Thursday, December 4, 2008

A Few of my Favorite Things

Although I am mostly dead inside and walk though this life like a zombie who has lost his will to feast on brains, there are a few subjects that agitate my cold, thick blood into a state similar to passion. These include (in no particular order):

  • Pinball

  • Hockey

  • Shoes

  • Books

  • Music

  • Quirky TV shows

  • Puzzles/Games/Trivia

There are others...but these are the main passions in my life. For my own amusement, I am going to try to start profiling one of my favorites here each week...figure I am already doing a "Hate" post, might as well do a "Love" post too. Unfortunately, love is always more difficult for me than my default emotion of hate...and so I don't know if it will have a standard day of love like I do hate.

This is one of my loves:

Quirky TV Show: Pushing Daisies

Pushing Daisies is a very stylized show and might take a little getting used to. It reminds me of Tim Burton style, but not sad, depressed, dark Tim Burton - this would be a Tim Burton who is happy and loves bright, bold colors...odd architectural design, odd coloring, little touches that make it seem like a dream. I think a lot of the look has to due with Barry Sonnefeld directing and Bruce Cohen producing (he did produce The Flintstones in Viva Rock Vegas, so he can have horrible taste too - although I admit that Stephen Baldwin as Barney was an inspired choice and has led to me renaming him Barney Baldwin).

The show is really well written and often has a strange way of telling the story. For example, flashbacks will have the narrator giving the exact age of the participants (i.e. - Ned is exactly 9 years, 5 months, 23 days, 8 hours, 12 minutes, and 4 seconds old). I am not sure why I find this so appealing but it is just an odd level of detail that adds a lot to the story for me. The writing isn't straightforward funny like a sitcom like The Office, but it does have a lot of much more subtle humor and the drama and characters are well written enough to be believable and endearing.

So what is this show all about? Ned is a pie maker. The show is about him and his co-workers and a private eye who helps them solve murders. What that doesn't make sense? No, not really...until you hear that the Ned (the pie maker) can bring the dead back to life by touching them. This is also how he makes pies, turning rotten fruit into the most lively and delicious fruit you have ever tasted. But like with Mogwai there are rules:

  1. Touch a dead thing once and it becomes alive

  2. Touch the thing brought back to life again and it is dead forever

  3. Bring something back to live for more than 60 seconds - something comparable must die in its place (bring a dog back to life, an animal about the size of a dog will in turn the victim is picked is unknown but it must be in close proximity)

The gist is that Ned along with a private eye, bring murder victims back to life to find out who killed them, thereby solving the murder and collecting rewards. Follow the rules and everything is great...but like in Gremlins rules are broken and everything gets complicated and that is where the fun starts.

Complications (just a few):

  • Ned has brought his first girlfriend Charlotte (aka Chuck) back to life after she was murdered.

  • Ned loves Chuck but can not touch her again...ever (he also hasn't been able to touch his dog in about 20 years).

  • Ned's co-worker Olive is secretly in love with Ned and therefore jealous of Chuck but doesn't understand their relationship since they never touch

  • Chuck's aunts, who raised her after her father's death (accidentally killed by Ned after he brought his mom back to life when he was 9 years old), think that Chuck is dead but love pie from the Pie Hole

  • Chuck's aunt is secretly her mom

It all makes for a good show (though it sounds horrible...but again it might take a little getting used to. It is one of my favorite shows of the past couple years and the only show I watch on ABC (Wednesdays 7pm Central). Unfortunately, it is strange enough that I think it has a hard time finding an audience and is probably in danger of being canceled (although I really hope not).

  • Reanimated corpses - Check

  • Aunt who wears an eye patch (which always matches her outfit) and used to perform as a synchronized swimming mermaid - Check

  • People who keep nothing but cheese in their refrigerator making their young niece think it is called "The Cheese Box" - Check

  • Private Eye who knits in order to relax - Check

  • Unrequited love - Check

  • Amusing deaths - Check

  • Always a twist - Check

  • A restaurant named The Pie Hole - Check

It can't really be explained without watching, which is why it is probably in trouble...but give it a try.

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