairings, but it’s often these pairings that make the plotlines so compelling. Tired of the cliché? Pick up Star-Crossed and get a burst of fresh air.
Secrets and Lies
As if the tension wasn’t already high enough, Star-Crossed also insists on throwing in some good old intrigue. By the end of episode one, the secrets are piled high, and they just keep getting higher. Some of the secrets are being sifted out , but just when one secret is ousted, three more take its place. It makes for fascinating television, at the very least.
It’s kind of hard to keep track of who’s a good guy and who’s a bad guy on this show, but that’s definitely a good thing. Just when you think you’ve gotten someone’s motivations figured out, they’ll sweep the rug out from under you.
It’s also handy that Star-Crossed doesn’t seem willing to give the viewer an easy way out. So far, the supposed bad guys have pretty justifiable motives, if problematic means of dealing with their problems. It’ll be interesting to see if the show keeps this up in the future.
Twist and Shout
I’m pretty sure that every episode so far has added a new piece to Star-Crossed’s puzzle in the last minute or so of the episode. The show is slow-building these pieces, waiting to integrate them into the main plot, but boy, when they finally do put these pieces into action, you won’t want to miss it!
So far, Star-Crossed has proven a very entertaining way to spend an hour. If the show can continue to balance the romance and plot while providing more adequate social critique, it could be a very good addition to my TV lineup.
If you’re already watching the show, let us know what your favorite part is! If you’re not watching it, you should definitely check Star-Crossed out. All of the episodes are available online through The CW, and new episodes air Mondays at 9 p.m.