Jungle
Star-Crossed: Pilot (PREVIEW)
Child Prodigy

Actress Maggie Elizabeth Jones portrays a young Emery in Star-Crossed.  You may recognize her from We Bought a Zoo, Identity Thief, and the short-lived television series Ben and Kate.

The latest teen drama from The CW, Star-Crossed, is currently scheduled for a midseason premiere during the 2013-14 television season.  One part science fiction and one part Romeo and Juliet, the series is sure to attract some attention from both teens and young adults alike.
 
The show opens on May 16, 2014.  An alien ship attempting to escape a distant planet crash-lands in an unnamed American town.  Although they are not hostile, military forces kill some of the aliens and take the other survivors into custody.  One young alien boy manages to escape and is cared for by a young human girl in a backyard shed.  Their relationship is cut short when authorities discover him via the use of tracking dogs.

Ten years later in 2024, the young human girl is about to return to school.  Emery (Aimee Teegarden, Friday Night Lights) was away for four years while hospitalized with an Autoimmune Deficiency.  Her old friend Lukas (Titus Makin Jr., Glee) shows her around as she gets acquainted to Marshall High School.  Emery is surprised to discover that former friend Taylor (Natalie Hall, All My Children) has transformed into the queen of the cliques.  Actor Grey Damon (Friday Night Lights) also has a small role as Grayson - a potential love interest.
 
Alongside Emery, entering Marshall High School at the same time is a group of Atrian teens.  The Atrians are the aliens that landed a decade ago who currently live in a heavily guarded "Sector" of the town.  This is the first attempt to create some sort of Atrian integration into normal society.  Included in the group of teens is Roman (Matt Lanter, 90210), the Atrian who was sheltered by Emery.  The pair soon discover one another’s identity amongst the political chaos.

Something that really bothered me right away with Star-Crossed were the look of the Atrians.  The Atrians look exactly like humans except for a variety of head and neck tattoos.  I wouldn’t expect the studio to foot the bill on dozens of actors sitting in makeup for 8 hours every day, but this comes across as a bit lazy.  Speaking of lazy, add Star-Crossed to the long list of teen dramas centered around a potential love triangle between different species of science-fiction beings.  Thanks, Twilight.

The somewhat cheesy acting by most of the cast can be overlooked by a fairly interesting story.  The program will intrigue viewers early as it plants the seed for story development throughout the season.  For example, no reason was given as to why the crashed ship remains standing upright in the ground a decade after the crash.  Roman also casually mentions that he has two hearts.  Little hooks like that can really latch viewers onto a show who are tantalized by the details and eager for an explanation.
 
Another cool aspect about the show is some of the future technology.  How would you like to have used lockers that opened with your thumbprint when you went to high school?  That would have been helpful on those few occasions when I forgot my combination.  On second thought, if a bully stuffs someone in their locker, how do they get out?  This could be dangerous.  The school lunchroom features tons of touchscreens where students can pick from a variety of meals and get the food immediately.  Unfortunately, the Atrian teen at the touchscreen was only able to get a carrot flavored rice cake.  No wonder they are angry.  Viewers who enjoy the typical teen drama programming on The CW should enjoy Star-Crossed, as well as any fans of cheesy science fiction who may become involved in the story.

Cody Endres
Review by Cody Endres
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