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January 27 2005

Tonight's Point Pleasant - written by Ben Edlund and starring Adam Busch. So in the barren post Buffy television landscape, will it be worth watching? And if you're interested, there's a great Marti Noxon interview at Fangoria where she talks about why James Marsters didn't want the Boyd role and how she'd love to bring Amber Benson onto the show.

Watched the first episode last night on E4, it was ho hum. There's is room for improvement but it does have potential.

A better cast, perhaps?
I watched it on E4 too. It wasn't perhaps as dull as I'd heard in the reviews but I would agree it lacked the 'wit' of BtVS as I think most critics had said.

One thing struck me though was the scoring - there is a passage about halfway through that sounded almost the same as S7 scoring - I wasn't aware that Robert Duncan was 'on board' ,so to speak, until the credits rolled. I knew about others but not him. I also thought the church looked familiar but that could be just me. And does Marti have a thing about bees/wasps IOHEFY anyone??

I am going to watch it again - there is not much else at the moment to bother with.
I also had a feeling of recognition with the musical score. I didn't know that Robert Duncan was working on the show.

I'll be watching tonight. I'm still going to give it a chance to surprise me. I think the plot is interesting and I like Omen-y stories. I always give new shows that im interested a chance to get on their feet. I can't say how many episodes I'll keep watching, but I might just watch the entire season and make a judgement then. I probably won't worry about missing an episode or anything (I know I can download it later), so it won't be appointment TV.

I'm intersted in what Adam Busch will bring to the show. I also have to admit that there is just something about Elisabeth Harnois that intrigues me. Can't put my finger on it. Maybe it's because she looks so angelic (very beautiful, imo) and wears mostly white all the time (and she wears Buffy's cross necklace), yet she's EVIL! Or half evil anyway.

Another reason why I'll keep watching is because there's nothing else worth watching that night anyway.

[ edited by electricspacegirl on 2005-01-27 13:52 ]
Despite my best efforts my husband neither knows who Marti Noxon is nor cares, so this from an unbiased source with no Buffy baggage: after 5 minutes watching PP he said ‘looks like Baywatch meets the OC’, after another 10 minutes he said ‘there seems to be a bit of edginess underneath’.

Sounds like a pretty fair assessment to me.

I thought the premise was good but the execution was mediocre. Has the potential to get better and I will carry on watching for a few more episodes. I agree, it's not appointment TV, but fits in nicely before Desparate Housewives at 10pm.

The young actors mostly are a bit like cardboard cut-outs, I wish they were quirkier and more distinctive. Can’t remember many names, not a good sign. It pains me having to echo what people have said about the score – too much, too loud, too obvious. Subtle it ain’t. Clever it ain’t. Bit like this particular episode.

In all fairness we are probably way the wrong demographic, but my husband did enjoy looking at the ladies. Bless.
I really wanted to prove all the reviews wrong last night and absolutely love the show but as Simon said ... ho hum!

The thing for me is that if the pilot doesn't grab me then i tend to let that influence my opinion of future episodes, rightly or wrongly. Buffy, Angel, Stargate, Alias, 24 and most of my other favourite series over the years had me hooked by the end of the first 45 minutes. That is definately not the case with Point Pleasant.

I think the "teen drama" feel of the show isn't helping me get into it. I absolutely cannot stand shows like The OC, One Tree Hill and Dawson's Creek. In fact i'd rather watch a Charmed marathon then sit through a single episode of any of those series so that should tell you all you need to know! :)

To be fair not all series that i ended up adoring have hooked me straight away. Farscape was a very slow grower for me for example and it became my second favourite series of all time by the end. I'll give Point Pleasant a few more episodes, or at least until i hear that it has been cancelled in the US, but i'm not convinced that it will ever be among my favourites.
I watched the first two episodes of Point Pleasant and was disappointed. But, I have faith in Marti Noxon and will continue to give it a try (esp since it comes right after The O.C.). BTW, for those of you resistant to what you think is a 90210 vibe from The O.C., please give it a try. The show is very funny with witty dialogue, likable characters, and excellent acting (Mischa Barton notwithstanding). As someone who is several years older than the show's targeted demographic, I can honestly say that The O.C. is more than just a "teen drama".
Mai, i'm already being forced to give The OC a go, my girlfriend is a fan. I've had to sit through many episodes of season one already and i can honestly say that i have seriously considered setting fire to my hair in the vain hope that my brain would melt enough for me to stand watching the show to the end of the episode!!!

Sorry but it really isn't my idea of worthwhile television at all.
The first half of the first season of the O.C. was pretty engaging. I loved the first 2 episodes especially. The problem for me was Mischa Barton's acting took away from my enjoyment (I was also very distracted by wondering just how underweight she is). I hated the Ryan/Marissa storyline just for that reason. Toward the end of the season I got tired of it and couldn't care about Marissa anymore.

Then I sort of perked up when Dana the Vampire Slayer showed up with a make-over and I got interested again. Then she went away and I kind of lost interest in the whole thing. It's a hit or miss show for me.

But Adam Brody is the reason why I still check in sometimes. I love that guy. And Peter Gallagher is yummy and always a pleasure. Seriously, the adult relationships are way more interesting than the teen ones. It's not as bad a show as it seems it would be. But, you kind of have to enjoy soapy dramas. And not take it too seriously. Again, not appointment TV for me.

I do think The O.C. and Point Pleasant seem to be a good fit though. Hey, if I have nothing else going on, maybe I'll check in on The O.C. tonight and drool over Sandy's eyebrows. Er...not literally though.

[ edited by electricspacegirl on 2005-01-27 16:47 ]
I found a great interview with Marti at Fangoria and I've added it to the subject line.
Whatever this show is or becomes, if James Marsters becomes a regular I will watch it every week.
I'm looking forward to tonight's episode, but probably for different reasons than the show would like to believe. I just don't see how so many People I Like could create Something I Don't, and I'm really interested to see if the first real, non-pilot-y episode makes me laugh, jump or care even once.

And since I never pass up the chance to talk about The O.C., I'm definitely of the "it's a lot of fun, has great dialogue and is really not the show that the Fox promo department makes it out to be (and that's a good thing)" camp. And I love that they're not pushing the Ryan and Marissa thing this season
(it even makes it a bit easier to care about Marissa this way), though I fear that relationship will be back by season's end. Oh, and Ryan's awesome now.

Also, I wasn't going to give it its own thread since it's a little to late, but Drew Goddard's episode of Alias was on last night. In case you're wondering, it was a very different, funny and cool episode, with a creative mission for Sydney and an "Aw" moment at the end.
I'm not a fan of Point Pleasant so far, but I'll have to tune in for Ben's writing and Adam's acting.
I'll be checking it out as well tonight. I haven't been impressed but I figured I'd give it a few more chances (unless tonight's episode further underwhelms me). I'm hoping there will be a little glimmer of hope tonight that the show has something there to keep me interested. On the other hand, my daughter really likes it.
Sigh. With a promo of a body floating in the water and Marti on board, I had such high hopes. I'm trying to like this, I am, but I think The Do That Girl makes a great point in saying it lacks wit. Further, it lacks characters that I really care about - but I'll give it time. It lacks charm and darkness. It lacks repeatable dialogue.

But I'll give it a chance. Once it ratchets up the wit and darkness and tones down the tans and collagen, I'm sure I'll like it more. And with Adam Busch on board, it's already looking more entertaining.
Oh no! Another "It's as though she is a drunk" (drug addict) and falls off the wagon" (Floats on the ceiling asking who the supplier is).
This does not bode well. But I have to agree with VampiresSuckLOLOLGetIt
I just don't see how so many People I Like could create Something I Don't.
so I will try it again tonight
I'm sure this is an unfair assessment, but it almost seems like Marti's saying(In the Fangoria article), "I know my show is lackluster, so I'd LOVE to bring on actors that actually have charisma!!"

Even for Adam Busch I can't be bothered to watch it again. It was just so bleedin' boring!
Thanks for that link Simon. It is giving me more reason to continue to give this show a chance. I can understand JM reasoning for not wanting to take on that role but boy would he have been good in it. It sounds like Marti is going out of her way to try and find a spot for him as a regular. I also liked that she acknowledges that there wasn't any humor in the pilot but that they are planning on adding some to the mix. That would probably make a huge difference.

And to be fair to Marti - she sounds like she wanted James from the beginning and isn't trying to get him now to save the show. It sounds like he turned down that particular role because it was too similar to Spike's description.
GrrrAargh, you said it about a lack of quotable dialogue. Buffy, Angel and Firefly were filled with dialogue we quoted, dissected and rewatched, over and over, finding new meaning and nuance each time. One time through the dialogue in PP (so far) is one time too many.
James turned her down for Boyd (and I understand it) Hey, he warned us that he was trying to get away from Spike-like characters.
VampiresSuck, check out the Whedonesque Flickr forum if you want to talk about Alias. I posted a thread for last night's episode. I agree, it was very good. I squeed. I actually squeed. Out loud. I absolutely love Drew's writing. I just knew he was a good fit for that show.

Back on topic, I am totally on the same page with VampiresSuck. I have a hard time believing a ME writer could create something so bad. I have a lot of faith in these guys, and a lot of patience. I really don't watch very much broadcast TV, so I have a lot of room for a test show.

ETA: The Fangoria link is down.

[ edited by electricspacegirl on 2005-01-27 20:55 ]
VampiresSuck, you said it beautifully in your first two sentences. That's exactly why I'll be tuning in tonight. I'm not sure how long my own fascination over how unpredictably bad the show is (to me) will hold, though. Hopefully with the next episode or two (the longest I think I can hold out; I don't have much time for TV I don't love), I'll be eating my words and enjoying PP for the reasons Marti outlines in her Fangoria interview. I want so much for Marti and Ben to do well.
Thanks for the heads up on that electricspacegirl, some one give me a shout when it goes back up. Cheers.
I might end up going to a movie tonight. If I do, I'm not bothering to tape this. If I don't, I'll be home anyway so I might as well watch. Thursdays are no-TV-night for me lately though (lost track of Joey and my one reality-TV guilty pleasure, Survivor, doesn't start up again until February or March), so I usually watch Babylon 5 on DVD 'cause it's new to me and I'm kinda loving it. Hopefully if I watch Point Pleasant, I won't regret it so strongly that I'll wish I'd watched B5 instead.

Pilots are tricky. I wasn't big on the one for Jake 2.0, thought it had way too much in common with Spider-Man, particularly his origin story (even if it was intended as a respectful homage, still didn't like it). However, I thought the second episode was pretty damn good and the show improved dramatically as the season went on to the point where I considered it one of my favorite shows that season (it was all about the cast more than the fun, if sometimes paint-by-numbers plots. The small, close-knit cast of characters was great). Definitely had David Greenwalt's touch. UPN had to cancel the shit out of it though due to low ratings (hmm, up against The West Wing, Angel, and The Bachelor when it was still a ratings-winner. Yeah, nice going execs in charge of scheduling). I don't expect such improvement with PP...but maybe enough to keep me around as a casual viewer? I mean, the second episode was slightly better than the first last week...the only direction they can really go is up...
I'll stick around for three reasons: 1) Edlund/Marti; 2) Grant Show (who looks like he's having fun); and 3) Adam Busch as Satan's Groupie. These three factors could rescue the show from its current status as boring, cliched supernatural potboiler.

But even so, I just have a bad feeling about PP. The key to the series is the fight for Christina's soul. She seems to be a pretty nice kid, her heritage notwithstanding, so how is she going to be turned to the dark side? The only answer the show is giving me right now is the teen romance angle with Jesse. My heart sinks. I've had more excitement shovelling snow than I've had watching the teenagers of Point Pleasant.
I always seem to be the voice of dissent here.

I love PP so far! The lead actress is very charismatic and interesting and Grant Show plays evil in that sly way that I always get a kick out of. Plus, it is always great to see Dina Meyer on the tube. Her and Mia Sara were the only things that kept me into Birds of Prey when it was on.

What I can't understand is why so many people are embracing The OC and Desparate Housewives. Neither show holds one iota of interest for me. I say here here to any new genre show that tries to make it in these days of reality television and soap opera-like serials.

I will keep watching the 2 Stargate shows, Lost, CSI:New York, and now, Point Pleasant. I tried to get into Alias, but it is another show that doesn't hold my interest. Here's to Whedon, Chris Carter or JM Straczynski getting something new to the tube!
Xanderheartwillow - it's just different strokes for different folks. I enjoy the two Stargate shows but have no interest in the CSI shows. I'm giving PP a chance but it hasn't done anything for me - yet. I'm hoping that will change. Not every show is going to appeal to everyone. There are some people who love BtVS but hate AtS and vice versa. Some enjoyed both of those shows but didn't like Firefly. Now for me, I just can't comprehend that but that's the way it is. Hopefully for you and the people out there who are enjoying PP it will be a show that lasts. Whether or not I like it I'm hoping for Marti's sake it's a success.
Fangoria's back up, and it's an interesting read.

I think I'll give the show another chance tonight. Even though the over-wrought teen soapiness is a turn-off, and Grant Show's villain has, so far, been too disappointingly predictable, I like the ideas Marti discusses for where it's going. However, part of me just can't believe Fox will let it air long enough for her to have the chance to develop them.

And since when isn't a show about the Devil's daughter a "cult or niche"-type project? Huh?
Thanks for that Wiseblood. We'll see how Marti's vision compares to what we actually see on screen.
Awful acting thats why this show is not too good. The characters arent likeable cause their not good actors. The daughter Judy, Boyd, and the mother with the blackeye are the only decent actors on the show. I feel like i'm watching a low budget scfi channel show.
Where the heck was Adam Busch? Was that him for less than a full second in the bar when Boyd was meeting the woman played by Dina Meyer? He had the soul patch? Not much of a scene, if it was.

But I was again much disappointed by the show. I am having great problems with the music, the worst when Christina was praying with the priest and his eyes turned white and then there was this heavenly choir with ascending voices. That was just cheesy. I find the Grant Show character comic-book evil; they may as well have him twirl his moustache. Everyone is completely one sided, even though we have read they are not. I am not impressed by anyone's acting save for Dina Meyer, and this is dearly in need of both humor and and ensemble (such as Buffy had with the Scoobies), since I can't even begin to keep the characters all straight. I fear that this will sink, but then I may not be the demographic they are looking for, being an old man of 51. I just find that the story lines don't seem to make much sense, and I have no patience to wait around to see if it gets better. Sad to say, I am gone on this program.
Hmmm, I thought it was much better tonight. I loved the tour with the woman spouting off the truth about PP and the kid really getting into it and then asking his mom what syphillis is. So I'll be watching next week to see if it improves some more. I still have my issues with it but seeing as there isn't anything else on that I watch on Thursdays I might as well keep checking it out. Did anyone else think it was better this week or is it just me?
Dana5140 - "I fear that this will sink, but then I may not be the demographic they are looking for, being an old man of 51."

Well, at 17, I probably am the target demographic, but I completely agree with your comments on the show. I definitely won't be tuning into it next Thursday.
"One of the challenges of POINT PLEASANT that’s really fun is that we’re trying to ground it a little more in a world that feels real to people." The world in Buffy felt way more real to me the Point Pleasant so far, the characters from Buffy all seem like family members. Real people, with real lives.
It was better this week, more substance less show.
Maybe it was the Ben Edlund factor, but ep. 3 actually kept me awake, which is an improvement. I also noticed that it was directed by Marita Grabiak--yet another ME connection. The pacing did seem to have picked up, and everyone seemed to have a bit more zing.

The omens were still Obvious with a capital O, but hey--if it makes Fox happy ;-)
Marita directed the Vegas episode on Angel season 4 if i remember correctly. Very cool.
My husband remarked that PP tonight was the angstiest show he'd ever seen (which, considering he watches All My Children at home during his lunch break every day, is saying something). Lots of tortured exchanges and pregnant pauses for effect. "It's kinda bad," he said, smirking, "but I like it." (Come to think of it, Erica Kane would fit right in.)

All I kept thinking as I was watching was, "why don't they pull the blasted camera back once in a while during the emotional scenes?" The two-shots are so tight I don't feel like I can breathe, much less see the actors' reactions to one another. Oh yeah, and the bit where the drop of water falls on the priest's book and it shapes itself into 666 -- I mean, the hell? Where did the water come from? Leaky roof? No indication. Then I thought for a split second it might be a tear, but that would mean the guy was actually feeling something as he went through the scene. Hmmm ... might be pushing it.

Have to admit, though, I really, really like the opening credits. The shatter-into-birds effect is pretty neat.
Ok, after I watched the previously and the intro, I was prepared to write a very positive review. Am I alone in thinking the previously was better than the first 2 episodes combined? It gave all the exposition you need, and they were really cool and intense. And the introduction was like watching a completely different show. It was funny, quirky, and bizarre. The direction and musical score was a lot better.

But then I watched the rest of the episode.

Most of the characters are too one-dimensional. They need to really tone down the soap opera crap, because I don't want to be watching North Shore here. Some of the scenes make me think I accidentaly changed the channel to a "Mountain" field trip to the beach. It's distracting to go from quirky, funny scenes to boring beach scenes.

The exposition is way too heavy-handed. My biggest complaint is that this show would work so much better if it stopped piling all the scary stuff on the viewer so fast. Slow it the hell down.

This episode would have worked so much better if it had aired 10 or 12 episodes in. All the stuff that's happened so far in the story should have been told over a progression of a few weeks at least. Draw out the story of finding out what Christina is. Give it a slow build-up to set the mood of the show. It would give us more time to get to know the characters and care about them when these bad things happen to them.

The only characters I care about are Christina (she still fascinates me) and Judy. I do like Grant Show's character, and Amber is interesting. I don't believe the Christina and what's-his-name's love story.

I do have to say, I was moved by the scene with Christina and her "father" in the limo. I think Elisabeth Harnois is a good actress. In fact, the only scenes that I find compelling are the ones with Christina and the father she's living with, Christina and the priest, and Christina and Grant Show. Actually, pretty much every emotional scene that girl is in. She's good.

I'm a bit frustrated with tonight's episode, but I'm still curious so I'll keep watching for now. I did like the scene at the end, and the previews for next week. Is this show going to get even darker? Because that would be cool. I'd be really surprised if a show about Satan's daughter can last on network TV though. I bet the PTC would have a field day with this one.
My husband remarked that PP tonight was the angstiest show he'd ever seen (which, considering he watches All My Children at home during his lunch break every day, is saying something). Lots of tortured exchanges and pregnant pauses for effect. "It's kinda bad," he said, smirking, "but I like it."

Wiseblood, I feel the kind of the same way. Even though I know it's kind of bad, It's still kind of fun. And I'm with you, those opening credits are wicked.

I have a question for those of you who are watching. When I first read that Christina was going to be the daughter of Satan, I thought I had actually come across a spoiler. I assumed that would be a plot twist somewhere half-way through the season, or even at the end. Do you think that the learning that Christina is Satan's spawn came too quickly and there should have been a long, slow build-up to that plot twist? I realize we still don't know what Marti has planned for how this show will evolve, but tonight I just kept feeling like I was coming in at the middle of a really scary movie when I was watching this episode.

Oh, BTW, where was Adam Busch? I didn't see him in this ep.

[ edited by electricspacegirl on 2005-01-28 14:31 ]
Oh, BTW, where was Adam Busch? I didn't see him in this ep.

TV Tome now credits Adam Busch as appearing in next week's episode. They had credited him as being in last night's playing a character named Wes.
Oh, man, last night was sooo boring. I may, just may, be back next week b/c I'm a glutton for punishment, but no way will I be able to drag my husband back to the couch with me, especially after enticing him with unfulfilled promises of Warren and especially after new episodes of Veronica Mars (wit Alyson Hannigon, yay) start airing.
I really like Elisabeth Harnois though, maybe we can get her a guest spot on VM.

I think Marti Noxon is dead wrong about the comedy in Buffy detracting from the drama. On the contrary, it eliminated the soapy tinges and the melodrama. Maybe Marti Noxon thought Bad Cordy in Angel S4 was one of the best characters in the 'verse!!?? Certainly Point Pleasant needs a strong dose of Buffy quips.
Sigh. We spent the entire episode counting down the minutes to Adam Busch. Then we spent 20 minutes after the episode was over discussing where Adam Busch might have been, how we felt we'd been tricked for some ratings numbers, and how desperately we wish we were a Nielsen household. Then we spent another half hour quoting Adam Busch's lines from Buffy. Did I mention "Sigh"? I'm trying. I really really am trying.
I was waiting for Adam to appear also. I'm having a hard time keeping my eyes open for this show...and I was SOOO excited to have something on television to watch. My daughter and I have tuned in to each one...but I will say it has not been a show that I MUST see. I hope that will change because I don't know how much longer I can last.
For me last night's episode took the show from,"nothing to write home about" to "pretty dismal." I actually heard myself say "this is really bad" out loud all alone in my bedroom while I was watching.

I also thought MN's comment about the humor of BTVS making the show not feel as real was totally off base. I do not know much about MN, but liked what I have seen of her work on Buffy and have nothing against her. However, I always thought that the humor on Buffy was one of the things that made it feel real. (And yes, BTVS feels much more real to me than PP. I think that is because there is a core of truth about the human experience in BTVS even though it is presented through metaphore.) Humor is something that happens all the time in the worst of circumstances. People use it to keep from spiraling down into total self-indulgent, self pity, among other things. As someone here said, humor keeps things from turning into melodrama. They were talking about fiction and I agree, but I would add that it does the same thing in real life. PP is bad melodrama at this point. I'll try to watch again next week for Adam Bush, but I don't know if I can take it.

BTW which character is Loyd? I did not see the 2nd episode and I don't remember their names. I think I figured it out, but they did not say the character's name when he was on screen for any of this episode that I saw. (I missed most of the teaser and a minute or two during the show while I was juggling trying to see it with the rest of my obligations.)

It is really hard for me to watch prime time TV. To make as much of an effort as I have in the last couple weeks, and for it to be...well...it is really disappointing. I was really hoping for something good for MN and the fans.
I wasn’t writhing with boredom this episode (thanks to Ben Edlund and Marita Grabiak) so I guess that’s an improvement! I would still like to know whose idea it was to gather up some of the most boring and forgettable actors to ever step in front of a camera and stick them in the same show. Any of the awkward exposition or soapy clichés wouldn’t bother me as much if any of them could manage to act their way out of that paper bag to hold my interest. It was closer to being right there in front of them this episode and they still can’t see it. Dimwits.
It’s cool that Marti is looking to bring on some Buffy actors, I just hope James (as much as I adore him) isn’t one of them. I think he was smart to turn down the Boyd role and I think he should stay away from anything supernatural (typecasting)or soap opera-y (a waste of his realism and energy).
From TV Guide's "The Watercooler":

Point Pleasant
Grant Show's character Lucas is stealing this show. For real. Think about it: He reads minds. He telepathically makes things happen. And he's the devil's assistant, the watcher anti-Christina never wanted. It's kinda brilliant. In tonight's episode he dropped a few choice words and got the town tour guide to hilariously tell Point Pleasant's dirty little secrets. Next he pushed a glass off his café table, and just as it hit the ground — crash! — Judy had a car accident. "Check, please," he said as Christina eyeballed revenge on the other driver. Ah, it was juicy! Then there's the whole thing of him telling Amber to "get all her emotional ducks in a row" so she can help him buy the town. "How can you have that face and those eyes and still make me sick to my stomach?" she asks. My answer: It's an evil gift.


Wow, I guess he/she liked it! I think last week's the Watercooler also had a response similar to this. I'm a little stunned. I did think the episode was better this week but considering how bad I thought it was the two episodes previously any improvement was a big step up. Still has quite a way to go before I'd consider it "must see tv".
However, I always thought that the humor on Buffy was one of the things that made it feel real.

CJ, you're spot on here. This is my biggest criticism of the show - the lack of wit combined with a stunning lack of smarts. Yawn.
If Lucas can telepathically make things happen, you cannot fight him. I did not get that this is what he was doing. I was more unhappy that he was in that chair, in that restaurant, right at the time Christina was walking by, and right at the time that the daughter whose name escapes me (Judy?) was driving her car by, and right when the fellow driving the other car was the son of the wealthy evil family and that is just too much coincidence for me.
I just had to chime in and agree that the show REALLY needs to add more humor. I know I would enjoy it more if it wasn't so melodramatic.

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