Point Pleasant

Season 1 Episode 1


Aired Thursday 9:00 PM Jan 19, 2005 on FOX

Episode Fan Reviews (4)

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out of 10
104 votes
  • The analysis from the old TVTOME

    Duality and Free Will
    We have been told that Christina is the daughter of the devil. She also has the mark of the beast in her eye (the symbol is 666). So we are to think she is a thing of evil, meant to destroy. Yet her name means Follower of Christ and she is seen wearing a cross. This shows a duality to her nature, good and evil. It is also said that like any human she has free will, a choice of which aspect of her nature to accept and which part to ignore
  • What if the Devil could pout? A less-than-promising start to a thoroughly disappointing series. [Note: This review previously appeared on TVTome.]

    When I heard about Point Pleasant, I couldn't contain my excitement. While my longing for Joss Whedon's touch in prime time television has been mitigated somewhat by the appearance of Veronica Mars and its strong female lead this season, I'm still in shock from the loss of Angel at the end of last season. I'll still have to wait until the fall release of Serenity on the big screen for my Whedon fix, but having a series executive produced by Marti Noxon seemed like a worthy substitute until then.

    This show gives Noxon a great opportunity to live down a lot of negative fan reactions she received during the last two seasons of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, when common opinion has it the show took a dramatic downturn in quality. Now, I agree that the last two seasons of Buffy weren't up to the standard of the first three, but I found seasons four and five to have their own problems, so this blame heaped on Noxon seems somewhat misplaced to me. Also, interviews I've seen with Whedon leave me with the feeling that he's kind of a controlling type with a sizable ego, even if I do believe he is absolutely brilliant and enormously talented—not to mention the fact that anyone involved in the creative process of making television and films needs a healthy ego if they're going to survive the bruises that are going to be inflicted along the way—so I seriously doubt that Noxon had complete and utter free reign over the last seasons of the show. As for the negative opinions of many fans, most were fueled by Internet reviews and message boards. Unfortunately, it has become the prevailing opinion on the Internet that in order to be witty or hip, one must be overwhelmingly negative and sarcastic. While even the best television show is a worthy target of at least some negative comments, it's gotten to the point that the negativity has become a sort of choreographed cynicism that's both tiresome and pretentious. (I swear I could go the rest of my life without every hearing the word "snarky" again and be absolutely ecstatic.)

    Unfortunately, the early reviews of the pilot that I read were very negative, so it was looking questionable whether this would be the vehicle that gave Noxon the chance to be looked at as a talented producer in her own right. Nonetheless, I sat down to watch the pilot episode of Point Pleasant with an open mind and hopes for the best. The results were mixed. I'm definitely far from sold on the show, but it didn't make me run from the room with disgust, either. I'll put it this way: I was not as disappointed in this pilot as I was in the pilot for life as we know it, but then again, my favorite show of all times is Freaks and Geeks, so my expectations for LAWKI were definitely higher, as well.

    My first problem? The characters mean absolutely nothing to me at this point. Yes, this was the first episode, and, yes, they could be further developed in the second episode. That doesn't change the fact that I shouldn't have to go to the show's website to find out the names of the characters. I'm sure they were all mentioned during the episode—more than once, even—but I could remember exactly two names (and only the first names, at that) after watching the pilot: Christina and Jesse. Comparing it to the other show I review, I knew everyone's name at the end of the Veronica Mars pilot. What's more, I actually cared about every last character at the end of that show's pilot.

    In addition to the lack of character development, I also had a problem with the overwrought music and the way some of the scenes were shot. After the third commercial break, the show comes back in on the Kramer women, Meg (Susan Walters) and Judy (Aubrey Dollar), in their kitchen. The music sounded like a commercial jingle and the lighting was so soft that I actually thought we were still in commercial. I hit the pause button on my VCR three times, unable to make up my mind if the show had resumed. Let's just say that I don't care for my TV shows resembling commercials. There are several more instances in the show where the music was just overdone, overpowering the scenes instead of adding to them.

    The camera work left something to be desired at several points in the show, as well. The scene shot in the church between Christina Nickson (Elisabeth Hanois) and Harland (whom I will call Exposition Guy) ends with him being engulfed by a swarm of flies a la The Amityville Horror. While the idea of the scene is cool (if derivative), the camera work is jumpy and annoying. I do like the last shot, with Exposition Guy in the position of an inverted crucifixion scene. In addition, there is a problem with either the camera work or the editing towards the end of the episode, when Christina is overcome by anger and causes Jesse's car to be engulfed in flames. The scene cuts back and forth between Christina standing at a window, Jesse and his girlfriend trying to get away from the car, and the beach party that they had all attended earlier. I could not decide whether Christina was actually able to see Jesse and Paula (Cameron Richardson) endangered, or if she was on the other side of town. This may have been obvious to others, but my tiny little mind just couldn't grasp it.

    While I'm in the vicinity of mentioning derivative things, I have to say that this isn't the most original concept in the world. In her interviews, Noxon spoke of The Omen several times, and this is certainly in that vein. I like the idea of Christina as a metaphor for the battle between good and evil that goes on in every soul. I also like the idea that the "devil" wouldn't appear as a hideous, cloven beast, but I'm just not sure the premise is terribly unique.

    My biggest problem, however, seems to be one that many viewers had. The whole thing just seemed too rushed. We seemed to be thrown from scene to scene at an incredible pace, with much too much action and too little acting. I couldn't tell you what the skill level of the various actors was because I just didn't see enough real acting to form an opinion. I also didn't feel the writing. The story was told, but that's about as much as I can say about the script. Unlike VM, I can't include a "Great Lines" section in this review because a grand total of one line stuck out for me.

    What I can say is that Hanois is heart-stoppingly gorgeous. I haven't seen a woman with that kind of sexuality and innocence put together since I don't know when. She has a pouty look about her that I would find laughable if she didn't have a genuine innocence in her doe eyes. Wow! Usually I find the pouty look just hysterical: Strut, pout, put it out! Give me a break. I didn't think that even for a second watching this girl. Now, whether she's a skilled actress who can carry a show, I'm still not sure. The last scene, when she turns to the camera and pouts for what seemed like an eternity did have me laughing. Please don't do that again.

    Now, there are things I definitely did not have any problems with. The main one has to do with the endless complaints I've read on message boards from residents of New Jersey, especially those from Point Pleasant. They complain that the show has nothing to do with their town, that it isn't even shot there (it's shot in San Diego). Well, to tell you the truth, I wasn't really looking for a documentary on the Jersey Shore, thank you very much. I guess people need something to complain about, but this is just beyond me. I grew up in Globe, Arizona, a small town in central Arizona. During the late '80s and early '90s we had a couple of movies shot in town. One was The White of the Eye starring David Keith (of An Officer and a Gentleman fame) and the other was Midnight Run starring Robert DeNiro and Charles Grodin. The Keith movie even used the town's name as the setting. While it was fun to go through and critique the little changes and weird spatial non-sequitirs the filmmakers had made, I hardly got bent out of shape over it. From what I remember, we all just thought it was a helluva lot a fun. What's the big deal?

    I also don't have a problem that this show replaced Tru Calling. Truth is, I could never get all that excited about that show or Eliza Dushku. A lot of people are upset about that, but I guess you have to expect that anytime a new show goes on the air. Also, some of the creative team from that show is on board this one. If viewers liked their work before, they should at least be willing to give this new venture a couple of episode. And it seems that a fair number of viewers did tune in for the pilot, but we'll have to see how that holds up in the regular time slot opposite CSI.

    As it turns out, there were even some things that I liked. I absolutely loved the title sequence, when the words "Point Pleasant" turned into birds and flew away. As I said, I think Hanois has a lot of potential and I like the idea behind the show. I love the fact that so many people who had a hand in Mutant Enemy's best work—not just Noxon, but also Kelly A. Manners and Ben Edlund—are back to work on television. In the end, I will continue to watch this show not just because I'm reviewing it, but because I want these people to do well and I want to believe they can bring this around. I just worry that they're missing a rather major ingredient that made their previous work some of the best on television—that is, Joss Whedon.
  • All's quiet in the sleepy New Jersey town of Point Pleasant. The town which is on the Jersey coast is a summer retreat for people. A freak storm hits and a young woman is seen by the life guards. One swims out and rescues her. Let the fun begin!

    What an interesting series. I was home sick with the Swine Flu and Chill was running a marathon of Point Pleasant on DISH Network. I started watching and ended up watching a few of the episodes despite the fact I really couldn't concentrate based on the flu. So I picked up a copy on DVD to really give it my full attention.

    I found this Pilot episode to be a little uneven. The idea behind the series is quite clever. I think the casting is great and the actors all do credible jobs. I do think the story is a little disjointed at times. The show really has the feeling of a soap and I know it is one of the genres it is suppose to be, but I'm not sure if the writers really can decide on whether the show is drama, soap opera or horror based. Each style distracts from the other and I think they might have been a little more successful if they stuck with one over all of them. I'm not sure if they thought they were making a horror series or a teen soap like today's One Tree Hill or similar shows. The Vampire Diaries is a much more successful version of a similar genre.

    Now back to the Pilot. Disjointed in that the editing and storyline is not always fluid. Also the characters are very generic to begin with. Especially the female ones. They jump from one character to another without really giving the viewer and opportunity to grasp what is going on at times. Also the show is very adult in nature for a teen soap drama.

    Overall I think this episode was a very good setup for the series and gives you a general idea of where the story might go. They also leave enough mystery to the story to really make you interested in coming back to see what happens. I'll be interested in seeing how clear they are in the different pieces and relationships. It should be a fun series to see. Thanks for reading...
  • A great pilot...but it wasn't what I was expecting.

    There's really no surprise that "Point Pleasant" didn't succeed on FOX. Besides the obvious changing timeslots afer one episode thing, the previews were quite misleading. The commercials made the show look like a very creepy gothic thriller, full of supernatural stuff and religious themes. Well...not quite. The show is a moody soap with slight religious themes...but mostly it's a teen drama. But if it makes anyone feel better, Marti Noxon's original script was a lot closer to what everyone thought it would be, but FOX wanted it to be more "OC"-ish...at least that's what I read in an article somewhere.

    For what it actually is, the pilot episode is really good when one forgets what they WANTED it to be. It's definitely unlike any other show on television. Combining teen angst and drama with Christian mythology and some horror...that's not done very often on TV.

    The pilot could have been much better had it had some slight changes. It was a bad idea to reveal Christina's true nature so soon, and the show definitely needs some more supernatural elements, other than just the occasional "Carrie" moment when Christina gets emotional. Other than that, the pilot shows lots of potential and promises some cool things for the rest of the series. While compared to the entire season it's the weakest episode, I have to give it credit, because it IS the episode that hooked me for the rest of the show.