‘Roswell’ Writer Changed Role at TCA

RoswellNot so long ago, Carina Adly MacKenzie (pictured top, center)  sat among the reporters at the TV Critics Association press tour.

This week she sat facing them, as one of the executive producers of the CW series “Roswell, New Mexico.”

“I’m making up snarky tweets right now that I would be writing about these things that I’m saying if I was sitting there,” she told her former colleagues. “I’m, like, counting white people on this panel, because I want to go home and write a think piece.”

It was weird, in a word.

MacKenzie is the rare TV writer who went from recapping shows for sites like Zap2It.com to writing for the small screen.

“I will be completely honest. From the day that I signed my deal with Warner Brothers, I’ve been thinking about today,” she said. “I’ve been nervous for today for a really long time. This is the 12th outfit I’ve worn today.”

MacKenzie says she’s never listens to colleagues now who tell her not to listen to critics or don’t read the reviews.

“I loved being a critic,” she says. “I think that it’s a really important part of the art and a part of the dialogue.”

Besides, she says, “I can’t just like roll my eyes and be like, well, that person doesn’t know what they’re talking about, because they do know what they’re talking about. They taught me what I know.”

MacKenzie began her TV career working with her current co-executive creator Julie Plec on “The Originals,” the spin-off of a show she used to recap.

“She was blogging for Zap2it at the time,” Plec recalls. “And her first day on set was, you know, as would be with anybody, a little daunting.”

Luckily, Michael Trevino of that cast helped show her around. And now he’s part of the cast of “Roswell, New Mexico,” the remade series that stars Jeanine Mason, the fifth season “So You You Think You Can Dance” winner turned actress.

The new version makes a lot of comparisons between contemporary undocumented immigrants along with UFO aliens.

And despite growing up in Greenwich, MacKenzie learned something about being the Other when growing up.

“My mom’s Egyptian. I grew up raised Muslim in Connecticut,” she says. “I was the blonde, blue eyed girl who was going to Islamic school on Sundays.”

The terror attacks of 9/11 occurred when she was 14, and she says,  “I was first introduced to true hatred in a way that I had never experienced it before. And I was hearing it from people who didn’t know that they were talking about me. And so it’s a little bit of a story about passing, about looking like not looking like the enemy that people are looking for. And I wanted to make sure that I could tell the story that I could relate to.”

“Roswell, New Mexico” airs Tuesdays at 9 p.m. on the CW.

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