May 13, 2014

THE SKED Series Finale Review: “Star-Crossed”


Well, at least human heroine Emery (Aimee Teegarden) and alien hero Roman (Matt Lanter) got to have sex before STAR-CROSSED came to its abbreviated end.  The series was among those to discover in the last few days that its season finale was actually its ultimate end, so its cliffhangers will never be resolved, and its character arcs will remain uncompleted.  Star-Crossed was probably the weakest of CW’s fantasy YA romances, so aside from hating to see hard-working people lose their paychecks, it’s hard to mourn its departure.

The series finale, written by creator Meredith Averill and Executive Producer Adele Lim and directed by Ed Omelas, tried to pull off a big reveal in its closing moments, but it was as clumsy as the rest of Star-Crossed generally was.  It turned out that the bomb viewers had been hearing about for the past few episodes, the one that was going to kill all humans, wasn’t a bomb at all.  (Apparently Roman and the other Atrian aliens had failed to understand their own language, and even though the word for the device–which had the look of something that was going to turn out Everlasting Gobstoppers–meant “big flash” in English, that wasn’t the same as “bomb.”)  Instead, it was–well, it was a big flash, a signal to all the Atrians in outer space to come to Earth and take over, which would have been what better shows call a “game-changer” for Season 2, but Star-Crossed will never get there.  (Actually, the episode’s best dumb “twist” came before that, when it turned out that the magic key everyone had been fighting over, because it was all that could turn the thing on, was completely pointless–the gobstopper would go off even if the key was removed.)

Star-Crossed was so ham-handed and muddled, it was hard to believe Averill had been a senior writer/producer on The Good Wife, but perhaps she’s more comfortable writing about adult humans.  The series also had budget problems, and the acting was sometimes unfortunate, including by Teegarden, who fared much better in the very special environment of Friday Night Lights.  (It was probably an unintentional grace note that the character who ended up being her biggest antagonist on Star-Crossed, an Atrian spy masquerading as a human, was played by Dora Madison Burge, another Friday Night Lights alumnus.)  There was no particular spark between Teegarden and Lanter, and the most engaging storyline turned out to be the B romance, between cheerleader Taylor (Natalie Hall) and Atrian Drake (Greg Finley)–her interspecies pregnancy might have been fun–while the only character one would have liked to see more of was Roman’s sister Sophia (Brina Palencia), the Atrian most delighted by interaction with humans.

Star-Crossed had almost nothing going for it–a bad time slot, lousy reviews, low ratings from the start, no promotable stars or distinctive premise–and it would have been nice to be able to root for it, but it wasn’t to be.  The good news for humans is that the Atrian fleet will never arrive on Earth, so that’s one less thing to worry about.


About the Author

Mitch Salem
MITCH SALEM has worked on the business side of the entertainment industry for 20 years, as a senior business affairs executive and attorney for such companies as NBC, ABC, USA, Syfy, Bravo, and BermanBraun Productions, and before that, at the NY law firm of Weil, Gotshal & Manges. During all that, he has more or less constantly been going to the movies and watching TV, and writing about both since the 1980s. His film reviews also currently appear on and In addition, he is co-writer of an episode of the television series "Felicity."