Pushing Daisies: The Complete Second Season

There’s something a little disconcerting about a DVD release of a canceled show you loved. It’s almost like getting handed a cookie after someone kicks you in the nuts (or punches your boob if you’re a chick or a fat dude); you can’t really appreciate that you get to have this cookie because you’re too busy being in freaking pain.

For those of you unfamiliar with the show, this forensic fairytale follows Ned, a young man with a very special gift. As a boy, Ned discovered that he could return the dead briefly back to life with just one touch. Now a pie maker, Ned puts his ability to good use, not only touching dead fruit and making it ripe with everlasting flavor, but working with a private investigator to crack murder cases by raising the dead and getting them to name their killers. But the tale gets complicated when Ned brings his childhood sweetheart, Chuck, back from the dead — and keeps her alive. Chuck becomes the third partner in Ned and Emerson’s private-investigation enterprise, encouraging them to use Ned’s skills for good, not just for profit. Life would be perfect for Ned and Chuck, except for one cruel twist: If he ever touches her again, she’ll go back to being dead, this time for good.

Now, I’ve really got no idea how to review a specific season of a TV show, or a TV show for that matter. So I’m just going to break it down, as follows:

This Season, Compared to Season 1

While this season wasn’t quite as awesome as season 1, it was still one of the most creative and beautiful shows on television. Give me a mediocre episode of “Daisies” over any episode of “CSI,” any day. In season 1, everything had that new car smell. Everything was a novelty.

It’s not to say this was a bad season, by any means. It had some stand-out moments, but it seemed to be coasting along, with no challenges. The whole Olive-goes-to-the-nunnery side-plot didn’t do anywhere and was almost a total waste (but at least we got Pigby out of it!).

The Cast & Characters, Especially Guests

The leads, Lee Pace and Anna Friel, were good, but they were good last season as well. It was nice to see them try something new, with Chuck moving into Olive’s vacant apartment next door. But that didn’t last long, and there was some relief when she moved back home with Ned, including sharing a bed with him, albeit with a plastic screen between them, like in their car.

Chi McBride really got to explore different parts of Emerson’s character, and was the only one to show any kind of growth from last season. Seeing him as a child, and watching him interact with his hardboiled detective mother was a treat, but the best part came when the mother of his child came back into town. Now, since it was the incomparable Gina Torres you know it’s going to be interesting, but I was totally geeking out during her appearance in “Water & Power.”

David Arquette and Stephen Root added some nice color. And I was glad to see Christine Adams as Simone back this season, as she was the only good thing about that weird dog-breeding episode from season 1.

The Sets & Costumes

So pretty! Truly, “Daisies” excelled on creating its very own, very unique and completely impossible universe. All the bright colors and too cute for school sets and scenery. The gorgeous costumes, the quick dialogue, and the pie! I’m a sucker for aesthetics, and “Daisies” is like Christmas morning for people who love beautiful things. No other show on TV can even come close to looking this good, and it’s a bit depressing.

The Best Episodes

The season premier episode, “Bzzzzzzzzz!” bees fly out of the dead body in the morgue! Plus the Betty’s Bees building is one of those architectural marvels this show does with ease.

“Dim Sum Lose Some” has the gang investigating the death of a Chinese dim sum cook from Emerson’s favorite restaurant. They stumble on an illegal gambling ring, where people play a form of cards using dim sum dishes. Everyone dresses up to go undercover, and Ned’s Texan accent is hilarious.

Watching Olive go undercover as one of “The Norwegians” was so adorable. While the topic of the episode was pretty tired (investigating something we already knew!) the actual Norwegian detectives were funny and you feel kinda bad for them when their motor home gets stolen.

The Special Features

Not what I had wanted! I wanted the pies! The food! The costumes! The few little features they had were not interesting and really weren’t special. No deleted scenes, no gag reel, not even a single commentary.


Rating: B+