A Roswell Christmas Carol

Episode Report Card
Djb: D+ | Grade It Now!
Fa la la la...not

The previous light tone of the episode is now juxtaposed against possibly the most offensive cumulative chunk of screen time I've ever had the misfortune to experience on the WB. And this includes Movie Stars, people. All three episodes of it. We're inside of a hospital, and Max and Michael walk down a hallway bedecked in hospital scrubs. Their hair -- both of them -- is slicked back in ridiculously greasy pompadours. Is this hospital located in a corner of New Mexico called "The 1950s"? They go over signals for protocol in the room they're nearing. Michael: "One knock means be on your guard. Two means the coast is clear. And three will mean we're screwed." Oh, I guess they edited out Michael's description of four knocks, which I'm guessing from the heinous coifs means, "Gus Van Sant called and wants to make a shot-by-shot remake of Billy Joel's 'Keeping the Faith' video." Good thing they turned up at the stylists when they did, then.

Max opens the door to a room marked "Pediatric Oncology" and closes it behind him. He spies Sydney lying in a bed, and as he approaches her, some sort of ethereal and unholy Enya/Dido/Amy Grant alliance product-places itself all over a cancer ward. For children. On Roswell. Max surveys the room and notices that it contains about six sleeping children. He kneels down over Sydney, who opens her eyes and asks, "Who are you?" He responds, "I'm just a dream. Go back to sleep." She closes her eyes, and he places a hand above her stomach, experiences a flash of images from her past including general babyhood with Simon from Go, and steps back. So then she's fine now, I guess. Max, meanwhile, is about a swarm of black flies away from the legal team for The Green Mile happily arriving with empty suitcases just in time to pick up their box of cash. Max stands up, breathing hard. Jacob Gnarly is behind him, smiling and proud that he's finally able to start working off those community service hours he accrued while, I guess, really pissing off St. Peter before he'd been in heaven for a full five minutes. Whatever. Max notices the other children in the room and breaks a real sweat, healing them one by one. A little girl wakes up and looks him right in the eyes: "Are you an angel?" The soundtrack rages. Y'know, I hate to be preachy, but my sister is a psychologist in the pediatric oncology ward of a hospital for terminally ill cancer patients. That's children, people. She lives this shit every day. Not that this holds a place in heaven for me or anything, but I've been around it enough to know that to reduce it to the status of "climax of a very, very special Roswell" is, I think, a pretty heartless creative decision. Children with cancer do not need to be exploited on a middling series with middling talent and middling ratings in this cloying and, quite frankly, vaguely fetishistic way. Children with cancer cannot be reduced to a fucking WB fucking product-placed fucking soundtrack with Jason Behr playing the role of God and children-as-angels lying like Jesus in the manger while a character takes it upon himself to cure cancer and expect us to find it airily inspiring rather than sickly, desperately sad. I find this sickly, desperately sad. Sorry. But this is just appalling.

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