Posts Tagged ‘abc’

Pushing Daisies: “Window Dressed to Kill”

31 May 2009
by R.A. Porter

daisiess02e11

Nobody gave a crap about Clark Kent. He could disappear off the face of the Daily Planet, nobody’d even notice. But I bet he’d spit spandex to find someone special enough who cared about the man and not the cape.

Viewing note: if you missed this week’s Pushing Daisies, you can watch it online at ABC.com. And don’t forget there are two more episodes to come the next two Saturdays.

Oh poor Ned. Looks like Gregory Peck, bakes pies that are heaven, has two sweet and beautiful women in love with him, has a superpower, and yet can’t help but trip over his own cape. Repeatedly.

Having decided the time to be super is past, Ned’s thrown out the rotten fruit and holstered his magic finger for good. Just a piemaker now, he’s not going to be dragged along by Emerson on his latest case and he’s not going to be dragging Chuck along. Of course Chuck, like Olive, enjoys the danger and excitement of Emerson’s cases, so she jumps at the chance to help out the sleuth.

If Ned were looking outward more, he’d see that Chuck loves the thrill and realize it’s not so bad to have a superpower. But as is so often the case with Ned, he’s blindered and makes the wrong choice. No, that’s not quite right. He’s not blind, just too focused on the wrong things.

Like Olive, focused on Ned with a laser’s coherence that she doesn’t notice Randy’s interest,1 Ned is so focused on being normal that he doesn’t realize Chuck loves him as he is. It’s not that Chuck wouldn’t love normal-Ned, but in separating himself from his power he separates himself from sleuthing, in turn separating himself from The Alive-Again Avenger and her “crusty, unflappable, streetwise gumshoe.”

But Ned comes around. When he’s needed most, he faces his demons and uses his powers to revive a rhino and provide all the distraction a couple of runaway non-kidnapping kidnappers need to get away.

Richard Benjamin and George Segal shine as Jerry Holmes and Buster Bustamante, more like parents to Olive than her parents ever were. Their love and concern for Olive shows in every glance, every word. And their unique focus on Olive - less like a laser and more like a warm wash of sunlight2 – lets them see what she can’t about Randy’s feelings.

As for the MoW, I want to live in a world where window dressers have devotees. Sort of like the movie Mannequin, but better.

What did everyone else think?

  1. Or Alfredo’s before him. []
  2. Too much with the light metaphor, I know. []

Cupid: Where’s Jar Jar?

1 April 2009
by R.A. Porter

cupids01e01

Sigh.

No, that wasn’t a happy sigh. It wasn’t a sigh of contentment. It was disappointment and disillusionment and disgust. It was lamentation of the fact that Rob Thomas has trodden on his own creation with the same ham-handed, tin-eared lack of grace George Lucas demonstrated with Phantom Menace. It was just a sigh.

Cupid, for the many who don’t remember it, was a short-lived ABC romcom from the ’98-’99 season. It starred Jeremy Piven as the titular god of love (maybe) and Paula Marshall as the cynical, down to Earth psychiatrist assigned to cure his insanity (or was it?) It ran for only 15 episodes with a few mediocre, a few pretty bad, and one or two absolute gems. I challenge anyone to watch the episode “Heart of the Matter” and not find the room getting dusty.

So a couple of years back, Rob Thomas was talking with ABC trying to come up with a new show that incorporated some of the same themes and motifs and eventually both sides decided he should just redo Cupid. After all, this isn’t the ABC of the late ’90s; today’s ABC could easily find a place to slot in a romcom. So remake and redo they did.

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Ugly Betty – “Dress for Success”

9 January 2009
by Tawnya Jonsek

UglyBettyI love Ugly Betty. But last night’s show left me a bit – perturbed. Just slightly. In “Dress for Success”, Betty is scrambling to hold on to her position in the YETI program. Being a magazine editor is her dream, her passion. Her family should understand this and know (after three years) that the job requires long hours, sometimes at the last minute. They should know she is called away from family functions to run errands for Daniel. It’s her job. She signed on for this and it’s a typical rung in the ladder she hopes to climb.

But her family is giving her flack for doing her job instead of hanging out with the family or putting together gift bags for her sister’s salon opening. (We never saw Hilda thank Betty for those gift bags – or at least not in the profuse way Betty deserved). They hound Betty and lay guilt trips on her for showing up to work, for networking, for basically having any dream that isn’t tied to the family. Read the rest of this entry »

Pushing Daisies: “The Norwegians”

17 December 2008
by R.A. Porter

daisiess02e10

Oh Jiminy Jehoshaphat! I went out on a limb for you people. A tree limb, jutting from a cliff with my limbs dangling over certain death. So don’t leave me dangling with Dwight’s disappearance.

In a break from format, tonight’s episode of Pushing Daisies eschewed the MoW and was all the stronger for it. Tying up loose threads, before dropping some new ones, tonight was all about Charles’s disappearance and Dwight’s death.

Vivian, as innocent and naive as ever, asks Emerson for help tracking down her missing paramour, Dwight Dixon. But Emerson already knows where Dwight can be found, six feet underground where he left him. But treating Vivian roughly to convince her she’s been abandoned doesn’t work: she hires The Norwegians.

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Pushing Daisies: “Legend of Merle McQuoddy”

10 December 2008
by R.A. Porter

A pie is simple it’s limited. Just a bit of pastry and filling. Cake is complex, layered with treasures waiting to be discovered. Which one do you choose?

Pushing Daisies is just bold enough that I believed there was a small chance Chuck would leave with her father tonight. Not forever necessarily, but at this late date it might as well be. I honestly did not know whether Chuck would choose cake or pie, so when she told Ned her spoon landed right where she was, I was glad. But I didn’t buy that her father was going to be happy about it. He’s chosen too, and his spoon is taking him, and Ned’s car, elsewhere.

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Pushing Daisies: “Comfort Food”

3 December 2008
by R.A. Porter

Young Ned’s lesson tonight is one we could all stand to learn: “even a forkful of immediate gratification can lead to a world of grave consequences.” Young Ned learned while opening the oven at the Longborough School for Boys and letting the aroma of pie waft through the night. It was a lesson Chuck could have used before opening her father’s grave and letting a very different aroma waft on the night breeze.

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Pushing Daisies: “Robbing Hood”

26 November 2008
by R.A. Porter

Ned: I’m out of counter space, so I’m stress baking in my head.
Chuck: Feels like you’re stress baking me.
Ned: I’m channeling fear into anger.
Emerson: Anger leads to hate.
Chuck: Hate leads to stress baking the people you love.

Watching tonight with one eye and a heavy heart was probably not the best way to appreciate another fine outing from Bryan Fuller et al. I barely caught the key party exchange1 and had to skip back to enjoy Ned’s innocence and Chuck’s teasing tone. I only barely noticed the Yoda bit. And I couldn’t tell you what color schemes the costumers and set dressers went with if you held a gigantic musket to my head.

But I did still smile. It’s hard not to smile while watching this show. Which is pretty remarkable considering my mood today and how directly it is related to this canceled gem.

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  1. For a worldly pervert, I’m ashamed to admit I hadn’t heard of this ’70s staple until Sam and Annie took a walk on the undercover wild side on Life on Mars. []

Pushing Daisies: “Oh Oh Oh…It’s Magic”

19 November 2008
by R.A. Porter


There have been quite a few very well suited guest stars on Pushing Daisies – Molly Shannon, Patrick Fabian, the brilliant Paul Reubens – but none fit quite so well as Fred Willard. Now, I’m a sucker for Willard, always have been. He’s got a real warmth to go with the absurd-oblivious air he affects, and it never fails to make me like his characters. That’s true again here, as he plays Herman Gunt – The Great Herrmann – as a softie who can’t help but take Maurice and Ralston under his wing when their father bails on them during a Sunday matinee.

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Ugly Betty: “Tornado Girl”

13 November 2008
by Tawnya Jonsek

Betty begs for the chance to give the final approval for Mode magazine’s latest edition while Daniel is away at a business retreat, sans cell phone. This particular issue sports a flashy tornado with a supermodel imposed over it and the title ‘Eye of the Storm’. Satisfied the issue is ready to go and after having given final approval to ship the magazines out, Betty takes a break and is horrified to see a major news alert about a once in a decade twister destroying parts of Tibsley, Kansas and leaving many dead. Read the rest of this entry »

Pushing Daisies Might Finish in Comics

13 November 2008
by R.A. Porter

Slice of SciFi is reporting that Bryan Fuller has presented his plans for the second half of the season to ABC execs and is waiting for the pickup. But if the network passes, he plans to complete the story arcs in comics.

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