50 of 53 people found the following review helpful
on November 29, 2005
Roswell came onto the scene in 1999, following Dawson's Creek in the WB lineup. The first two seasons were broadcast on the WB before the rights to the third season were picked up by UPN, which aired the final 18 episodes in the 2001-2002 television season.
I never watched Roswell while it was on television, but after reading a good review about the first season, purchased the DVD set and was hooked on the story. Both the first and second season sets were quite good and I was certainly looking forward to the third and final season when it hit DVD stands earlier this year.
Roswell follows the lives of alien-human hybrids Max Evans (Jason Behr), Isabel Evans (Katherine Heigl) and Michael Guerin (Brendan Fehr) as they try to live their lives as normally as possible in the alien-crazed town of Roswell, New Mexico. Their secrets were safe until Max used his powers to save Liz Parker (Shiri Appleby), bringing Liz and her friend Maria (Majandra Delfino) into the secret.
Over the course of the first two seasons, Sheriff Jim Valenti (William Sadler), his son Kyle (Nick Wechsler) and Alex Whitman (Colin Hanks) found out about the aliens secret. Alex was killed at the end of season two by yet another alien-hybrid, Tess Harding (Emilie deRavin) who was carrying Max's son, the heir to the throne on their home planet. All of these aspects play a part in the start of the third season.
Liz and Max, torn apart in season two by Max's relationship with Tess, are back together and in the very first episode, they are trying desperately to find a way to find Max's son. Throughout the season, that is one of the big story lines, as Max searches for the son that is rightfully his. He knows that Tess left Earth to return to her home planet, and he wants to find a way back to save his son. As the season, and the series, draw to a close, Tess returns to Earth to bring Max his son, who is 100 percent human, and Max, knowing he can't raise a son, gives him up for adoption.
The story line between Max and Liz was the main motivation in season one and it again takes center stage in season three. Liz's father forbids the two from dating, even at one point, sending her off to boarding school in Vermont. These two actors share amazing chemistry and their relationship is an incredibly believable one straight to the final episode. You really get the sense that these two love each other. When Max is supposedly killed while rescuing Valenti from a fire (and the requisite bad guys), Liz, at boarding school in Vermont, has the sudden feeling that he is dead.
Michael and Maria have quite possibly the stormiest relationship in town. Their on again, off again, human-alien relationship is put to incredible tests. Michael struggles in school, takes on another job in addition to his work at the Crash Down Cafe, Liz's parents' restaurant. All of this is tough on the relationship between the two characters, but again, as the series winds down, the viewer begins to realize just how much they mean to each other. Maria, on another note, gets her dream chance to be a singer, but the realities of the "Music Industry" send her back to Roswell.
Isabel, we find out as the season opens, is in a relationship with Jesse Ramirez (Adam Rodriquez), a lawyer in her father's firm, who is eight years older than she is. She struggles with the truth about herself and her feelings for Jesse and how the two should intertwine. A visit from beyond from Alex helps convince her that Jesse is indeed the one she should be with. The two get married, but it is only after Isabel is shot that Jesse finds out the secret about his wife, her brother and their friend. This storyline is Isabel's strongest story line of the three seasons, by far. She showed her acting chops (which can now be seen on the ABC hit Grey's Anatomy) in fine form.
Valenti and his son Kyle, as possessors of the alien secret, are always in on the goings on of the aliens, but in this season, their parts were not as great as in the first two. They both have major parts in a couple of episodes, particularly as the season drew to a close. but ultimately, the two characters were not as central to the show as they could have been. Valenti's career as a singer (he was fired as sheriff in season two) is an interesting turn of events, however.
The final episode was very well done and everyone involved should be commended for wrapping up the series in a solid way, a way that brought closure to everything. The three aliens, Liz, Maria and Kyle, all pack up after a near sniper attack at graduation, where Max saved his friends and MIchael, in turn, saved Max, and leave town. Valenti, back in a uniform as a deputy (You've got to start somewhere), helps them get out of town and we hear, like we did in the very first episode, a journal entry from Liz, as she descibes how her life is now that she's left Roswell. We see her and Max's wedding and we see her father, reading the journal, finding out just all that had happened in the last three years of his daughter's life, as the van with the six friends leaves the church where Max and Liz tied the knot, and rides off into the sunset.
As far as extras go, this set isn't bad. There are four commentary tracks, including a great one from Creator Jason Katims on the finale. The only bad thing about these tracks, is each of them features only one person, which can be a little boring, but for the most part, they are informative.
There is a featurette on the making of season three and all that went into the final chapter of Roswell, as well as a short feature on Shiri Appleby's DVD tour in Japan, where we see the actress promoting the first season on DVD in Japan.
All in all, this was a solid set. The series wrapped up in solid fashion, leaving no terribly loose ends. Anyone who tuned in from the beginning certainly should have been happy with the way things turned out. It was a fitting end.
39 of 43 people found the following review helpful
on June 2, 2005
We live in a pretty cool time. We can "own" films and TV shows, watch them over and over at home with big screen sets and kickin' sound and don't need to be rich to do it.
So when Roswell Season One was first released, I was pretty happy. As season Three finds its way to our hands, the cycle is complete.
I had a chance to meet and interview Brendan Fehr and he was a little surprised to find a middle-aged guy (me) who liked the series so much. I am and remain an unabashed groupie for Roswell.
I've always liked different stuff - Twin Peaks remains my favorite TV series - but I came to the first Roswell episode not expecting much. I was quickly hooked and I'm a bit puzzled by anyone who might wonder why. It might not be for every taste but it's hard to deny the quality of the work.
The series was impeccably shot. Sound, editing, music - it was all top notch. The first season's claustrophobic setting (the small city of Roswell) lent itself well to the story and allowed the characters to establish bonds before moving the series into a wider arena.
At the core of the series was (IMO) one of the all-time great love stories: Max and Liz. The chemistry was simply breathtaking and I can't recall a show with two more attractive young leads who seemed truly be attracted to each other. And when the bond starts by Max saving Liz's life, it's strong from the start. More than once I was swept with emotion, watching the scenes play out. Yes, there are some lame parts of all three seasons. Yes, there needs to be a suspension of disbelief in order to buy into the show. And as far as going on to more seasons, I think the show was working within a built-in box that had nowhere to really go. Like Lost and 24, it got harder and harder to keep the momentum and twists building.
Still - it was excellent. I've missed it over the years and am so grateful for the DVDs. Roswell was a perfect combination of movie/TV genres: teen love, thriller, science fiction, comedy, cliff-hanger ...
I wish all the actors well and hope they remain as connected with each other as fans of the show are connected to them.
25 of 30 people found the following review helpful
on February 6, 2006
Having enjoyed the first two seasons of Roswell, I wanted to enjoy the third season. I did up to a point, but objectively the series fell apart in the third year, and was brought to a merciful end after 18 episodes. This makes the season three set a poor value in both quantity and quality -- four shows short of a normal season of television, and deficient in imagination, continuity, and overall execution.
I believe the young actors in this series improved throughout their tenure in Roswell, but this is against the backdrop of declining script quality. The writing ignored logic at so many points, that anyone not in the grip of blind fannish adoration for this series would be quite annoyed.
To top it off, Jonathan Frakes produces some of the most inane audio commentary for a TV episode I've ever heard. Announcing the characters and actors as they come on the screen -- like we don't know who the stars of the show are???
What led to the demise of Roswell is probably the lack of a good story arc for the third season. For the first half of the year, Max was looking for his son, taken from him in season two by the duplicitous Tess (played by Emilie de Ravin, currently appearing in LOST on ABC). Then, Max loses interest in that quest. Isabel inexplicably abandons all caution and common sense, marrying a man she has known but a few short months. Inevitably this leads to conflict, since she decides to deceive him about her alien heritage. When her ex-lover from the home planet shows up on their honeymoon, more silliness ensues. Michael and Maria are together, then they split up, then they get back together, kind of, and finally Maria decides to commit. Colin Hanks comes back as a ghost (sort of) in one episode -- which seemed like an act of desperation to me.
Certainly there are enjoyable moments, and fans of the first two seasons will want to see the third. But keep your expectations low. Probably one of the best shows of the year, the one that is truest to the characters, is the episode about what the gang did on New Year's Eve. Maria and ex-Sherriff Valenti get to show their musical talents in several shows, Valenti with his country rock band the Kit Shickers, and Maria with her guitar in an aborted attempt at a recording career. I actually enjoyed the musical bits. The band Ivy puts in a cameo appearance in the wedding party.
Season three was a year of crazy capers, confused lovers, badly choreographed fights and action scenes, and villians with about as much depth as cardboard cutouts. And don't forget a healthy dose of stupid, stupid writing. None of it really adds up to much, and in the end, a prophecy of doom leads the aliens and their human posse to abandon Roswell. The epilogue, which informs us via a voiceover that Romeo and Juliet eventually marry, is hardly fitting. We wanted to see the series mature and actually experience that wedding in a future episode. The first and last episodes of the season are reasonably good, but overall Roswell ended its TV run with a whimper, not an antimatter explosion.
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on August 12, 2005
I was so happy when the third season came out on DVD. I was always a fan of the show when it was on tv. I think that anyone who watches the show can relate to the characters. To me the show isn't just about some aliens. It's about the characters and the things they go through during the show. I wish that the show never ended. I'm so happy that the DVDs came out because now the show never has to end. Watching the DVD makes me feel like I have never seen it before. Each time I watch an episode of Roswell I get so into the story again that I forget that I already know what is going to happen and all the emotions from when I first saw it come back. Roswell is my #1 all time favorite show. All 3 seasons are great. I love all the episodes. There isn't a thing that I would want to change in the show. I think the producer and writers did a fantasic job with it. I love and hate the last episode of the show. I think it is a great episode but I hate the fact that it is the very last episode. I recommend that everyone go out and buy the complete Roswell series. It is worth it %100.
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on August 12, 2005
The critically acclaimed cult TV series built on the relationships between humans and aliens gets its send off with the release of its last season on DVD, after a rather bumpy ride through the archives of lost shows. The Final Chapter (Season 3) broadcast on UPN about three of four teenage aliens struggling to find their identity and purpose on earth brings Max Evans, Isabel Evans, Michael Guerin and determined Tess Harding to the questions we've all been seeking - what will become of the "Royal four?" Will they return to their home planet and save their race? And can Max and Liz ever be together? Its graduation year as the alien trio with their loyal human friends come of age in a period of uncertainty as the truth about who they are and their alien powers can no longer be hidden from the FBI.
The season takes off from S2 cliffhanger, Tess is gone leaving Liz & Max searching to find his son. What differentiates this season from the rest is each of the characters are now moving in different directions, representative of the end of high school and times gone by. The Crash Down café, focal point for the pilot & subsequent seasons where our friends would meet & hang out is much of a distant memory. As the Air Force and FBI close in, it becomes inevitable that its not only the aliens who are in danger, their human friends will also have to pay the price for keeping their secret. No one is safe anymore and home seems lost forever. Fans of the show are divided when it comes to Season 3 following its production by UPN. Where as WBs Season 1 blended a mix of high school anguish, romance & sci-fi action, Season 2 took the plot lines further focusing more on the sci-fi element. With the switch to UPN, Season 3 dwells even further into the whole conspiracy, still maintaining the romantic thread through. But much of the camaraderie of the earlier seasons is now gone, also serving as a reflection of life in itself - we all grow up and start to follow our own dreams and deal with our own issues. While some story lines might not have had the time to fully play out, S3 will always be a favorite for fans of this cult show, which in its 3 years run blended beautifully life's most simple human elements with the supernatural.
While the magnificent folks at RoswellMovie.net are working hard to convince executives to make a feature film based on the series, this is the one fans have been waiting for, loaded with all 18 Episodes From The Final Season, commentaries and bonus featurettes. Like the prior seasons, the release will feature new cutting-edge songs selected by the original Roswell music team - Those of you complaining about it take heart! The show would never have made it to DVD if this had not been done - while the original music of Roswell helped define the show, its a small price to pay to have the entire series available on DVD & in all fairness, the producers have managed to do justice with the new soundtracks. So sit back & enjoy the show presented in 1.78:1 widescreen with English Dolby 5.1.!
11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
on May 23, 2005
Season three of this incredibly emotional series is definitely bitter sweet for many "Roswell" fans. The series ends with the memorable quote by Liz, but it will take everything imaginable for the gang to find a sense of security and purpose that is finally achieved in the last episode. This journey has it's surprises, it has it's mysteries and definite heartache...but even though the characters are so tormented by change and life decisions they never lose sight of each other.
Max and Liz will experience the essence of forbidden love at the hands of their parents. Isabel will finally open up her heart to love, but in the process open doors to her past. Michael and Maria will confront the tests of self-discovery that will either tare them apart or make their bond closer than ever. Kyle (the definite comic relief within the weight of drama) will finally discover his true self-worth. A definite dynamic turn from his season one character. You will get a sense that each character has grown, that each has discovered a little bit more of themselves through the eyes of those they love. Each character will be pushed in terms of trust, faithfulness and ultimate sacrifice. I urge you to not to miss out on the conclusion of this captivating story because there are moments that are pure poetry within the maze of sci-fi action and fantasy that will take your breath away and remind you, once again, why you love Jason Katims, and the whole writing team who gave us characters we will always cherish.
"Thank-you For Visiting ROSWELL!" - You won't regret it!
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on August 9, 2005
Some people feel that the 3rd Season of Roswell isn't as good as the previous two. I disagree because I feel Season 3 goes back to how Season One was written involving Max and Liz's romance and also the funny episodes. This set is very entertaining and also concludes very well. Many people did not like the finale but I thought it was pretty good. Do you really believe any Roswell fan would have been happy with any ending? Still wishing for a movie though!
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on August 10, 2005
We watched all three seasons when it was on WB & UPN, so we were excited when the DVD's were released finally. I'm really sad this series is now over - it truly was one of the best sci-fi series on television. All the actors/characters were awesome. The storylines and the "love story" of Max (Jason Behr) and Liz (Shiri Appleby) is really what drew me to this series. It's too bad that the DVD for Season 3 didn't have more "special features" and commentary from the actors. I was hoping they would also include the extended season finale for the "Graduation" episode that was talked about by the producers, but had to be cut into one hour due to the network.
I'm looking forward to seeing more of Jason Behr in future projects.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on March 23, 2007
Roswell is still one of the best shows to have been on television. I watched, and was hooked, from the very beginning and have followed it from network to network. I still watch it on the Sci-Fi channel for the original music. For many fans who watched Roswell beginning in 1999, the music replacements on the DVDs are mostly disappointing. A few scenes that stand out for me are the beginning of Heat Wave (Santana/Everlast--Put Your Lights On), Alex's strip tease in Surprise (Quad City DJs) and any scene with Sarah McLachlan and Counting Crows songs. There are many more, of course, but those are a few which most lost the feeling and mood of the original episode. On their own, I think a lot of the replacement songs are great but in the context of Roswell, many of them just don't hold up to the original.
It is for this reason that I have started a petition to get Roswell re-released in high definition with ALL of the original music--Roswell on Blu-ray disc, DVD or HD DVD with the original music and more extras. Keywords: Roswell on DVD the Right Way.
Please note: I don't make any money from this and will be paying for such a re-release just like the rest of you. Buy the DVDs from Amazon.com (I did) and watch the original episodes on the Sci-Fi channel for comparison--the music matters.
9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
For its 2001-2002 season UPN wanted to upgrade its schedule and appeal more to a younger age group and to this end pulled off one of the bigger TV shockers of the new century and outbid the WB for BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER. Less publicized and apparently less well thought out was its acquisition of ROSWELL, which most people thought was going to be cancelled at the end of its second season. Unfortunately, on UPN the show was never given a real chance to succeed, the network interfering considerably with the show concept and presentation.
For context, BUFFY had established a new way of doing a television show for a prime time non-soap: featuring a single arc over the course of a single season. ROSWELL was one of the first shows to come along after BUFFY to benefit from this new way of doing narrative on TV. In contrast, shows from the eighties that features multiple arcs that continued over multiple episodes really didn't attempt to engage in a master story arc. Season One of ROSWELL was a wonderful piece of narrative story telling, with one episode flowing smoothly into another to tell a story that continued past one episode into the next. Season Two started breaking up the narrative a bit, engaging in smaller arcs and in more stand alone episodes, but still the emphasis was in telling a big story. Unfortunately, some of the arcs of Season Two were simply terrible, especially the revelation that our alien teens were actually royalty. Season Three largely and happily abandoned most of the Royal Family nonsense and refocused the stories on the lives in Roswell of the aliens and their friends. As a result, there was a greatly improved tone to the show in Season Three over Season Two. Unfortunately, however, almost all longer arcs were abandoned at network insistence, so there is a sense that the final season really wasn't telling a story in the way that the first two seasons did.
Then, of course, UPN pulled the plug. Not only that, they failed to order a full 22-episode season, leaving the show almost no episodes to wrap up the series. Unfortunately, the show ends with a host of dangling plot lines and beginnings of stories that would never get told. For instance, early in the season Liz and Max go after an alien space ship that is being housed under a convenience story. Obviously, they weren't able to pick that back up later. Also early in the season, Max and Liz are at a lake and Max jumps in, only to react violently to something in the lake. Again, this was never picked up on later. During the course of the season Liz seems to be gaining some powers of her own, but this never gets integrated into the show, nor do we find out whether Kyle, who also had been healed of a mortal wound by Max, would develop powers of his own. As the show wound down, they had to decide both how to wrap things up as elegantly as possible and which of the dangling arcs they would deal with. The next to last episode deal with the biggest plotline: Max's son. Unfortunately giving only one episode made it feel like it was being dealt with too quickly. This is hardly the fault of the show's writers and creators, but of UPN by not giving them the extra episodes needed to wrap things up properly.
Another major plot line of Season Three that does gets wrapped up, though a bit too quickly for my taste, was the investigation of Max by his father. Sensing that there are things about Max that need explaining, he begins prying into Max's life on a level he hadn't before. Eventually things are brought to a head when they spy on Isabel and capture on film her engaging in telekinetic activity. One would have liked this to be stretched out a bit longer.
Still, given the restrictions placed on them, everyone involved managed to make a number of excellent episodes and end the series on a strong note. Most fans like the way that Max and Liz manage to get together in the final season, though Liz's father makes things difficult for the first half of the season. Parents play a big role in Season Three, despite the fact that both Liz and Maria's mothers disappear. John Doe played a much larger role than in the first two seasons, though I have to add that I was always mystified that they didn't try to employ his musical ability more (for those who don't know, he was the front man for the legendary LA punk band X and has a notable solo career as well). He did strum a guitar in one Season Three episode. Not everything in the season was peachy, however. I never warmed up to Adam Rodriguez as Isabel's new husband Jesse Ramirez. He just never seemed to fit in the show very well.
So, Season Three brought the story of three aliens living in Roswell and the friendships they made there to an end. Given the low ratings is it hard to see how UPN could have justified renewing the show for another season, but it is just terrible that they didn't give them a full season to do a less rushed job of wrapping the show up. However, one has to add that given the small amount of forewarning they did a good job. The last episode leaves you with a good feeling, a sense that if it had to end, this was as good as any. There is a wonderful symmetry. The first episode of Season One had Max, Isabel, and Michael deciding that they had to leave Roswell because others now knew their secret. They stayed and when they did finally have to leave in Season Three, they left with Liz, Maria, and Kyle as well, quite the self-made family.