TV Review: Pushing Daisies Season 2 Premiere

By Steve West 2008-10-01 13:41:14 discussion comments
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Pushing Daisies - Second Season Premiere
Starring: Lee Pace, Anna Friel, Chi McBride, Kristen Chenoweth, Ellen Green, Swoosie Kurtz,
Created By: Bryan Fuller and Barry Sonnenfeld
Premieres: Wednesday, October 1, 2008 at 8:00 PM ET on ABC

From the first moment of Pushing Daisies’ season two premiere the show reestablishes itself as a wonderfully quirky fairytale. Fans have no interest in a “previously on” when it comes to this show, despite the long hiatus caused by the writers’ strike. Jim Dale’s opening narrative is a retelling of Ned’s (Lee Pace) backstory and what went down last season. But it’s not rehashed footage; it’s a quirky retelling of the whole story. And it’s from this moment that you sit back and relax, assured that ABC’s finest show is back in full glorious form.

I’m just simply not going to spoil anything about the upcoming episodes for you because we hate doing that to our readers. Not only am I instructed to leave out spoilers by ABC and Blend Television editor Kelly West, but this is a show that is best enjoyed experiencing things moment by moment. Pushing Daisies has a hard sophomore year ahead of it. When most shows are struggling to prove they deserve to stay on, the pie maker has to battle with a shortened first season, and there’s a good chance we may have forgotten what Daisies is all about. The above mentioned opening narrative takes care of that with ease.

Thankfully the formula has not changed one bit. I always hate when my favorite new shows try to reinvent themselves in the second season (I’m looking at you Heroes). Private dick Emerson Cod (Chi McBride) is still trying to make money by utilizing Ned’s ability to bring people back to life. He still doesn’t like Chuck (Anna Friel) tagging along. And Olive Snook (Kristen Chenoweth) is still in love with Ned as she slowly comes to accept that it may never work out between them. There’s a worrying plotline that begins at the end of tonight’s season premiere involving Olive and a nunnery, but if it plays out as hilariously as the start of the story I’ll gladly take it.

Speaking of Chenoweth she shines in season two of Pushing Daisies. Anyone who wondered how she received an Emmy nomination for the role only has to watch the scene tonight when she desperately wants to yell out all of her secrets. I don’t think I realized until that scene how much of a burden the people around her have been with their secretive ways.

The fairytale take on life is what has always appealed to me about Pushing Daisies. In a time when people are into watching the angsty antics of the Heroes cast or the nasty sarcasm and biting tongue of Dr. Gregory House it’s nice that there’s a show on television that can be as pure and joyful as Daisies. And when it comes to the dark material – you know, the bringing people back from the dead – that is handled in much the same fashion. Early in tonight’s episode there is a perfect moment between Chuck and Ned where he receives a bee shower. Despite what’s going on actually being a bit creepy it is one of my favorite tender moments between any two characters in the past year.

If you were already a fan of Pushing Daisies you’ll be pleased with what I consider the best premiere of the fall season. If you’re not a fan yet, then now’s the time to start. Jim Dale’s narrative will catch you up in the early moments of the premiere. Plus you’ll wish he could narrate everything you listen to, or maybe even your own life. I can’t say enough good things about Pushing Daisies. But unlike some shows where I feel there’s a hindrance to getting into the show for some people (Sarah Connor is too sci fi for many) Pushing Daisies welcomes everyone with open arms and a piping hot slice of pie a la mode.
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