"Roswell"--such a dull title. Not very descriptive, either. Why not "Whining Wimps From Outer Space"? Punchy, pithy and pathetically accurate.
The whiners in question are three 16-year-olds, allegedly the progeny of extraterrestrials who crash-landed in Roswell, N.M., back in 1947. Surely you remember: It's that big UFO scandal that the federal government has managed to cover up for 52 years except that everybody knows about it.
"Roswell's" premiere, at 9 tonight on WB's Channel 50, introduces us to the mopey, drippy teens (two boys and a girl) who are humanoid in appearance but possess such magical faculties as--better be sitting down for this one--the ability to listen to CDs just by holding them up to their ears!!!
By heaven, has there ever been anything so mystical from the outermost vastnesses of deepest infinity?!
Hey, that's nothing. They can also melt the cheese on their nachos merely by looking at it cross-eyed. And yet in spite of such fantastically fabulous abilities, plus the capacity to "manipulate molecular structure" (does that mean, use a microwave oven?), they're a forlorn trio of paranoids, ever fearful that the world, starting with tacky tourists visiting the alleged crash site, will discover their secret and send them to a laboratory.
There they will be dissected and trisected and maybe even octasected to see what makes them tick, or so they think. But what groundless fears; they don't tick. They barely blink. They're duller than Bill Bradley debating Al Gore at a Warren Beatty cocktail party. They're even duller than the self-important little snots who populate many of WB's other odious odes to adolescent angst.
The cat almost jumps out of the bean bag--to paraphrase Ricky Ricardo--in the very first episode, and all because alien pouty-boy Max (Jason Behr) has a crush on a waitress (Shiri Appleby). She gets shot during a robbery attempt at the Outer Space diner. Max surreptitiously heals her wounds with a touch of his hand, thereby leaving a Day-Glo handprint on her tummy, which she happens to notice later that night.
Immediately after he saves her life, she tries to run away, showing no interest in or curiosity about the boy who stopped her an inch this side of death's door. There's gratitude for you.
You may wonder how the kids are only 16 when the UFO crashed in 1947. Frankly, it's rather amazing you've even read this far, much less are wondering anything about the show. You must have read this far, because otherwise you wouldn't be here in the middle of this sentence, which is about to end, not a moment too soon.
Now, back to the kids' ages. It seems the tots were in pods, incubating for a few decades before springing forth. We have suggested that the show should have been thus titled "The Pod Squad." But if WB won't go for "Whining Wimps, etc.," they probably won't go for "Pod Squad" either.
Besides, it's not our job to think up titles. It's our job to watch miserable television shows. Some job! And how miserable is "Roz"? It's not just a bad show, it's a destroyer of brain cells. It's pernicious, it's atrocious. It's not even smart enough to be called mindless.
It's a seething, gurgling, boiling-hot caldron of noxious, molten pus! No, wait--that makes it sound too entertaining.