31 May 2009
by R.A. Porter
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?