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John Drew

Pushing Daisies

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Thought this show might be deserving of a thread of its own, as it is a very unique show, but one that I feel is going to divide a lot of folks. I'm taking the liberty to lift some quotes from the New TV Shows for Fall 2007 thread as an example of what I mean...

Pushing Daisies sounds quite interesting. I'm curious how it will do after the first month or so.

I'm interested in that one, too.

It's remarkable how many shows have to do with death or fate, and secret responsibilities to somehow be a part of it -- Pushing Daisies, Reaper, Journeyman, etc. There must be a lot of disappointed fans of Dead Like Me out there...

I gotta say...I've become mightily impressed with both Pushing Daisies (premiered last night) and Reaper. Was I the only one watching?

I really liked Pushing Daisies. The whole show seemed like a tribute to the style of Jean-Pierre Jeunet, from the striking visuals to the voice-over narration. I'm hoping that show sticks around.

This is funny, but my wife and I really looked forward to Pushing Daisies, but ended up being disappointed for the very reasons you (Crow) list for liking it. We felt like the whimsy was being force fed to us, and tired of the narration very quickly. I'm going to give it another chance next week, and hope it settles down a little, because I honestly don't see how this series is going to maintain the high end quirkiness over an entire season.

Loved the name of the pie shop!

After last nights episode, I am even more convinced that Pushing Daisies will not be able to sustain itself. And that's sad, because this was the show I was most looking forward to this season. Aside from the sometimes striking background visual design - I say "sometimes striking" because, as my step-daughter accurately stated, at other times it feels like watching Tele-Tubbies - this show has some real problems. The narration is completely overwhelming, the whodunnit plots very underwhelming. And the love story... well, many shows in the past (Cheers, Moonlighting, Northern Exposure) have built their plots around two characters destined to get together, but having to overcome various obstacles, and have greatly succeeded in spending several seasons building up to that point. Pushing Daisies seemed to have the greatest obstacle of all placed between their two love interest characters, but the show has spent no time in finding ways to get these two together - last nights

"body bag kiss",

and next weeks

"seran wrap kiss",

for example - I'm thinking that by episode 6, the producers are going to pull from storage the giant condoms used in The Naked Gun, and have the relationship consumated.

I think the main problem lies in the fact that there is not one character that feels real. If you're going to have an odd-ball show, you need to have the "oddity" of at least one normal person through which to experience the abnormalness of everything else. One of these characters needs to be like Joel from Northern Exposure, the proverbial fish out of water. In Pushing Daisies, we have no fish out of water - they're all in the tank - and they all feel like they're in on the joke, and are already winking at the camera.

And, by the way, what's with the dog? I assume that some time must have passed between the dog's ressurection, and Ned's discovery of "One touch alive... second touch dead forever" with his mother. In all that time in between, he never pet his dog again?


Formerly Baal_T'shuvah

"Everyone has the right to make an ass out of themselves. You just can't let the world judge you too much." - Maude 
Harold and Maude
 

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If you're going to have an odd-ball show, you need to have the "oddity" of at least one normal person through which to experience the abnormalness of everything else. One of these characters needs to be like Joel from Northern Exposure, the proverbial fish out of water. In Pushing Daisies, we have no fish out of water - they're all in the tank - and they all feel like they're in on the joke, and are already winking at the camera.

And, by the way, what's with the dog?

Actually... the dog is the normal character.

Seriously, tho... a good ensemble show can have every single character being odd in some manner, where each character can be the straight person if the need requires it. Look at Cheers. Find me the normal character on that show. For every character that is suggested to be the straight person, you'll find another episode that highlights that characters eccentricities.

I suggest that the piemaker, Chuck, Chi, and Chenoweth can alternately be the straight person, as necessity requires it to be.

I liked last night's show a lot, for the guts it took for a minor character to break out in song like that, and for the major story arc to progress as it did. It hasn't repeated itself, and the show has made a case that Chenowith is not to be counted out.

Then again, I talked to a coworker this morning, and she was alternately saying "I don't know if I can stick with this show" (coz if its insane goofiness), and yet she had the goofiest smile, while recounting this very opinion. Shows like this are challenging, but I'm willing to wager that there are so many different avenues for this story to go down.

Nick


Nick Alexander

Keynote, Worship Leader, Comedian, Parodyist

Host of the Prayer Meeting Podcast - your virtual worship oasis. (Subscribe)

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True, the sweetness of this show can be a little much sometimes. But I admire that the tone of this show is consistent with this strange world they've created. If they can come up with a car that runs on dandelions, they're not holding back on the weirdness factor. I think this show can work as the Herman's Head of the new millennium.

Edited by Crow

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... but the show has spent no time in finding ways to get these two together - last nights

"body bag kiss",

and next weeks

"seran wrap kiss",

for example - I'm thinking that by episode 6, the producers are going to pull from storage the giant condoms used in The Naked Gun, and have the relationship consumated.

...

So you noticed that too? I had a sudden dismaying revelation that the whole show might be a metaphor for sexual relationships in the era of AIDS/STDs...I think it was the

rubber glove in the car

that really shouted.

Will try to view it more cheerfully in future, but I don't know if I'll be able to.

Say--when Ned

revives fruit for pies

, what dies instead?


There is this difference between the growth of some human beings and that of others: in the one case it is a continuous dying, in the other a continuous resurrection. (George MacDonald, The Princess and Curdie)

Isn't narrative structure enough of an ideology for art? (Greg Wright)

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Say--when Ned

revives fruit for pies

, what dies instead?

I wonder if it's species related? Perhaps there's a

vegetable vendor across the street that has a cartfull of bad asparagus

.

Edited by Baal_T'shuvah

Formerly Baal_T'shuvah

"Everyone has the right to make an ass out of themselves. You just can't let the world judge you too much." - Maude 
Harold and Maude
 

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Have I missed anything about the aging process of a person, or creature, brought back to life by Ned? Has the dog aged? Or, for that matter, will Chuck age? Quite a bit of time has passed since Ned brought the dog back to life. I think more time than the normal life span of a golden retriever. Or do these two remain at a the age that they died?

Edited by Baal_T'shuvah

Formerly Baal_T'shuvah

"Everyone has the right to make an ass out of themselves. You just can't let the world judge you too much." - Maude 
Harold and Maude
 

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You guys are done with it already? I just discovered it today.

Not "discovered," exactly -- I'd heard about it -- but I watched the first two episodes. I'm hooked, for now.

This is the best thing Barry Sonnenfeld has done in a while. I'm surprised no one has commented on the visual style of this program, which has Sonnenfeld at the top of his game. The premiere featured a tracking shot that reverses Sonnenfeld's great tracking shot to the Arizona bedroom in Raising Arizona, and the character framing throughout both episodes (particularly the pilot) was, IIRC, straight out of Men in Black and The Addams Family.

I don't love either of those movies, but I do have a huge soft spot for Sonnenfeld's amazing work with the Coen Brothers. I've tended to give the Coens the credit for those films; they've gone on to prove that they're the driving force behind the look and tone of their films. But Sonnenfeld clearly had some say in the look of those early Coen works, and his best work since then includes some of the same visual flair.

Pushing Daisies is no exception, and that's why I'll be making this show part of my regular weekly viewing.


"What matters are movies, not awards; experiences, not celebrations; the subjective power of individual critical points of view, not the declamatory compromises of consensus." - Richard Brody, "Godard's Surprise Win Is a Victory for Independent Cinema," The New Yorker

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I liked last night's show a lot, for the guts it took for a minor character to break out in song like that, and for the major story arc to progress as it did. It hasn't repeated itself, and the show has made a case that Chenowith is not to be counted out.

That's true. The song scene was cool.

I thought it was alright, but I think a similar scene from The Office a couple nights later, when Andy and his phone pals serenade Angela, was much better.


Formerly Baal_T'shuvah

"Everyone has the right to make an ass out of themselves. You just can't let the world judge you too much." - Maude 
Harold and Maude
 

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[i thought it was alright, but I think a similar scene from The Office a couple nights later, when Andy and his phone pals serenade Angela, was much better.

ABBA vs. Olivia Newton John. Do we have to pick? ;-)

OK, about Kristin Chenoweth's character. I seem to remember that she had longer hair in episode 1, and that she was noticeably short. Were those traits evident in episode 2? I remember her hanging out of her apartment window, spying on the couple above, but I don't recall any reference to her height in the later episode.

Or am I thinking of two different characters?

Edited by Christian

"What matters are movies, not awards; experiences, not celebrations; the subjective power of individual critical points of view, not the declamatory compromises of consensus." - Richard Brody, "Godard's Surprise Win Is a Victory for Independent Cinema," The New Yorker

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...I had a sudden dismaying revelation that the whole show might be a metaphor for sexual relationships in the era of AIDS/STDs...

Apparently I am not completely insane-- Pushing Daisies creator Bryan Fuller:

If "Pushing Daisies" carries a message about sexual abstinence, "that was never the intention, but you can certainly read it in," Fuller said. "I suppose the show is really about the dangers of any kind of intimacy, not just physical intimacy."

The rest of the article is an interview with Lee Pace ("Ned"), some discussion of Barry Sonnenfeld's directing style, and what the show owes to Hitchcock.


There is this difference between the growth of some human beings and that of others: in the one case it is a continuous dying, in the other a continuous resurrection. (George MacDonald, The Princess and Curdie)

Isn't narrative structure enough of an ideology for art? (Greg Wright)

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OK, about Kristin Chenoweth's character. I seem to remember that she had longer hair in episode 1, and that she was noticeably short. Were those traits evident in episode 2? I remember her hanging out of her apartment window, spying on the couple above, but I don't recall any reference to her height in the later episode.

Or am I thinking of two different characters?

I noticed the same thing about her hair. Chenoweth is very short, so I'm sure you are thinking of the same character.

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Just watched last night


"What matters are movies, not awards; experiences, not celebrations; the subjective power of individual critical points of view, not the declamatory compromises of consensus." - Richard Brody, "Godard's Surprise Win Is a Victory for Independent Cinema," The New Yorker

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"What matters are movies, not awards; experiences, not celebrations; the subjective power of individual critical points of view, not the declamatory compromises of consensus." - Richard Brody, "Godard's Surprise Win Is a Victory for Independent Cinema," The New Yorker

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The show, cut short last year by the writer's strike, gets a relaunch tonight. I'll be at a meeting and will miss it, but last night, before a preview screening of Beverly Hills Chihuahua, the theater screened a lengthy preview/ad for the show, which reminded me of how great it can be. Here's hoping it survives. Two other shows that "relaunched" this year on NBC, Life and Chuck, debuted to very weak numbers last week.

Edited by Christian

"What matters are movies, not awards; experiences, not celebrations; the subjective power of individual critical points of view, not the declamatory compromises of consensus." - Richard Brody, "Godard's Surprise Win Is a Victory for Independent Cinema," The New Yorker

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The first season of this show looks amazing on Blu-ray.

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Drat. It's doomed. From USA Today:

Pushing Daisies, which returned after a nine-month absence to series lows (6.3 million viewers) and a fourth-place finish in the hour.


"What matters are movies, not awards; experiences, not celebrations; the subjective power of individual critical points of view, not the declamatory compromises of consensus." - Richard Brody, "Godard's Surprise Win Is a Victory for Independent Cinema," The New Yorker

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Drat. It's doomed. From USA Today:

Pushing Daisies, which returned after a nine-month absence to series lows (6.3 million viewers) and a fourth-place finish in the hour.

I think that this may be the fate of a lot of shows that were only briefly run before last years writer's strike. I watched last night's episode, and I commented to my wife that I wish ABC had run last years half dozen or so episodes in the latter half of August and September to refresh viewers memory of the show. I had an up and down view of the show, but was still interested in it, yet I wonder how many people were under the assumption that it had been cancelled outright.

I don't know what the numbers were for NBC's Chuck, which had it's season 2 debut this week, but I would not be surprised if it also had a dramatic ratings decrease because of the shortened first season. It will be interesting to see if the major networks will give time to these shows that were well received last year, and see if viewership will rise before pulling the plug.

edit - By the way, all of ABC's shows for Wednesday (all of which debuted last year) were down considerably in the ratings.

Edited by Baal_T'shuvah

Formerly Baal_T'shuvah

"Everyone has the right to make an ass out of themselves. You just can't let the world judge you too much." - Maude 
Harold and Maude
 

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I don't know what the numbers were for NBC's Chuck, which had it's season 2 debut this week, but I would not be surprised if it also had a dramatic ratings decrease because of the shortened first season. It will be interesting to see if the major networks will give time to these shows that were well received last year, and see if viewership will rise before pulling the plug.

edit - By the way, all of ABC's shows for Wednesday (all of which debuted last year) were down considerably in the ratings.

I think it would also be impacted by if the shows returned after the strike versus ending the season early (essectially ending at the strike). How were Heroes numbers? They did not return after the strike, whereas several sitcoms (such as the Office, 30 Rock and My Name is Earl) did.


"You know...not EVERY story has to be interesting." -Gibby

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According to E!Online, Pushing Daisies may not go beyond its 13th episode this season, which was supposed to have been a two-part episode, with the conclusion in episode 14. Producers have been told to make it a stand alone episode, and to "cover all bases".

The current rumor being spread is that Daisies producers were told by ABC to treat episode 13 as a series finale, which some fans have interpreted as definitive news that the network decided to cancel the series.

Not true, say my very reliable sources. Producers have not yet been told whether they will receive a pickup for the remaining nine episodes of the current second season.

However, it is true that producers were told to change the plan for the 13th episode, which initially was a two-parter, with payoff in the 14th episode. According to insiders, ABC told producers to make number 13 a stand-alone episode and to "cover all bases," meaning that the episode should be able to serve as either a series finale or a launch pad into the final nine episodes of season two.

Full story here.

Edited by Baal_T'shuvah

Formerly Baal_T'shuvah

"Everyone has the right to make an ass out of themselves. You just can't let the world judge you too much." - Maude 
Harold and Maude
 

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The Washington Post:

Meanwhile, ABC isn't confirming that it has plowed under its struggling Wednesday forensic fairy tale, "Pushing Daisies," but the writers are being shopped around Hollywood by their agents, which is never a good sign.


"What matters are movies, not awards; experiences, not celebrations; the subjective power of individual critical points of view, not the declamatory compromises of consensus." - Richard Brody, "Godard's Surprise Win Is a Victory for Independent Cinema," The New Yorker

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There was an odd story on NPR the other day that if the series should get axed, then the creator of the show would wrap up the final threads of the story arc in comic book form. I take these Hollywood insider stories with a large grain of salt, however.

Edited by Baal_T'shuvah

Formerly Baal_T'shuvah

"Everyone has the right to make an ass out of themselves. You just can't let the world judge you too much." - Maude 
Harold and Maude
 

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I'd be satisfied if Anna Friel and Kristin Chenowith delivered the remaining scripts to me baked in an apple pie. B)

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It has now been dropped: http://www.buddytv.com/articles/pushing-da...s-di-24707.aspx

Pushing Daisies has been canceled. Dirty Sexy Money has been canceled. Eli Stone has been canceled. ABC isn't using that dreaded c-word in its statements today, but it matters not. You can't argue your way out of reality, and semantics only serve to soften the blow. The producers on all three of those shows were informed today that ABC would not be picking up the second halves of their respective seasons, and that they have no intention of ever ordering new episodes. This is the harsh reality of the television business, but it is little solace to the fans, rabid as they were, for each of these three shows. That shows like Two and a Half Men and CSI: Miami can thrive while the likes of Pushing Daisies are largely ignored is at once unfathomable and depressing.

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