25 DAYS OF CHRISTMAS REVIEW: PUSHING DAISIES – CORPSICLE

Image result for PUSHING DAISIES  TV LOGO

CORPSICLE

MAIN CAST
Lee Pace (The Hobbit)
Anna Friel (Limitless)
Chi McBride (Human Target)
Jim Dale (Pete’s Dragon)
Ellen Greene (Heroes)
Swoosie Kurtz (Mike & Molly)
Kristin Chenoweth (Rio 2)
CORPSICLE
GUEST CAST
Paul Reubens (Batman Returns)
Grant Shaud (Antz)
Julia Campbell (The Craigslist Killer)
When Chuck’s father, Charles Charles, died Ned and his mother waited with her for Chuck’s aunts, Lily and Vivian, to arrive. Lily didn’t embrace Charlotte, but she later embraced Ned when he came over to report his mother had died. Ned was then taken away by his father as Chuck chased after him, calling his name. Ned looks for Chuck, who has fled into the wintry night after being told that Ned killed her father. He goes to the aunts’ house, who invite him in. The house is cold because Charlotte was the one who used to light the furnace. Once Ned gets it going, he asks them to report of any strange signs of Chuck’s presence. Lily mentions she imagined seeing Chuck once and dismisses Ned. He then goes to see Olive but she says she doesn’t know where Chuck is. After she sends him away, she goes inside to talk to Chuck, who is hiding in her apartment. Olive insists on an explanation for Chuck’s supposed death and Chuck gives her the truth, but Olive doesn’t believe her. Olive reveals the aunts are swimming again. Olive offers to make a pie for the aunts, and Chuck gives her the herbal mood-enhancer, which she says is vanilla.
Ned tells Emerson what he did and the detective wonders if Chuck will go to the news. Emerson tells Ned to drop the matter with Chuck and help with a new investigation: Victor Narramore, an insurance adjuster for Über-Life Life Insurance who was found frozen to death. Ned brings the man back and he reveals that someone hit him with a baseball bat with the word “kindness” scratched into it. In life he had to decide who gets organ transplants, but Ned is more concerned about Chuck. He’s unaware that she’s on the apartment roof with Oscar Vibenius. Oscar gives Chuck her mother’s sweater back but asks for a sample of her hair, having already taken some from Digby. Oscar notes that Chuck and Digby both have a unique odor and suggests she knows a lot about death. Ned begins to suspect Olive is lying about knowing Chuck’s whereabouts. Emerson arrives and reveals three of the people Narramore turned down for organs are still viable. One of them, Abner Newsome, needed a new heart but Ned doesn’t want to talk to the boy. Ned goes to Olive’s apartment and finds Chuck, who understands Ned didn’t kill her father deliberately but wants him to leave. Instead she leaves a message in the sewer, asking Oscar to meet her on the roof.
Emerson goes to talk to Abner Newsome and his mother Emma. Abner isn’t upset that Narramore died and doesn’t have anything useful to add. As Emerson leaves, he spots a corpse frozen in a snowman on the front yard. Emerson takes Ned to the morgue but notes that his partner is more worried about Chuck. Ned revives the corpse, which is Über-Life Life Insurance adjuster Bill Richter. Richter reveals he was also killed with a bat and they should talk to Kevin Vanden Eykel, his carpooler who yelled out a warning before he died. They go to Über-Life and end up talking to Steve Kaiser, who says that Kevin has disappeared and they assume he’s dead as well. Bill, Victor, and Kevin all rejected Abner for a heart transplant, and it’s clear that Kaiser is upset at the situation but can’t approve a transplant due to the high chance Abner won’t survive.Oscar meets Chuck on the roof and speculates that she may have been brought back to life based on her odor. He notes that it isn’t unusual for people to come back from death and tries to get her to tell her secret. She asks for a pair of scissors and gives him a piece of her hair to smell.
Ned and Emerson go back to see Abner and Emma, suspecting that Kevin’s body will show up frozen. Madeline McLean from the Wish-A-Wish Foundation arrives with a monkey friend, Bobo the bonobo, but Abner doesn’t have any wishes for her to fulfill. Emerson and Ned stake out the Newsome house that night but Ned is still concerned and thinks he should bring back Chuck’s father so she can say goodbye to him. Emerson doesn’t think that is a good idea. Emerson reveals he has a daughter and tells Ned to not ask about her. They are both unaware that someone has secretly sealed off their exhaust pipe with a potato.
The next morning, Ned barely wakes up with the car filled with carbon monoxide fumes. He gets Emerson out, who is relieved to be alive (and not just brought back to life by Ned), but they spot a new snowman in the Newsome yard. Olive goes to visit the aunts and bring the new pie, unaware that she overdosed it with the herbal mood-enhancer because she thought it was a weak-tasting vanilla. Olive reacts when Lily says she’s seen Charlotte’s “ghost”. Meanwhile, Chuck makes pies and wonders what Oscar might discover. He arrives and gives her back her hair as a gesture of trust, and to give her the chance to tell him her secret. She realizes there’s only one person she wants to talk to about her secret, and that’s Ned. Lily finishes off the entire pie and starts hallucinating the decorations coming to life. She points out there’s no vanilla in the pie, making Olive wonder exactly what was the secret ingredient. Meanwhile, Emerson and Ned watch the coroners remove Kevin’s body, while Emerson realizes that Emma was peeling potatoes like the one in their exhaust pipe. They prepare to touch Kevin’s body but the coroners drop it and it shatters, and Ned refuses to bring it back. They go inside to find that Abner has been rejected yet again for a heart. Emma mentions that McLean asked for the name of the adjuster who refuses Abner’s most recent transplant request, which was Steve Kaiser. Ned and Emerson realize McLean is the killer and head for Über-Life, while McLean pulls into the parking lot where Kaiser is getting into his car.
Ned and Emerson close in on McLean while Ned tries to find out more about Emerson’s daughter. McLean takes a swing at Kaiser and just misses, then pins him down to deliver the final blow. Ned and Emerson confront her but she pulls a gun and says her job is to grant wishes. It turns out that McLean was depressed that Abner had no wishes for her to grant, until he said he wanted the insurance adjusters who rejected him to drop dead.However, they’re unaware that Bobo the bonobo is playing with the gearshift in McLean’s van and runs her over. She’s killed, but her heart is intact and Abner receives it as a transplant. Ned goes to the cemetery to find Chuck at her father’s grave. She admits she feels better and asks Ned to bring her father back to life, but Ned refuses to be responsible for killing him again. Only one of Chuck’s wishes is granted that night: Lily hallucinates floating mermaids and talks about how she secretly made snow angels in the back yard for the young Charlotte. The mermaid is Olive, and Lily reveals that she is actually Charlotte’s mother.
Not only a great Christmas episode, but a great Season finale. This became the season finale because of the writers strike it fits well as a finale. Chuck finding out Ned was responsible for her fathers death was touching and led  to an great story, the cliffhanger was great ending and left viewers for a very long wait for season 2, but was worth the wait.

25 DAYS OF CHRISTMAS REVIEW: MIKE & MOLLY – CHRISTMAS EPISODES

MAIN CAST
Billy Gardell (My Name is Earl
Melissa McCarthy (Spy)
Reno Wilson (Two and A Half Men)
Swoosie Kurtz (Pushing Daisies)
Nyambi Nyambi (Law & Order)
Louis Mustillo (City Island)
Rondi Reed (The Astronauts Wife)
David Anthony Higgins (The Wrong Guys)
339639

 FIRST CHRISTMAS

GUEST CAST
Cleo King (The Hangover)
Mike has no idea what to get Molly for their first Christmas as a couple. He runs a lot of ideas through Joyce & Carl, but they reject it all. He is also unable to take the hints Molly gives him. Finally he ends up buying her expensive jewellery. Molly gets Mike a leather jacket, but has to exchange it for a video game when Mike ends up buying a jacket himself.
tumblr_ljzh7bunbe1qh59n0o1_500
A great first Christmas for Mike & molly as it shows a realistic reaction to the first time you spend Christmas with a girlfriend. mike accidentally eating all Victoria’s Christmas cookies full of weed was funny where he passed out at the end. One of my favorite specials to watch at Christmas.

CHRISTMAS BREAK

Molly starts planning Christmas. At school, Rebecca finally reveals that she got the Vice Principal’s job as she is sleeping with the Principal. Molly then gets drunk with Peggy and all the lunch ladies. Mike is looking forward to a nice Christmas with Molly’s family. He also dresses up as Santa & Carl as an elf for charity, but is doesn’t go very well. At home, Molly is depressed and watches TV with Vince, when an old student turns up to thanks her for helping him get accepted to a art school. She finally comes out of depression and realizes the true value of her job.Molly’s depressed sate as Christmas was hilarious and what she said about the Charlie Brown Christmas episode was brilliant. Mike & Molly always does brilliant xmas episodes.

KARAOKE CHRISTMAS

Cleo King (The Hangover)
Gerald McRaney (The Neverending Story)
Karaoke Christmas
 Dressed as Santa Claus and frustrated about Molly’s holiday spending, Mike cautions children about using credit cards to buy toys. Later, Molly’s family has their traditional Christmas at home, including fun with a karaoke machine, but Mike and Molly must spend Christmas Eve at church with his mother and boss.

Yet again Mike & Molly show how to do a great Christmas, the biggest Highlight is Victoria played by Katy Mixon Singing at the end it was lovely and shows her talent.

Untitled

TIS THE SEASON TO BE MOLLY

Mike (as Santa Claus) and Carl (as an elf) hand out toys to needy children, then get locked in the back of a truck while loading it. At home, Molly has the whole family on edge as she insists on every holiday preparation being done to her exact specifications. While it is revealed that she does this to honor her late father, Vince is left distraught when Molly lashes out at him and he feels that the Flynn family has never really accepted him.

A great episode showing just how Molly goes all out for the holiday period, it’s nice that Molly eventually excepts Vince as part of the family and allows him to put a decoration on the tree.

HALLOWEEN OF HORROR REVIEW: PUSHING DAISIES – GIRTH

pushing-daisies

MAIN CAST

Lee Pace (The Hobbit)
Anna Friel (Land of The Lost)
Chi McBride (Human Target)
Jim Dale (Pete’s Dragon)
Ellen Greene (Heroes)
Swoosie Kurtz (Mike & Molly)
Kristin Chenoweth (The Pink Panther)

Image result for pushing daisies girth
GUEST CAST

Barbara Barrie (Breaking Away)
Hamish Linklater (The Crazy Ones)

Image result for pushing daisies girthAs a child at the Longborough School for Boys, Ned never received any mail from his father. Suddenly, at Halloween, he finally received something: a preprinted notice that his father was moving. Ned ran away and went to his father’s new home dressed for trick or treating, to find him with a new wife and two twin boys. A farrier, Lucas Shoemaker, is working in a stable. A ghostly horseman, riding a flame-spitting horse, tramples him to death. At the Pie Hole, Chuck is putting up Halloween decorations, despite Olive’s insistence that Ned hates this specific holiday. Chuck wants to know what Olive told her Aunt Lily and Aunt Vivian. Olive still assumes that Chuck simply faked her death, and Chuck is relieved that Olive doesn’t suspect what really happened. Ned comes in and is taken aback by the Hallowe’en decorations. Olive plays coy about exactly what she has told, then hears about the death of Lucas Shoemaker. Olive goes to her safe deposit box and takes out the money necessary to hire Emerson to investigate Shoemaker’s death, believing it was murder. It turns out Olive used to be a jockey and competed against Shoemaker.
Image result for pushing daisies girth
Emerson takes the case and goes to the morgue with Ned and Chuck. They interrogate the toothless Shoemaker (with translations by Chuck, who once wore orthodontic headgear) who says that John Joseph Jacobs killed him… although the records say Jacobs died seven years ago. Shoemaker warns that Jacobs will kill again. They let Olive know and she gives them a list of other jockeys that might be in danger. Olive is leery about identifying Jacobs and then faints. Emerson goes to check out a jockey’s bar while Ned goes alone to the stable to look for clues and prods Emerson into taking Chuck with him. Ned admits he won’t even go to the stable, and an upset Chuck goes to the stable and tells Ned to do what he has to. Olive wakes up and tells them that Jacobs was the golden boy of racing until he competed in the Jock-Off 2000 and fell off his horse. Olive, the winner, and the other jockeys inadvertently trampled him. Emerson figures that someone is trying to avenge Jacobs. Olive figures that someone is going after the people who placed, in the order they came in.
Image result for pushing daisies girthAt the jockey bar, Emerson talks to the bartender, Pinky McCoy, while another jockey, Gordon McSmalls, warns about Jacobs’ ghost. Gordon says that Jacobs’ tomb has been broken open so Olive and Emerson go there and open the coffin. All they find inside is the skeleton of a horse… with no legs. Chuck and Digby go to the stable and find cracker crumbs, and Emerson surprises them. Ned goes to visit his old house. Chuck, Emerson, and Olive go to see Jacobs’ mother, Mamma Jacobs. She invites them in and says that she made peace with her son’s death. She shows them his ashes, explaining that she had his horse All the Gold secretly buried in Jacobs’ tomb. They’re unaware that someone is watching them through the heating vent. At Pinky’s bar, the ghostly horseman appears and tramples him to death. Meanwhile, Ned goes to visit Chuck’s aunts next door and ask them to tell them what they can about his father. Ned realizes that the pie they served him is from the Pie Hole (the strawberries die when they touch his tongue) and goes to leave, and Vivian tries to console him.
Image result for pushing daisies girthNed goes to Pinky’s bar where everyone else is, checking out Pinky’s corpse and finding cracker crumbs on the floor. Chuck gets Olive out while Ned and Emerson interrogate Pinky’s corpse. Pinky reveals he fixed races and asks them to apologize to Olive: he figures Jacobs is seeking revenge on him and Olive benefited. Olive explains that Jacobs’ girth had been cut by one of the other jockeys, causing him to fall to his death. The jockeys agreed to keep the secret and burn the saddle, over Olive’s objections.  Ned and Emerson go to find Gordon, the last jockey, while Chuck guards Olive at her apartment. Olive goes to get some booze in her bedroom but sees a horseshoe outside her window. She climbs up to the roof and sees John Joseph Jacobs. Chuck knocks him out briefly and they notice he’s two feet taller then he should be. Jacobs explains that he survived the fall but his legs were badly broken, so they transplanted his horse’s legs onto him. Jacobs has been living in his mother’s basement while he relearned how to walk. Olive tells him to get out and live and Jacobs agrees.
Image resultThe three of them go to Mamma Jacobs’ house and the women realize that Jacobs, being hypoglycemic, often eats crackers. They examine Jacobs’ supposed ashes and realize they’re from the burned saddle. Suddenly the horseman rides into the house. Emerson and Ned find Gordon and he mentions that Shoemaker confessed everything to Mamma Jacobs and gave her the ashes to prove what he was saying was true. The horseman removes her mask to reveal that she’s Mamma Jacobs. She’s seeking revenge for the fact her son’s career was ended. They run out of the house as Mamma Jacobs gallops after them. Ned and Emerson get to the house and hear them in the nearby woods. Chuck twists her ankle and Olive gets her to safety before luring Mamma Jacobs away. Ned grabs her just in time while Emerson clubs Mamma Jacobs with a shovel. Olive embraces Ned, who drops her to go to Chuck. Mamma Jacobs ends up in jail, while Olive gives the trophy cup and winnings to Jacobs. Ned and Chuck go to her aunt’s house and Ned says he knows about the pies. Chuck then dresses up as a ghost and goes up to the aunts for trick-or-treat.

Image result for pushing daisies girth

A great episode from a great series, it has enough plot twists and scares to keep you engaged throughout, a fun Halloween episode for this time of year.

HALLOWEEN OF HORROR REVIEW: MIKE & MOLLY – HAPPY HALLOWEEN

Image result for mike & molly logoMAIN CAST

Melissa McCarthy (The Boss)
Billy Gardell (My Name is Earl)
Katy Mixon (Two and a Half Men)
Nyambu Nyambi (Saint Janet)
Rondi Reed (The Astronaut’s Wife)
Cleo King (The Hangover)
Louis Mustillo (Inside Out)
Swoosie Kurtz (Pushing Daisies)

GUEST CAST

Laura Coover (Agent Carter)
Mark Roman (The Master)

Image result for mike & molly happy halloweenMolly is interested in the Vice Principal position in her school and gets excited when she is invited to a Halloween party in her boss’s house. Mike is uninterested, but they go as Frankenstein and the Bride of Frankenstein. At the party, she is upset by the office politics, but Mike encourages her not to leave. Finally, her boss acknowledges that she would make a great Vice Principal. Vince has trouble with teenagers asking for candy without even dressing up. Carl and Samuel make a plan to get women by dressing up as Zorro and SpongeBob SquarePants.

victoria-from-mike-and-molly-with-3-boobs-in-halloween-costumeA Classic Halloween episode, but what really stands out is the costumes, they are just awesome, Katy Mixon with three breasts is funny and how uses those assets I even funnier.

ÒHappy HalloweenÓ -- Carl (Reno Wilson, left) and Samuel (Nyambi Nyambi, right) dress up for Halloween, on MIKE & MOLLY, Monday, Oct. 31 (9:30-10:00 PM, ET/PT) on the CBS Television Network. Photo: Sonja Flemming/CBS ©2011 CBS Broadcasting, Inc. All Rights Reserved

REVIEW: PUSHING DAISIES – SEASON 2

CAST

Lee Pace (The Hobbit)
Anna Friel (Limitless)
Chi McBride (Human target)
Ellen Greene (Little Shop of Horrors)
Swoosie Kurtz (Mike & Molly)
Kristin Chenoweth (Bewitched)
Jim Dale (Carry on Columbus)
Field Cate (Space Buddies)

Anna Friel and Lee Pace in Pushing Daisies (2007)RECURRING / NOTABLE GUEST CAST

Missi Pyle (Mom)
French Stewart (3rd Rock From The Sun)
Autumn Reeser (Sully)
Diana Scarwid (Wonderfalls)
Peter Cambor (Forever My Girl)
Sy Richardson (Colors)
Sammi Hanratty (Shameless)
Rachael Harris (Lucifer)
Lee Arenberg (Waterworld)
Hayley McFarland (Lie To Me)
Graham McTavish (The Hobbit)
David Arquette (Scream)
Debra Mooney (Everwood)
Dana Davis (Heroes)
Hayes MacArthur (Life As We Know It)
Stephen Root (Barry)
Christine Adams (Black Lightning)
Fred Willard (Anchorman)
Kerri Kenney (Wanderlust)
Ethan Phillips (Star Trek: Voyager)
Josh Randall (Ed)
Patrick Fischler (The Finder)
Beth Grant (Childs Play 2)
Eric Stonestreet (The Loft)
Daeg Faerch (Halloween)
David Koechner (Anchorman)
Mary Kay Place (Youth In Revolt)
Orlando Jones (Sleepy Hollow)
Ivana Milicevic (Running Scared)
George Segal (2012)
Willie Garson (Supergirl)
Constance Zimmer (Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.)
Robert Picardo (The Orville)
Gina Torres (Firefly)
Wendie Malick (The Ranch)
Nora Dunn (2 Broke Girls)
Wilson Cruz (13 Reasons Why)
Joey Slotnick (Nip/Tuck)
Josh Hopkins (Cold Case)

Anna Friel in Pushing Daisies (2007)There’s no mistaking Pushing Daisies for any other show on TV. Every episode features new supporting characters, new locations and new mysteries, but all of them fit into creator Bryan Fuller’s whimsical, playfully sideways universe. The show bundles romance and comedy with tragic undertones, and flavors it with musical numbers, synchronized swimming routines, magic tricks and murder.The show’s second–and sadly abbreviated–season features 13 episodes, each loaded with more ideas than other series turn out in a full season. By the time you finish The Complete Second Season DVD set, you’ll have walked the hexagonal offices of a honey empire, covertly played poker using a Chinese restaurant’s elaborate code, walked through secret passageways in a nunnery and witnessed a traveling aquatics show that actually makes a traveling aquatics show seem appealing.Anna Friel and Lee Pace in Pushing Daisies (2007)Lee Pace stars as The Pie Maker, aka Ned, who has a mysterious ability to bring the dead back to life by touching them. If he touches them again, they die. If he doesn’t return them to their eternal slumber within a minute, a life-form of equal size has to die in their place. In the pilot episode, he brought back the love of his life, his childhood friend Chuck (Anna Friel), damning the consequences. Now she lives with him in hiding near his the restaurant The Pie Hole, but they can never touch each other.Anna Friel, Chi McBride, and Lee Pace in Pushing Daisies (2007)While owning, operating and baking for a pie shop would no doubt be a taxing full-time job, Ned has a secondary source of income that takes up most of the show’s time. He temporarily wakes the dead for Private Investigator Emerson Cod (Chi McBride) to uncover clues to murder mysteries. Of course, the victims–revived from a variety of comically gruesome deaths–never quite provide the information needed to easily solve the case, and Cod, Chuck, Ned and Olive (Kristin Chenoweth), the Pie Hole’s plucky waitress, have to fill in the blanks. The shows are generally based around one mystery, with overarching main threads stretch through the series. The writer’s strike owns much of the blame for the failure of Pushing Daisies, and for the relatively slow start to season two. The show was earning a respectable audience after its debut, but only produced nine episodes before pencils went down. ABC decided not to order any extra episodes after the strike, leaving the show off the air for nearly a year before. By the time it returned, it had lost much of its momentum, and failed to regain its audience, prompting a premature cancellation.Kristin Chenoweth in Pushing Daisies (2007)While the two shortened seasons combine to equal a full season’s worth of episodes, both feel fragmented. It’s apparent that the writers felt the need to reboot a bit and reiterate some points to ensure its audience was up to speed. And while the opening episodes of season two are entertaining, it takes about four episodes for the series to really start charging forward. Episode 5, “Dim Sum Lose Some” begins a fantastic five-episode arc involving Dwight, a sinister man played by Stephen Root with a friendly demeanor that makes his intentions all the more mysterious. Not just a great character in his own right, Dwight triggers an avalanche of story that leaves you longing for the next episode, even after no more are left. An old friend of Chuck and Ned’s fathers, Dwight wants to locate Ned’s, who abandoned The Pie Maker as a child and started a new family.Chi McBride and Debra Mooney in Pushing Daisies (2007)Dwight’s prodding leads Ned to finally meet his twin half-brothers (Alex and Graham Miller), who were also abandoned by Ned’s father. The sixth episode, centering around the twins’ mentor’s magic show, is one of series’ funniest, and features memorable guest appearances by Paul F. Tomkins and Fred Willard. But the twins, along with many other characters, never reach their potential. Due to the show’s premature end, it’s inevitable that all the story threads don’t tie up satisfactorily. Indeed, the final episode essentially ends with a cliffhanger before it awkwardly segues into a quickie ending that was cobbled together in the editing room. It’s a shame too, as the long-term story had become quite promising, especially the intriguing hints about Ned’s father and developments surrounding Chuck’s dead father. Unfortunately, fans of the show will have to be happy with what they have.

 

REVIEW: PUSHING DAISIES – SEASON 1

CAST

Lee Pace (The Hobbit)
Anna Friel (Limitless)
Chi McBride (Human target)
Ellen Greene (Little Shop of Horrors)
Swoosie Kurtz (Mike & Molly)
Kristin Chenoweth (Bewitched)
Jim Dale (Carry on Columbus)

RECURRING / NOTABLE GUEST CAST

Patrick Breen (A Series of Unfortunate Events)
Field Cate (Space Buddies)
Sy Richardson (Colors)
Sammi Hanratty (Shameless)
Patrick Fabian (Better Call Saul)
Riki Lindhome (The Lego Batman Movie)
Brad Grunberg (Get Smart)
Eddie Shin (Westworld)
Raúl Esparza (Hannibal)
Dash Mihok (Gotham)
Jayma Mays (The Smurfs)
E.J. Callahan (The Mick)
Carlos Alazraqui (Justice League Doom)
Hamish Linklater (Legion)
Christine Adams (Black Lightning)
Mark Harelik (Trumbo)
Joel McHale (Ted)
Jenny Wade (Wedding Band)
Paul Reubens (Batman Returns)
Molly Shannon (Wet Hot American Summer)
Steve Hytner (Roswell)
Grant Shaud (Lois & Clark)
Audrey Wasilewski (Red)

Lee Pace in Pushing Daisies (2007)Ned, a young boy, finds he can bring living things back from the dead with just a touch. The problem is, another touch renders the person dead permanently, and if he doesn’t off the victim again within a minute of their revival, someone else randomly dies. That little boy (played by Lee Pace as an adult) grows up to sell pies, live a lonely life and work with Emerson (Chi McBride), a private eye, to solve crimes by bringing victims back just long enough to finger the murderer. “Murder She Wrote” it’s not.Anna Friel, Lee Pace, and Riki Lindhome in Pushing Daisies (2007)If Ned’s life wasn’t odd enough, he learns that the only girl he ever kissed (at age nine) died on a cruise ship. Seizing the chance to see Chuck (Anna Friel) a last time, he reanimates her, but can’t bring himself to kill her again, setting up an unusual romantic situation, as they can’t touch without killing her.It also sets up a love triangle involving Olive (Kristin Chenoweth), a waitress at Ned’s shop, The Pie Hole, who pines for Ned, only to see Chuck wander into the picture and steal his heart. Fortunately, it’s easy to root for either sunny, silly Chuck or adorable, good-natured Olive in the race for Ned’s heart, as both offer him something good and would be happy with him.Kristin Chenoweth in Pushing Daisies (2007)The story of Ned and Chuck is the emotional crux of the series, as their connection and each’s personal tragedies and difficulties make the show real and relatable, but it’s the story of Ned and Emerson that moves the plot forward, as they investigate murders that send them on their adventures. Taking a noir approach to the crimes, the boys (and girls as well) hit the streets interviewing suspects and witnesses, getting themselves into some unusual predicaments. Pace, who impressed in Soldier’s Girl, is tops as the Pie-Maker, believable as a low-key detective, yet equally as good when reality is bent, making him into a superhero of sorts, while McBride is as enjoyable as ever, mixing great comic delivery with a solid sense of gravity.Dash Mihok, Anna Friel, and Lee Pace in Pushing Daisies (2007)The show’s surreal tone, which feels a lot like a day-time Tim Burton fairy tale (an appropriate feel, considering the show arrives from Bryan Fuller (“Dead Like Me,” “Wonderfalls”) and Barry Sonnenfeld (Men in Black, The Addams Family)), is full of quirky touches, like a storybook-worthy, detail-obsessed narrator (whose words are repeated for comedic effect) and a pair of aunts for Chuck who are shut-in former water-show performers (Ellen Greene and Swoosie Kurtz (in an eyepatch!)) It feels like every turn brings something new to enjoy, be it a Hitchcock-inspired montage for Emerson, claymation side trips into Ned’s childhood or the incredibly talented Chenoweth breaking out into a song from Grease. Even the guest cast has a interesting, off-beat feel, featuring Jayma Mays, Carlos Arazraqui, Joel McHale, Molly Shannon, Mike White and a creepy/great Paul Reubens.Kristin Chenoweth and Chi McBride in Pushing Daisies (2007)Though there’s a great deal of comedy, and the mysteries are fun and interesting to follow, the show is, at it’s core, about emotion and romance, eliciting sadness along with the laughs, focusing a great deal on what people want and desire, and what they can and can’t have, with Friel’s reborn attitude acting as an excellent prism through which to view the idea of giving people an extra minute after they die. It’s not all roses and philosophy though, as an episode like “Bitter Sweets,” which chronicles a war between The Pie Hole and a new candy shop across the street, run by Shannon and White, is almost entirely story-focused (and is damn good to boot.) The season finale brings everything together, putting a decidedly solid cap on the first year, with an episode that balances the facets of the show perfectly before punching you square in the gut with a shocking climax. It’s a sign of the show’s versatility that it can move smoothly from drama to jokes to heart-breaking romance, without missing a beat. It’s also a sign of a seriously great show.

 

REVIEW: LOST – SEASON 1

Starring

Naveen Andrews (The Brave One)
Emilie de Ravin (Operation: Endgame)
Matthew Fox (Alex Cross)
Jorge Garcia (How I Met Your Mother)
Maggie Grace (Taken)
Josh Holloway (Colony)
Yunjin Kim (Shiri)
Daniel Dae Kim (Insurgent)
Evangeline Lilly (Ant-Man and The Wasp)
Dominic Monaghan (Flashforward)
Harold Perrineau (Constantine)
Malcolm David Kelley (Deriot)
Ian Somerhalder (The Vampire Diaries)
Terry O’Quinn (The Rocketeer)

Naveen Andrews, Daniel Dae Kim, Emilie de Ravin, Matthew Fox, Jorge Garcia, Josh Holloway, Yunjin Kim, Dominic Monaghan, Terry O'Quinn, Harold Perrineau, Ian Somerhalder, Maggie Grace, Malcolm David Kelley, and Evangeline Lilly in Lost (2004)

Recurring / Notable Guest Cast

Fredric Lehne (Men In Black)
L. Scott Caldwell (Chilling Adventures of Sabrina)
Kimberley Joseph (Hercules: TLJ)
Michelle Arthur (Mission: Impossible III)
Greg Grunberg (Heroes)
John Terry (Full Metal Jacket)
Veronica Hamel (Cannonball)
Neil Hopkins (D-Sides)
Michael DeLuise (Wayne’s World)
Kristin Richardson (Rock Star)
William Mapother (THe Mentalist)
Mira Furlan (Babylon 5)
Andrea Gabriel (2 Broke Girls)
Navid Negahban (Legion)
Nick Jameson (Frozen)
Keir O’Donnell (Wedding Crashers)
Charles Mesure (V)
Tamara Taylor (Bones)
David Starzyk (Veronica Mars)
Jim Piddock (Mascots)
Robert Patrick (Termiantor 2)
Brittany Perrineau (Felon)
Swoosie Kurtz (Mike & Molly)
Kevin Tighe (My Bloody Valentine)
Zack Ward (Transformers)
Julie Bowen (Modern Family)
Mackenzie Astin (The Orville)
Beth Broderick (Sabrina: TTW)
Daniel Roebuck (Final Destination)
Skye McCole Bartusiak (Don’t Say A Word)
Michelle Rodriguez (The Fast and The Furious)
M.C. Gainey (Breakdown)

 

Dominic Monaghan and Evangeline Lilly in Lost (2004)Lost Season 1 succeeds first and foremost in character development. Lost is about relationships and before we can understand the dynamic behind the various relationships that develop over the course of a season, we need to understand what motivates these characters. This shows approach of having an individual episode focus on a single character through flashback, while formulaic, is a brilliant decision.Jorge Garcia and Harold Perrineau in Lost (2004)

Episodes like “The Moth” (Charlie), “Confidence Man” (Sawyer) and “Walkabout” give us a wealth of information about the people we are being introduced to. These episodes and others are entertaining, exciting and contain pivotal character moments that are still important to the story even in season four and undoubtedly beyond. As I’ve said, this is the foundation for the whole universe that we are being presented and the team behind Lost nailed it right from the “Pilot”.With character being such an important focus of the first season, the major story and mysteries surrounding the island are deliberately underdeveloped. After the survivors’ first night and their encounter with the monster we know this island is anything but normal, but we are only given glimpses from that point on. Over the course of the season we discover that there are other people on the island but beyond that we really don’t learn anything.Josh Holloway in Lost (2004)The truth is that if the writers had tried to develop the story at the same pace as the characters it would have all been too much, too soon and the whole world they are trying to build would have come tumbling down like a deck of cards. Saying that the story is underdeveloped may sound like a complaint but I feel that it was the best decision. We are given a thin vertical slice of what is to come in later seasons and that is all we really need.Of course, there are a plethora of individual character stories that thrive over the course of the season.Naveen Andrews in Lost (2004)Jin and Sun’s tumultuous relationship and betrayal, Charlie’s battle with drug addiction, Claire copping with being a parent and the love triangle between Kate, Jack and Sawyer are just a small few of the intriguing storylines that take place. All of these work to strengthen our understanding of the survivors.Definitely of note is the story of John Locke and his relationship with the island. It’s a fascinating story to watch unfold over the course of the season and Locke’s journey is very different from the rest of the survivors. He starts perceiving the island as a living entity and develops an understanding of it that everyone else fails to understand and they fear him for it.Yunjin Kim and Evangeline Lilly in Lost (2004)Terry O’Quinn does an exceptional job of portraying Locke’s development over the course of the season. He brilliantly presents a troubled and destroyed man who has experienced a profound miracle and is now trying to make sense of what has happened to him.As long time fans have come to expect, Michael Giacchino’s score adds an extra amount of depth to the season. He stands out as one of the premiere composers on television and Lost would simply not be the same without him. Most of Lost’s twists and turns may not have the same impact the second time around but that doesn’t mean that their importance isn’t appreciated. This show’s opening season set the foundation for things to come over the course of the series.