To say that
I thought this show sounded crazy-insane is giving it the benefit of a doubt.
My curiosity was aroused by a pair of trusted reviews and after that a personal
recommendation. Following that, I promptly found it at a video store, rented
the first disc, popped it into the player and fell “head over heels” in love with the charms of Pushing Daisies…
but a ten-year-old boy Ned discovered he had… a curse or a gift? He
watched his mother die of what appeared to be a heart attack right on their
kitchen floor while baking pies. But then he touched her and she suddenly was among
the living again… but alas, the neighbor almost immediately dies. Later
that night when leaning down to give her son a good-night kiss, Ned’s mother dies
all over again. Confused and upset, Ned’s
world is about to further shatter when his grief-stricken father ships him off to
boarding school, separating him not only from his remaining parent, but his
childhood sweetheart, Charlotte. As time passes, Ned learns to single-handedly
cope with his curse; he soon realizes that he can bring something – or someone
back to life, but only for one minute and if he were to touch that person
again, they’d die: forever.
Years go by and Ned (Lee Pace) becomes an
established bakery owner of The Pie Hole. He has a partnership with a private detective named Emerson Cod (Chi
McBride), who uses Ned’s ability to re-awaken the dead in order to solve his
cases. All of it is a well-oiled process until a young woman by the name of
Chuck Charles becomes the top story on the ten ‘o clock news.
under mysterious circumstances.
Raised by her recluse aunts (Ellen Greene, Swoosie Kurtz), Chuck was a sheltered
free-spirit. When Chuck is rumored to have been murdered on cruise ship,
Emerson nabs the case and brings his trusty sidekick along. Only problem is,
when Ned lays eyes on “Chuck,” he realizes she is Charlotte, the one girl he
never forgot. Awakening Chuck (Anna Friel), Ned tries to follow the rules
that his gift demands, but he can’t let go a second
time – and his ability to bring back the dead has another catch: if he doesn’t
touch the person a second time, someone else must perish.
anyone who likes quirky productions cannot go wrong with this show. It’s most
definitely on the good kind of “insane” and is still to this day one of the
most creative programs I’ve seen. ABC had developed a plot that worked in their
favor because at the time – and even to this day, there was really nothing else
like it on television. The premise could be thought morbid – or rather it is, but there is something about the show
that is happy. The nature of the show is always
light-hearted; kind of like sitting down to a warm cup of your favorite
tea or hot chocolate and catching up with old, treasured friends.
It takes the
right kind of audience to find something special in a series such as this. Not everyone will think this is worth a look because
they will be too “concerned” about how the premise might present itself.
The fact that Ned can wake the dead is, I’ll admit, a bit of a stretch, but the show has an infectious energy. All of this praise doesn’t even go into the wonderful characters. The way that Ned and Chuck
respond to one another is perfectly charming. They have such a tender chemistry
that it’s hard not to root for their happiness; Olive (Kristen Chenoweth) is hilarious and
Emerson is, well, he’s the deadpan humorous voice in the show. (Two of my very
favorite episodes are “Dummy” and “Bitter Sweet.”)
not you’ve already seen this, or are just getting into the series, know this –
you’re not likely to see television or anything so charming, quite like this anytime soon.
CONTENT: There is quite a bit of sexual innuendo over the entire season run. Naturally, the better part of the show is morbid, so
the humor sometimes follows suit. At least one episode implies intimate
relations between an unmarried couple. Various bodies are featured in the
morgue – the camera pans most of the murders. Pushing Daisies is rated TV14.