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Monday, June 20, 2011

My review of the TV show 'Pushing Daisies'

This is a show that I got hooked on about a year ago and I only finished it recently. I feel that it is critically under-rated. Too few people have seen this. I think it may have suffered from Arrested Development Syndrome: it was just too smart for a lot of people. Which is really frustrating because there were a few story lines that they started that were incredibly interesting and if they had had more than 2 seasons they would have been really interesting but they didn't so we'll never know (unless the show gets renewed which I doubt but it would make my day). It is an amazing show.

The Characters:

Ned the Pie Maker: The protagonist of the series, the show centers around his special gift. He has the power to bring back people from the dead which he discovered when he revived his dog Digby after he was killed by a truck. However, if he touches the dead thing again it dies forever. If he keeps the dead thing alive for more than a minute, something else has to die next to it. Ned owns and runs a pie-based establishment called The Pie Hole which is fairly popular. Ned is awkward around people and only really feels safe around his girlfriend Chuck, and his friends Emerson Cod and Olive Snook. Due to his gift, he generally dislikes physical contact. I feel that he is an excellent protagonist and the stuff he gets into throughout the show as a result of his gift is really fun to watch. His awkward demeanor makes for some excellent scenes. If it were up to him he wouldn't have his power. He is perfectly content just making pies. Pies are his passion (and if the show is any indication, he is extremely good at making pies). He revived his mother after a brain aneurism which killed Chuck's father. His mother gave him a goodnight kiss which killer her again. A lot of time on the show is spent showing his back story which dealt with him being left at a boarding school by his father whom he never saw again except once in passing.

Charlotte 'Chuck' Charles: Chuck was the second thing that Ned brought back to life and kept alive. She was his childhood crush and he was hers. They lost touch and only came back together when he brought her back to life after she was murdered on a cruise ship. The first time Ned was aware that something else had to die when he brought something back to life for more than a minute was when his mother died of a brain aneurism and he brought her back to life. However, a minute later Chuck's father died as a result. In terms of personality, Chuck is the polar opposite of Ned. Her bubbly, happy-go-lucky personality is a stark contrast to Ned's awkward, shut-in personality.  it makes for some great scenes when she wants to go off and do something adventurous and Ned it unwilling. Of course since he brought her back to life, if he touches her she is dead forever and that makes for some interesting bits.

Emerson Cod: Emerson Cod is a private investigator. The show centers around someone who comes in wanting Cod to solve a murder. Cod is aware of Ned's gift after he accidentally saw it in action while chasing a suspect. So, Ned, Chuck, and Cod go to a morgue where Ned touches the murder victim and they question him/her for 60 seconds about their murder. They use that to solve the crime. even without Ned's gift, Cod is an above average P.I. With Ned's gift he is regarded as the best. Like the rest of the cast, his personality is unique. He is more sarcastic and pessimistic than the others but he has a definite soft side. He is driven by money ha makes from the cases and he splits it with Ned after they solve a murder. He has a daughter that he has been searching for for 7 years without success. In times of stress, he likes to knit. The best bits with Cod are when his personality clashes with Chuck's happy one. He rarely calls her Chuck, instead referring to her as 'dead girl.' Despite his personality he really does like Ned and Chuck.

Olive Snook: Olive works at the Pie Hole with Ned and Chuck. she has a hopeless crush on Ned which she doesn't hide at all but he rejects her advances. Olive is the only one of the four who doesn't know about Ned's gift but she is fully aware that they are keeping some large secret from her. due to the fact that she knows Chuck but Chuck is supposed to be dead, she believes that Chuck faked her death 'for some nefarious purpose.' She is generally left out of the loop when it comes to solving the crimes. However as the series progressed she was included more. She has a chipper personality but is often frustrated by Ned's refusal to include her in the big secret (because they believe she would spill the beans about it unintentionally) and his rejection of her advances. But she is still fiercely loyal to him. she likes Chuck a lot but is still jealous of the fact that Ned likes Chuck more than her.

The Narrator: The Narrator is an omniscient narrator of the show. Pretty self explanatory. He is a voice-over narrator as opposed to a physical one. Whenever the murderer and the motive is revealed, he always says "the facts were these." He is often the verbal communication of a character's feelings.

Vivian and Lily Charles: Chuck's aunts. They used to be a swimming duo called The Darling Mermaid Darlings before they retired. They don't know that Chuck is still alive and so Chuck has to hide whenever they see Ned. Ned sees them a lot and has pies delivered to their house often. They also have a good relationship with Olive. They rarely leave their house.Vivian is kind and caring and to an extent Lily is too, but she hides it under a cynical and sarcastic demeanor. It is enjoyable to see them interact with their starkly different personalities.

Plot: The plot structure of the show is pretty much the same: Emerson gets a visit from someone who needs help solving a murder, Emerson, Chuck, and Ned go to the morgue and interrogate the corpse for 60 seconds. They question several people involved and they eventually solve the case. There is also usually some back story to one or more of the characters.

I really like this show a lot and I am sad that it was cancelled after just two seasons. There are only 22 total episodes. The depressing part is that they seemed to be touching on some storylines that looked incredibly promising but since the show was cancelled they didn't do anything more. it seemed like a sudden cancellation too. But the 22 episodes that do exist are excellent. I personally would vote for it to be reinstated. I highly suggest this show to people. You can find the episodes on Netflix if you want. Check it out!

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