If you’re looking for proof of the questionable taste of US television programming decision makers, then the scandalous decision to scrap Pushing Daisies
after two memorable seasons is a good place to start. As this second season demonstrates, the show is a cauldron of originality, startlingly good writing and real imagination, and it’s well worth trying, even if you’re new to the series.
Pushing Daisies isn’t the easiest show to explain, but the central concept is that Ned, a pie-maker by trade, has a special ability: he can raise the dead with a single touch. A second touch will kill them outright, and there are other repercussions to his gift that crop up, too. This is then the starting point for an intriguing fantasy series, that’s not short on laughs. Ned is teamed up with a private investigator, and the show then becomes what its creators describe as a “forensic fairy tale”.
But that sells Pushing Daisies short. Under the watchful eye of its creator, Bryan Fuller--whose CV also includes the superb Dead Like Me and a lot of work on the maiden season of Heroes, this second season is at times just flat-out brilliant. Across the 13 episodes that make up the series, there are the cases of a nun who was suspected to be murdered, a magician looking to track down who’s killing his animals and the mysterious death of a lighthouse keeper. But if you’re expecting any of these to be standard whodunits, you’re in for quite a surprise.
It’s hard to oversell the qualities of Pushing Daisies, and thus there’s inevitable disappointment that these are the last episodes of the show that we’re ever likely to see. But television this good simply doesn’t come along very often, and it’s really something you don’t want to miss out on. --Jon Foster
All 13 episodes from the second season of the American comic fantasy series starring Lee Pace and Anna Friel, about a man who helps solve murder mysteries by using his ability to bring people back from the dead. Episodes are: 'Bzzzzzzzzz!', 'Circus, Circus', 'Bad Habits', 'Frescorts', 'Dim Sum Lose Some', 'Oh Oh Oh... It's Magic', 'Robbing Hood', 'Comfort Food', 'The Legend of Merle McQuoddy', 'The Norwegians', 'Window Dressed to Kill', 'Water and Power' and 'Kerplunk'.