Roswell High or Standing Around In The Rain Looking Miserable was a short-lived TV series which recounted the true story of three twenty-something sixteen year-old aliens who escaped from Roswell in 1947 and attempted to blend in with normal humans, with often hilarious (but mostly intensely brooding) results.
Roswell High follows the trials of Max, Isabelle and Michael as they try and survive the grueling, unforgiving World of high-school. But as if being an angsty, emotionally disturbed teenager wasn't bad enough, they are also aliens from outer space; they're capable of doing all kinds of cool alien stuff, although the program's budget only allowed this to happen once or twice a season.
Max, the leader of the alien trio, triggers all kinds of mayhem when he saves his friend Liz's life after she gets shot. Although he did eventually get to fuck her, it took three seasons and a lot of standing around in the rain looking miserable before it happened, and over those three years he spends ample time wondering whether revealing his big secret to Liz was really a good idea. Especially given that Liz subsequently blurts it out to her two best friends, Maria and Alex.
From then on, the six of them muck about in alien-themed locations, make out a bit and try and find their home planet.
Max can't be with Liz because he's an alien and she's not. This doesn't stop him from appearing outside of her window every episode and Standing Around In The Rain Looking Miserable until she comes outside so they can have the same conversation that they had in the last episode all over again. Because they are both driven crazy by one another's brooding monotone voices, passion seethes deep within the pair. Very deep. In fact, so deep that one might wonder if buying socks at Target would be more exciting to the two teens. Eventually they get together but then break-up again when Max realizes he isn't standing around and looking miserable enough.
Michael is an angry alien. Max and Isabelle got adopted by two rich lawyers, but Michael ends up in a trailer park with a drunk abusive poor white trash dad. Apparently social services in New Mexico are lacking. Michael wants to get out of Roswell badly, and is therefore willing to go on many daring and uninteresting misadventures in order to discover the true nature of the trio's alien-ness. It is thus that he ends up kidnapping Maria and her Jetta, which introduces many, many episodes of thinly-veiled sexual tension between the two brooding teens. Maria's short hair makes her lips look big and juicy and the emotionally troubled Michael isn't into it at first. But then he is... but he's an emotionally complex alien so he stands around looking miserable a lot while Maria floats around him desperately. To show how he feels about her devotion, he treats her like shit and acts like a royal douchebag.
Isabelle is hot and blonde and seems to have a lot of very expensive clothing more appropriate for a thirty-year old. She is very, very miserable because she is unable to find anyone to date. Roswell boys seem turned off by her runway-model good looks - we should probably assume that anyone who tries to lay her gets a five-hour monotone rant about how it's hard to be Isabelle. We suspect that the Roswell High boys' bathroom walls are scrawled with 'For a good time, DON'T CALL ISABELLE EVANS!' Alex likes Isabelle because she stands around looking miserable a lot and she's an emotionally complex alien. But she's fit and he's not so he stands around looking miserable as well.
Kyle Vallenti is the Sheriff's son. He went out with Liz once, and it was enough to addict him to her monotone angst. So he spends a lot of time stalking her and acting like a general dick. He wears flannel and uses a lot of hair grease.
As it turns out, there's a pod chamber in the desert where the aliens were born. Ohhh...spooky. Turns out that the aliens are a reincarnated royal family. Fortunately, the aliens of their species are rather stupid, so they left the royal family on earth with no instructions, information as to who they are, or insight into the geo-political situation on Antar, their home planet. Being lost and alone like this provides ample time to stand around looking miserable.
Lots more alien stuff happens. There's an adult alien who seems to enjoy murdering people. He's a shapeshifter, although he very courteously agrees to only shapeshift behind walls so as not to murder the budget.
Max, Michael and Isabelle spend a lot of time trying to find the shapeshifter. They are probably unsuccessful largely because they only search the three sets used on the show. Any good villain would be sure to hide on a fourth, as-yet undisclosed set. When the trio finally locates this location, they discover that the shapeshifter is actually their bodyguard and they have a sister, Tess, who looks weird and appropriately miserable. They rejoice and proceed to treat Tess like shit.
Max and Liz date intensely, by which we mean many monotone conversations. Max gets drunk and shows emotion, so everyone nips this in the bud. Michael treats Maria badly, although she now has long hair and looks hot. Isabelle continues to bond with her friends by acting like an aloof bee-atch.
A future Max appears from a future where the hairdressers from Beyond Thunderdome reign supreme. He tells Liz that she can never date Max or that the future will be bad and brooding. She concocts various plans to distance herself from Max, none of which include distancing herself from Max. Future Max says that Tess is Max's alien wife, which is a bummer because Tess is weird looking and neurotic.
Kyle gets hotter and wears less flannel. He also stops pining after Liz.
Max finally gets laid but only with Tess, who isn't as fit as Liz but looks like she'd be better in the sack. Max realises quickly that it's Liz he wants, however, and stands around in the rain looking miserable until he gets her back. Alex dies and Isabelle immediately decides she loves him, despite a total lack of interest during the rest of the series.
Turns out that Tess manipulated everyone. She just wanted to get preggo with Max's baby so she could trade him with the current ruler of Antar for a ride home. So she beams off to Antar and everyone stands around looking miserable about being betrayed by the wily Tess.
The series dies on its ass as Isabelle marries a generic cock with lots of money, Liz goes off the rails and drinks a whole bottle of alcohol and Max stands around looking miserable.
Max and Liz hold up a gas station at gunpoint to sneak a peak of an alien ship in the basement. They're busted and sent to prison. They get out, and then sneak back into the same gas station to see the ship. They don't seem to wonder why they didn't do it that way the first time. Sigh, the ship is gone - no trip home for you.
The kids become addicted to Snapple, sucking down sponsorship money like it's crack cocaine. No one goes to school anymore. Michael has two jobs, and Maria and Liz work 80 hours a week in the cafe. Max doesn't seem to have a house, a job or go to school so we wonder what his deal is.
There is an episode in the style of Bewitched. It is clear that the aliens want out of Roswell so badly that they are sabotaging the scripts. This is verified one episode later when Max is bedded by Morgan Fairchild. Fortunately for Max, a PA had booked the wrong guest star for the story and he's spared a nighttime romp with Morgan Freeman.
Kyle becomes an auto mechanic, which mysteriously makes him more and more gay.
Max is dating Liz, then they're not. Then they are, then they're not. Then...fuck, who give a shit anymore?!
In the end, everyone goes permanently on the run from the evil Air Force, who want to gun them all down with sniper rifles.
- Max Evans: Looks miserable a lot. Too buff to be sixteen. Leader of the aliens. Smiled twice.
- Isabelle Evans: Hot alien babe with great norks. Frigid as fuck though. Marries a boring Latino-type for his money.
- Michael Something-or-Over: Looks miserable a lot. Has a bad attitude and a lifetime of secret pain. Doesn't smile once.
- Liz: Sort-of-hot waitress and supposedly super-intelligent although we see zero evidence of this throughout the series. Annoying voice but you probably would.
- Maria: Gets hotter as the series goes on. Plays the guitar. Big lips.
- Alex: Scrawny everyman who nearly gets to nail Isabelle but then goes and dies.
- Kyle: The sheriff's son. Used to date Liz. Goes from incredibly annoying to alright. Stands around looking miserable a lot.
- The Sheriff: The mean ol' Sheriff turns out to be alright too.
- Tess: The fourth alien. You probably would, especially given that she's all evil and stuff.
Although a large portion of Roswell focuses on aliens, which is associated in our minds with clear-headed strategy and sensible reasoning, Roswell constantly emphasizes the irrational motives for human behavior in both aliens and human. Wisdom is linked not to reason but to an acceptance of how mysterious our actions can be, even to ourselves. The moral theme of Roswell is quite simple: affection, loyalty, and conscience are more important than social advancement, wealth, and class.
Also, Roswell teaches us a valuable lesson. If you are just trying to fit in and not be noticed, being a brooding, angsty leading man, an angry trailer trash thug or an aloof leather-addicted bitch isn't the way to do it.
Many mysteries go unsolved in Roswell. These include, but are not limited to:
- Why is Liz's window constantly coated in raindrops?
- For that matter, why is it always raining and/or snowing? Isn't this the f-ing desert?
- What is the deal with Michael's weird-ass hair - does it imbue him with magical powers?
- What ever happens to all the skins, and the evil aliens?
- Why is Maria's Jetta SO VERY FUCKING SWEET?
- Where are all the parents? Particularly Liz's mother - do they lock her in the basement by day?
The Roswell Drinking Game
- Every time Max appears outside Liz's window in the rain looking miserable, drink one finger.
- Every time Maria and Michael break up, drink one finger.
- Every time Max's mouth turns downward, drink two fingers.
- Every time Sheriff Valente walks around looking menacing in big sunglasses, drink three fingers.
- Every time Michael drinks a snapple in season three, drink four fingers.