Yesterday, the pilot for The CW's next great white hope, Starcrossed, was screened at Comic Con.
In case you've been living under a rock for the last few months, a recap on the plot: it's your basic, standard-fare human female meets hunky alien boy romance and this reporter reckons it's a funky new way to touch on issues like race and immigration for that all important supernatural-hungry teen audience. The synopsis seems to reveal a hefty portion of the pilot's plot, so head forth with caution if you're eager to read it.
When an spacecraft crash-landed in Emery's () small town when she was only 6, whether the aliens came in peace or with more sinister intentions didn't matter: a fierce battle erupted as humans fought for control over their new rivals, an alien species called the Atrians. In the midst of the conflict, Roman (), a 6-year-old Atrian boy, found his way to a shed behind Emery's house, where she protected him from harm. In their brief time together, Emery and Roman forged a deep bond, but the authorities wasted no time tracking Roman down and capturing him. Emery has grown up believing that Roman was killed that day.
Ten years later, in 2024, the Atrians have been acclimated to life on Earth, but they are interred in a heavily guarded camp known as the Sector to keep them separate from humans. Now, for the first time, a group of Atrian teens will enroll in a suburban human high school, with the goal of testing the feasibility of human/alien integration. The eyes of the nation and the whole world are fixed on this historical social experiment, an endeavor fraught with suspicion and fear.
In the mayhem of the first day, Emery is amazed to learn that Roman was not killed by the authorities and is, in fact, one of the Atrian students. Their childhood bond is quickly rekindled. In a school and a society that distrusts everything about the Atrians, Emery and Roman have found each other again.
However, their relationship is threatened by the small-mindedness of their respective communities and the political agendas of people in power. While the world around them rages with anger and prejudice, their bond becomes increasingly strong and increasingly dangerous. As an epic Romeo and Juliet romance unfolds, a violent encounter between their two families could threaten their relationship. Can Roman and Emery's love-and peace between the species-survive?
Reviews from bloggers attending the comic con screening were disappointingly unenthused. Hypable reported it was 'filled with teen angst and every cliché known in teen drama', explaining 'The plot is the typical love triangle that has been beaten to death'. TV.com says 'it's not really that good' but did acknowledge that the rest of the crowd was 'eating up this sappy romance stuff, giggling and 'Whoooooooo'ing as Emery and Roman heat up'.
The Cinema Blend blogger made the audience at Comic Con sound more cynical than the latter implies: 'I probably won't be watching ...and I don't think the episode won over too many fans in Ballroom 20. A tense 'will they or won't they' kissing scene elicited snickers and groans from the Comic-Con crowd. Perhaps people just weren't buying into the CW's template of Abercrombie-enhanced actors emoting to the latest pop-mournful tunes from coffee-shop rockers.'
Deadline delivered a more neutral review, reporting 'Sprinkled through are futuristic tech and science fiction touches – alien blood glows neon blue and might even cure cancer – but the romance element is at the forefront, as with the CW's other hit shows'. Deadline also observed that the show's creator, , had emphasized that the sci-fi element would become more pronounced in the episodes to come. She promised 'We'll learn more about aliens [like] why they crashed. They claim their planet was dying and had to find a new home. Was there a fuel cell malfunction or was it sabotaged?' she teased.
Does it sound like something you'll be watching? Check out the teaser trailer below to make your mind up. Again, this gives as much away as the synopsis.