This was originally supposed to be part of a big Fall TV Preview I was going to do, as I have a friend at an entertainment magazine who lent me all the fall pilots back in July. This was as far as I got. You know how it goes. Pushing Daisies airs tonight…
Pushing Daisies | ABC | Wednesdays at 8pm | Debuts Oct. 3
The gist: As a boy, Ned discovers he has the power to bring the recently dead back to life with a touch. Two caveats: if he touches them again, they’re dead for good; if he doesn’t, someone else in the near vicinity must die in their place. He learns all this tragically, of course. As an adult, Ned (Lee Pace) pours his energy into pies, while making extra money working with a P.I. (Chi McBride) solving murders — it’s easy when you can ask the victim who killed them.
Pros: The pilot, directed by Barry Sonnenfeld (the Adams Family movies), is just about perfect: a whimsical, visually impressive modern fairytale (narrated by Jim Dale, of Harry Potter audio book fame) that’s funny, surprising and utterly charming. As is Anna Friel as the Love Interest.
Cons: The whimsy level is Amelie high, and though the pilot pulls it off, how the hell are they going to maintain the tone over the course of a season? And where can the story go? It’s one of these shows that seems likely to have a "Save Pushing Daisies" before the premiere even airs. Creator Bryan Fuller is king of the fan-loved, ratings-deprived One Season Wonders (Dead Like Me, Wonderfalls).
Competition: Nothing drama-wise; Deal or No Deal and America’s Next Top Model seem like a different, but massive, audience.
Verdict: Unless you have a cold, black heart it’s hard not to fall for this show. Can they do it for a whole season? It’s worth tuning in to find out.
MP3: Baby Bird – Daisies