Raindrops fall attractively on the surface of a big water tank outside L.A. that's masquerading as the Atlantic Ocean. We look up from below as a female body is thrown into the water and floats artsily for a while. This is followed by a short opening sequence where the onscreen letters spelling out "Point Pleasant" turn into animated crows and fly away. It's kind of cool. Golly, maybe this show will turn out to be really, really good!
An ugly wooden sign tells us we're at the Point Pleasant New Jersey State Beach. You'd think someone would make the sign a little prettier if the show is expecting to use it as an establishing shot many times in each episode. People might get sick of it after a while. Then again, I'm thinking that long-range planning might not be an absolutely necessity for this show, if you catch my drift. In any case, I'm just glad to see they don't let any ugly or un-buff people onto the beach.
A man so thin that his ribcage pokes out runs up to a girl lying on a towel. He's wearing his swim trunks so low that they are held up only by the grace of God. As we'll learn later, this is the male protagonist's dishonest best friend. What we won't learn for a good long time, if ever, is the guy's name, so I'm just going to take valeriel's suggestion and call him Ribcage. He shakes a bit of water on the girl, who says, "Quit it. You're getting me wet." She adds, "Oh, don't be gross," even though Ribcage hasn't really done anything but look away in a vaguely stupidly fashion. Oh, wow. So it's going to be that kind of show -- you know, gross and vaguely stupid. I mean, you can't help but worry when this is the very first piece of dialogue on the show. The girl tells Ribcage, "It's never gonna happen," then gets up and walks away, gazing back at him in a way that's supposed to be sassy, or maybe sleazy, but ultimately just ends up looking vaguely stupid.
The girl's name is Paula, and she is dating Jesse, whose name is a loosely disguised variation of "Jesus." Ouch, it's the first anvil! Watch where you throw those things, Marti! Jesse is a lifeguard who is Ribcage's best friend and looks remarkably like him, with the exception of any noticeably protruding bones. Did you see that? I can do unfunny sexual innuendo almost as well as the show can! God, I'm so proud. Jesse abandons his post to make out rather chastely with his girlfriend.
Two teens pull up to a gas station in a convertible. Having seen the first two episodes in their entirety already, I'm going to cheat a little and tell you that I don't recall encountering these people again, so I think it's safe to assume that they're just here to provide some clunky exposition that we might otherwise have to wait an episode or two for. You know, like how they might handle things on a good show. The girl points out that the gas station attendant is named Judy Kramer and insists that Judy never talks to anyone because she's got "attitude." The boy defends Judy and invites her to a party that will be taking place on the beach tomorrow night. His friend adds that the party will be "very pagan," which I doubt sincerely, unless by "pagan" she means "extras flirting and dancing seductively while pretending they're on a real show like The O.C." Judy declines the invitation politely. Yeah, what a fucking bad-ass she is. Just check out that attitude. Ultimately, the Tertiary Exposition Couple are so unimportant that Judy doesn't even bother putting gas in their car.