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artisanal film reviews | by maryann johanson

‘Pushing Daisies’ blogging: “The Norwegians”

(previous: Episode 9: “The Legend of Merle McQuoddy”)

Do you smell tiny little meatballs? I smell tiny little meatballs. Mmmmm, tiny little meatballs…

[spoilers after the jump!]
Strictly speaking, the tiny little meatballs Olive mentions are Swedish, not Norwegian, but we’ll let that slide…

I never believed Olive was a traitor! Never!

But I never expected that both coffins would be empty, either. I actually yelled “What?!” at the TV. I love when a show surprises me like that.

Though, of course, since this particular show is so good at surprising us on a regular basis, I kinda wasn’t sure about that not-believing-Olive-could-be-a-traitor thing, either. Because what with Chuck realizing how unfair they’ve been to Olive, keeping secrets from her, and Olive getting real vocal about how upset she is in being left out, well… this is going to be a thing, isn’t it? A problem kind of thing. All the sown seeds of mistrust coming home to roost in this episode — Vivian and Lily, Olive and everyone else — are going to continue to be a problem kind of thing. For the few remaining episodes we have to enjoy, at least.

Hey, there was no dead body to investigate in this episode, unless we count the dead hunter in the flashback. Which I guess we should count that, because clearly Ned’s new resolve to use only fresh fruit from now on and to refrain from touching dead people anymore connects to that childhood experience of learning that awakening and redeading dead people has consequences, though the consequences now are much worse. That’s a wild departure from, you know, the entire premise of the series, and now we’re never going to find out where that could have taken the show. Damn.

Random thoughts:

• the drawing of Dwight with the watch, like the Titanic drawing of Rose with the necklace! *snort*

•“Skubbe du?” on the Norwegians’ billboard! *snort*

• oh dear: Mobile Investigative Lab Facility? *snort* (It is a pretty Scooby-Doo-ish van, though, isn’t it?)

• “Allow me to soap up those hard to reach places.” –Olive to Ned *snort*

• Ned hadn’t not ever looked at Olive the way he looks at Chuck? aww

• “It would be difficult to rape and pillage with the subtlety of a humanist.” –Vivian on the Norwegians *snort*

• the Piemaker’s father! horrors!

Why Pushing Daisies failed:

I was afraid, after last week’s episode featured no coming attractions at the end, that that meant there would be no new episode this week. Of course, we got an episode this week, this one. Clearly, ABC doesn’t care if no one watches the remaining few episodes of Pushing Daisies, and prefers to use that valuable airtime to promote other shows that it would like us to watch. Like the show it was promoting where there would normally have been coming attractions for next week’s episode (and I assume there will be an episode next week, on Christmas Eve, when no one will be watching TV, because ABC doesn’t care if no one is watching this show). True Beauty looks, to all measures, like it will be utterly disgusting, a game show on which contestants who are physically gorgeous — for very small values of gorgeous — and obviously chosen for their extreme vapidity and self-involvement will be judgment on their “inner beauty.” ABC believes this exercise will “re-define the concept of beauty”:

The gorgeous contestants assume they’re being judged solely on their outer appearance. They’re only half right; outer beauty is one component the judges are looking for, but contestants are also being evaluated — unbeknownst to them — for their INNER beauty as well when they’re put through scenarios and situations that require them to make moral decisions.

If audiences truly do prefer to watch this revolting excuse for profundity — and they probably will — over Pushing Daisies, then there’s no way in hell Pushing Daisies could ever have survived this toxic entertainment environment.

Three episodes to go…

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

(next: Episode 11: “Window Dressed to Kill”)


MPAA: rated TVPG-LV

viewed at home on a small screen

official site | IMDb
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  • JoshDM

    [blockquote]Three episodes to go…[/blockquote]

    I hear tell they haven’t scheduled those three yet.

    Also heard rumors that (1) they are ending on a cliffhanger and (2) they re-shot the final episode and wrapped up the dangling plotline.

    Anyway, that last shot was a nice tan surprise. Holey MOLEy.

  • Lyna

    Actually, the meatballs being Swedish was the whole point – she also mentioned yellow and blue socks and ABBA, and the Norwegians exclaimed “SWEDES!” in unison. Her story was that the perpetrators of the van-napping were Swedish.

  • Ken

    I thought you might like to note that the Norwegians called their Mobile Investigative Lab Facility “mother”.. just look at the first letter of each word to see why!

  • Keith

    This episode raises a whole bunch of interesting questions about Ned’s ability and Ned’s family. Questions like, where does Ned’s ability come from? Is Ned unique or was his ability inherited? Goes Ned’s father possess some ability too? Did We now have some indication that there is a whole bunch about Ned’s father we know nothing about. Apparently Ned’s father has been keeping tabs on Ned. We still know almost nothing about the relationship between Dwight, Charles and Ned’s father. Glimpses of a whole new realm of possibilies just as the gates of cancelation are swinging shut. *sigh*

    “Dwight Dixon. A bad man, a sociopath, a man who’d just as soon stab a friend in the neck or shoot him in the back with a long-range, high-powered sniper rifle.”

    I need to ask my friend what she thinks of Daisies lately. She said she didn’t think season two was as good as season one, but I’m beginning to think this may have had a lot to do with the writers strike interrupting the show’s development. Lately the show seems to have been getting better and better. My hunch is, had the strike not occured when it did, the show might have been able to develop better and not lost its core audience at such a critical time. Too many, as Ned would say, “unknown variables” to know for sure.

    I didn’t even want to think about what kind of crap ABC was thinking about with which to replacing this show.

  • Ryan

    When the narrator said “Oh NO she didn’t!” instead of Emerson, I laughed and applaued and then proceeded to SCREAM at the fact that we have three episodes left.

    Sigh.

  • Rob

    The last three episodes are going to air until January. Next week, ABC is airing “The Chronicles of Narnia,” and “Shrek 2” the week after. Rumor is that they are going to be airing the last three episodes in one night, though it hasn’t been officially scheduled yet.

    As far as the last episode, Bryan Fuller has apparently, in post-production, by altering narration, been able to turn the last episode into a somewhat satisfying conclusion to the series, with closure for most of the major characters. I just hope the explanation about the watches is included in that closure.

  • NARRATOR: “Oh HELL no!”

    My wife and I nearly choked on dinner we were laughing so hard at this turn of well-established conventions.

    And we also went Bwa-HUH? at the empty coffins.

  • MaryAnn

    I thought you might like to note that the Norwegians called their Mobile Investigative Lab Facility “mother”.. just look at the first letter of each word to see why!

    Yes. Hence my snort above.

  • Birv

    Does anyone else wonder whether the narration was altered to include a snide comment about the show’s cancellation? “The mysterious masked man would remain a mysterious loose string…” Don’t mess with Bryan Fuller, he will mess right back, ABC!

  • Mimi

    Birv, yes, I wondered that too about the “loose string” line. It’s got to be either Ned’s dad or Chuck’s dad, right?

    [quote]Apparently Ned’s father has been keeping tabs on Ned. We still know almost nothing about the relationship between Dwight, Charles and Ned’s father.[/quote]

    I like to think it was Ned’s dad, all wrapped up, and the reason for that — and the reason Ned’s dad has stayed out of his life — is that if they touch again, something Bad will happen. Ned’s dad has to be in on Ned’s secret — maybe he has the same power and used it on Ned at some point, or Ned used it on him… Something similar could have been what sent Ned’s dad running from his younger sons, too…

    Sigh. They’ve probably dismantled all the sets and the writers are all getting new jobs at this point, huh? My magical wonderland dream where HBO picks it up is not going to come through? BUT! I! WANT! MORE!

  • Jason

    Awesome episode. I cannot believe I missed the M.I.L.F. thing, I must have gotten distracted by something. I usually pay better attention, there is just too much that can be missed onthis show if you look away for even a second. My wife and I are not happy about the show ending, but I am not surprised. I guess it was too much to ask that we get more than a few years of actual engaging television. Instead, it looks like we are ramping up for more cheap easy to produce Reality TV (of which there is nothing real about it). Oh well, at least I still have Dexter on Showtime….

  • KellyH

    Nielsen, and the advertisers to whom they are whoring lapdogs, administer an IQ test to families that they are considering for Nielsen boxes. If your IQ is above a certain score, you are automatically disqualified.

    I can’t think of any other explanation.

  • JoshDM

    DAISY CHAIN

    Green Light – Just passing on the word that Anna Friel, on Jonathan Ross’ show, let us know that “Pushing Daisies” is still planning to conclude as a comic book. Been a bit of radio silence on that one for a while, worth hearing it’s still ongoing.

    Source

    It’s funnier b/c RJ lurks here at times.

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