Fingers Crossed for “Star-Crossed”


Romeo and Juliet meets aliens in The CW’s new series, “Star-Crossed” (get it? get it?).

The year is 2024 and 10 years ago aliens crashed landed onto Earth. We humans, being reasonable beings, immediately shot them down and put them in “sectors” to be monitored. After 10 years, society has deemed them “safe” and plans to fight society’s speciesism Little Rock Nine style: enrolling aliens into a high school.

Translation: pretty much an hour of buff jocks growling at buff tattooed guys (the tattoos mean they’re aliens, convenient) in a “future” school with Roombas and holographic flags. Given how teen romances have lately been pure “tension” and stagnant plots, this would normally sum up to maybe watching a marathon if you’re too sick to change the channel.

But “Star-Crossed” has some kernels of originality. The “Juliet” of the show, Emery, played by “Friday night Lights”s Amiee Teegarden, has been in the hospital for four years due to an immune deficiency. The aliens are keeping some serious secrets from the humans. The show skips over what could have been episodes of confusion and “romantic tension” in 20 minutes to instead dive into plot twists crazy enough for a season finale. Not to mention the deep morality and acceptance issues at the core of the plot that are chillingly familiar both to what the Little Rock Nine encountered in their fight against racism 50 years ago and to any minority’s struggles today.

With all of this, “Star-Crossed” has the potential to become a teen sci-fi show that maybe, possibly will be worth talking about by Sept.  17 when, according to the show, buff tattooed aliens will crash onto our own world. But, until that day comes (oh, pretty please), “Star-Crossed” still has to prove it can hold up to the issues and twists the pilot has promised.