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
From a young age, Ned demonstrated a remarkable ability for raising the dead with a single touch. The only drawback to this seemingly miraculous gift is that a second touch from him would render them permanently dead. When a private investigator spots Ned's peculiar talent, he enlists him to help solve murder cases by reviving the victims just long enough for them to indentify their killer. An ingenious plan, you might think. But what happens when one of the deceased is your childhood sweetheart and you are faced with the ultimate moral dilemma: let the victim rest in peace after they've given evidence, or keep them alive indefinitely in the name of love?
Series creator Bryan Fuller (Dead Like Me
) indulges his taste for the macabre in a comic fantasy that not only challenges our own sense of mortality, but makes us laugh in doing so. With its hyper-real visuals, Pushing Daisies
bears a striking resemblance to films like Big Fish
, though in this case, the bright, saturated colours and exaggerated camera angles belie the show's dark humour. This release contains every episode from the second series.