It's here! Finally! At last! The best new show of the season, Pushing Daisies, arrives tonight at 8 p.m. on ABC. If you add nothing else to your TV rotation this season, add Pushing Daisies.
Why? Well, let me try to explain the unexplainable...
If Pushing Daisies were a storybook, you would have cherished it as a child, you would read it to your children, and they would read it to their children. And if you misplaced Pushing Daisies but suddenly stumbled across a copy of it in the back of a used bookstore, you might tear up a little—because the memory of enchantment would be that powerful.
Pushing Daisies is simply one of the most beautiful, imaginative and creative shows on television, and if you've ever loved a magical story, you owe it to yourself to tune in tonight.
So, what the frak is this kooky-sounding show? Cliff’s Notes: Pushing Daisies was created by Bryan Fuller (Heroes, Wonderfalls), and it's the story of a shy young pie baker named Ned (the adorable Lee Pace) who can bring the dead back to life with a touch.
Downside? If he doesn't redead his touch targets within a minute, two other issues arise: (1) some blameless bystander dies in place of the guy or girl Ned just resurrected, and (2) if Ned ever touches the resurrected person again, that person dies for good.
Catch number two up there is the basis for the big romantic twist of the show: You see, Ned loves a lady named Charlotte Charles, aka "Chuck," who used to be dead, but now she's alive at his hand...and if they ever so much as brush arms, much less try to do the deed, she's dead. Again.
No fair, right? Right—and yet, this challenged romance is part of what makes Daisies so irresistible and textured. As Lee Pace puts it, "One of the reasons I’m so grateful to be working on a show with Bryan Fuller is because it’s not going to be a one-trick pony. It's not going to be a bunch of scenes where they’re like, oh, I wish I could touch you but I can’t. They’re really going to deal with the problems of it." Anna Friel, who plays Chuck, notes, "They find ways in each and every episode to express their love—without her dying."
Bryan Fuller, meanwhile, is indeed having fun coming up with alternate methods for making out: "They can’t touch flesh to flesh, so it’s all about the prophylactics." Think bee-keeping suits, body bags, Saran Wrap, etc.
Now, those safety kisses are still coming down the pike, so you must tune in tonight for the pilot (titled "Pie-lette," in honor of Ned's occupation—how stinking cute is that?) to begin properly at the beginning. You'll find out how Ned and Chuck fell in love, meet a kooky neighbor who sings like an angel, encounter two crazy aunts "with matching personality disorders" and get to know the gruff detective who is blackmailing Ned into helping him solve a murder a week...Tonight sets it all up with a classic "once upon a time" beginning, chock-full of heroism, villainy, comedy and complications.
If you still don't get the feeling that this show is different than anything you've ever seen before, well, let's listen in to Lee Pace: "I think a lot of things set this show apart. The look of it is really unique, but the look isn’t enough to make people tune in for an hour every week...it’s the stories, really, the stories are unique. They’re exciting! Every episode we go into a new fun world, be it dandelion cars or jockeys or dogs. It’s really fun, and in Bryan’s hands it just becomes so imaginative. The world is really cool. We’re not just going to be kicking around the Pie Hole every episode."
Join on us this adventure, won't you, and tune in to ABC at 8 p.m. tonight? Then after you watch, feel free to use your own lovely pie hole to tell the world what you think of Daisies in this very section, as our Save It or Sink It campaign continues.
—Additional reporting by fellow Daisies fan Jennifer Godwin