Pushing Daisies

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Well, what to say? Pushing Daisies is the latest offering from Bryan Fuller, creator of Dead Like Me and Wonderfalls. I love Dead Like Me, so I felt I should give Bryan's newest creation a decent shot. Of course I am aware that Bryan walked out on DLM after 5 episodes, so a lot of the stuff I love about DLM isn't his work.

Regardless, I read a little about the show and liked enough of it to give it a go. I'm really trying to find a second decent new show this Fall season, Life is the only one that's stuck so far.

Unfortunately I have an immediate problem with Pushing Daisies (PD) - the Narrator, Jim Dale. His delivery is just way off, I found myself immediately disliking him and then fondly hoping he wouldn't appear outside of the pilot. He does. There's something so grating and annoying about every single line of narration, I'm not sure if it's Jim Dale's voice or the exceedingly annoying X is Y years, Z Months, M Days, WTFF Hours and WHOCARES? Seconds old bit that set me immediately against the narrator. I want something really unpleasant to happen to him (the narrator, not Jim) and normally I like shows with narration. I find it very traditional story telling and cool.

Visually Pushing Daisies is the definition of whimsical, everything is idealised, stylised in a rather mom and pop 1950s retro feel and completely clean - even the dead people! It's like the whole world has been put through a CGI cleaner upper. This makes the show feel like a fairy tale, which is somewhat endearing. But it's the premise of the show that initially drew me; Ned (the main character) has the ability to touch a dead person and bring them back to life, he touches them again, they stay dead forever. Additionally, if he doesn't touch them again within 60 seconds something else dies, them's the price you pays.
That seems like a very cool idea for a show, with plenty of potential for solving murders and the like. It certainly results in some very cool visuals:

How cool is that?

But the most interesting murder so far - Chuck (Ned's Childhood sweetheart) is solved in the pilot episode and you end up with 'murder of the week' minus an ongoing metaplot. I'm not happy with a series of unlinked episodes, that's exceedingly 1980s. The only ongoing thing is Chuck is still alive, in love with Ned and they can't touch each other cause she'll die. *eyeroll*

The cast is adequete and likeable (apart from the narration) but they all feel soulless and artificial. It might be the fault of the lighting/look of the show that does this, but they remind me of a bunch of dolls in a house. All perfect and neat.

I could go on further, but right now this show has not impressed me that much. It's just failed to have any substance and as such is a nice idea, pretty productions and (rarely) funny lines mixed together into something that comes out very humdrum. I will watch a bit more to try and change my mind, but when a show this new has me thinking "This show needs a shake up" it's in trouble and will probably depart from my viewing. Going the way of the polished turds "Lost" and "24".


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