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cultural vandal | 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”)


viewed at home on a small screen

official site | IMDb

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