Thursday, October 11, 2007

NEW SEASON TV: Pushing Daisies

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 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?


  1. I haven't watched yet...been recording it.

  2. Darn it! I missed it!
    Thanks for the recap of the show. I'll have to make sure I watch it next week.

  3. I can't decide either. I think they're on their way to something but just haven't quite made it. I do think: ooh, I could write that kinda stuff. I have a knack for the ridiculous :)

  4. Will check it out as I ADORE Swoozie Kurtz and enjoyed Kristin Chenoweth as the sharp blonde "media consultant in West Wing's last 2 seasons." Thanks to Google research, I found she "dated Aaron Sorkin who wrote WW. In Sorkin's Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip, (which I also watch) the character of Harriet Hayes bears significant resemblances to Chenoweth.... who confirmed to The NY Dog Magazine (??) that some of the character was taken from her "verbatim," but stressed that, (some of her faith/political beliefs) are unlike the character." I want to share she "appeared in Nora Ephron's 2005 film version of Bewitched. The film's star, Nicole Kidman, had attended a performance of Wicked and was so impressed with Chenoweth's charisma and stage presence that Kidman requested to Ephron that Chenoweth be cast in the film. Chenoweth got the part of Maria Kelly, Kidman's character's best friend."
    So thanks for the heads up to form my own opinion.