Pushing Daisies [s1 ep01]: "Pie-lette"
*** Spoiler Warning ***
Key Plot Points of Season Premiere
- Ned is a pie-maker at the Pie Hole who has an unusual, complicated gift. If he touches a dead person, animal, or plant, he can bring it back to life. If he touches the thing a 2nd time, they die permanently. If he does not touch them a 2nd time, something or someone else must die after 60 seconds from the first touch. Confused? Careful narration and a flashback to Ned's childhood help explain the whole thing.
- When Ned's childhood sweetheart Charlotte Charles, a.k.a. "Chuck," is murdered while on a cruise, Ned goes to the funeral home and touches her to find out who her killer is. He is too attached to her to let her die permanently, so he does not touch her within 60 seconds, and the corrupt funeral director dies in her place. Chuck decides she's okay with collecting the reward for finding her killer and splitting it with Ned and Ned's usual business partner, a private investigator named Emerson Cod.
- It would seem Chuck was, for some reason, killed over a pair of plastic monkeys. While trying to retrieve the monkeys from Chuck's two agoraphobic aunts, one of her aunts is attacked by Chuck's killer. She is able to shoot him out a window with a shotgun while Chuck grabs the monkeys out of sight. The two aunts split the reward for getting Chuck's killer and venture out of the house. Meanwhile, Ned, Chuck, and Emerson split the wealth from the monkeys, which happen to be pure gold on the inside.
- In the flashback to Ned's childhood, we see that Ned discovered his ability by bringing his dog back to life. Then, Chuck brought his mother back to life but discovered one loophole of his abillity when Chuck's father died next door, 60 seconds later. That same night, Ned discovered his other loophole when touching his mother for a 2nd time caused her to die permanently. Then, at the ages of 10 and 8, Ned and Chuck had their first kiss--at their own parents' funerals.
Opinions and Observations
- This is the television critics' darling of the season. It's the show with the most positive hype. It's virtually unanimous that it's the next big thing. And, I don't totally agree.
- The show has good writing and excellent production qualities, but the concept may be a little too bizarre and quirky, and I'm a person who usually doesn't mind quirky shows. All of the random death and temporary reincarnation seem a little morbid and twisted for me.
- *Somehow* Ned has gone a whole decade or longer without touching his dog at all because the dog is still alive (you'd think the dog would eventually bump into Chuck and be dead permanently). Plus, in more than a decade, Chuck has not ever kissed anyone else, making Ned her first and last. Despite the potential danger of Chuck dying permanently if Ned touches her again, she still rides in the passenger seat of Ned's car (if I were her, I'd have been in the back a little further away from him), they often stand close, and when they discover the monkeys are too heavy to be plastic they--each holding one monkey--crash the monkeys into each other coming close to having their fingers graze each other.
Hopes, Concerns, or Expectations for New Season
- You *know* that eventually Ned is going to have to admit that his power inadvertantly killed Chuck's father when they were kids, which will probably put a wedge between the two. After that, the two of them reconciling will no doubt be part of the season finale.
- Maybe the show will get better upon further episodes, but oddly, the critics's top favorite show of the new fall season actually comes near the bottom of the barrell for me. I'll give it a chance, but I'm not as impressed as the rest of the world.