The facts are these. Pushing Daisies is my favourite show at the moment. It’s incredibly well-written and nothing like anything that’s ever been on TV before.
If you haven’t seen it, that places you in the overwhelming majority. It’s a sort-of twisted comedy detective show, but don’t let that put you off, the detective show element is the least interesting thing about it.
What is interesting is the premise – the lead character, Ned, can bring dead people back to life by touching them – until he touches them a second time. If he doesn’t do that, then somebody else in the vicinity dies. It’s a beautifully simple premise which turns out to be an ingenious plot machine.
Even more interestingly, is the look of the show. It’s been described as ‘Tim Burton-esque’; it’s like a child’s storybook. Everything is vividly colourful and larger-than-life. The design is deliberately anachronistic. And it’s all narrated by Jim Dale, famous in the UK for hanging off a rooftop by Barbara Windsor’s brassiere, famous in the USA for being the voice of Harry Potter.
The cartoon-esque feel is continued into the characters; not only do they have alliterate names and oddball quirks, they even look like caricatures. Lee Pace has expressive, doleful eyebrows. Anna Friel is winsomeness turned up to eleven. Chi McBride is lugubriousity personified. Kirsten Chenoworth is a force of nature; big teeth, big tits and big attitude.
ITV famously skipped the second episode; a shame, because it’s an excellent episode, working both as a second introduction whilst furthering the premise. I imagine they felt they’d been sold a pup; by the time they started showing it, the first series had been prematurely curtailed and the second was very much in doubt. Fingers crossed they keep on showing it to the bitter end.