As a boy Ned finds out the hard way that he has a special gift. One touch will bring dead things back to life. A second touch makes them dead again -- forever. One minute after bringing the deceased back to life someone or something else dies. You kind of need to watch episode one to understand how he feels responsible for killing Charlotte's father. You can watch full episodes at NBC.com. Grown up Ned (Lee Pace) puts his talent to good use by touching dead fruit and making it ripe with everlasting flavor. He opens a pie shop. But his gift leaves him wary of becoming close to anyone, as beautiful waitress Olive Snook (Kristin Chenoweth) finds out. (Week two she does a hilarious spoof of Hopelessly Devoted.) His life as a pie maker gets more complicated when private investigator Emerson Cod (Chi McBride) finds out about Ned's secret. Emerson convinces the cash-strapped Ned to help him solve murder cases (and collect the hefty reward fees) by raising the dead and getting them to name their killers.
Then Ned is handed the case that changes his life forever. His childhood sweetheart, Charlotte "Chuck" Charles (Anna Friel), is murdered on a cruise ship under strange circumstances. Her death brings him back to his hometown of Coeur d' Coeurs to bring Chuck back to life, albeit briefly, and solve the crime. But once reunited with Chuck, Ned can't bring himself to send her back. He helps her escape after her grieving aunts, Lily and Vivian (Swoosie Kurtz, Ellen Greene), former synchronized swimmers Darling Mermaid Darlings, think they've buried her forever.
Chuck becomes the third partner in Ned and Emerson's PI enterprise, but she encourages them to use their skills for good, not just for profit. Ned is overjoyed to be reunited with Chuck, the only girl he's ever loved. Life would be perfect, except for one cruel twist -- if he ever touches her again, she'll go back to being dead, this time for good.
Perfect romantic conflict, when you think about it.
I'm still considering my rating for this show. It's stupid, but it's funny stupid. (Coming from someone who laughs at My Name is Earl, consider the source.)
Combine a Desperate Housewives-style theme song, the omnicient narration of a Walgreens commercial (I swear they hired the same guy) to an Edward Scissorhands atmosphere and surreal look and you've got a pretty weird venue. I really liked week one. I was mixed about week two, so next week will probably make me decide whether or not I watch this one.
Anyone else watching?