Star-Crossed – television series review

"Star-Crossed" promotional poster.
“Star-Crossed” promotional poster.
Star-crossed usually refers to lovers whose love is doomed to failure by events out of their control. It has origins in Shakespeare and astrology. How unfortunately prophetic that the show’s name matched its duration. Star-Crossed was canceled after only thirteen episodes, but what dramatic and entertaining episodes those were! This is one you’ll want to catch on Netflix when it becomes available.

In 2014, a massive alien craft crash landed in fictional Edendale, Louisiana. In traditional Hollywood fashion, first contact didn’t go very well. Once the first shot was fired, our military snuffed out the “alien invasion” and rounded up the aliens to live in a town-sized internment camp.

The aliens, called Atrians, look just like humans except for bioluminescent body markings that look like tribal tattoos. Six-year-old Emery Whitehill (Aimee Teegarden) didn’t know any of that. All she knew was that there was a young, scared boy in her barn who needed some spaghetti.

Ten years later, she met him again when seven Atrians were chosen to be integrated into her high school. Wouldn’t you know it, but her barn buddy turned out to be a hottie named Roman (played by Matt Lanter). Good thing he has a thing for her, too. Now if only everybody else was okay with it.

The shows are mostly about racial conflict. Until the arrival of the Atrians, other minorities had it bad on earth, but now they’re all united against a common enemy. The Red Hawks, an organization of humans who resent the aliens, are convinced that the Atrians are here to colonize, and they’ll stop at nothing to wipe the alien menace out. The Red Hawks are laughably based on Hollywood’s idea of the Tea Party.

Unfortunately for the other humans, there’s a band of Atrians called Trags who want to colonize earth. What makes the show interesting is that the main characters fight against both sides to work out an integrated future. Each cast member has some tie to Red Hawks or Trags, so loyalties are constantly tested as the two terrorist organizations harm innocents in their ideological efforts for purity and control.

Meanwhile, there’s lots of kissing.

It wouldn’t be a CW show if there weren’t high octane romances burning like fireworks in the sky every episode. The boys are hot, the girls are hotter, I have a crush on Aimee Teegarden (did I just say that out loud?), and romance inspires them to fight against the odds.

Unlike other CW shows, however, these romances seem well thought out and grounded. In fact, I’m more than a little bummed that the series was cancelled because I wanted to see how they resolved the relationship issues. The relationship between Taylor the socialite and Drake the brooding Trag seemed prurient at first. They seemed to have sex everywhere, including an implausible scene in the boys locker room, but then Taylor became pregnant and Drake stepped up as a father. It was almost moral.

The big draw was between Emily (daughter of a security officer who killed the Atrian leader, Nox) and Roman (son of the Atrian leader, Nox. Nobody liked their romance, but through their struggles to be together, the viewers became aware of the conspiracies and technologies that both sides were putting into motion to change the earth as we know it.

One interesting aspect of the Atrians was that they use herbs to heal, kill, comfort, or torture. They are more advanced than humans are, so they use our technology in ways we never intended. Romance and political intrigue weren’t all this show had going for it. There was a large emphasis on future tech, which made the show very cool for the sci-fi geek in me.

And that cliffhanger! Now we’ll never know how Earth handled that alien armada. It had the potential to turn everything on its ear.

I don’t usually watch shows I know where cancelled, but I’m glad I made the exception for Star-Crossed. The cliffhanger was a disappointment because I’ll never know how things turned out, but the show was time well spent because of good actors, thoughtful plots, and entertaining conflicts. I recommend it.

Original Airdates: February 17 – May 12, 2014 (USA)
TV Parental Guidelines Rating: TV-14
Network: The CW
Language: English

MySF Rating: Four point zero stars
Family Friendliness: 75%

Content:

Alcohol/Drugs: 2 (occasional parties, adults drinking, underage drinking)
Language: 2 (mild profanity & deity)
Nudity: 1 (topless boys)
Sexuality: 3 (making out, implied sex, underage sex, teen pregnancy)
Violence: 3 (death, explosions, gun play, terrorism, fisticuffs)


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