In my opinion, the best new show last year was Pushing Daisies. Unfortunately it disappeared during the writer's strike and didn't come back....until last night.
I was beyond excited for the first episode and I wasn't disappointed. The relationship between the two lead characters, Chuck and Ned (the Piemaker) grew enormously in just that one episode, you'd think it had had an entire year to develop instead of a few episodes!
For those who haven't watched Pushing Daisies, the basic plot is this: from boyhood, Ned has had a special ability, he can bring dead things back to life with just a touch; fruit, flowers, insects, and yes, humans. There are, however, a couple of small consequences; one, if he brings something back to life for more than a minute, something else must die in it's place, and two, if he touches it a second time, it dies permanently. Ned's best friend as a child was the girl next door named Charlotte, Chuck for short. One day, Ned's mother died and Ned brought her to life, this is when he learned about the 1 minute rule, because Chuck's father then died. (Chuck doesn't know this of course!) Ned's father sent him away to school and Chuck ended up living with her aunts, they never saw each other again...while Chuck was alive.
As an adult, Ned had two jobs. He owned a pie shop, where as long as he was careful to only touch fruit once, he had the freshest most amazing fruit pies around. He also worked with a PI, touching dead people and bringing them back just long enough to ask them who killed them. Then Chuck was killed on a cruise and the PI (Emerson) brought the case to Ned. Ned brought Chuck back to life, but couldn't bring himself to touch her again before the minute was up. Now they live and work together, they are in love, but they can never touch. Intrigued? You should be!
I won't go in to any more plot details. You should know that Jim Dale (who reads the Harry Potter audio books) is the narrator. Kristin Chenowith (the originator of the role of Glinda in Wicked) plays Olive, a waitress at the Piehole, secretly in love with Ned. Chi McBride plays Emerson and Swoozie Kurtz plays Lily, one of the aunts. It's a wonderful cast and a bright cheerful show. Given the basic story line, one could easily expect the show to be dark and dour but everything is pulled off with such matter of factness and humor, it never brings you down. An eclectic mix of fantasy and reality, I would recommend this show to anyone who thinks there could be a little more cheer in the world.
Watch Pushing Daisies, Wednesday nights at 8 PM on ABC!
MONSTERS AND MEMORY by Eleanor Lerman
3 weeks ago