Seeing this series was a kind of back and forth decision process. Its first season surprises me in so many ways, but most of all it was nice to discover this doesn’t abuse Christianity. Much to my delight, this is an instant favorite, and then the network unceremoniously cancels said delight, which is a shame.
Pushing Daisies, Season Two (2008) TV Show Review
Since Lily Charles (Swoosie Krutz) dropped the bomb to Olive (Kristin Chenoweth) that she is Charlotte’s mother and not an aunt, Olive is the keeper of one too many secrets. Trying to keep her head above water, Olive remains in her lonely existence working at her would-be-true-love’s Pie Hole Cafe. Ned (Lee Pace), master pie-maker, has a rather unusual ability; he can wake the dead. His childhood sweetheart, Charlotte or “Chuck” (Anna Friel) is all grown up and unaware of the great secret Olive holds, also works with Ned as they navigate a unique relationship, one that includes no human contact because of Ned’s unique ability.
In the meantime, Charlotte agrees to help their friend, PI Emerson Cod (Chi McBride) by going undercover at Betty’s Bees, a cosmetic company. Emotions may be terse, but the gang soon realizes they have bigger bees to deal with when they piece together more clues instrumental to their case. What might Betty (Missi Pyle) be hiding?
One of the disappointments this season is that it’s not as clean as season one. Since Ned cannot psychically touch Chuck, they resort to other methods of showing affection, which for the most part is sweet (like kissing though saran wrap), but occasionally the dialogue can get a bit risqué. Nonetheless, I absolutely love this show! The cancelation comes too soon and is certainly disappointing. There’s just so many “mysteries” in need of solving.
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Fortunately, the script is pure brilliance; creator Byan Fuller obviously has an imaginative mind if this is proof. The promotional packages suggest pure fun, but there’s more beneath the surface. Each episode is unique and every one contributes something to the many layers of the show. The premise is peculiar, but add in the fantastically quirky sets and costumes, an airy score plus wonderful characters and you have a recipe for a slice of confectionery delights. There’s lots of nuance to this show, and it’s always charming. This won’t be a show for everyone because of its messaging.
Another difference from first to this final season is ‘one’ generally completes a story. Season two tends to leave you hanging. We also see more of Charlotte and Ned’s fathers in this set. For every character, there’s a good cast. I always did like Lee; his Ned is one of my all-time favorite TV characters. He’s easy to relate too, and we always champion the sweet chemistry between he and leading lady Anna Friel. For the most part, every character’s background gets a closer look in these episodes.
A few favorite episodes include “The Legend of Merle McQuoddy” (a case that Emerson and Charlotte work); “Bzzzzzzzz!”; “Dim Some, Lose Some” (Emerson is a victim of cupid); “Oh, Oh, Oh….it’s Magic”; and “Comfort Food.” The final episode could have been sad because we realize Ned is about to let the best thing in his life go. If this is all there will ever be to a beloved series, the conclusion is tolerable but leaves many questions unanswered. (To make things worse, we’re cheated out of a full season previously due to the writers’ strike.) The finale brings a sense of regret that this wasn’t given more time to grow. However if the movie rumors ever see reality, I’m first in line.
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Content: Chuck appears in Ned’s dream naked beneath a blanket. There’s various implications of affairs, one episode implies adult material [“Robbing Hood”]. Mild innuendoes suggest homosexuality; and there’s immodest dress. Any violence is more “comical” than brutal since most of the victims die in unusual ways; some have bashed in faces, another her legs cut off; a body is twisted completely all around; a sword through the chest, another man is about to be decapitated with a chain saw. There is commonplace profanity including numerous uses of bit*h and references to both male and female anatomy. One questionable episode,“Freescorts” implies a service-for-hire that allows the renter to dictate a person to become whatever they want. Pushing Daisies, season two is TV-14/-PG depending on the episode.