his touch can bring the dead back to life, but he must never ever touch the woman he loves
Type of Pilot: Romantic Comedy-Drama
Similar Shows: Wonderfalls
The Inner Light: A hug can turn your day around, it's like an emotional Heimlich. Someone puts their arms around you, and they give you a squeeze and all your fear and anxiety comes shooting out of your mouth, and you can breathe again.
Strengths: An amazing visual flair, pace, cast and script.
Weaknesses: There are none. This is pitch perfect. A genuine pleasure to watch. You sit there watching it and you've got a great big grin on your face. It's wonderful. Not since 24 or Lost has a pilot so excited me on first viewing. But this time it's not a dark vision of the world. A lonely one, yes, but it's a fairy-tale world this time. And fairy-tales must have happy endings. Mustn't they?
Impressive Characters: Ned's cool. Fascinating. Living out in the world, but basically living a life of solitude (he avoids touching). His one-true love, Charlotte Charles (Anna Friel), is likewise very interesting. She's been locked away from the world, but she's read everything about it. Now, she's out and living it large. "I suppose dying's as good an excuse as any to start living."
Impressive Actors: Chi McBride blew me away. He is hilarious. Witty one-liners abound. After his dreary part in last years flop "The Nine", McBride appears to be having a lot of fun here. He's Emerson Cod, the private investigator who convinces our reluctant hero to help him investigate murders. Ned, you see, can touch the dead and bring them back to life. But, for very important reasons, he must touch them again within one minute and send them back to sleep. Permantently. Complications arise when his long-lost one-true-love is murdered. He brings her back to life, but doesn't have the heart to return her to the grave. Result: she stays around, but he can never touch her again. Never. Not once. If he touches her, she will die...
Less-Than-Impressive Characters: All the characters in this pilot postively sparkle. Even minor characters like the waitress who works with our hero, and the aunts who are grieving for our heroine, are funny and fun to watch. The backstory on the aunts is a scream.
Less-Than-Impressive Actors: This show was perfectly cast. I had no idea Chi McBride was gifted with such comic timing. I had no idea Anna Friel could be so adorable. She gazes wistfully at Ned (Lee Pace) whenever they are on screen together and it is heart-breaking to watching. She's all emotion, wearing her heart on her sleeve. He's the opposite. A cold fish. It's brilliant casting. Brilliant!
Continuity: I suspect not. But who knows? We've got a live one here, it could go anywhere. Do anything.
Rewatchability: Immense. I really want to watch this pilot again. It's wonderful.
Other Info: The show will air Wednesdays at 8, before Private Practice. Jim Dale narrates the pilot. And there's a lot of narration. And it's all wonderful. The narration, probably, is what keeps the dark concepts from dragging the whole thing down. www.Pushing-Daisies.com
Websites: Here's a fan website for the show.
Three Things I Really Like About This Pilot:
No review can do this justice. It has to be seen to be appreciated. It's poetry on television. Wistful and lonely, while making you laugh out loud. It's beautiful.