Point Pleasant

Created by John McLaughlin and Marti Noxon

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Point Pleasant

Former Buffy writer botches supernatural soap-opera concept

The result of combining two genres, the soap opera and the apocalyptic conflict, Point Pleasant provides some limited pleasures, but probably not ones intended by its creators. The show revolves around a teenage girl, Christina Nickson (played with a constantly vacant expression by Elizabeth Harnois), who washes ashore at a small New Jersey town. Her presence in the somnolent community confuses the town’s boys and lets loose libidos. At the same time, though, Christina is no ordinary teenage girl since she’s also the offspring of Satan; and that’s where Point Pleasant becomes something of a mess. While this juxtaposition of the mundane and supernatural may have provided a basic structure for Buffy the Vampire Slayer, the creators of Point Pleasant (including Buffy producer/writer Marti Noxon) seem to have missed that show’s main lesson. Unlike Buffy, which never forgot that its primary concern was telling stories about what it means to be human (and thereby constantly blurring the natural/supernatural distinction), Point Pleasant’s Christina is nothing but the plaything of supernatural forces. Indeed, her very name points to the banal, over-literal presentation of the show’s supernatural elements.

The pleasures of Point Pleasant don’t derive from its good-versus-evil battle, but rather from two performances. Grant Show, playing a Satanic minion, and Dina Meyer, playing a single mom who comically fails in her repeated seduction attempts, seem to be under the impression that the show is either a farce or a satire. Their over-the-top performances suggest that Point Pleasant could’ve been a cheesy, fun nighttime soap. Instead of being a supernatural Melrose Place, though, Point Pleasant is simply a sexed-up variation on a tired story.

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