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the film criticism aspect of cyber | by maryann johanson

‘Pushing Daisies’ blogging: “Bzzzzzzzzz!”/“Circus, Circus”

Do you smell pie? I smell pie. Mmmmm, pie…

[spoilers after the jump!]
Finally caught up with the first two episodes of Season Two of Pushing Daisies, and the facts are these:

1) I can’t believe this show is on American TV.

2) I can’t believe this show is on American network TV.

3) I can’t believe this show is on American network TV at 8pm.

How can a TV show be so wholesome and so naughty at the same time? Or is it just me? I mean, is not the undertone of the entire premise meant to make us wonder exactly how Ned and Chuck are managing to maintain a semblance of a satisfying relationship? Sure, Season One seemed all about the tragedy of how they couldn’t touch each other — that kiss through the Saran wrap was just so heartbreaking, wasn’t it? — but now, in just these first two episodes, there’s more than a hint that the situation is not exactly poignantly chaste. That “ballet of avoidance”? Hah. Ned has “made contraptions.” He misses her when they’ve suddenly gone “Parisian,” living in separate apartments. As Chuck notes, it ain’t that Ned is missing his slippers with bells.

Oh my deity, and Olive, sequestered in her Sound of Music nunnery? Someone is going straight to hell for absolutely everything to do with this business, and I am delighted — astonished, but delighted — to see such stuff on American network TV at 8pm. And I don’t mean Olive’s quipping, “I’m not with child, unless it’s an immaculate conception, or I wore a strange man’s underwear,” though, you know: tee-hee. I mean all that business about “middle midmorning prayers” and the swearing sister and the terrible porridge and Olive wanting to call the police on the poor who stole her belongings. Straight. To. Hell.

Perhaps it’s balanced out, though, by the slapdown to those hellish spawns of hell: clowns. The clown car, with all the dead clowns? Brilliant. Hilariously mean, but brilliant. More like this, please.

Is there smarter, sweeter dialogue to be found on network TV at the moment? Every episode is crammed full of lines that are like juicy bits of fruit that you want to savor and repeat just because they’re so fun:

• “I could have been swarmed in my underwear.”
• “I am a sawed-off shotgun full of secrets!”
• “Pigby enjoyed the warbling sounds that the nice-smelling thing-that-fed-him made.”
• “It [sleep] was deep and perfect, like a nap in the backseat of a car after a day at the beach.”
• “Curious is tightey-whitey for angry.”

The joy of words is palpable here, and that is a rare thing indeed.

(Watch full episodes at ABC’s official site for the show.)

(next: Episode 3: “Bad Habits”)


MPAA: rated TVPG-DLV

viewed at home on a small screen

official site | IMDb
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  • I agree. I’d call Pushing Daisies a guilty pleasure if I felt at all guilty about enjoying it. Which I don’t. By which mean to say everyone should be watching it.

    And enjoying it.

  • Nothing makes my heart turn to warm, sugary goo faster than Emerson Cod cooing to his pop-up book: “I love you, Lil’ Gumshoe!”

  • Ryan

    It is on American network TV at 8pm. And it’s not doing gangbusters in the ratings. Oh well.

    I just hope ABC gives it a chance, because there is nothing out on American TV right now that’s like this and it’s just so so so good.

  • metterklume

    Pushing Daisies is the only television I feel better after watching. I like CSI and House, though they raise my adrenaline levels more than I probably need, but Daisies is like vacation for the soul. I’ve actually started making a pie each Wednesday evening as homage.

  • MaryAnn

    What I find amazing is that *Pushing Daisies* is snarky but nice. *Eureka* is the same way. It’s like we’re tired of mean-snark and have invented nice-snark — we can’t do without the snark, but we’re trying to make it slightly more positive. I like that.

  • Michael Brown

    Lovely show, absolutely lovely.
    Last year, one of the episodes sounded like it had been written by Dr. Seuss, and that’s high praise indeed. The VO announcer just tripped along and I sat there in total awe. It was so good and kept getting better.
    MB

  • SoniaDee

    It’s such a great show. And I just love the look of it, so well done.

    Of course I hate that I always want to eat pie by the end of every episode.

  • Carrie

    How can a TV show be so wholesome and so naughty at the same time? Or is it just me?

    its not just you!

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