Sci-Fi Fodder

Impressions: "Pushing Daisies"

One day, seventeen hours and and forty-two minutes ago, I watched the premiere of ABC's new series, "Pushing Daisies". I was very interested, as "Pushing Daisies" was probably the most talked about show this summer. It generated the best buzz and was generally thought to have the potential to be the season's best new show. Brian Fuller is the show's creator and he was responsible for the very excellent "Wonderfalls", so my expectations were high.

But...enough with the preamble. Let's break it down:

The Good
The introduction is mesmerizing. The field of yellow daisies, the child, the dog flying through the air after being hit by the semi. And, the dog's resurrection via a touch from the child. In fact, I really liked the manner in which they introduced Ned, his power and his power's huge drawback (i.e. if he let's the resurrected person stay alive for more that a minute, someone else dies). It's all done well.

The cast is very adept and Lee Pace ("Ned") is very likable. I love the way the narrator just calls him "The Pie Maker" throughout the episode. Chi McBride ("Emerson") and Anna Friel ("Chuck") are also very good here.

The Not-So-Good
Some of my friends have described the show as 'kinda weird'. That's not exactly glowing commentary and I hope that they are not typical of the viewing public. But, they very well may be. My wife describes the show as "Wonderfalls crossed with something by Lemony Snickett" and I tend to agree with her. Although many of us would consider that a VGT (very good thing), "Wonderfalls" didn't last a full season.

The other problem is that "Ned" and "Chuck" can't touch each other. Fuller is a very creative guy. However, he may have written himself into a corner on this point. How long can the unrequited love angle play out?

The Verdict
Watch it. It will make you smile. I believe the pre-pilot hype helped the show immensely - and that help is reflected in the fact that "Pushing Daisies" won its timeslot on Wednesday night. If the viewership remains steady, we may get to see something special here.

I could see every plot twist coming, which isn't good, and the show IS kinda weird. Fairytale-type shows don't usually go over very well with the general viewership. I can see the show becoming tiresome; how often can one raise someone from the dead to answer questions, then lay them to sleep? Hopefully the producers and writers have something more up their sleeves. But I found it charming enough to hang around for a few episodes!

-- Posted by: KayDee at October 7, 2007 1:42 AM

Every plot twist? I wasn't expecting the 'one-eye' explanation for the escape of Chuck from the house...

But, I share your concern that it will end up being 'resurrect the guy, ask him a question, put him back down, solve the crime' over and over again. Maybe I should do a 'one month look back', to see how these shows are progressing.

-- Posted by: Fred at October 8, 2007 1:27 PM

Maybe I should have said every "major" plot twist, or what I consider major. Everyone has differing opinions on what they judge to be a major plot twist.

Having a one-month review would be good! The show premier was original and eye-catching, but I can see it getting old. But I trust the people who came up with this quirky idea will have the imagination to keep the show from the raise-one-dead-body-a-week formula. Anyway, I'm in for awhile, and we'll see if the fantasy-ish aspect of the series gets old or remains charming!

-- Posted by: KayDee at October 8, 2007 4:20 PM

I really enjoyed it. And I am withholding
my concerns regarding the pilot until a few more episodes. Pilots are hard; they have to cram a lot in.

-- Posted by: jlou at October 13, 2007 10:35 PM

I thought the show was fantastic. The writing and dialog were fresher than a lot of shows that debuted in recent years, and the quirkiness is definitely welcome. However, that in itself is a warning sign, if Arrested Development and Firefly are any indication, though. Of course, it's not on FOX, so.... maybe there's a chance.

As far as plot twists, I'm not sure that's what this show is about, necessarily. It's about the quirky characters and the interesting dialog and the set designs and the clever narration more than it is the particular mystery. I hope it lasts. I'm really enjoying it. Episode 2 was almost a musical! That's just gutsy. Even Joss Whedon waited 4 seasons before attempting that!

-- Posted by: Daniel Fu at October 15, 2007 8:12 PM