Monday, February 22, 2010

And On the Other Side of the Coin . . .

{Editor's note: This post is an experiment wherein I discuss a TV show, the late "Pushing Daisies", that bridges the gap between what would seem to be my two mutually exclusive sets of interest: The retro, old-movie loving, secretly wishes to be a housewife side and the geeky sci-fi enthusiast, horror movie lover, macabre true crime fan side. Because the two blogs I pen would have theoretically separate audiences (although, with my friends, I suspect there would be more overlap than normal), I am trying to appeal to both sides without turning either side off. Thus, the crossover blog posts. If this idea fails miserably, I will try not to repeat it . . . but no promises. Now, back to your regularly scheduled post.}

Bryan Fuller is the king of quirky, witty . . . and ultimately cancelled shows. My favorite of his doomed creations is "Pushing Daisies". "Daisies" is/was the story of a pie maker named Ned who could bring the dead back to life . . . with a few restrictions. As the name suggests, death is interwoven in each episode's storyline. As a fan of true crime shows (and the occasional CSI/Law and Order SVU flair), the mystery of the murderer and the motive was an instant attraction for me. The show doesn't shirk on the gruesome deaths and black humor abounds. My personal favorite: Ned and Emerson's lively debate about the morality of calling the recently resurrected "zombies" versus "alive again". A good example of the gruesome played for laughs, Missy Pyle's character Betty Bee's return from fatal bee stings, pictured here:

The show is smartly written, interweaving obvious puns with subtle humor, ensuring that each script is intensely multi-layered. The show is also chock full of eccentric characters who initially seem flat or stereotypical, but each episode reveals something new about them, not unlike peeling back layers of an onion. The show is delightfully quirky (think Tim Burton's Big Fish) and balances out the macabre, and often tragic, circumstances with a whimsical, modern fairytale feel.

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