Friday, October 5, 2007

Love, Murder, Magic, and Pie

I am positively charmed by the new show Pushing Daisies. I didn't bother watching the pilot in real time this week because I thought the previews looked overly quirky and a bit silly. Heavens, was I ever wrong! Thanks to an alert from Jackamo, I went to ABC's website and watched the pilot in streaming video today, and I just love it.

Basically, the premise is that Ned (Lee Pace, the adorably snarky brother from Wonderfalls) can bring people back to life with a touch. If he touches this resurrected person again, they'll be dead for good. To complicate matters, if the second touch doesn't occur within a minute's time, someone else in proximity dies. Ridiculous? I know. But it works because it's a fairy tale.

Ned is a piemaker by trade. (He owns a bakery called "The Pie Hole," which is actually an idea I came up with about 6 years ago and failed to trademark. Boo.) He brings fruit back to life with a touch, which makes for killer pies, and the displays of radiant pastries are bliss for me, an obsessive pie-lover. He has a partnership on the side with a P.I. wherein he questions the recently deceased about their murderers and they collect the reward. The plot thickens when his childhood sweetheart, "Chuck," turns up murdered, and Ned can't bring himself to send her back to death.

The dialogue is well timed and amusing, and Lee Pace is earnest and funny as a lonely young man with a well-founded phobia of touching people. He and Chuck are endearing star-crossed lovers. They ache simply to hold hands, let alone kiss each other, a dynamic which not only adds tension to their romance but suggests the show has the option of staying pretty clean. (I'm looking forward to when he *hopefully* bakes her a pie in lieu of the embrace, a la the sensual meals in Like Water for Chocolate.)

The colors are so vivid. The jovial narrator and light-heartedly morbid humor are straight out of a Tim Burton tale, and the narrator's habit of referring to Ned as The Piemaker adds to the fairytale feel. The fantastical composition of scenes is strongly reminiscent of Burton's Big Fish (not to mention the circus performers), and rooms are decorated with an attention to detail not unlike Wes Anderson. There's a bit of the murder mystery thrown in, with a grouchy P.I. and Chuck clad in stylish trench coats. As you know from some of my other posts, I love it when a story can mix genres successfully.

I'm writing this with the hope that anyone who reads it will watch the show! Granted, I've only seen the pilot, but it has started off so well, and I'd hate to see it canceled due to low viewership. If you enjoy Tim Burton or the short-lived series Wonderfalls (from the same creator) or are just looking for something creative and out of the ordianary to watch on Wednesday nights, check it out. If you have high speed internet access, you can watch the pilot via streaming video on for free.


Ickenham said...

Actually, folks, Watoosa's "Pie Hole" idea was something she took from me. I thought she should do a cookbook devoted to pies called, "Shove This in Your Pie Hole."

I swear, she steals my material ALL THE TIME.

Kevin said...

Al and I watched the pilot on TiVo last night and enjoyed it quite a bit. Perhaps the best new show of the season.

And Ick--too bad you don't believe in the protection of intellecual property!

Josh said...

Correction: viewable on unless you reside outside the US, in a hypothetical country that we shall call "Japan", in which case I've HEARD that some people resort to illegal downloads of US shows, some of whom may or may not have now added this particular series to their shortlist.

P.A., I bet if you'd suggested "Lovingly Insert This Delicious Morsel into Your Lovely Pie Hole" then Tush would have jumped on the idea wholeheartedly & you'd both be filthy rich(er) from the proceeds. But alas, what might have been, eh?!

Jenny said...

Watched the pilot with Joel last week - LOVED it! We already have the VCR set up to tape it again. We think we'll love watching Ted and Chuck this season.

Jenny said...

By the way, Joel and I were discussing Ted's ablilities and wondered, "What happens to a nearby vegetable if Ted allows the strawberries to live past a minute and be in his pie?"