The Casting Couch

The Casting Couch

Friday, May 11, 2007

Pilot Review: Pushing Daisies

"Pushing Daisies"
Lee Pace, Anna Friel, Chi McBride, and Kristin Chenoweth

Concept: A man discovers he has the power to bring dead people back to life with one touch. However, one consequence of this is that he can never touch them again or they will instantly die. After his childhood sweetheart is murdered, he brings her back to life to try to solve her murder, and while he is overwhelmed with feelings for her yet again, he can never touch her, ever, or she will die.

Review: AMAZING. Best pilot I've seen so far. This quirky story is beautiful and poetic. It is set up much like a fairytale and is filmed in a unique storybook type way. Very reminiscent of Tim Burton's "Big Fish." It's from "Wonderfalls" and "Heroes" writer Bryan Fuller, and is directed by "Lemony Snicket's" EP Barry Sonnenfeld. I was pleasantly surprised by this dark comedy that seemed to have real heart and vitality despite its focus on death.

Lee Pace. I have to admit, he wasn't what I was imagining for the role, but he won me over almost instantly. There is a sweetness and innocence about him that is necessary for "Ned." Plus this Julliard graduate really is a fabulous actor, picking up on various subtleties in the role that were quite profound.

Anna Friel. Friel captures the sincere and playful spirit of "Chuck," the object of Ned's affections, perfectly. She's kind and sweet, and with just enough spunk to make the character seemlessly adorable.

Chi McBride.
McBride plays Ned's greedy yet oddly lovable business partner "Emerson Cod." While he tries to maintain a sort of hardass exterior, he's really a funny and kind-hearted guy, which adds more dimension to the character and makes him fun to watch.

Kristin Chenoweth. Ned channels his lonliness as a pie-maker in a shop by day, and Chenoweth is his ditzy and naive waitress with a big heart. While she is meant to be obnoxious, Chenoweth is just so freaking adorable, that she's hard not to like.

Honorable mentions go to the supporting cast: Chuck's aunts played by Swoosie Kurtz (she is so hilarious and fun in a dark, disturbed kind of way)and Ellen Greene, narrator Jim Dale (his voice is just so perfect for this), and Field Cate and Sammi Hanratty who play young Ned and Chuck, respectively.

This is a very classically trained cast, which is exciting to see for a single tv show. I hope it gets picked up and that the American public can appreciate it for what it is: a quirky, loveable, and unique dark comedy.


Lindsey said...

I read a review of this pilot on tv guide and they were raving about it too. I have to admit, the premise sounds a little ... interesting ... to me, but I'll definitely tune in after reading your review. Thanks Megs!

Lindsey said...

Also, I'm looking forward to your reviews on Lipstick Jungle and Cashmere Mafia... and I thought Gossip Girl on The CW sounded good, but I could be crazy :)

p.s. Yay that How I Met Your Mother got picked up!!