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Doggone It: Latest "Pushing Daisies" Leaves Me Deflated

It's always distressing when an episode of one of your absolute favorite series fails to meet your expectations. It's especially distressing when the series in question is the typically charming and witty Pushing Daisies.

I felt that the idea for last night's episode of Pushing Daisies ("Bitches")--in which the gang investigates the murder of a innovative dog breeder who turns out to be a polygamist (Joel McHale) with four sister brides--was a good one, as it served to underpin the conflict existing between Ned, Chuck, and Olive in their non-sexual love triangle and advance the romantic plot. Can people share their love among many people (or in Ned's case two people)? Can Ned reconcile the fact that he can kiss the girl he doesn't love but can't kiss the one he does?

All worthy questions worth discussion, but I didn't feel that the script for "Bitches"--from husband and wife team Chad Gomez Creasey and Dara Resnick Creasey--lived up to the ambitious storytelling possibilities present from the premise. It all seemed a little too overwritten, filled with far too many dog-related puns and jokes for my liking. (And I love dogs!) And it seemed an oddly meh fit for a November sweeps episode, especially coming so closely after the previous episode, "Girth," which was funny, touching, and creepy all rolled into one.

Before you go accusing me of being far too negative, there were some nice touches: a costumed Young Ned thinking of Chuck as she thought of him; the return of the animated Play-Doh personnel, the visual of a naked Olive removing her "Chuck suit," as though it were a fleshy full-body sheath; the disguises that the gang donned in order to question the victim's many wives. But they felt more like window dressing than anything else. I was hoping for more depth, more fire, more Nick-and-Nora theatrics and wordplay. Instead, I felt slightly disappointed and deflated.

That feeling is exacerbated by the fact that only three more original episodes of Pushing Daisies remain this season. I'm told that the final, ninth episode, completed before the strike, acts as a sort of a season finale for Pushing Daisies, should the strike carry on for an extended period. Let's just hope that it doesn't mean a premature ending for this fantastic series.

Next week on Pushing Daisies ("Smell of Success"), the gang investigates the death of a scent expert's assistant, killed in a scratch-and-sniff book explosion, which points to the sour tang of murder. Paul Reuben guest stars.

Comments

Anonymous said…
While I agree that this episode of "Daisies" wasn't quite up to par, especially for a sweeps episode, I must commend Emerson's dream sequence which was a direct homage to Jimmy Stewart's dream sequence in Hitchcock's "Vertigo". For a film buff like me the sequence was pure delight!
Jace Lacob said…
Sarah Bee, I cannot believe I failed to mention that phenomenal Hitchcockian sequence, especially since Vertigo is one of my favorite films of all time. Definitely a highlight of the episode.
The dream sequences (both Emerson's and Ned's) were definitely the best part about this episode. It wasn't bad. It just wasn't as fun as the last couple have been. That said, next week's looks great with Paul Reuben.
Anonymous said…
I definitely liked the ep more than you did, and especially liked that it gave emerson a chance to shine (loved the dream sequence!), but it was probably the weakest thus far. But a weak episode of PD is better than any episode of Private Practice, which I am still watching, inexplicably.

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