Roswell: Season 2

The middle season of this teen sci-fi series hits the shelves in a DVD package that will please its cult of fans but win few converts. Commonly labelled as "Dawson's Creek meets The X-Files," Roswell stars a bunch of white, middle-class high school kids, four of whom are aliens. Roswell, New Mexico is of course the site of the 1947 UFO crash that the U.S. government has been allegedly covering up all these years. The show's core relationship belongs to Max (Jason Behr) and Liz (Shiri Appleby). With his extraterrestrial powers, Max saves Liz's life after she's shot in a fight at the Crashdown Café where she works. As their relationship unfolds, Max reveals to Liz that he is an alien. So too are his sister Isabel (Katherine Heigl) and friends Michael Guerin (Brendan Fehr) and Tess (Emilie de Ravin). While Isabel feels that Max has betrayed them by revealing their secret, Liz spreads the word to her friends. Roswell is science fiction light full of unexceptional drama and character play. Long gazes in high school hallways, teenagers with flawless skin wallowing in self-pity, haven't we seen this before in shows like Beverley Hills 90120? However, Roswell strikes a chord with its teenage audience because its heroes face an identity crisis (they don't know who they are or where they come from) and suffer alienation (they're literally not like anybody else in high school). This six-DVD set is smartly packaged and offers more extras than most box sets (i.e., The Sopranos). There are only three writer commentaries spread across 21 episodes but the two by executive producer/writer Ronald D. Moore are superb and insightful. There's a brief video montage of stills (useless) and a storyboard-to-scene featurette (good, but short). The "making of" featurette offers far meatier material, as the show's creators reveal the stories behind making their episodes. (Fox)