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A low budget, unprofessional copycat of mainstream teen dramas
I am a naturally skeptical and pessimistic person, so when I first read about "Palmetto Pointe" in The Post & Courier, I was dubious about the character and quality of the show. As I read on, I decided to suppress my inherent negativity and try to think favorably of the new show. I imagined "Palmetto Pointe" as something like South Carolina's version of the "OC" or even "Dawson's Creek". After watching the series' debut on Pax, I realized that I had been most horribly deceived. In one hour, I was exposed to more superficial characters, generic plots, and pathetically corny one-liners than in my entire television viewing life.
The show's plot revolves around the trials of six young friends as they prepare for college and the big bad world outside of Palmetto Pointe. The main character is Tristan Sutton, the struggling, minor-league baseball star with a bad temper, a large ego and a troubled past. The other five characters play generic and stereotypical roles in the story: Millison Avery (Tristan's mysterious love interest), Lacy Timberline (Tristan's bitter but beautiful ex-girlfriend), Logan Jones, (Tristan's lifelong friend with an abusive and alcoholic father) and lovebirds Callah O'Connell and Josh Davidson (also part of Tristan's posse). The show began with Tristan's bitter-sweet return to his hometown of Palmetto Pointe, where he had to come to grips with the death of his parents, his angry older brother, Jason, his alienated friends and his discontented baseball rivals. This saturation of teen drama had unintended and negative effects; instead of feeling compassion, empathy, sympathy or any other positive feeling towards the characters, I felt an overwhelming sense of apathy and I felt disconnected from the story.
I believe my sense of apathy towards the plight of the characters was further enhanced by the quality of acting displayed in "Palmetto Pointe". With the exception of John Wesley Shipp, who played Logan Jones' abusive and alcoholic father, the general quality of acting was dismal and embarrassing. This poor acting was further enhanced by corny one-liners, unnatural dialogue, and bad casting decisions. Tim Woodward Jr.'s portrayal of Tristan Sutton is probably the worst of the entire cast, or at the very least, the most noticeable. Woodward's stilted rendition of the dialogue, his mumbling, his impassive face while trying to interpret emotional scenes and overall incompetence is painful to watch for extended periods of time. Actor Tim Woodward Jr.'s unimpressive physique also makes his portrayal of a professional baseball player ridiculous.
In addition to the pathetic acting and generic plot line, the one thing I found most grating about "Palmetto Pointe" was the general unprofessional look of the show. The production quality, direction and editing of the show was very poor. The excessive use of fadeouts gave me a headache and the bad sound mixing made it difficult to hear dialogue between characters.
From poor acting to an overzealous use of fadeouts, "Palmetto Pointe" is a low budget, unprofessional, generic copycat of mainstream teen dramas. Overall, I must say I was sadly disappointed with "Palmetto Pointe". If viewers are still adamant on following the show's progression, they may expect to see controversial topics such as date rape, teen pregnancy and child abuse to be explored in future episodes.
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