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  • Pushing Daisies

    I couldn't find a thread about the show, so I thought I just start one, since I just saw the Pilot and found myself motivated to write up some short impressions!

    I have to say that I found myself utterly enchanted by the first episode. My first impulse to watch the show came from its lead actor Lee Pace, whom I fell in love with when he played Jaye's neurotic older brother Aaron in Wonderfalls. He brought such a wonderful quirkiness to that character that he left a lingering impression on me ever since, so I was thrilled to see him on his own show as a lead character.

    The premise of Pushing Daisies isn't overly original, it's the execution that sets the show apart. The show is about young Ned, who one day finds that he can bring the deceased back to life, simply by touching them, but if he touches the same person again (or the person accidentally touches him), they drop back dead. So far so good, the universe has to be balanced though, so there is a clause: if he brings someone back to life and the person doesn't return to its death-ly status again within one minute, someone else, who happens to be in close proximity, will die instead. The discovery of his ?gift' turns into a troubling series of events for Ned and he finds himself 20 years later as a pie-maker with an odd occupation for his spare time: helping a private investigator uncover unsolved murders, ?cause y'know, who knows better about how they came to kick the bucket than the deceased themselves, right?

    If you now think, ah Six Feet Under meets Dead Like Me, then you are quite mistaken though. The show can best be described as Roald Dahl and Lemony Snicket meet Tim Burton (Big Fish & Charlie and The Chocolate Factory era rather than Batman), add a shot of Jeunet's The wonderful world of Am?lie and you get the picture. This is not (at least not for the Pilot) about the angsty confrontation with our own mortality. It's a colourful, bright, magical fairy tale world, with playful settings and a jaunty tune as score set in the background. The animating story of Ned is charmingly told by Jim Dale as the narrator from the off, who brings just the right amount of ironic vibe into the narration to deliver the sometimes slightly morbid voiceover for the story.

    The characters are all quirky, funny and loveable and the dialogues are wonderfully light-hearted and sophisticated. The romantic subplot is very predictable from the beginning, but that's just how these kinds of stories go, it's part of the fairy tale and hence comes logically with the package, but Lee Pace and his childhood sweetheart played by Anna Friel hit just the right note between sweetness and playfulness without turning too sugary.

    This is absolutely the show that I was looking for this season. Light-hearted, humorous fun, with a light edge and enough eccentricity to keep me interested. If you like movies like Lemony Snicket's Series of Unfortunate Events, Tim Burton's Big Fish or the aforementioned Am?lie, this show will entertain you. If you look for drama, action and special effects this might not be your cup of tea, but I for one am curious to see if they manage to hold up the expectations and standard they set up with the Pilot!
    Last edited by galathea; 09-10-07, 12:10 AM.

  • #2
    I saw the pilot a few months back and I was excited for this show even long before that. It's fun and whimsical in such a strange yet charming way.

    One thing that I enjoy immensely is the delivery of the dialogue. I can't quite explain it but it can be very fast at times and said rather dryly. But it's so interesting to watch and listen to. Think of that scene with Ned and (ooh I forget the character's name! ) the cop played by Chi McBride; they are both looking straight ahead and having a conversation. They are speaking in a slight monotone voice and....I don't know. It's just interesting.

    There's this new trend in tv where movie folks are taking to the small screen. This pilot was directed by Barry Sonnenfeld and you can see his influence in it.

    I highly recommend this show. I am a little surprised it is on network television; it almost seems like it is something you would find on cable.

    Anyway, I love the show and could write a bit more but I have baby tugging at my leg.
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    • #3
      Haven't got time to write much now but wanted to chime in with...loved it! Loved the tone...it was kinda like what Desparate Housewives TRIES to be - the gentle, light kitschy atmosphere with something darker underneath. Did remind me a lot of Dead Like Me (not surprisingly given the same parentage...oh and, sorry Chris, but it did!), but actually think I'm going to like this more. Totally agree re the Roald Dahl feel though Amelie was what I thought initially...the idea of meddling in someone's life for their own good (which I always find REALLY freaky, so glad that he admitted he was being unselfish for selfish reasons ). Beth from Brookie, how you've grown

      Anyone else finding it weird that soap actors from the UK are infiltrating US telly now? Does that tell you anything about the state of Quality Television in the UK...? (ie to make a step up you have to go over the ocean, since we haven't got anything as good). Though perhaps it's just because we don't have large bundles of money to offer. That's probably it. Quality Shcmality. Since bionic woman isn't exactly Whedon or Sorkin level good.

      This might be though. Another thing it really reminded me of was Twin Peaks, but that might be partly the women in eyepatches and the pie obsession. No, there is something peaksy about the stylisation and the surface of small town sweetness. And the Beth from brookie character, Chuck, she could definitely give Audrey a run for her money (in vintage shoes, naturally). Just hope she doesn't get a weekend job as a hooker.

      Actually, this is much lighter, more comical than Twin Peaks...can't really imagine a rape in this show somehow. Nor anything as scary as Bob (because he's busy on Reaper ).


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      • #4
        I watched the entire show tonight. I thought it was great. I missed basically all but like four minutes of the pilot so I had no idea what had happened previously but that didn't matter. It was weird and quirky which I love. I just wanted to ask if anyone knew if this show will have like a season arc or will it just be kind of a MOTW type show? All in all it kept me interested long enough to not flip the channel but that's not saying much for the reason being there isn't anything else on tv that I want to watch now a days. What I guess I should have said is, I didn't pop in a Buffy dvd to keep me busy and entertained. We'll see what happens next week.
        T _A _T _E _R _S'____ W _O _R _L _D

        Proud recipient of the "Vagenis Award of Excellence"

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        • #5
          I watched the pilot yesterday and really enjoyed it. The show has this cinematic feel about it, which is not surprising seeing that the pilot was directed by Barry Sonnenfeld and I agree with Jenni Lou, you could see his influence. The lush colours and the sets they chose are definitely something you don't see every day in a TV show.

          The characters are quirky, funny, interesting and have something unique about them. I loved the two aunts, they were great! The love story between Ned and Chuck is very predictable though, so that part did not exactly blow me away. I enjoyed the dryly delivered voice-over a lot, it had just the right amount of irony.

          And Lou, I think this show is much lighter than Twin Peaks. With Twin Peaks you get that ominous, dark feeling right from the start, whereas in this show I got more a quirky and loving feeling.

          Originally posted by holypotatoes View Post
          I just wanted to ask if anyone knew if this show will have like a season arc or will it just be kind of a MOTW type show?
          That was what I was wondering as well. Because as much as I enjoyed the pilot and as much as I like the look and some of the characters of the show, I don't know if I'd be interested in an entire season of MOTW episodes with Ned solving a murder each week. Well I guess I'll check out the next few episodes and make up my mind then.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Wolfie Gilmore View Post
            Did remind me a lot of Dead Like Me (not surprisingly given the same parentage...oh and, sorry Chris, but it did!), but actually think I'm going to like this more.
            Heh, it's okay, I just thought this has a completely different feel than DLM, not so much about the tragedy of human mortality and how to deal with it, but much more comical and fairy tale like. The only thing comparable for me is that 'The Pie Hole' interior looks an awful lot like DLM's 'The Waffle House'! I would never associate PD with Twin Peaks though, Twin Peaks always was dark and twisted, with the characters bordering on the edge of insanity for me LOL .. well, just Lynch-ian. I don't think PD is anything like that.

            Originally posted by Cori View Post
            I watched the pilot yesterday and really enjoyed it. The show has this cinematic feel about it, which is not surprising seeing that the pilot was directed by Barry Sonnenfeld and I agree with Jenni Lou, you could see his influence. The lush colours and the sets they chose are definitely something you don't see every day in a TV show.
            Absolutely, I love the sets and the whole cinematographic approach, you never really get the feeling of watching a tv program. Especially now that I've seen the 2nd episode and they just keep up the standards of the Pilot in that regard.

            Originally posted by Cori View Post
            That was what I was wondering as well. Because as much as I enjoyed the pilot and as much as I like the look and some of the characters of the show, I don't know if I'd be interested in an entire season of MOTW episodes with Ned solving a murder each week. Well I guess I'll check out the next few episodes and make up my mind then.
            Well, I guess we have to see how it develops, difficult to say, though I am perfectly fine with MotW structures (as you know I really don't need seasonal arcs on every show) and only character continuity. The 2nd episode definitely had a 'solving murder case' feel but in such a unique way, that I absolutely enjoyed it. The absurdity of the chain of events is something that reminds me a bit of Wonderfalls (though WF was way more sarcastic in its approach than PD, which edges more on cute and romantic).

            I loved the 2nd episode: The friction between Emerson and Chuck is delightful and I love that despite all the cuteness, there is the edge of buried secrets just beneath the surface and the fact that all these different characters don't really know each other that well promises some surprises in the character dynamics in the future.

            The musical interlude was unexpected but shouldn't be surprising, given the genres PD meddles in. All the movie references, from Titanic over Halloween to Speed, really shows the variety of influences on the show. Where else can you encounter a sappy musical number in one minute and a crazy serial killer the next .. fun times!

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            • #7
              Originally posted by galathea View Post
              Heh, it's okay, I just thought this has a completely different feel than DLM, not so much about the tragedy of human mortality and how to deal with it, but much more comical and fairy tale like. The only thing comparable for me is that 'The Pie Hole' interior looks an awful lot like DLM's 'The Waffle House'! I would never associate PD with Twin Peaks though, Twin Peaks always was dark and twisted, with the characters bordering on the edge of insanity for me LOL .. well, just Lynch-ian. I don't think PD is anything like that.
              I found the voiceover similar in tone...or at least, parts of it. The stuff at the very beginning, with the toad of death? Simliar fairytale outlook.

              The ways in which it's like Lynch for me...well, there's a folksy cuteness as well as all the dark death stuff in TP. Agent Cooper loves pie, he's got an olde worlde courtesy thing going on...and then there's alll the sweetly quirky stuff ("there's a fish...in my percolator" springs to mind, or the log lady). I've never seen a Straight Story, but I imagine that as being a little like Pushing Daisies...Lynch minus the darkness. But it's primarily the stylisation that makes me think of TP...people don't talk like normal people a lot of the time, they speak in the verbal equivalent of ballet - each speech act is a step in the dance. It's all very self-conscious, as is the way they're styled - a lot of the characters dress as if they're in the 1950s (though Audrey especially).

              But Pushing Daisies takes stylisation even further. Much more like a lot of Burton (Big Fish...though I didn't like it very much...or, perhaps more appropriately, Edward Scissorhands, the boy who loves but can't touch).

              Still can't get over Beth from Brookie!


              -- Robofrakkinawesome BANNER BY FRANCY --

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              • #8
                Originally posted by holypotatoes View Post
                I just wanted to ask if anyone knew if this show will have like a season arc or will it just be kind of a MOTW type show?

                Not sure. But there are plenty of things that will be drawn out and need answers to: who killed Chuck?, Ned (inadvertently) killed Chuck's father, the aunts don't know about Chuck, etc. I think the show needs to settle into itself a little bit before it decides what kind of over-reaching stories it will tell.
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                • #9
                  Originally posted by galathea View Post
                  The 2nd episode definitely had a 'solving murder case' feel but in such a unique way, that I absolutely enjoyed it.
                  I agree, the second episode was very enjoyable I laughed so hard during this episode. This show is really so original and quirky. I mean how can you think of something like a car that runs on dandelions? That was just great! Plus the costumes those promotion girls had to wear just cracked me up! Or the scene where the main dandelion girl (the red haired one, her name escapes me at the moment) was crying and eating a whole pie crouched down behind the car. Such a unique scene!

                  Oh and I loved seeing the actor who played Richard Casablancas on VM as this episode's villain, he was great!

                  The musical interlude was unexpected but shouldn't be surprising, given the genres PD meddles in. All the movie references, from Titanic over Halloween to Speed, really shows the variety of influences on the show. Where else can you encounter a sappy musical number in one minute and a crazy serial killer the next .. fun times!
                  LOL, yeah the musical interlude was great fun! It reminded me a bit of Six Feet Under where the characters also often break into song to express their thoughts and feelings.

                  Well if the MOTW are as entertaining and innovative as it was in this episode, I think I'm gonna keep watching this show.

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                  • #10
                    Who watched it tonight?! I'm not sure when this show airs overseas so I don't want to say a ton but it was pretty good. It's very much so looking like a MOTW show. As we were talking about last week. I think I'll be okay with that. At least for awhile. My favorite part or at least the part that made me laugh really hard was when the lady was delivering the pie and the crow, crowed. That little duck she did and the look on her face was very entertaining to me. Maybe it's because I've done that exact move before. I hate when things fly at my head (ie. birds and bats). I'm pretty sure I didn't spoil anything for you if you haven't seen the episode or not.

                    BTW I'm not sure if this is like the official Pushing Daisies thread or if it was like a one time thread of what we thought the show was going to be and then we're supposed to stop posting.
                    T _A _T _E _R _S'____ W _O _R _L _D

                    Proud recipient of the "Vagenis Award of Excellence"

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                    • #11
                      Pushing Daisies has been picked up for the entire season! This is great news!! Wonderfalls sure never got so much love from their network. ABC has been really good about nurturing this show and promoting it. Take a page from the ABC protocol, FOX!
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                      • #12
                        So, is anyone still watching and loving it? I am. It's one of the few shows I watch without other distractions. With a lot of shows I can play on the computer and do stuff as I watch and listen but I love to really watch this show! It's so aesthetically interesting and neat and the characters can really talk fast at times.

                        One of my favorite progressions is how Chuck and Olive have sort of bonded and become friends. I just love them together. And they both love the same man. Awww!

                        Also, Emerson continues to be of the awesome and full of hilarity and cool.
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