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Pushing Daisies: The Complete First Season
Pushing Daisies The Complete First Season
Actors: Lee Pace, Anna Friel, Chi McBride, Jim Dale, Ellen Greene
Genres: Comedy, Television
NR     2008     6hr 19min

Every not-so-often, along comes a show that's different. Wonderfully different. Pushing Daisies, TV Guide's Matt Roush writes, "restores my faith in TV's ability to amuse, enchant and entertain." It's the story of Ned, a l...  more »

     

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Movie Details

Actors: Lee Pace, Anna Friel, Chi McBride, Jim Dale, Ellen Greene
Genres: Comedy, Television
Sub-Genres: Comedy, Comedy
Studio: Warner Home Video
Format: DVD - Color,Widescreen - Subtitled
DVD Release Date: 09/16/2008
Original Release Date: 10/03/2007
Theatrical Release Date: 10/03/2007
Release Year: 2008
Run Time: 6hr 19min
Screens: Color,Widescreen
Number of Discs: 3
SwapaDVD Credits: 3
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 21
Edition: Box set
MPAA Rating: NR (Not Rated)
Languages: English, Portuguese
Subtitles: English, Spanish
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Member Movie Reviews

Diana L. (ptomom) from SULTAN, WA
Reviewed on 1/30/2010...
Exceptional series that was cancelled way before it's time. The vibrant visuals, unique characters, twisty plotlines and appealing leads make this must watch TV.
2 of 2 member(s) found this review helpful.

Movie Reviews

A Delight!! Every Week Feels Like A Mini-Feature Film!
the masked reviewer | Boston, MA | 12/12/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Alternately funny and whimsical, PUSHING DAISIES is a visually distinctive romantic comedy that encompasses a truly winning mix of ingredients. With its modern fairy tale settings and exploding color schemes - along with perfect but unobtrusive narration by Broadway veteran Jim Dale - comparisons to the work of Tim Burton are all but unavoidable. (In a good way.)

As in his previous outing (DEAD LIKE ME), series creator Bryan Fuller explores the great beyond but this time the results are much more impressive. The entire series centers around Ned (an utterly charming Lee Pace), who - at an early age - discovers that he possesses the power to bring the dead back to life with just a touch of his finger. The tradeoff? If he touches that person again, they will remain dead forever. And leaving the dead resurrected for longer than a minute causes someone else in the immediate vicinity to die. Cruel? Perhaps. But the universe demands a cosmic balance - and this is its solution.

Ned - the owner of a fairly successful pie shop known as `The Pie Hole' - uses his unique gift to earn a living in two ways: His astonishing pies, where his special touch invigorates the fruit with incredible flavor; and helping a detective (Chi McBride), who accidentally witnessed Ned's gift first-hand, solve murder cases. How? He revives the victims long enough to find out who killed them and then the two of them split the reward money. This can, and usually does, lead to near dangerous adventures for the two of them. Sounds exciting - but as Ned's co-worker Olive (the adorable Kristin Chenoweth of Broadway's WICKED) points out, it's a detached, emotionally frigid existence.

That is, until Charlotte enters his life again.

Charlotte or "Chuck" as she is called (played by Brit actress Anna Friel), is the girl Ned loved as a child before she moved away. When Ned and the detective discover the murdered Chuck on one of their cases, Ned brings her back to life for a sizable reward but can't bring himself to kill her, creating this dilemma: Although Ned and Chuck are strongly drawn to each other, they can never, EVER touch.

PUSHING DAISIES is loaded with stars from film, TV and the stage (Paul Ruebens, Raul Esparza, Molly Shannon, Swoosie Kurtz, Ellen Greene, Christopher Seiber, Barbara Barrie, Grant Shaud - to name but a few), and it's clear that everyone is having a marvelous time. The series is filled with tons of clever touches and Lee Pace, full of childlike vulnerability, is an immensely likable lead. His palpable longing for Anna Friel's Chuck is both sweet and touching. Seldom, however, has a series predicated on keeping two characters romantically apart established such a seemingly insurmountable barrier to insure that they remain that way.

As long as the creators can sustain the high level of entertainment that the first (as of this writing) nine episodes have provided, one can only pray that this highly original and gorgeous looking television experiment keeps going for years to come.
"
The most promising new show of the strike-shortened season
Robert Moore | Chicago, IL USA | 02/07/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Season One of PUSHING DAISIES has ended. Sadly, the show, which was supposed to run through 22 episodes, has ended at 9. Many shows have been adversely affected by the WGA strike, but except for FRIDAY NIGHT LIGHTS (which not only is going to be cancelled, but did not even get to wrap up its final season, so that it will end with the narrative dangling, an unfitting end to one of the most brilliant shows on TV) none as much for my money as PUSHING DAISIES. This is simply one of the most original, extraordinary shows in the history of television. I awaited the arrival of each of the nine episodes comprising Season One like many await the release of highly anticipated films. That we got only the fraction of a season is heartbreaking.

In case anyone questions whether the season is indeed over, creator and producer Bryan Fuller has stated bluntly that the show will not resume production until next summer, when they will start work on Season Two. And to make it all even more definite, this past week it was announced that Anna Friel, who plays Chuck on the show, will very shortly start filming LAND OF THE LOST with Will Ferrell. You can't shoot new episodes if your female lead is unavailable.

What makes this so heartbreaking is how incredibly fresh and original this show was from the very first episode. I was enthralled from the very first seconds. As the camera moves up from underneath the earth, through the roots of the plants and grass just under the surface, and then up to reveal a vividly yellow field of flowers through which young Ned is running, I was completely entranced. Everything about the show affected me in similar fashion from the music, to the extraordinary use of color (the color is what causes many people to compare it to AMELIE), to the relentless number of wonderful sets. I've never seen a show that I have found so visually exciting.

And luckily the writing and the acting is every bit as good as the art design. It is almost impossible to over praise the writing on the show for two reasons. First, when you watch the first episode, it is so stunningly good that your immediate reaction is: they can't possibly keep this level of excellence up. Yet, they do. In fact, the show doesn't merely stay as good as the pilot (or "Pie-lette," as it is titled), it gets better. The show doesn't merely have a brilliant premise, but has a plan. Although we've had only 9 episodes, any viewer will definitely get the sense that this show is going someplace very specific. Second, the show features some of the wittiest dialogue ever found on television. Many compare the dialogue to that on THE GILMORE GIRLS, both for its immense cleverness and wonderful wordplay, but for its sheer quantity. Without doubt those two shows probably have more words per minute than any shows ever previously seen. (Interestingly, some of PUSHING DAISIES is filmed on the part of the back lot upon which THE GILMORE GIRLS was filmed.) Part of the reason for this is that any spots that on other shows would result in silence on PUSHING DAISIES provides an opportunity for the Narrator, who embellishes the story in marvelous fashion. Other shows have featured narrators, but in my opinion only ARRESTED DEVELOPMENT does so quite so well.

PUSHING DAISIES features a wonderful if somewhat compact ensemble cast. Lee Pace, whom many may know from an earlier Bryan Fuller series WONDERFALLS (on which he played the main character's brother), plays Ned aka The Pie Maker, who "isn't like the other boys," in that whenever he touches a dead thing he brings it back to life, with two caveats. First, if he touches that dead thing (or person) a second time, they will be dead forever. Second, if he doesn't touch it or them again within 60 seconds, something else must die in its place. Anna Friel plays Ned's great childhood love Chuck aka Dead Girl, who is brought back to life by Ned after she was murdered. Of course, this means that Ned and Chuck can never touch directly, which is, as Olive Snook points out, tragic ("notwithstanding big ticket items like genocide and death"). The outrageously talented Kristin Chenoweth plays Olive. Although one of the great Broadway musical talents of her time, neither TV nor the movies have found a way to take advantage of her. Until now. At first I was perplexed why they would cast such a huge talent in what was clearly the second female lead, but as the series goes along Olive quickly became one of my favorite characters. And Kristin even sang a song, performing "Hopelessly Devoted to You" in one of the season's highlights. Ned's partner in solving crime, the delightfully named Emerson Cod, is played by Chi McBride. Emerson is hands down the funniest, most delightful character on the show and perhaps a majority of the funniest lines on the show are uttered by McBride. Chuck's aunts are played by two more Broadway stars, Swoosie Kurtz and Ellen Greene. The Narrator is performed by Jim Dale, who is perhaps best known as the reader of the Harry Potter books on CD. For me he is one of the most wonderful things about the show, providing precisely the right texture and background to every scene. But one other performer has to be mentioned, or rather a pair of performers. I can't tell them apart and I don't know the name of the second "actor," but Orbit and another Golden Retriever play Ned's dog Digby. Orbit played JD (short for Just Dog) on an earlier Bryan Fuller series, DEAD LIKE ME. I have no idea how they get the reactions on film that "Digby" makes to things that happen around him, but to watch him you'd swear he really is acting. My favorite Digby scene might be his interaction with Olive during her singing of "Hopelessly Devoted."

As much as I love this show I have to add that I've been amazed and perplexed that not everyone I know who has seen it has liked it. Some don't like the Narrator. Some don't like the fast-paced dialogue. I simply can't account for this. PUSHING DAISIES does have a very definite style. I suppose that if the style rubs you the wrong way, you might not like it. But for me and several of my closest friends, this is one of the most magical shows I've ever seen. My two all time favorite shows are BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER and BATTLESTAR GALACTICA. How much do I love PUSHING DAISIES? Although there have been only 9 episodes, right now I am inclined to say that I love it as much as those two, making it one of my three all time favorite shows. Which is just another reason why I have been so upset by its truncated debut season. But with the writers strike finally about to end (as I write this it has been indicated that the union will vote two days from now on the new contract), I am eagerly looking forward to Season Two. What accidentally turned out to be the final episode of Season One did end on a bit of a cliffhanger and works fairly well as a transition to Season Two. Be sure to watch this to get ready for it."
The best new show of the strike shortened 2007-2008 season
Robert Moore | Chicago, IL USA | 06/28/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Now that the format wars are over and Blu Ray has won out over HD TV, I have taken the high def plunge. And the first thing that I have purchased in Blu Ray is PUSHING DAISIES. It won't be out until September, but for symbolic reasons I made this my first purchase in the format. The series is so visually stunning that it is perfect for high def presentation.

Season One of PUSHING DAISIES ended prematurely. Sadly, the show, which was supposed to run through 22 episodes, has ended at 9. Many shows have been adversely affected by the WGA strike, but except for FRIDAY NIGHT LIGHTS (which not only is going to be cancelled, but did not even get to wrap up its final season, so that it will end with the narrative dangling, an unfitting end to one of the most brilliant shows on TV) none as much for my money as PUSHING DAISIES. This is simply one of the most original, extraordinary shows in the history of television. I awaited the arrival of each of the nine episodes comprising Season One like many await the release of highly anticipated films. That we got only the fraction of a season is heartbreaking.

In case anyone questions whether the season is indeed over, creator and producer Bryan Fuller has stated bluntly that the show will not resume production until next summer, when they will start work on Season Two. And to make it all even more definite, this past week it was announced that Anna Friel, who plays Chuck on the show, will very shortly start filming LAND OF THE LOST with Will Ferrell. You can't shoot new episodes if your female lead is unavailable.

What makes this so heartbreaking is how incredibly fresh and original this show was from the very first episode. I was enthralled from the very first seconds. As the camera moves up from underneath the earth, through the roots of the plants and grass just under the surface, and then up to reveal a vividly yellow field of flowers through which young Ned is running, I was completely entranced. Everything about the show affected me in similar fashion from the music, to the extraordinary use of color (the color is what causes many people to compare it to AMELIE), to the relentless number of wonderful sets. I've never seen a show that I have found so visually exciting.

And luckily the writing and the acting is every bit as good as the art design. It is almost impossible to over praise the writing on the show for two reasons. First, when you watch the first episode, it is so stunningly good that your immediate reaction is: they can't possibly keep this level of excellence up. Yet, they do. In fact, the show doesn't merely stay as good as the pilot (or "Pie-lette," as it is titled), it gets better. The show doesn't merely have a brilliant premise, but has a plan. Although we've had only 9 episodes, any viewer will definitely get the sense that this show is going someplace very specific. Second, the show features some of the wittiest dialogue ever found on television. Many compare the dialogue to that on THE GILMORE GIRLS, both for its immense cleverness and wonderful wordplay, but for its sheer quantity. Without doubt those two shows probably have more words per minute than any shows ever previously seen. (Interestingly, some of PUSHING DAISIES is filmed on the part of the back lot upon which THE GILMORE GIRLS was filmed.) Part of the reason for this is that any spots that on other shows would result in silence on PUSHING DAISIES provides an opportunity for the Narrator, who embellishes the story in marvelous fashion. Other shows have featured narrators, but in my opinion only ARRESTED DEVELOPMENT does so quite so well.

PUSHING DAISIES features a wonderful if somewhat compact ensemble cast. Lee Pace, whom many may know from an earlier Bryan Fuller series WONDERFALLS (on which he played the main character's brother), plays Ned aka The Pie Maker, who "isn't like the other boys," in that whenever he touches a dead thing he brings it back to life, with two caveats. First, if he touches that dead thing (or person) a second time, they will be dead forever. Second, if he doesn't touch it or them again within 60 seconds, something else must die in its place. Anna Friel plays Ned's great childhood love Chuck aka Dead Girl, who is brought back to life by Ned after she was murdered. Of course, this means that Ned and Chuck can never touch directly, which is, as Olive Snook points out, tragic ("notwithstanding big ticket items like genocide and death"). The outrageously talented Kristin Chenoweth plays Olive. Although one of the great Broadway musical talents of her time, neither TV nor the movies have found a way to take advantage of her. Until now. At first I was perplexed why they would cast such a huge talent in what was clearly the second female lead, but as the series goes along Olive quickly became one of my favorite characters. And Kristin even sang a song, performing "Hopelessly Devoted to You" in one of the season's highlights. Ned's partner in solving crime, the delightfully named Emerson Cod, is played by Chi McBride. Emerson is hands down the funniest, most delightful character on the show and perhaps a majority of the funniest lines on the show are uttered by McBride. Chuck's aunts are played by two more Broadway stars, Swoosie Kurtz and Ellen Greene. The Narrator is performed by Jim Dale, who is perhaps best known as the reader of the Harry Potter books on CD. For me he is one of the most wonderful things about the show, providing precisely the right texture and background to every scene. But one other performer has to be mentioned, or rather a pair of performers. I can't tell them apart and I don't know the name of the second "actor," but Orbit and another Golden Retriever play Ned's dog Digby. Orbit played JD (short for Just Dog) on an earlier Bryan Fuller series, DEAD LIKE ME. I have no idea how they get the reactions on film that "Digby" makes to things that happen around him, but to watch him you'd swear he really is acting. My favorite Digby scene might be his interaction with Olive during her singing of "Hopelessly Devoted."

As much as I love this show I have to add that I've been amazed and perplexed that not everyone I know who has seen it has liked it. Some don't like the Narrator. Some don't like the fast-paced dialogue. I simply can't account for this. PUSHING DAISIES does have a very definite style. I suppose that if the style rubs you the wrong way, you might not like it. But for me and several of my closest friends, this is one of the most magical shows I've ever seen. My two all time favorite shows are BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER and BATTLESTAR GALACTICA. How much do I love PUSHING DAISIES? Although there have been only 9 episodes, right now I am inclined to say that I love it as much as those two, making it one of my three all time favorite shows. Which is just another reason why I have been so upset by its truncated debut season. But with the writers strike finally about to end (as I write this it has been indicated that the union will vote two days from now on the new contract), I am eagerly looking forward to Season Two. What accidentally turned out to be the final episode of Season One did end on a bit of a cliffhanger and works fairly well as a transition to Season Two. Be sure to watch this to get ready for it."