Distributed By: 20th Century Fox
Reviewed by Justine Manzano
I swear it’s time for me to write a column called Cancelled Classics. But I’m hoping that there will be less of them as time goes on, so I don’t want to give myself a job where I’ll be hoping to have less to write about. After spending my time presenting Firefly and Wonderfalls to you, two failed shows. both by alumnus of the hit television series’ Buffy The Vampire Slayer and Angel, I present to you another failed show with a lot of potential from a different Buffy descendant. This particular one is Marti Noxon, former Executive Producer of Buffy, who now becomes Executive Producer of Point Pleasant. I wasn’t sure if I should follow her, because she tended to be an overly melodramatic force on Buffy, and the seasons when she took over, while still amazing, were my least favorite seasons. But in the end, not a bad choice—although Point Pleasant wasn’t a perfect show either.
The show follows the story of Christina Nickson (Elizabeth Harnois), a girl with a supernatural secret—her father is Satan. When Christina falls off of a cruise ship, she washes up in the town of Point Pleasant, New Jersey and is rescued by a handsome lifeguard named Jesse (Sam Page). Also, the daughter of a human woman, Christina refuses her fate and tries desperately to be a good girl. Taken in by the Kramer family, who have just recently lost their oldest daughter, Christina tries her best to hold on to her humanity and leans on the Kramers for support. But with the arrival of the devil’s right-hand man, Lucas Boyd (Grant Show, Melrose Place), Christina begins to lose control of her powers. Soon, people’s emotions and normally hidden dark sides come out in force. As the forces of good become determined to kill her, good or bad, Christina discovers she must make a choice—should she die to save the world, or thrive despite it?
There are some very good things about this show. One of them is the relationships. The growing love between Christina and Jesse was very well done, and got even better with the slow realization that Jesse was born to be a weapon against her—it’s the kind of thing that really brings a new meaning to forbidden love. The Kramers include Ben (Richard Burgi, The Sentinel, Desperate Housewives) who has been keeping secrets about his daughter’s death, Meg (Susan Walters, Dear John, Nightingales) who has been bordering on crazy since it happened, and Judy (Aubrey Dollar, Guiding Light) who has been feeling the guilt of her sister’s loss after spending the night with her sister’s boyfriend. Their interaction and the way that the problems seem to light up when anyone is around Christina are very well done and commendably acted.
The problem with this show is it’s pacing. It starts out slow, with much promise, but still moving in tiny baby steps that feel like they will take forever to develop (and I’m a patient person—I watch Lost!!). For example, in the first episode we meet Christina, realize she has powers and a questionable father, and see a crazy apocalyptic birth mark in her eye. We have no idea who she is, why she’s there or much of anything about the town she’s landed in. Then, after about 3 episodes of dragging, the show suddenly pick up steam, and picks up so fast that when watching it as a series on television I found myself wondering where they could possibly go with the show at the rate they were going. Apparently, Fox, the station the show had aired on, got the same idea. A couple of episodes later, the show was cancelled. Now, looking at the DVD, the pacing problems only got worse, and by the time you reach the last episode of the series which is amazing, you wonder how the producers ever believed they could get a second season out of it! Unfortunately, we will never find out.
The DVD box set of Point Pleasant doesn’t offer much in the way of special features. Not a commentary can be found and the most we get aside from the five episodes that were not aired is the “Making of Point Pleasant Featurette”, which doesn’t tell us all that much that most people didn’t already know. But this is not the kind of DVD you buy for the Special Features—this is the kind of DVD you buy for the story. This amazing mini-series style production, is well worth the expense.