Saturday, 16 May 2009

Of Pushing Daisies Season 2

Before we launch into the review here's what I hope to be doing over the next two weeks in terms of blogness. For starters today reviews of Dollhouse (renewed for a second season today) and Fringe. Also today the start of my comedy round-up which is because comedy shows don't really need a full massive critique of what's going on (still contemplating numerical scores though, comment away). Sunday will be Lost Season 5 review which will be posted straight after tomorrows finale (which yes I have seen). That pretty much wraps it up for this television season apart from Breaking Bad which still has three weeks left. So over summer expect me to post reviews of shows I was too stupid to watch on first run, summer blockbusters and hopefully some very basic E3 coverage (since I won't actually be going...)

Now review.

Pushing Daisies ended about two weeks ago and now that I'm officially all mourned out I've come to bury what was one of the finest shows on television. Whilst we will get a 13 issue maxi-series comic book of Pushing Daisies soon, the show is dead. We may some day get a movie version but honestly this is almost certainly the last time we will Ned, Chuck, Emerson, Olive, The Aunts and Digby on screen together ever again.

So was Pushing Daisies' second season as strong as it first, which easily ranked it as one of the best new shows of 2007 (along with Mad Men)? Quite definitely. If anything Season Two is stronger than Season One. Whilst both seasons are unfairly cut annoyingly short (nine episodes season one, thirteen episodes in season two) meaning that the show only has one full season but normal standards. But hell every episode is just packed full of sorts of amazing and ingenious things that I don't overly mind, I just wish I had everything wrapped up in a bow with so many little story threads left hanging (as well as that scene at the end of the last episode which was supposed to set up the second half of the season). However I'm thankful for what we got, especially considering the ratings (although Dollhouse did get picked up despite only averaging 3 million viewers...)

Pushing Daisies is a gorgeous. As soon as there is a double season boxset on Blu-Ray I know exactly what I'm buying. The sets and costume are just superb and colourful. There isn't a show on the air that looks like Pushing Daises and I'm fairly sure there never will be another one. Whilst Bryan Fuller may make other shows I don't think he'll be able to match what he did on Pushing Daisies. But still the fact that show is able to jump around so many different colourful locations and make them feel so fresh in each episode is a real triumph.

Then there's the dialogue. No other show has dialogue as great as Pushing Daises. Just the speed and the level of wit which is supplied in each episode. And no one can say "Oh Hell No!" as well as Chi McBride does on this show. But that's not just it. The show convey such great skill and superb acting with just how fast the dialogue is rattled off. If anything it's very similar to a Joss Whedon programme where the quips just keep on coming and with such a high hit level it really is great fun to watch the verbal sparring matches, particularly almost any scene set around a table in the pie hole.

Season Two manages to trump Season One is that it uses far more over arching stories. Whilst Season One is almost entirely self contained with one or two episodes with crossovers (Paul Reubens was clearly supposed to have a bigger part as was Molly Shannon, so hopefully both of those will be cleared up in the comics). This season used a lot more of them with Emerson's search for his daughter, Chuck's dad, Ned's dad and Dwight Dixon. Whilst only one of the stories got any closure at all, whilst the story arcs were going on they were great fun and showed that Pushing Daisies could be more than just a murder of the week show. Whilst I do wish we had closure on the stories, I can't really fault the show for not finishing when it's not their fault and they continually offered great television.

Season Two expanded on everything that made the show great. The writers are clearly comfortable with the characters, the actors clearly know exactly what they're doing and the show came on leaps and bounds this season. Whilst we may never get closure on everything, I sure as hell will be reading the comic books and continue the story that was started in this superb show. Do yourself a definite favour and buy the DVDs and just wallow in the brilliance that was Pushing Daisies. Whilst the last episode did have a little bit tacked on at the end, it definitely gave some degree of closure, not a lot but some. I'd love to see where they were going to go with Chuck telling the Aunts that she was still alive, we did get 13 pretty much perfectly crafted episodes which is something most shows can only dream of. Pushing Daisies RIP, 9.5/10

No comments: