Point Pleasant (Television)

Following the demise of Buffy and Angel, it’s been a struggle to find any good horror themed shows on TV. Since I’m not a big Dushku fan, I passed on Tru Calling; and since I don’t have Showtime, I couldn’t watch Dead Like Me. NBC’s and ABC’s current offerings of Medium and Lost have filled the void a bit, but the realistic crime solving angle of the first and the no one knows what the hell is going on (not even the writers) vibe of the second have left me dissatisfied. Plus, they’re both lacking that whole end-of-the-world, Apocalypse coming now problem those crazy kids Buffy and Angel were always facing and fighting. But then along came Point Pleasant to pique my interest, especially after I heard that Marti Noxon was one of the creators of the show. After watching two episodes, I’m not completely won over, but I am curious enough to keep tuning in to see if it improves with time or just devolves into the next Dawson’s Party of the PP.

Set in the coastal (so we have an excuse to see hard bodies in bathing suits) town of Point Pleasant, New Jersey, the show is shaping up to provide your classic good vs. evil showdown with just enough T&A and soapsuds along the way to keep it suitable for Fox. The main characters are Christina (Elisabeth Harnois), daughter of the Devil and a God-fearing, possibly holy in some way, woman whom Christina has never known but is searching for; Jesse (Samuel Page), the lifeguard who saves her from drowning in the first episode; Amber and Paula (Dina Meyer and Cameron Richardson), a slutty mother/daughter team who, intentionally or not, provide most of the comic relief; and Lucas Boyd (Grant Show), the Devil’s right-hand man whose main purpose seems to be making sure Christina gets in touch with her dark side. As the tagline suggests, she has “two sides” to her soul, and it is this aspect of the show that gives me hope. I can deal with a bit of glitz and cheesiness if Point Pleasant delivers on the scares and the nasties, and considering that one potentially important character has already been killed off after only two episodes, I’m keeping my faith with Marti.

Speaking of faith, the Christian aspects of the eternal struggle are quite evident in Point Pleasant. Whereas Buffy and Angel focused more on the demon side of things, this show has already brought religion into play. Christina’s mother’s family is somehow deeply involved in the Church, and there are two priests hot on Christina’s tail, the younger of whom could turn out to be very intriguing if nurtured in Noxon’s typical character driven style. The rest of the cast is rounded out by a sympathetic doctor, his wife, and their daughter who take Christina in after her near drowning; Jesse’s parents, a cop and a Church secretary; and a sidekick for Lucas who prefers to encourage Christina’s human side and wants to take her “home” – wherever that is. Actually, the chemistry between those two men is one of the most appealing parts of the show to me, and I hope they both remain pivotal players.

Sex, of course, also figures prominently on the show, but not always in the way you might expect. Lucas’ rebuttal to Amber’s advances was superb as was her subsequent rejection by the good doctor, and his seduction of Jesse’s churchified mom should be quite entertaining if that’s the direction the storyline takes.

While most of the comments I’ve read about Point Pleasant are critical of its OC-like veneer and a lot of people seem to have already written it off, I’m willing to hang in for at least a few more weeks. I find the acting acceptable overall, the locations arresting, and the premise quite appealing compared to about 90% of what else is available out there in TV Land. At least it’s fantasy and not just another awful reality show to complain about. If the Lucas character is allowed to be as wicked as he should be and if the supernatural elements get kicked up a notch, Point Pleasant has the possibility of being quite good, and who wouldn’t want that? Of course, if it doesn’t happen, I’ll just pop in my new Millennium DVDs and ride off into the doom and gloom with Frank Black.

POINT PLEASANT (2005-????)
(Fox Television Network)
Directed by Michael Lange and Rick Rosenthal
Starring Elisabeth Harnois, Grant Show, Samuel Page, Aubrey Dollar, Dina Meyer, Richard Burgi, Susan Walters, James Morrison

2 ½ out of 5

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Debi Moore

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