Thursday, 13 March 2014


"It’s not a series about them coming to earth. It’s a tale about them already being here."

My only initial reason for tuning in was Brina Palencia and Matt Lanter. Both are some of my favorite  actors/actresses. Matt I recognize from 90210 and Disaster Movie while Brina voices some of my favorite characters such as Yuno Gasai (The Future Diary) and Natsuki (Summer Wars) to name a few. That was it! Two people made me tune in. So what happened next?

Well, what happened next was that my socks were blown right off my feet folks. Unlike previous alien invasions, this one didn’t deal with it in a normal fashion. In fact, it didn’t deal with an invasion at all. The Atrians, a race of alien beings with two hearts and clearly distant cousins to the Time Lords (Doctor Who), crash land – or at least one ship full of them – on planet earth seeking refuge. Now some of them are gunned down because humans are bastards and xenophobic idiots, but some of them are allowed sanctuary and seven teens are even allowed to attend school as part of an ‘integration’ program to help the two species co-exist on earth. Now that is an award winning story idea. Kudos! There is an actual Romeo-Juliet-esque love story that takes up about half the story, but what intrigues me is the ‘refugee integration’ which is much more enjoyable. 

The cast are brilliant. As mentioned, I initially only knew about Brina Palencia, who plays Matt Lanter’s sister Sophia, but Matt’s character Roman is really quite interesting. Not too lovesick like some other CW productions and shows a remarkably mature personality and wisdom well beyond his years that makes a change from the precedent set. Joining them is Grey Damon as Grayson who serves as Roman’s rival for the female protagonist’s affections, Natalie Hall as Taylor who resides as queen bee in the school, Greg Finley as Drake who looks like the muscle in this show with a very frustrated personality that I can’t blame given how he and the other Atrians are treated and Chelsea Gilligan as Teri whose mother leads the Atrian rogue element that distrusts the humans completely.

The acting on almost all the characters is top quality. I’ve seen way too many shows nowadays with acting deader than a ‘walker’ in The Walking Dead. Don’t misunderstand, The Walking Dead’s acting is spot on, I was just making a joke with the zombies in the show. Not just that, but despite having a large and diverse cast, the writers of Star-Crossed have also managed to give each and every one of these characters a unique story and purpose. You never feel as though someone is there solely to make up the roster or the background scenery. Granted, after only four episodes, you really can’t expect all the characters to have undergone intense character development, but you are made aware that there is something about this character that you don’t know – that you want to know! That’s attention to detail folks.
Naturally this series is all about accepting a foreign species, so there are factions who seek to destroy the ‘integration’ and wipe the Atrians out. Ready to meet the challenge are the Trags, a rogue Atrian group who want earth for themselves and want to wipe the humans out. The other half of the series revolves around these factions duking it out, which provides a unique clash as you really start to understand just how much something like racism and discrimination rules our planet. After about ten minutes I started wondering: “What if the roles were reverse? What if we sought the Atrians help? Should we get it from them – given our behavior towards these refugees?” After twenty minutes I decided that ‘no’, I don’t even want to know the answer. It would most probably break my heart.

What really sold me on this series is the social and political experiment going on. It’s heartbreaking seeing how petty and scared mankind becomes when faced with things they don’t understand. Anxiety breads hatred, which leads to conflict and ultimately war. 

The topics dealt with in Star-Crossed aren’t exactly new to me. As a huge fan of Gundam Seed, I’ve already seen how you properly do interstellar racism and prejudice, so I set the impress-me-if-you-can bar quite high for Star-Crossed and I’m happy to report that the first four episodes have guaranteed that I’ll stick by them until the end.

Rating this series: 8/10. Star-Crossed aptly depicts what the world would be like if visitors from another world came and asked the people of earth for sanctuary.

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