- The Washington Times - Tuesday, January 18, 2005

Bedeviled ‘Point’

Fox’s new “Pleasant Point” drama bears the hallmarks of the network’s soapy teen fare. Toned young bodies. High school level melodrama. The beach setting’s beguiling waves.

The twist? The stunning girl who literally washes ashore in this quaint New Jersey hamlet is Satan’s daughter.

Improbably, everything that follows sounds like just another beach drama — from the cookie-cutter leads to the bland theatrics.

Let’s not even discuss the noticeable lack of a Jersey accent among the characters.

The show debuts at 9 tonight, with a second episode airing at the same time tomorrow, its regular slot.

Old Scratch’s daughter, Christina Nickson (Elizabeth Harnois), gets rescued by a Point Pleasant, N.J. lifeguard (Sam Page) in tonight’s opener. She’s swiftly taken in by a local family burdened by the loss of one daughter and the outcast status of another (Aubrey Dollar).

Christina’s father supposedly is away on business, and she doesn’t remember where her mother went, so much of her angst involves family issues. Good thing she can let off steam by igniting fires at will and seducing the lifeguard — and likely plenty of his pals.

Tonight’s biggest scares involve a freak storm and a few flickering candles, hardly shocking for those weaned on “The X-Files.”

“Point Pleasant’s” supernatural aura barely registers, and its histrionics seem as though they were resuscitated from “The O.C.’s” cutting-room floor.

Family’ cover-up

First Mickey Rooney’s ample backside, displayed in an advertisement for a cold remedy, got nixed by nervous Fox executives. Now the network reports pixilating an animated rump on “The Family Guy,” Associated Press reports.

Fox says it covered up a naked rear because of nervousness over what the Federal Communications Commission could find objectionable.

The episode in question came several weeks ago during a “Family Guy” rerun, Fox entertainment President Gail Berman said. Fox electronically blurred a character’s posterior even though the image was seen five years ago when the show originally aired.

“We have to be checking and second-guessing ourselves now,” Miss Berman told AP.

Fox hasn’t received any complaints about the cartoon. But the move follows the FCC’s decision to fine 169 Fox stations $7,000 each for airing an episode of “Married by America” that showed people licking whipped cream from strippers’ bodies, and a man in his underwear being spanked by the cdysiasts.

“It’s certainly confusing when you have to do something like that,” Miss Berman said. “It’s just that we were trying to find our way and do what’s responsible.”

The better-safe-than-sorry mantra also has caught on in public broadcasting. PBS executives said they will edit out a glimpse of a naked woman in “Dirty War,” a fictional account of a terrorist dirty bomb attack it will air next month — weeks after the film’s unedited debut on HBO.

Compiled by Christian Toto from staff and wire reports.

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