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STUDIO: Warner Home Video
RATED: Not Rated
RUNNING TIME: 562 Minutes
The dead live, then die at the hands of a piemaker.
Advanced Ideas and Sexy Mechanics.
Lee Pace, Anna Friel, Chi McBride, Kristin Chenoweth and Swoosie Kurtz
Pushing Daisies: The Complete Second Season is quite similar to the last season. Both seasons showed the usual Bryan Fuller quirks, while struggling to fight against the odds to survive in Prime-Time. Whether it was the Writers’ Strike cutting it off at the knees or scheduling trouble, the show found its cult audience. Hell, I know of fans that worked their asses off to find the last three episodes after it was dumped to random summer weekends. But, does unwavering commitment from a select few make this a decent show?
The Piemaker, Chuck and Emerson open up their sophomore effort as to try to find Olive and solve more mysteries. We find out that most of the main cast knew each other as kids, plus Chuck and The Piemaker’s dads knew each other. If that wasn’t enough, they were tied to a treasure hunt involving Merle McQuoddy. There’s still time for C-list celeb cameos and more lush visuals. Hell, I can’t think of a recent show that matches the color palette on display here.
Somewhere around the eighth episode, you can see that the showrunners knew the end was nigh. Chuck’s spinster aunts had their plotlines tied up, while the rest of the town got to a decent point of closure. Sure, Ned never got the piece of happiness that he was looking for with Chuck. But, some things you can’t rush. Well, you could’ve packed it in there by dropping the treasure hunt storyline and having one less cameo from someone like David Arquette.
Then, there’s the cast. Lee Pace, Anna Friel and Kristen Chenoweth make for a perfect team. Sure, Chi McBride is a solid actor, but he doesn’t seem to gel with the others. Emerson is meant to be the surly voice of Couer D’ Couers, but he never seemed fully realized. I guess that’s why we got young Emerson being forced into the flashbacks and more chances to get Emerson to identify with Ned, as they solve crimes. It felt lazy, but the spirit of inclusion fit well with the show’s optimistic nature.
Couer d’ Couers seemed to get bigger this season. More one-off characters appearing and more events happening in the city. Food became more prevalent and the colors and aromas seemed to leap off the screen. If you’re considering the Blu-Ray, take a look at the eighth episode of the season. The Comfort Food Festival plays to the show’s visual strengths, even as it delves into the crime-solving B-Plot.
I don’t want to be the person that glosses over the show’s acting and writing to only comment on the visuals. But, Pushing Daisies was one of the few shows on television that strived to be as visually complex as its cinematic siblings. I could go on and on about Anna Friel and her loveliness. There are entire papers to be wrote about the enchanted loner that is Ned. But, what would it all mean? The show has ran its course and now we’re left hoping that there won’t be a DTV movie five years down the line.
DVD is only packing featurettes and select commentaries for the second season release. The commentaries start off strong, as they explain the technical and writing aspects of the show. But, right around the final disc…it turns into back-patting. I’m all for a job well done, but I still want to hear cohesive discussion about the program I’m watching. If I didn’t, I’d just shut the damn commentary track off.
The featurettes are more of the same from the previous season release. We see the actors discussing the new direction the show’s taking. The showrunners discuss what it’s like to actually be given a second year in their wonderful world. There’s looks at the inventive special effects used to make the show. It’s informative, but it leaves you wanting more.
She’s so cute, but she’s got a religious axe to grind.