Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Pilot Review: Star-Crossed

Star-Crossed (The CW)
Premiered February 17 at 8pm

I don’t spend much time watching the CW these days, but, every now and then, it’s pilot season and time to tune in again to show that’s definitely made for a demographic that doesn’t include me. The network has found plenty of success with its fantasy and genre series, renewing “Supernatural,” “Arrow,” “The Vampire Diaries,” and freshman series “The Originals” recently, giving a definitive thumbs-up to its current slate of programming. This seems like a great new entry to that oeuvre, a futuristic version of “Romeo and Juliet” where the lovers are literally star-crossed. The pilot doesn’t waste any time in establishing the connection between human Emery and alien Roman, who first met a decade ago when Roman and his people, the Atrians, arrived on Earth, and now are reunited during the first-ever integration effort involving seven Atrian teenagers attending a human high school. Predictably, it’s far from an easy transition, yet Emery and Roman have no qualms about treating each other kindly, as if no one else in the world exists. The episode-ending event involving Emery’s father shooting and killing Roman’s father might cause some problems, but I suspect it will only make their bond stronger, as the two of them stand alone against the impulses of their societies to go to war. This concept has been done before, and while it may not have been as soapy or featured such young, presumably attractive people, it’s the kind of show that’s going to entice me to tune in each week at all.

How will it work as a series? High school has enough ups and downs without factoring different species in, and so there will be plenty of that kind of drama as well as some human-alien clashing. This show feels much more like a romance ultimately than anything else, though I’m sure there’s going to be some action and sci-fi thrown in here and there.
How long will it last? The CW has much lower standards than other networks, and so this show might just have a shot. Launching during the Olympics isn’t the best idea, and this show fared pretty well, matching the numbers for “The Carrie Diaries” last year. I think it’s too soon to tell, but the CW’s recent endorsement of so many other shows suggests that maybe it doesn’t need others to join it.

Pilot grade: C

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