Pushing Daisies: The Complete First Season (2007)

Genre(s): Comedy / Drama / Fantasy / Mystery
Warner Brothers || NR - 379 minutes - $29.98 || September 16, 2008
Reviewer: Kushmeer Farakhan || Posted On: 2008-09-15


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.:: F I L M ::.
The Film

S P E C I A L
.: F E A T U R E S :.

Special Features

A U D I O &
.:: V I D E O ::.

Audio and Video

.:: O V E R A L L ::.
Overall
.::MOVIE INFORMATION::.
Director: NA
Writer(s): Bryan Fuller (created by)
Cast: Lee Pace, Anna Friel, Chi McBride, Ellen Greene, Swoosie Kurtz, Kristin Chenoweth


.::DVD INFORMATION::.
Supplemental Material:
  • Time for Pie: Delicious Interactive Featurettes


Technical Information:
  • Number of Discs: 3
  • Widescreen (1.78)
  • English (Dolby Digital 5.1), Portuguese (Dolby Digital Surround)
  • Subtitles: English

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.::THE FILM::.

“Pushing Daisies” was one of my top 20 favorite shows of 2007. It was fresh and Innovative. It revolves a guy named Ned who, for yet unknown reasons, developed an ability to bring the dead back to life (ever so briefly). When he does this, if he doesn't immediately touch them again after a minute of them getting their life back, 1 other person in the vicinity has to die in their place. You get that? I hope so. Young Ned was in love with a young girl nicknamed Chuck. Ned's mom dies, he brings her back to life and (unaware of all of his "powers") accidentally kills Chuck's dad because he's nearby. To make matters worse, Ned's mom eventually dies of something else anyway. Flash-forward about an decade later and Ned (Lee Pace) is a pie maker running his own restaurant, using his gifts to make money solving murders with his private eye partner, Emerson Cod (Chi McBride).

Everything is great until his long lost love Chuck (Anna Friel) is murdered and he can't bring himself to send her back to the world of the dead thus an nearby guy dies in her place. Chuck joins Ned and Emerson's little mystery solving crew. Other major characters include Olive Snook (Kristin Chenoweth), Ned's waitress and woman who also loves him and Chuck's wacky aunts Vivian (Ellen Green) and Lily (Swoosie Kurtz). None of these 3 women know Chuck is dead which creates even more confusion and plot twists.

Okay, the above was a lot to digest but that's the basic setup of the show and it works great. Most episodes have a snapping wit to the dialogue and the directing -- a lot of which is done by film director Barry Sonnenfeld -- is great. The humor is first rate and the romance between Chuck and Ned is adorable. No character is ever short shifted and the mysteries never outshine the romance and vice versa. Visually, it's a wonder to look at as the show's producers obviously like bright color patterns (and who can blame them).

My only problem with the show is that occasionally it wallows into redundancy. Nearly every episode begins with a story from "Young Ned's" childhood, sometimes the writers clearly just want to focus on the mystery that week and the romance feels tacked on or vice versa, stuff like that. I think a lot of that has to do with the Writer's strike which occur just nine episodes in. Things like that can seriously hurt a show's development.



.::SPECIAL FEATURES::.

These are kind of weak. For one thing, the special features (all on disc 3) are organized in a rather clumsy way. They're meant to be "fun" and interactive by having them shaped like pies but because they're arranged in such an odd way, you're never quite sure what you're clicking on or which featurette goes with what. It's all very annoying. They should've just had a regular menu for those who didn't want to do through that or at least a play all button.

The featurettes themselves weren't bad but they're too short and you get so frustrated with the menu, they're hard to enjoy. What you get isn't bad, it's just not great. Also, other than Lee Pace and one obvious snippet from a press interview with Kristin Chenoweth, the cast is absent. Why is that? A commentary or two would've been nice. There's very much a feeling that this was slapped together an bit too fast to make an release date.



.::AUDIO & VIDEO::.

The video (1.78 AR) is slightly better than on TV but it looks great anyway. WB usually puts out good product. The DVD has a Dolby Digital 5.1 track along with Dolby Surround in Portuguese.



.::OVERALL::.

“Pushing Daisies” is a very good show that has the potential to be an amazing one and I think that's an great possibility with season two right around the corner. The DVD is just okay though as far as season box sets go. I've seen far better and far worse and this is an tad lackluster for an show as good as this. Still, it's worth getting for the episodes alone and the featurettes aren't THAT bad. A reluctant recommendation for purchase.