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TV Review: A Fond Farewell to Pushing Daisies

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All good things must come to an end eventually, right? For Pushing Daisies, the quirky and charmingly sweet television series, the time came late on June 13th, 2009. Fans were stunned after hearing the cancellation rumors had finally come true. Still, the contract is one which requires airing every episode through the end of the season.

Ned (Lee Pace) has a secret. He can bring a dead person back to life for one minute. There is, however, a catch. Should the person be kept alive beyond the time limit, someone else nearby is sent to his or her grave. It's not long before a snafu occurs. Ned revives his deceased mother and manages to send the father of his best friend, Charlotte "Chuck" Charles (Anna Friel), to eternal sleep. Whoops!

Down the road, Ned grows up and becomes owner of The Pie Hole, with Olive Snook (Kristin Chenoweth) as a waitress. The business pales in comparison to the aid he reluctantly gives to Emerson Cod (Chi McBride), a private detective. The rules are simple. Go question a homicide victim in order to find out what happened and who the killer is. What could possibly go wrong?

One of my favorite portions of this show is the voiceover work by Jim Dale. Wisely, he plays the narrator. Since Dale also does the voices for the Harry Potter books on tape, he's perfect to share life in a world of fantastical kitsch. Most episodes begin with a look back at a younger version of one of the main characters. Dale's gentle singsong starts out by stating the exact moment in time the flashback occurs. It's a clever bit by the writers.

The cast is solid as well. Who could resist the earnestness of Lee Pace when he tells viewers he only wants to be happy? Trying to balance work and a newly brought back to life girlfriend wouldn't be easy for anyone, but keeping the secret hardly helps much. Pace appears to be a relative newcomer to the acting scene, but fans should see him pop up again before too long.

Anna Friel is the British import who takes on an American character with sassy style. Friel does her accent so well that one would never be able to tell she is not a native. She's already landed her next part, Land of the Lost, the movie remake of the television show, starring Will Ferrell.

Everybody else is a recognizable face. Kristin Chenoweth comes from The West Wing to a show which surely reminds her of theatrical roots. she even gets a chance to show off some potent singing chops every so often. Find her next in Glee when she stops by for a guest star appearance.

Chi McBride, from Boston Public fame, is strong as the crusty Cod. He would love to have nothing to do with Ned's skills, but he also has to make a living somehow. His next project? The Human Target, which stars Mark Valley of Fringe and Boston Legal, among other things. Also in the cast is Jackie Earle Haley. This is going to be one to watch! It's a midseason replacement, so 2010 becomes the airdate.

Swoosie Kurtz and Ellen Greene play Lily and Vivian, the aunts of Chuck, who hide some of the biggest secrets of all. While I have yet to hear anything about what they will do next, no doubt they will move on to something else relatively quickly. Actors tend to, it's the nature of the profession.

ABC has a habit of cancelling popular shows among viewers. One would think these shows might entice a look see at other programs within the same network. This being said, fans will soon see a comic book version in twelve episodic mysteries. Whether or not these continue where the television show left off remains to be seen. There is plenty for storyline consideration.

For example, Chuck is now reunited with her aunts. Now, how is she going to explain being alive when they have thought her dead for so long? The trick would be not mentioning Ned's touch. Emerson Cod finds his daughter, but the relationship could be in for a bumpy ride. Olive has her own shop, The Intrepid Cow. Any mystery would feel right at home.

The ABC website has episodes for online viewing pleasure. Enjoy the show!

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About NancyGail

  • O.mont

    What the HECK is wrong with ABC?! this is the best show in years and they cancel it after only two seasons?! Well, at least there’s the comic book.

  • http://tv.oneworld.net/people/mspencer Mark Spencer

    Why did they cancel this so quickly? Shame…