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January 21 2005

Marti's Point Pleasant off to rocky start. "No one expected Fox's Point Pleasant to maintain American Idol lead-in levels, but not only did the drama dip in the overnights, it was off considerably in the second-half hour.


"In series-premiere news, although no one expected Foxís Point Pleasant to maintain American Idol lead-in levels, not only did the drama dip to an 8.0/11 in the overnights (#3), 11.68 million viewers (#3) and a 5.3/12 among adults 18-49 (#2), it was off considerably in the second-half hour. At 9:30 p.m., Point Pleasant was down by 21 percent in the overnights, 2.56 million viewers and 19 percent among adults 18-49. Donít expect much of the audience to return tonight when Point Pleasant debuts in its regularly scheduled Thursday 9 p.m. time period out of The O.C."

On the otherhand LOST held it's own against American Idol.

"Despite facing the American Idol juggernaut, ABCís Lost held up well, finishing a solid No. 2 in the overnights (13.2/19), total viewers (19.55 million) and adults 18-49 (7.3/18). With two 8-9 p.m. shows in the winnerís circle, the remaining networks had nothing to boast about. "

I do admit to finding PP a bit underwhelming and I'm not sure about tuning in next week. The idea behind it is solid enough, but the execution is off somewhat, but I can't quite put my finger on how. 90210 meets Passions?
I watched the second part tonight and although I thought it was better than the first part, I can't say it made me want to continue to watch it. My 18 year old daughter, on the other hand, liked the show. I still think it seems flat and the characters seem uninteresting. I'll probably watch it next week with my daughter just because she likes it but with news that it wasn't even able to keep people interested for the first hour I don't see it lasting too long.

It just reminds me of the horror movies of the 70's like The Omen and Rosemary's Baby but not as good and those movies now are dated compared to what's being shown on tv. I taped it for my daughter last night and I was in the other room as she watched it today and I realized, because I could hear it, how much they relied on the music to set the mood. You knew when something scary was building up just by the music and it was so obvious and overdone. I noticed they didn't rely on the music as much tonight but it was still very predictable.
I just got around to watching it and I have to agree. The writing isn't there. Its hard to beleive Marti Noxon co-wrote the premier. I'd don't know who the other guy is so for now I'm blaming it on him ;). I'll watch it a few more times, but only because I can watch it on Thursday when there's jack else on. Hopefully it gets better.
I wanted to like this show sooo much. But to be honest it was boring. It was a great idea but it was ultimatly dull. The "O.C.ish" stuff never felt right. And nothing was ever explained well. (Why would a family let some unknown girl stay with them for an undefinate period of time without talking to her father!?) The dark more horrorish material was good, but couldnt make up for the dull rest of the show.
Why would a family let some unknown girl stay with them for an undefinate period of time without talking to her father!?

I couldn't get past that particular plot hole either. They just let her move in. The mother practically jumped to adopt the girl. (I finished watching it 10 minutes ago and can't remember anyone's name).
I suppose it could be her "spawn of Satan" powers mesmerizing people, but it wasn't written to make that clear to the
viewers. Plus the whole show just lacks atmosphere. Very few shows have style AND substance, but its bad if you have niether.
I also couldn't get past that but then I wondered if the mother is her long lost mother. That guy sent to watch her seems to be searching for who the mother is (that's what I got from his attention being given to that woman who worked at the church). He asked her if she's lived there all her life and she said no. I'm probably way off but that's just my guess and that's why she seems so drawn to her and is willing to replace her dead daughter with her. But we'll most likely never know because the numbers weren't good and I can't see the show getting too far into the plot.
Not surprised.
Wow, something that I just realized is that the last episode of Buffy that was a complete Marti script, was 'Villains'. Wow.
For anyone who watched... Who wrote tonight's episode? I missed the credit.
marti noxon only is credited.

And Father Thomas is just too hot.

sorry for the double post there. Someone want to erase the one before this? thanks

[ edited by sTalking_Goat on 2005-01-21 07:24 ]
At least the writers dodged the amnesia cliche'. Too bad it's not HBO or Showtime. At least then there'd be naked girls.
Brilliant observation.
Willowy - Snort.

I'm taping the 2nd episode as we "speak". Taped last night's and watched earlier this evening. I actually enjoyed it more than I thought I would, given the reviews and opinions I'd heard from everyone here.

That said, I mean that I mildly enjoyed it. The pilot, imo, got slightly better as it progressed. While I was partly hung up on the family taking in the stranger indefinitely, I chalked it up to the husband following the wife's lead, who sees this girl as a "replacement" for the daughter that died. By "replacement", I simply mean that she sees two girls in her home again, and that may help fill a void. I doubt the mother's renewed motivation to face life, and take in a strange girl, had to do with Christina's influence, rather that having a second girl, and thus a second chance, in the house was the catalyst.

My bigger problem was Christina's wardrobe. She's got an awful lot of unexplained clothes. They don't seem to be Jody's (Judy? something else entirely?) style.

I was not completely bored, as many others were, I just was not riveted. And yes, the (bad) music beating me over the head to shout at me that this was a scary/weird/creepy moment was annoying. But I'll stick it out for several more episodes to see where it goes.
Just finished watching episode 2. I thought it was better. I like the new guy and the flaming boat, but the scene near the end with the Doctor and the other girl's mother was predictable and the dead crows around the grave thing was lamely executed. Overall I think its gaining atmosphere.

While watching the show I realized with some shock that I've never known a priest under 40 (much less under 30).

I thought Christine was wearing the dead sisters clothes. But they were never specific about where the clothes came from.
I liked tonight's episode a lot better than the first. I liked Grant Show's character, and I really like Christina. There's just something about her. I loved her emotional scenes. I think she can really play the part. And I loved the creepy visions of her future. Although I agree that the show is still weak in a lot of places, I find it compelling. I love Omen-type horror stories, and I think this show has promise. I'll give it several more episodes to make up my mind.
Proof that Marti Noxon is no Joss Whedon.
I like the second half a tad better than the first, most likely cuz of the hot young father...I agree with electric space girl, christina has the right look for the devil's daughter...however dialogue was horrible, and there was just so many other much better places for the show to go... i guess i keep waiting for a gilesism or a snarky spike comment, or a vampire to pop up...i realize that PP is not buffy and it would be bad for marti noxon to just replicate buffy...but does anybody else really really want her to?

PS it would still be cool for JM to show up
Not surprised. Like others, I'd kind of blamed season 6 of Buffy on Marti Noxon. (I didn't regularly watch season 7, so I can't really comment on that.) I thought of it as having great ideas, but really half-assed execution. Point Pleasant so far is only confirming this.
Also checked out PP tonight (jumping into the story headfirst since I missed the first part yesterday) and was similarly un-wowed. Why so much lame, unsexy soapyness? Skanky mama, pouty girlfriend, suspicious cop, it's all so tired. Can't Fox actually create a drama anymore that doesn't suck? (Oh wait. They did Firefly! Oh wait, they cancelled it...) Kinda funny. Not.

And while we're on the subject, humor isn't bad ... when it's intentional. There were dozens of times during the show where I laughed out loud at moments I'm sure were intended to be Serious and Important. The lead actress is kind of charming and not too bad, but when you can't remember anyone's name after a full hour of immersion, something's seriously wrong. Even the boat, complete with priest flambť, didn't evoke any sense of dramatic payoff. And watching the show on the off chance that our (evil?) protagonist(?) will Touch her Darkness and 'splode someone's head like a shaken bottle of Diet Coke just isn't enticement enough when I can put in any random Buffy DVD and catch thrills and chills a-plenty that also actually make me feel something real.

I don't mean to be harsh, but gosh. I wish MN well, but it's stuff like this that makes the Joss-wound in my heart ache.
Dym, I happened to really like season 6 (& 7) of BtVS and frankly, don't think it's a fair comparison to compare BtVS season 6 to this show. I can get that you weren't thrilled with season six but can you honestly say that it was as bad as this show seems to be?
Every time there is a new post here about Point Pleasant i find myself looking forward to watching it less and less. Right now i really don't see the show continuing for very long so even if i personally do enjoy the first few episodes i can see it just being another show that ends before i really get chance to know the characters.

Don't know about the rest of you but i kinda hope that James Marsters doesn't show up on here after all. He moved to Angel only to see the show unfairly axed then his appearance on The Mountain was soon followed by that series' cancellation. If the same was to happen on here the poor guy is going to end up looking like a jinx! :)
I am happy to see I was not the only person put off by the music. It kept signalling the audience now, bad thing happen, then, dramatic tension. Honest, I turned off the sound and read subtitles it bothered me so much and I have never done that.

I found the acting a bit wooden, especially in Elzabeth Harnois, who seems to either simply stare deeply or try to show anguish at how bad she is. Her love interest (I cannot keep anyone's name clear, not a good sign) is even worse. There is too much flesh, the parents make no sense and it is way too obvious that they hope Christine is sitting in for the dead daughter. So, you are drowning, are saved, and no one takes you home? You get to stay and hang out? Huh?

There is no humor. There is no ensemble, like in Buffy where interesting characters could shift focus off the lead. Who is this show directed at? Adults? I am not sure, since Desperate Housewives does the adult thing quite well, and here nearly every character is poorly drawn and we don't care about them. SO, kids? But there are really only, at present, 4 lead kids- Christina, the sister, the love interest's girlfriend and the love interest. Oh, and the other guy who wants the girlfriend and who is obviously not good. None of them stand out at all.

News on ratings has been troubling. In the pilot, they lost nearly a third of their lead-in audience from American Idol, but then lost nearly a quarter of the audience in the first half hour. No word yet on yesterday's ratings.
I don't know who is making the decisions at Fox about what shows they support and what shows they dump but I think they need to replace them with somebody that actually knows the difference between a good show and a bad show. They support Tru Calling and Point Pleasant, yet dump Firefly and Wonderfalls, what's up with that?
Yeah, have to agree that the premise is rather weak. Must have looked good on paper - it solved so many problems if she can just stay with a family, but there is that centre hole of unlikeliness!
Too many beautiful young people in varying states of undress, I couldn't keep them all clear in my mind and I was trying so hard to do so, I suspect I missed some of the plot!
I did like the moment when the nasty guy was really nasty - it was a nice shock, but all that exposition between the 2 guys to explain everything was just lame. What is the old writing adage? "Don't tell - show" They just told too much.
I find myself in total agreement w/Dana5140:
in fact I'll just repost what I said at Fireflyfans.com
-------------------------------
I didn't hate the first 15 minutes of the premier,
but the remaining 45 minutes were almost unwatchable.

I was expecting humor, and there was none
(what is Ben Edlund doing? Is he really writing for that?)
writing was dumb, acting was wooden, and the background music really sucked....

I guess Joss deserves ALL the credit for BtVS, Ats & Firefly
because I don't feel that the other Mutant Enemy writers are cutting it...
JMPO of course
I watched the first 20 or maybe 30 minutes. I thought it reminded me of The Mountain.....I liked the scens in the "NYC skyscraper office" a bit tough. They had some Wolfram & Hart feel to them.
Not crazy about it yet but I plan to watch it again and see how it builds.

By the way for those of you who aren't living in NJ - You can't take your truck on the beach in Point Pleasant, and no bonfires, unless you want to be promptly arrested.

[ edited by Passion on 2005-01-21 16:35 ]
I think Joss deserves a tremendous amount of credit for being the creative genius behind BtVS, AtS & Firefly. He's also a master at bringing together a group of people who can get the best out of each other and who are extremely talented. So maybe this show isn't going to make it, it doesn't mean that MN or the other Mutant Enemy staff who have gone out and tried to make it on their own now suck. Tim Minear did Wonderfalls and a lot of people really liked that show but Fox cancelled it, just like they did with Firefly. I wouldn't call Joss a failure because Firefly didn't make it on the small screen.

Now, this show isn't something I'm interested in and it very well may just be really bad but I don't think that suddenly makes Marti Noxon a horrible writer. If the show does get cancelled, it was just a bad idea that didn't work.
FF- I think you are right, in that at least my comments reflect my feelings toward the show, not the writers and producers. I know they are trying, and I hope they will read the kinds of things we are writing, since we are their natural audience, and perhaps try to take these comments to heart in some retooling. I don't wish anyone poorly; I just did not care for what I was watching. I was not, as I was in Buffy, invested. Think back- when I saw Welcome to the Hellmouth for the first time, I was immediately taken, all the more so by Alyson Hannigan's Willow, who was truly a unique creation and an obvious point of interest for the show beyond Buffy, who herself was wise cracking and not the little blond bombshell she looked like. All that in the opening pesiode. Nothing in PP hooked me in at all, I feel like I have no focus on anyone.
I guess Joss deserves ALL the credit for BtVS, Ats & Firefly
because I don't feel that the other Mutant Enemy writers are cutting it...
JMPO of course


Odd. I thought Fury was writing for a top 10 show, Espenson did well on OC and Gilmore, and Tim was given his own show (read the pilot, it's gorgeous). Bell and Goddard are doing well at Alias.

Firefly was 50% Minear, as well.
Two episodes in, and right off the bat, I see a number of major flaws:

1. NO SPIN ON THE CLICHES. The trademark of every BUFFY episode was that the audience knew all the horror cliches, and depended on Joss to give them a twist so we could get to the emotional truth behind those cliches. Apparently, Marti has not learned that lesson. All the residents of Point Pleasant and Christina herself seem to be unaware of movies like The Omen and Rosemary's Baby, and all the supernatural overtones and devilish shenanigans thus far have been played absolutely straight. This has lead to boring ruminations on the nature of good and evil (on both sides of the debate), and scenes of satanic violence that didn't send a single chill down my spine. (Come on, Marti, it's 15 degrees Fahrenheit in Brooklyn--chills should be EASY.) In a post-"Scream" universe, the old horror cliches need a bit of goosing now and then--otherwise your audience will think the characters are morons.

2. WHERE'S THE FUNNY? Marti and Ben Edlund are the masterminds behind this series, and yet, Point Pleasant is humorless to a fault. In a series where the main character is the "Child of Darkness" and we're dealing with the Apocalypse, you need a black sense of humor to cut through the hokum, and give your audience a bit of a breather. But almost all the characters are deadly serious (exceptions below), and Marti has staged all the action for maximum gravitas. I want the funny along with my supernatural hoodoo--deaths reflecting a touch of irony, eeriness with a little wit, some style. (A priest hung upside down from the mast of the Kramers' boat and burned alive in the middle of the town's Sea Maiden festival? Actually, that one wasn't bad--but you can do better, Marti.)

3. TEENAGERS = BORING. Will Jesse and Christina give into temptation? Will Lucas' desire for Paula sabotage his lifelong friendship with Jesse? Was Paula driven to the dark side by Christina's presence (or was she a manipulative slut even before Christina got there)?

Don't care. Most of these teenagers' personalities stop with their washboard abs and skimpy bathing suits. Not one single teen plotline has sparked my interest, and given the quality (sic) of the acting, I don't anticipate that changing soon. Teen soapiness is fine, I guess, but you need well-rounded characters and actors who can handle that sort of complexity--otherwise, words like "The Mountain" start cropping up in conversation.

The one exception to all this bland hunkiness and babedom is the Kramers' younger daughter, Judy, who is bright, funny, attractive, and possesses an actual personality. It's an overly familiar personality (basically, she's Dawn), but at least I don't want to change the channel when she comes on. (Can't say that about the others.)

All these problems are potentially show-threatening, but with a little inspiration, they can be fixed. But I'm not sure about the big problem...

4. CHRISTINA. This is the make-or-break question of the show: does Elizabeth Harnois have what it takes as an actress to effectively convey Christina's dual nature? Jury's still out. She's good at the sweet and pure part of Christina, the girl who's bonded with the Kramers and who doesn't want to break up Jesse and his girlfriend (say it with me everybody) "because it's wrong." But I'm not getting the Satan's daughter part, the girl who does eeeeevil things with her mind, and enjoys it. (Oh, she SAYS she enjoys it, but she doesn't show it.) Whenever she unleashes her powers, she reacts as if she's spilled soda on the living couch, as if it's something that "just happened" and not something bubbling up from a deep, dark place within herself.

We have to believe that there's a war going on inside of Christina and we have to care that the good part of her wins that war. Because if we don't, all of Grant Show's charming deviltry and Point Pleasant townie escapades won't save this series.

Let's see how it goes. I don't watch CSI, so if the show survives the ratings wars, Marti has time to turn this around for me.
Allyson: from my POV you are just putting a good spin on it:
Fury has written for 'Lost' which IS a top 10 show,
but does not (IMO) have the humor and plot twists that we enjoyed on Joss' shows....

Epsenson is a wonderful writer, but the OC really sucks,
and altho I adore Gilmore Girls, I have to say it lacks the depth and meaning of Joss' shows....

Tim WAS given his own, and maybe people loved 'Wonderfalls'
I wasn't one of them.

And the less said about 'Alias' and it's dress up Barbie the better

So, as you can see, for me: it is ALL about Joss.
Sorry about that.

I expected a lot more from Point Pleasant, and once again I felt disappointed...
I just don't think, unless or until Joss returns to TV,
that I'll find a show I consider to be 'appointment TV' ever again.

Of course it is freezing and cloudy and depressing here in the midwest,
so it is easy to get all depressed....
I watched part of the first episode, and I was very meh about it. As others have said, nothing to hook one in other than the premise, which is not enough. Too soapy, and a little patronizing ("hey, the kids like The O.C., and they like the spooky, let's put the two together!")

Now of course, in the interest of full disclosure, I need to admit my anti-Marti bias. She has writen some of my favorite BUFFYs. I loved her work pre-season 6, but I think when ran 6, she started pulling things out of left-field and changing years of development (Magic = drugs, the best example. No where ever in the seasons before 6 was there a hint that magic was addicting, and that there were "crack houses" where magic is pushed. The scenes with Willow getting "high" in the magic house are, IMO, the worst scenes in the entire series. Cringe-worthy. And let's not even get into Spuffy...). So I approached PP with a tainted heart. I feel Marti can write her ass off, but only when directed, and only when given boundries and established characters. I think season 6 BUFFY proved (to me at least) that Marti doesn't have what it takes to develop characters and run a show. Also don't get the BE love. I adored The Tick comic, but nothing else he has done has really lived up to that promise. I will have a few arrows shot at me now, but I think Jaynestown was the worst episode of FIREFLY. Love Jayne, love the idea, not so happy with how the episode was written.

JMHO, of course.

[ edited by dizzy on 2005-01-21 17:41 ]
Defending Ben Edlund: I thought Jaynestown was hilarious (the Ballad of Jayne is running through my head as I type this), and that might have been one of his weaker scripts. Sacrifice kicked all kinds of ass, and Smile Time is nothing short of a comedy classic.

Considering that Marti wrote "Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered," and Edlund is a comic genius, can somebody tell me why Point Pleasant is so dull and humorless?

[ edited by cjl on 2005-01-21 17:44 ]
Thanks Allyson, I meant to mention Tim in regards to Firefly too and I didn't and I'm glad you pointed that out.

Embers - I also adore Joss Whedon and think he's great but he wasn't always the lead writer of a show and was a part of a staff of other writers. And he's written for shows that failed, like Parenthood. I would've hated to see after that show got cancelled if no one gave him another chance based on that one show not making it. Let's give the other ME people a chance before we start discrediting them for their own talents.

Maybe Marti Noxon does need someone like Joss to guide her or maybe she just hasn't found her own personal hit - yet. But just because she's had one failure (and that isn't definite yet) is no reason to write her off (and all the other ME writers as well).

And I do hear you about the greatness of the Whedonverse. It will be hard finding a show that will ever live up to that expectation but that doesn't mean everything else out there is crap.
Firefly Fanatic:
No, Buffy was of course much better. But remember that even though Joss became a lot less involved, he probably still glanced at Buffy every once in a while. Here, Marti has it all to herself. There's no-one to hold her hand.

As for the other ME writers, for the most part they absolutely rock. People like Jane Espenson, Tim Minear and Ben Edlund already had some pretty successful careers before Buffy/Angel/Firefly and I'm sure they'll continue to have great jobs after.

As for Edlund, I highly doubt that he would have had much of a chance to contribute this early in the series. He hasn't even written an episode yet.

[ edited by Dym on 2005-01-21 18:11 ]
cjl:

I'll concede "Smile Time". Forgot about that one, as I was not a big ANGEL fan. And I should say, I do have the love for BE. If THE TICK comic is all he ever did, it would be more than enough for me. Fall-out-of-your-chair funny, characters you care about, and genuine pathos: the man is a genius.
OC Sucks? Alias dress up barbie? watch the first two seasons on DVD and you'll think different. Alias is action packed, witty, funny and sexy its just that ABC just promotes the sexiness and also supporting cast can hold there own. That both shows suck is your opinion of course, not general consesus considering they are both widley popluar shows.

How can you possibly point at one show, strike that one pilot episode, and blame all of Joss' writers. Joss will tell you himself that Buffy and Angel wouldnt have been as successful without his core staff of writers.
cjl--Pretty much spot on analysis of Pt.Pleasant so far. Unless something startling happens to it soon, I'm afraid it's going nowhere. And I type this with regret, because I am not anti-Marti, and I really wanted to like it.

Not every show has to be funny, but for me, this was certainly part of the the brilliance of BtVS--satirizing the gothic horror genre, which I otherwise have little interest in. I'm no fan of straight scary, but clearly Joss can do the scary--witness "Hush"--and still put a spin on it.

But teenagers don't have to be boring. One key to this is contrast in the characters and the casting. They have to have distinct looks and distinct personalities. Current example: The O.C., which IMO does not suck. Seth Cohen (Adam Brody) alone is enough to bring me back to that show; or go back in time to the venerable My So-Called Life (early 90s), where the irrepressible Rayanne (A.J. Langer) zaps every scene, contrasting with the subdued Angela (Claire Danes), along with their friend Rickie, and Angela's neighbor Paul--each one with a distinct look, and a distinct angst.
I'm enjoying the vigorous debate here, but it seems to me that dismissing Marti, or any other writer, based on their work on one episode of one show is a little far-fetched. cjl and others have cannily addressed the flaws, as they saw them, of the show without needing to resort to rather broad accusations that are generally unsupported by any evidence other than one's own opinions about Season 6 of BtVS.

As back_to_Gunn just observed, I think Joss would be the first to stand up and say that he couldn't have done any of it without Marti and the other writers.

Maeve: thank you for the My So-Called Life love - can never get enough of that.
Watched both eps and I have to agree with a lot of the points made so far.

My first thoughts were that this show is strong evidence that MN's Exec Producing BtVS season 6 was responsible for its shortcomings. Because it just did not live up to Buffys of seasons past. At all. (As previously stated: Magic is crack? Wha? Too heavy on the Pain, unbalanced by the Funny, the excrutaitingly painful Spuffy topped by the ridiculously out of character AR, etc.)

Noxon is definately a great writer. She's proven that with so many of her wonderful scripts on BtVS. And I don't think the writing is the problem with Point Pleasant. Okay, there are some big honkin' holes, but that wasn't what made it so bad, IMO. (Those holes could be filled in later.)

It was the execution of that writing that was so bad. Bad casting. Bad acting. Bad visuals. Bad editing. And that freakin' music! Over-done and very distracting.

The show had a lot of potential. The premise sounds interesting, some of the bits were genuinely creepy - or could have been if the execution were better (ie. flamey priest), and the actress playing Christina is fairly decent (one of the very few instances of successful casting).

I suppose if given enough time, the show could improve. But there are a lot of obstacles to overcome, and even if Marti and Co figure out what's wrong and try to fix it, I doubt Fox will keep it on long enough.

And for once, I would support the cancellation. I don't think I could hang in long enough for the show to get better. And I don't really have faith that it would.
I like the show....
I'm enjoying the vigorous debate here, but it seems to me that dismissing Marti, or any other writer, based on their work on one episode of one show is a little far-fetched...generally unsupported by any evidence other than one's own opinions about Season 6 of BtVS.

I agree with the former claim, but that isn't what's going on here, I don't think. S6 of BtVS is evidence for a lot of us. And if it can't be counted as such, then the rules of the argument have determined the outcome. In other words, I agree with those who have expressed their lack of surprise.
Fair enough, Smo. My point was only that the argument is closed and doesn't really lead anywhere. If you didn't like BtVS Season 6, then one episode of Point Pleasant supports your opinion that Marti was responsible for what was wrong with that season. But if you did like S6, or you don't believe that Marti was solely responsible for every little problem there might have been with S6, then Marti's participation in Point Pleasant does little or nothing to explain what might be wrong with PP. So, sure, you can use your dislike of S6 as support for your dislike of PP, but I don't think it "proves" that Marti is (a) a poor writer; or (b) that Marti can't be a showrunner; or anything really other than that you didn't like BtVS S6, you don't like PP, and Marti was fairly heavily involved in both of them. I'd be happy to hear *why*, or have someone point out what it is about Marti Noxon that made both that season and this show poorer. I've yet to really see that explanation. That was really my point. I see now that I didn't do a good job expressing it in one line. :)

More generally, I find *who* the writer is to be a much less interesting question than "what's wrong with the show/concept/direction" etc. The "it's all his/her fault" type of criticism credits the writer (director/producer) with too much power, at the expense of all the other possible factors that are involved. Granted, MN would have a role to play in casting, direction, etc., but it's not solely her responsibility, just as BtVS S6 couldn't possibly have been solely her responsibility. If there were elements - and people have principally mentioned the magic as drug and the Spike and Buffy relationship as issues - that didn't work, it would be more interesting (to me), to look at why those elements didn't work rather than just saying "oh, it's because Marti Noxon was the show-runner, and it proves that she can't do it." It proves no such thing. IMO.
Lest you think I'm a Marti-hater, that's the furthest thing from the truth. When she's on, she's great. I loved one scene in Thursday's episode: Grant Show's mysterious Mr. Boyd demolishes Dina Meyer's Amber in three or four sentences of dialogue. Completely destroys her self-worth and relishes her pain.

More of that, please, Marti!
S6 is possibly my favorite season of Buffy, so I think Marti could be quite a good showrunner. So I'm very confused as to what went wrong on Point Pleasant. Network interference? Too many cooks in the kitchen? Whatever it is, the show is awful. And bears NO resemblance whatsoever to BtVS S6.
Here Here SNT!! I agree with you 100%. I liked season 6, i love the dark part mixed in with the nerds and they have been giving hints of Willow going dark since season 2. Also Joss may have been busy with Firefly/Angel but he read over each script and made changes when nessassary.
Marti has written so many wonderful epsidoes for Buffy through the years and she didnt pen every episode during season 6, how do u make Willow go dark and Buffy come back from the dead and still add humor,drama and action? i think she did a good job.
SoddingNancyTribe: I am sorry if I seemed harsh, as I said:
I think my sunshine deprivation is making me irritable....

and now to jump onto the other side of the argument, I feel I should defend Marti in regards to dizzy's statement:
"Magic = drugs, the best example. No where ever in the seasons before 6 was there a hint that magic was addicting, and that there were "crack houses" where magic is pushed. The scenes with Willow getting "high" in the magic house are, IMO, the worst scenes in the entire series."

Actually when Willow starts messing w/magic Giles warns her that she could be opening a door to something she may not be able to control.
Plus, I felt that when Willow was talking about taking Drama, and accused Kittyfantastico of being addicted to catnip, we were getting some foreshadowing of Willow's upcoming addiction...

In reality I'll continue giving Point Pleasant a chance...particularly if we get to see an episode written by Ben Edlund (who I really admire)
BTW did anyone else notice those New Jersey palm trees? LOL
Totally agree with everything you just said back_to_Gunn and SNT. Season six wasn't one of my top favorites but it was still very good. I didn't like to see Willow go all bad and veiny because I just adore sweet Willow but there were hints of it way back in the early days. My only problem, as someone who is a Wiccan was how they linked it to Wicca - especially when she went bad. The Wiccan motto is do as you will as long as it harms none and you know, skinning someone doesn't quite fit that belief. But I'm over it and I know shows take liberties with reality. But I think it was a complete season that fulfilled what they wanted to do.

And cjl, I thought your post was very well said and by no means was it anti-Marti. You pointed out the flaws of the show and where you think it needs work. You even indicated that you'll keep tuning in to see if it gets better. I also thought you had some nice things to say about her work.
Well it airs here next week (I think) so I'm going to have a look see. Originally when I heard about it, I thought it could be our last best chance for decent post Whedon television.

Anyway what is the required time before the general consensus is that a show is rubbish? Two episodes doesn't seem like a hell of a lot.
Very true Simon. I believe The X-Files had a very slow start so who knows? The only thing is, Fox is so quick to axe a show we may never get a chance to see if it gets better.
Dido to SNT and back_to_Gunn...not only did I like Season of 6 of BTVS, but the argument is flawed anyway. Just because Point Pleasant is not working right now isn't proof that Joss was the sole reason Buffy worked. I think the show worked as a collaborative effort of which MN was huge part of.

In addition, the idea that every other writer from ME is not as good as Joss is flawed as well. I think Fury's episodes on Lost have been intriguing, funny (when humor is called for) and very moving. I think he has done a wonderful job. I think maybe what people meant to say is that THEY prefer Joss' writing to everyone else's, but some of us here feel that all of the ME writers including Joss are wonderful in there own way and have unique talents and have brought those talents to shows that are enjoyable in different ways.

The truth of the matter is there will never be another Buffy or Angel (unless they make a movie), but that doesn't mean that the shows that the ME writers have moved to are not worth praise and adoration.
Simon: I'd give it at least five, or until Ben Edlund has taken a crack at scripting an ep.
That's the trouble with television these days, Simon. Shows are forced to be excellent from the first moment and immediately addict you or they are as good as cancelled.

It's like a self fulfilling prophecy. You watch the first episode and it doesn't quite grab you but rather than assume that it will get better you take it that everyone else is believing the same as you and therefore don't bother with the next episode because you expect the show to be cancelled soon. Then, because everyone is doing exactly that, the ratings drop and the show actually does get cancelled.

One benefit of being in the UK is that you usually get to find out if a show is going to survive before it airs here so you know whether it is worth giving it a chance. Last year when Sky One began airing shows like Tarzan, Jake 2.0 and The Handler things were already looking dismal for them in the US so i didn't bother watching them. I am going to keep up with Point Pleasant up until i hear about it's inevitable cancellation however, if only out of loyalty to Marti.
Well, the PP debate has come round to S6 Buffy. I'm a fan of S6 as I've said many times. But I think it's rather unfair to blame Marti, solely and completely, if one did not care much for the season.

"She has writen some of my favorite BUFFYs. I loved her work pre-season 6, but I think when ran 6, she started pulling things out of left-field and changing years of development (Magic = drugs, the best example. No where ever in the seasons before 6 was there a hint that magic was addicting, and that there were "crack houses" where magic is pushed." - dizzy

The mentions of magic being dangerous as far back as S2 have already been discussed. No, they did not specifically mention crackhouses. I would argue that would have been a tad obvious. It's one thing to foreshadow. It's something else entirely to give it away. And unless I've created my own alternate universe in my head, Joss has said something along the lines of wanting/knowing that he wanted Willow to be a big bad long before S6. Even though Marti was running the show, I seriously doubt Joss would have allowed anyone else to hijack his characters and do something with the storyline he had no interest in/support for. Willow's interest was magic. Willow as a Big Bad would clearly involve magic.

Without disrepecting anyone's opinion, or coming across like I'm saying no one should voice theirs, let me say this. Slamming every writer that Joss worked closely with, respected, and supported (and he certainly saw tremendous talent in Marti given her moves up the ranks in a short period of time), doesn't, in my opinion, really honor him in any way.

As it relates to PP, I hardly see any logic in painting all 'verse writers with the same brush when only two are involved in the show. It's Fox. Are they meddling? As SNT pointed out, a lot of factors outside of writing contribute to a show's watchability and success.

It seems that some are using their taste in any given show (PP, Alias, LOST, Wonderfalls) to decide upon the talent of the writers. I'm going for a Rustic Italian look in my home. During my shopping excursions, I've come across some fabulous Asian screens, furniture, and fabric. I recognize the quality; it's just not my taste.

Now, maybe PP is the knock-off, badly constructed Asian screen.
That can be debated, at this point, fairly easily. Others have talked about execution being poor. Execution can certainly affect story. BtVS the Movie? Halle's delivery of JW's joke in X-men?

No, I'm haven't been impressed by PP. But not giving shows a chance to find their footing doesn't help keep any of them on the air, whether the show is good or bad.
I agree with most of the above comments. I, too, was underwhelmed. I find the actors hard to watch- they are so plastically soap-opera-ish looking, it's painful. I think it's possible the show could improve, but I'm a middle aged woman and don't get too breathless over who will cheat with whom, which brings me to one of my main beefs.

Christina had, supposedly, a dark, negative influence on the town from the moment she arrived. And that played out.... by people giving in to sexual temptation? That doesn't seem like evil, it seems damned mundane.

I also don't see how the premise of the show can sustain itself over a prolonged period of time, at least not in the same small town with the same people involved. The timeless struggle of good and evil can be mined til hell freezes over, but the scope of what has been presented so far seems like it will have a pretty short shelf life.

I was surprised there was no groundwork to make us care about these characters. So what if Christina is conflicted and looking for her mother? So what if the doctor is tempted by the aging prom queen? I couldn't even muster much empathy for the grieving mother.

I will tune in for the next couple of episodes and hope things improve.
Just a clarification on what I said about magic/season 6 BUFFY: I am not saying that the consequences of using magic were never foreshadowed. They were, and Willow's potential problem with it was part of the storyline as early as season 2. What I meant, and I think worded poorly, was that the writers had never even hinted that magic was akin to drug addiction. As a matter of fact, it seemed to be clear it was nothing like drugs. I don't argue Willow's descent wasn't foreshadowed, just that the handling was so clumsy, heavy-handed, and poorly written. I would go as far as to say it was lazy writing: "let's make it a drug metaphor. We'll show that by have a crack house and a dealer!".

I loved loved loved the idea of Willow going dark. I could see it coming for seasons. But it was always about power and control of the magic, not about it being literally addictive. To see a former nerd get off on the power of using magic is far more interesting than seeing my favorite character writhe around and say, "whoa, this is great stuff. Who's your supplier?".

And this has been debated for since it aired, and is OT, so I now bow out of the thread. If you enjoyed S6 BUFFY, I am glad. We are all fellow Whedonites, so to each his own. :)

[ edited by dizzy on 2005-01-21 23:03 ]
I had intended to keep out of this debate, partly because I haven't seen 'Point Pleasant', but mainly because I have a huge admiration for Marti Noxon and criticism of her upsets me, to be honest. I decided that see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil was my best approach. However, I have to say thank you to Angela. I agree with everything you said, but I could never have written it so well.
It's definitely like The OC. It would be good if the cameras didn't dwell on people sitting. Stuff needs to actually happen and people need to get hurt. Otherwise it's predictable and boring. I liked the premiere but for the 2nd part I only saw the last half and it was dull.
I watched the first half-hour of PP wanting to like it, however I gave up. I remember years ago when I was told about Buffy and watched a tape of the first show not wanting to like it and than I ended up hooked .
All this talk about Marti's protege status has got me wondering how friendly her and Joss still are in real life. Can and does she call him up when she's got a sticky plot problem? Do you think Joss gave her pilot script a look-see? Did their writerly relationship continue after ME?

I also would really like to know what Joss thought of PP. Honestly.
I just watched the second ep, and I have to admit, I just don't see where all the disdain is coming from. It wasn't the best thing I've ever seen, not by any stretch of the imagination, but it wasn't as horrible as the comments here led me to believe. The concept still interests me, and I'm not turned off to the point that I won't give it a little while to tighten up in the spots that could do with a serious tighten.

Obviously if we're going to compare every show that ever comes on TV to Buffy, Angel or Firefly we're likely to suffer a lifetime of disappointment. But based solely on its own merits, I didn't think it was too terribly bad. (And certainly not as compared to the majority of the other drek on TV.) If it can improve in a few key areas it even has the potential, in my opinion, to be pretty good. I'll certainly give it the chance to do so.
dizzy - Regarding your comment above: that the writers had never even hinted that magic was akin to drug addiction.

Actually, they did... try re-watching "The Dark Age" from Season 2 when you have a chance.
BTW did anyone else notice those New Jersey palm trees? LOL
embers - Seems like a good point but the funny thing is on the Jersey Shore I have seen planted Palms on the beach for the summer. Not specificly in Point Pleasant but there is a place further north (possibly Long Branch which is really only 15 minutes for PP) which does weddings and they plant palms on the beach for photos.

And yes Kansas I agree there have been hints all along that magic is addictive. I believe in Dark Age Giles says one of his friends got addicted.
Yes. The palm trees in Point Pleasant were a little out of place.

I said that Marti was no Joss Whedon, and I'll stick to that statement; however, that doesn't mean I think she's a terrible writer. I was one of those people who thought season 6 of Buffy was the BEST season of the show. I think, though, that in an effort to make her own mark, may have sacrificed some of the more important lessons from working on that show. One is that you have to have colorful characters that are distinctive from one another who work as an ensemble. Another is that you MUST have humor in the show to punctuate the drama. It doesn't have to be Whedonesque humor (though there is none better), but even somewhat lackluster "Alias," which was on opposite PP on Wednesday night (written by Jeffrey Bell, BTW) was far superior and much more entertaining - than either installment of "Hell 08201."
howdy, all! my first post here....

"I loved one scene in Thursday's episode: Grant Show's mysterious Mr. Boyd demolishes Dina Meyer's Amber in three or four sentences of dialogue. Completely destroys her self-worth and relishes her pain." - cjl

yes! that was the most engaging scene of the entire show. I was just *reeling* from that for the rest of the show.

I'm glad I found this thread, because I was *so* looking forward to PP, and after 2 eps, it's not quite clicking for me. I agree that is could use a healthy dose of dark humor.

...and I'll just say I love Buffy S6, so not going down that path. ;)
Welcome miyu_tVP. :)

And dashboardprophet - Very kind of you. Thanks. :)
Perhaps PP isn't utterly horrid. Perhaps my expectations of it were high, since I know that Marti is an excellent writer.

I think my biggest problems with BtVS season 6 is that so many of the characters actions weren't organic. Things would happen, not because they would naturally flow, but because the writers needed certain things to happen to get them where they wanted to be. Making this feel organic is always difficult, but BtVS always seemed to generally handle this issue well. Until season 6.

And this seems like it might be a problem in PP as well. This may be a weak area for Marti. An area that would not much hamper her ability to write episodes, but would interfere with successful show running.
I think my biggest problems with BtVS season 6 is that so many of the characters actions weren't organic.

My problem with S6 isn't that magic addiction was such a such a ludicrous idea, but what that meant. Earlier BtVS moments were stranger and less expected (Angel coming back from Hell for no reason...) but the magic addiction created something that I didn't like a lot: it excused Willow from trying to DESTROY THE WORLD. When she went bad, I thought skinning Warren was about as bad as she was going to go, but when she started attacking her friends, trying to kill Giles, trying to kill Buffy and Dawn, etc., I literally stopped liking it her. Which is hard -- Willow's an early favorite of mine. Once she tried to kill Giles, I realized any redemption she tried to make was going to be long, hard and arduous. It was gonna be earned through blood. But instead the magic addiction excuse was used to pardon her from her misdeeds so easily that I just lost any respect I had for the character. It violated a basic sense of justice and honesty that was integral to the characters. And I admit, I do blame Marti.
dottikin, remember though, that we did not see her rehab. She was gone for months with Giles in England, and we weren't privy to her re-training. We don't know how arduous it may have been for Willow, spending all waking moments with the Coven and Giles, who's sole intent was to dispense with her evil propensities. The most we saw was her conjuring a flower from where? Paraguay?

I would have been riveted to see her rebirth as a total (yet still fragile) human being. And how ironic that magic played an enormous part in her turning back to the side of good.

I NEVER lost respect for Willow. She's a rare and unique character in tv land. I will always consider her a favorite, and every bit as iconic as Buffy.
I am a big fan of season six and a big fan of Marti Noxon, so I don't find myself agreeing with a lot of the opinions being expressed here. That doesn't make these views wrong, but simply different to mine. However, there is something that does trouble me.

I admit that I'm playing devil's advocate, but the contention seems to be that Noxon is responsible for everything that is perceived as being wrong about the sixth season. This suggests that she was given free range to do whatever she wished, in turn indicating that Joss Whedon paid no attention to what was going on. That being the case, the implication would appear to be that Joss had lost interest in the show and didn't care what was being done to his creation. I cannot for one moment believe that is what happened.

For myself, I've never identified a major shift in the developing narrative of the show during S6, but simply a logical continuation of what had already been set up in the preceeding five seasons. I know many people would disagree with me, and I'm sure that equally as many people would agree with me.
Yeah not going to join the Marti-bashing either. It's an aspect of a corner of the Buffyfandom that I never understood, nor want to understand.

"For myself, I've never identified a major shift in the developing narrative of the show during S6, but simply a logical continuation of what had already been set up in the preceeding five seasons. I know many people would disagree with me, and I'm sure that equally as many people would agree with me. "

And I would agree. Well said.

And PP isn't horrid. I'll never say that. My main complaint is that it just isn't interesting. That it's just so mediocre and built up from cliches, which is the last thing I expected from Marti. It just really couldn't hold my attention. I wonder if Marti deliberatedly wanted to stray from her usual style to prevent comparisons or something, but...I'm afraid this has not made me want to tune in again next week.

Maybe if the rumors are true that James Marsters will play the devil a couple of times...that should be fun to watch.
All I keep seeing here is references to Buffy. THIS IS NOT BUFFY OR EVEN SET IN THE BUFFY UNIVERSE! It isn't going to feel anything like Buffy. I think more people should give this show a chance before they condem it to fail. I found the show to be pretty good and I'm really looking forward as to where it's going to take me and what's going to happen. I do have to admit that I'm not sold on the leading man on the show but again I'll give it time. I really didn't like Angel at first either but I waited and my mind changed and now he's one of my favourate characters.

I know that Fox doesn't stick with shows (even though I'm still not convinced that cancelling Firefly was a bad thing) but I really hope they stick with Point Pleasant.

So remember THIS ISN'T BUFFY! if you keep comparing the two you'll never enjoy Point Pleasant. It's different but then so was Buffy when it came into our lives.
Knightfire, I don't have to compare shows to Buffy to dislike them. Theres many a show on tv that aren't like Buffy that I enjoy: desperate housewives, Lost, dead like me, alias, 24 just to name a few. The key things about all these shows for me, is that they entertain me. That they aren't boring. Point Plesant? boring. In pro wrestling(don't laugh, I have a point) they tell the wrestlers that any reaction is better than no reaction. Being dull is never a good thing.
the magic addiction created something that I didnít like a lot: it excused Willow from trying to destroy the world

dottikin Ė your comments reflect the classic debate whether addiction is an illness, where the person just canít help herself and canít help the consequences that arise from what she does while being addicted; or whether addiction is a something that people Ďchooseí to do and therefore are wholly responsible for anything that happens, including any subsequent misdeeds.

I have watched addiction close up within my family (and watched somebody destroying their own world) and I am still torn between the two views. As far as season 6 goes and MNs abilities, it just made me respect the show more, not less. Life is not white and black and it doesnít just fit in with what we want to happen in our own personal moral universe (no criticism by the way, I am just commenting).

Sorry to go on about Buffy, but I think this is an important point.

I am going to be watching PP in the UK next week and if I donít like it, Iíll give it a few episodes to find its feet, canít say fairer than that.
After reading all these comments, some were very nasty MN comments (which I really hate to see), I truely hope this show improves. I didn't think it was horrible but honestly I wasn't that interested while watching. On the other hand I was very interested while watching the Veronica Mars pilot this past week. I had never watched VM before and the pilot already has me interested in the show.

I think MN is extrememly talented and I hope this show finds it's footing quickly, Fox has a reputation for being quick to cancel. It is hard to get interested in shows when the networks are so quick to cancel. The only shows I enjoy this year are Lost, Desperate Housewives and Boston Legal. I would love to add PP to my list.

I can forgive things like bonfires and trucks on the beach at PP which do not happen, but I do need characters I care about and humor.

cjl summed up my feeling exactly in the earlier numbered post. Thanks for saying it so well!
It is hard to get interested in shows when the networks are so quick to cancel.


Exactly the point i was making earlier on. As much as you want to get interested in new series and characters it is so hard to not be thinking at the back of your mind that you are watching next weeks cancellation news.

If Point Pleasant doesn't survive for very long i'm hoping that Marti might follow the lead of some of her fellow ex Mutant Enemy writers and join an established series where her talent can have a chance to be seen. Maybe Alias or Lost perhaps?
Its just starting out...Many shows are like this when they start out. Buffy episode one was good, but not as great as its later episodes. Angel's first season was very iffy, but got better as it went along(with exception of season 3), and the list of shows can go on. I think Point Pleasant will get better as we see more episodes...although this being on FOX I fear that we won't be given enough of this show to get a chance to like it. With the arrival of "The Simple Life 3: Interns" I really don't think Fox cares what becomes of Point Pleasant because its grave is already dug, and they've had the headstone made 2 weeks in advance. The show is decent. Better than Tru Calling. Poor Marti, her other show idea never saw the light of day(and if anyone's read about "Still Life" I'm kinda glad it didnt.) and now this one is getting ready to be killed off. I think we're being a little too hard on Point Pleasant. We'll never get another Buffy, so we might as well settle for what we can get...I mean its this, or reality TV. Take your pick. I think you guys are being a little too hard on Marti. I mean she's trying. I myself would love to see the return of Mutant Enemy and our favorite Slayer, but its not gonna happen. I say we should support Point Pleasant for the time being...give it, we'll say 5 episodes, and if it hasn't won you over by then(or if Fox hasnt cancelled it) then simply stop watching. I'm actually curious about the show and am looking forward to see how the story pans out. And hey, if the show goes on, maybe Joss, Jane, and other Buffy writers will lend Marti a hand.Could happen.
Who knows what's going on behind the scenes? If I remember correctly, Marti Noxon's show "Still Life" was nixed and then she presented "Point Pleasant" to FOX.
Perhaps "Still Life" reflected the writing by Marti that we know and love, we'll never know.

PP is just mediocre, so far. I didn't expect "Buffy 2", but I was disappointed (and surprised) that there was NO humor at all!
I missed the second episode because my TV decided to die that night. Too bad, I've heard it was better than the pilot.

I found the first episode to be just plain...well, plain. But, I am willing to give it a chance. Nothing else is on for me during that time slot anyway.
I'm sorry I missed the scene with Grant Show that is mentioned above a couple of times. Anyone want to recap?
Gio,

If you don't mind, what did you read about "Still Life"? I have no idea what the premise was to be.

Thanks.
STill Life is about this guy who dies and then he narrates his family's life from the grave. Some say it was too depressing but Desperate Housewives made it work.
I'm a bit late, but I feel that I should respond to SNT anyway. I don't want to claim that Marti Noxon was personally responsible for every little problem with S6. That isn't my argument, and I think it's a bit ridiculous. I would argue, instead, that as executive producer, and really the only active one, she was responsible for the show. Full stop. If it was her pen that made it suck, then she deserves more of the blame. I don't know whether that's true or not. But in any case, if it sucked, it was because she let it suck. Which tells me that she can't run a show very well, even one with a brilliant cast and crew and a loyal audience. Given that PP has neither of these things, I wasn't expecting great results. So: not surprised.
Smo, Joss made final approval on every script, he'd get them via email and make changes when nessasary. He may not have had full control like in the past but his final approval on the scripts is what got aired. So if you thought it sucked its because Joss let it suck not Marti and i'm sure Joss will be the first to tell you that, IMO it didnt suck. She wrote 3 episodes and they were good episodes. Watch the commentary on the first episode with Fury and Marti and you'll hear Joss presence was felt.
Hmmm. It seems like everything has been said so I'll just mention that:

1. The first episode of PP was okay, but nothing to write home about. I did not see Epi 2 because I got home later than I planned, but I will watch it again just to give it a chance. James Marsters would certainly be interesting on the show. Where did someone find the rumor about him playing the devil? That would be fun!

2. Saw Veronica Mars pilot because of the comments made on this board and I did enjoy it. Thank you all.

3. Only saw the pilot of Lost and did not see what the excitement was about.

4. Season 6 is what got me hooked on Buffy. Watching the whole series, the changes seem organic to me. The thematic change is part of the natural growth of the charaters from dealing with high school to dealing with problems of young adults.

5. A minor point but, I wish they had made it mythical Point Pleasant, California. Bonfires, trucks and palmtrees on the beach may seem minor things to people from the rest of the world, but it is totally antithetical to New Jersey and quite a bit of the rest of the East coast (though not all.) It is a different culture here. (Add to the list that shot of her sitting on that rock outcroping overlooking the ocean...NOT NJ.) Just call it California. That way you don't jar the people watching in the Northeastern USA right out of the story when one of these things comes out and slaps you across the face. Oh yeah, her sister was killed in a "surfing accident????" Have any of them even been to NJ? Some people surf, but not like CA. I can understand if they needed her to die in the ocean for some thematic reason. So...boating accident...midnight swimming acccident...fishing (Nah)...water skiing...wind surfing even. Oh never mind. Its not really important. (sigh)

[ edited by cj on 2005-01-23 03:41 ]

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