(Mild spoilers for Roswell, New Mexico Episode 1×01 within)
A business man who sleeps with everyone, a vampire who compels women to do his bidding, a cop with a tough backstory and a quick temper. In this age of streaming, old is new again and that means that there are many variations of the leading male on our TV’s these days. Past and present.
With these older (pre-#MeToo) shows growing in popularity on streaming services, not all of these characters fit our society’s current expectations of the way people and relationships should be portrayed. As such, we tend to watch some of these with an all too common eye-roll and move along.
Thankfully, there are many examples of men treating women as equals all over our televisions, too. What’s great is that some of these respectful moments on TV are happening without it being called out on the show as a character’s “heroic moment,” because it shouldn’t be. Respect and equality should be baseline, not revelations – but that’s not always the case.
That’s why we want to stop to appreciate these subtle shifts in our shows when they happen. Roswell, New Mexico debuted on The CW on January 15th and introduced a new generation to a new version of Max Evans, the small town dude with a big secret.
He’s great, but not perfect, as this episode points out. He is hiding a very big secret from the girl he loves (Liz) involving the death of her sister. It’s likely a bad move that will bite him in the ass later, but we love the mystery and the imperfections in his character that it builds on.
What really caught our eye about Max was the way he interacted with Liz after showing her the truth about who he really is. Liz wanted the full truth about everything, naturally. Max wanted to show Liz how they met, but to do so, he needs to touch her. So, he gets her permission first.
Such a simple, small move, but worth noting because we want MORE. Max asking before he touches her takes Liz by surprise for a moment, too. And after, when she tries to kiss him, he stops her because she is not in her right mind. Again – YES.
We have seen consent on our screens as recently as Runaways Season 2, with Alex. It’s a small gesture, but with a huge impact. Max is the broody cowboy with a secret who also treats women with respect, as he should – because consent is sexy AF. Respect is sexy AF, and Max has shown he is a woke man for the new age.
He is still flawed, a little broken and will likely have to answer for his omissions, but he is already proving to be more than “just a guy from Roswell.” He’s the leading man we want in 2019.
Welcome to Earth, Max Evans. Stay as long as you’d like.
Watch Roswell, New Mexico on The CW on Tuesdays at 9/8c!