This time through the show, I found Liz a bit much. She always seems to be the one in aggressive or at least nonconsensual pursuit? Max repeatedly tells her that they can't be an item and she just keeps pushing the issue. I found it a bit ... much. Even if Max was doing it to ultimately protect her, no should mean no.
This time round, as is often the case in the way I consume television, I have discovered that the supporting characters are much more interesting that the focal ones. Quick synopsis of the show - aliens did crashland in Roswell in 1956. Some were in pods that were in hibernation til the 80s when randomly human looking kids clawed their way out and were found by the side of the road. Max and Isabel were adopted and Michael was fostered out. They don't know who they are, where they are from or why they are here. They have powers and they are desperate to hide who they are for fear of what will happen when they are discovered. And a bit like how Buffy reveals herself, they slowly let others in on their secret.
The first season has a lot of themes you would expect from a YA show - love interests, quest for identity whilst still fitting in etc. By the end of the season, things have really gotten more serious - people suspect who they are, the US government suspects who they are, Tess has arrived and the reason why they were sent here has sort of become apparent.
When I first watched this years ago, I missed a lot of the nuances, I think. I was viewing the Max/Liz romance. I hated Tess with a vengence. And I thought Michael was just too aggressive and single minded and that he should assimilate more into his human life and let Max do what he wanted to do (which was Liz, mostly). This time round, I value Michael and Tess so much more. They are much less diluted versions of who they were, back on the planet (aside: the four of them were killed on the planet and their essences was sent to Earth, hybridised with humans, to have a second chance at winning the war and saving their race). They are both displaying their loyalty to Max, the Max who was, and remain focussed on the objective of the exercise which is to win the war so they can go home. In many ways it is Max who is wandering off message.
Things start to get interesting in Season 2. In a way Season 1 really acted as background setting (who all our main characters are and us investing in their ultimate outcomes) and now we move on to the why - why are the aliens here? What is their mission? Who are their real enemies - are there other aliens on the planet and how will they recognise them? How will they fight this war? How will they know what to do?
Spoiler alert: There are other aliens on this planet and they need to fight them in order to be able to go home.
Things get interesting though when they discover that maybe not all the other aliens are bad - there is a very complex political situation and other factions have also sent representatives to stake claim, to participate or hinder. It all gets very intriguing. What we don't know is who really we should back and why - is Max the good guy? We never really know. We don't know what the war is that he is fighting and why he should fight it, and neither does he. All he knows is, this is his destiny. And we don't even know if he would have wanted this to be this way - he was resurrected, if you like, after he was dead to continue to fight on. It's all very grey - we find out that Isabel was his sister in his past form too and that she was not all she appeared to be. And it gets so interesting when we learn along with Max, that the previous Isabel betrayed him - the new Max feels that betrayal, yet this Isabel has not done anything and would never do anything to betray him. All complex and interwoven.
What I love about this idea is that everything that they need is within themselves. They have the means to fight this war in who they are. And in many ways we see Max make the same decisions in this life as he must have done in the previous one and which led to his demise. And really, if he is himself rebooted, wouldn't he make the same decisions again? And if so, is that what his side want him to do? Was it the decisions that were at fault or other factors? And if we are destined to repeat the same thoughts and actions, can Isabel really be trusted? Or in different circumstances do we act differently? Max shows that we don't.
Somehow this idea kind of appeals to my current decluttering and discarding of possessions. Do you really need all the photos you took from a holiday? Or is it about the experience yuou had of the holiday, which you carry within you in life. I love the idea of only needing that which is in you. I often see myself make the same edits to work or write the same lists from scratch and think, wow, I always think the same way when I come to approach something.
I know how the show ends. And it's not overly dissatisfyingly. The love story with Liz asks the question - what is destiny? What happens if you don't choose the path that was mapped out before you? What if you do choose to walk the path but alter the way it looks, just slightly? Is it details or the outcome that's important? Will all go awry if you don't do what was expected and planned for you?
All interesting YA questions.