Fans of The Vampire Diaries need to check out the CW’s latest supernatural drama, Roswell, New Mexico.
It’s been two years since The Vampire Diaries ended, and if you’re like me, you’re still trying to fill the Lockwood-mansion-sized void that the show left behind. The Originals helped for a while, and Legacies is doing its part to keep Mystic Falls alive, but nothing quite captures the same feeling of TVD.
Luckily, there’s finally hope. And no, I don’t mean Hope Mikaelson. I truly believe, with all the optimistic force of a young Caroline Forbes, that Roswell, New Mexico, the CW’s new alien series based on the ’90s/early 2000s original, is the perfect show for fans of The Vampire Diaries.
The reboot series follows Liz Ortecho, played by Jeanine Mason, as she returns to the town of Roswell ten years after the tragic death of her sister. Besides still being home to all the figures from her past, for better or for worse, Roswell also boasts a booming alien-based tourism industry. Roswell is known as “ground zero for those who seek proof that aliens exist.”
One familiar face from her past that she’s definitely not disappointed to see is that of Max Evans, her high school crush. That is, until he miraculously saves her from a gunshot and she finds out that there’s much more to him than she ever knew. He and his siblings, Isobel and Michael, are aliens with abilities that they’ve kept hidden from everyone.
“Wait, you didn’t even say anything about vampires,” you might be thinking. Alas, you are correct. It doesn’t look like there are going to be any vampires in Roswell, New Mexico. But, that doesn’t mean that it’s not the exact show that old fans of The Vampire Diaries need in their lives.
At its best, The Vampire Diaries was a story about a small town with a big secret. The town of Mystic Falls looked normal from the outside, but if you looked in the right places, you’d see that it had both an extraordinary history and an unbelievable present. There wasn’t just magical beings living in the town. The town itself was magic, and the characters revolved around its mysteries.
The town of Roswell has a very different mythos than Mystic Falls, but it definitely has some extraordinary stories to tell. The lore is just as intrinsic to the town’s history as it is present in the day-to-day dealings of Roswell’s residents. To some, the alleged alien sightings are just a way to drum up business from delusional tourists, but for those in the know, the alien invasion changed everything.
This aspect of Roswell, New Mexico is reminiscent of one of the best story lines The Vampire Diaries ever had. Sure, the show had some extremely formidable villains, from the truly immortal Klaus to the relentlessly snarky Kai, but they were always hard pressed to match the tension caused by the threat of the Founder’s Council in the early years.
Obviously not everyone who believes in the aliens is going to be on their side. It’s only natural for the unknown to breed fear among the locals, so some of Roswell’s residents will definitely be trying to get rid of the foreign presence in their home. I’m expecting to be transported back to the glory days of TVD season 1 and 2 with this part of the story, and I can’t wait.
Roswell, New Mexico also has a sibling bond that looks to be just as satisfying as the Salvatore’s. Max and his siblings have had to rely on each other over the years, as they struggle to keep their secret, but Michael has some less-than-legal ideas about how life should be lived. Expect some Damon-style trouble from that one.
Of course, I couldn’t mention either of these shows without touching on the love story. And don’t worry, Roswell, New Mexico’s looks to be just as strong as the “epic” first sightings between Elena and Stefan. And just like the Katherine twist, Max has an even bigger secret that might kill his connection with Liz before they even get off the ground (no alien pun intended).
Last, but certainly not least, a lot of the team members behind The Vampire Diaries are also working on Roswell, New Mexico. So, if you like how they tell stories (which you obviously do), you’ll definitely be into their new series.
Julie Plec, who created The Vampire Diaries with Kevin Williamson, serves as an executive producer on the show along with Carina Adly MacKenzie, who also worked on The Originals. MacKenzie is also the showrunner of Roswell, New Mexico, so there should be plenty of TVD and The Originals vibes throughout the series.
Michael Trevino, known for playing Mystic Falls’ resident werewolf, Tyler Lockwood, and Nathan Dean Parsons, who played Jackson, even star in the show. With Plec and MacKenzie at the helm, I’m betting they won’t be the only familiar faces for fans of TVD and The Originals either.
So, all of that is to say how Roswell, New Mexico is similar to The Vampire Diaries, but that’s not the only reason that it’s perfect for fans of the vampire series. It’s only been a couple years since TVD ended, but much longer since it began. Fans who watched the series when they were teens have now grown up and moved on to new experiences.
Legacies is amazing in that it’s set squarely in the world we love, but it still is very much a teen show. Other CW dramas, like Riverdale, also live firmly in the “I can’t believe these kids are still in high school” realm.
Roswell, New Mexico is set ten years after all of that, meaning these characters are the right age for TVD superfans to watch now. The characters may be different, but the stories will still be amazing and may resonate even more with fans who are now into their careers and adulthood. Bonus, we’ll never have to go through the awkward college phase with Roswell! Actually, that’s probably reason enough to watch the show.
Check out the next episode of Roswell, New Mexico on the CW on January 22.