Friday, September 16, 2011

Roswell

I had somewhat of a sheltered childhood. I grew up in the mountains of Southern Colorado, with no neighbors, no phones, and no cable. Actually phones and satellite TV entered our home in my early teen years, but the lack of civilization still kept us relatively out of the loop. Sure, I heard my friends talk about Party of Five and Dawson's Creek, but never had the experience of watching them myself in high school. My mom was a pretty firm believer that any tv-show released after 1989 was only about sex and drinking anyway. Instead, I grew up watching I Dream of Jeanie and The Cosby Show.

Don't get me wrong, I love the classics, but I recently came across a little piece of the 90s that I feel a little bit sad to have missed out on while it was still current: Roswell. Straight out of the late 90s (and early 2000s, my high school years) complete with denim and faux leather jackets, girls' polo shirts, v-neck sweaters, and featuring music by Dido, the Foo Fighters, Sarah McLachlin, and Relient K (^_^) watching Roswell was a little bit like reliving my adolescence, except with the benefit of being a spectator in the high school drama-ness of it all instead of a participant. Somewhere between the beginning of Season 1 and the end of Season 3, Roswell became one of those guilty pleasures that I wouldn't actually want any of my friends to know about. A hefty dose of drama, 1 part each of adventure and romance for flavor, and enough nostalgia to make it feel cozy, I found myself caught up in Roswell like I haven't been caught up in a show for a long time. Something about it spoke to me, probably due to the fact that it was expressly written to appeal to people like me: children of the 90s with a taste for the supernatural. Suddenly I understood a little more how my parents felt reminiscing about shows from their own era. There's nothing like Roswell around today because Roswell is a product of it's time, and that time has passed. Time has evolved into a new generation of teens and trends and the shows on TV now are designed to speak to them.

And none of that has anything to do with books, right? Did I mention that Roswell was developed from a series of books called Roswell High? The Roswell High series follows the story of three aliens from the 1947 Roswell crash trying to survive as normal teenagers in the late 90s, and the humans who become entangled in the drama after learning their secret. The Roswell High books sort of fall into the same category as Sweet Valley High and Fear Street - cheap, shallow, pre-Harry Potter serials written for teens and found in every high school library. If you grew up in the 90s you probably read at least one book from one of these series, probably more. You remember what they are like - somewhat interesting stories, characters that are easy to identify with since they all strongly represent the classic high school stereotypes, some sort of lesson about true friendship. As adults it's easy for us to look back condescendingly on these books and only admit to having read them because our less intelligent friends were doing so, and we didn't want to make them look bad; but deep down we all know we secretly enjoyed them.

So if you find yourself in need of a quick nostalgic trip back to a time when life actually was simpler but every event seemed life ruining, then grab yourself an epub of Roswell High and revel in the feeling of being young and overly dramatic again.

Seriously.

Do it.

It'll only take an hour.