The pilots for TV shows are a lot like first dates. On a first date, you present a version of yourself that is really you without any flaws. You wear your best outfit, clip those obnoxious nose hairs, shave your back and, if you're a guy, do crazy things like cleaning your car or spending way more money than you normally do ("Lobster? Sure, sounds good!"). The real challenge of any TV show or relationship is to get beyond the first episode/date with something that makes you appealing.

That's why I usually tend to reserve judgment about shows and girls until I get to know them a little. If a girl or show can still look good at the lowest point, say after an all-night session of drinking and Clue that ends with me doing her, with my friend, in the bathroom (my friend is Colonel Mustard, by the way), then I can proclaim said girl or show good. In other words, "Pushing Daisies" is that girl who is great on a first date.

To sum the show up in a pie crust, er, nutshell, there's Ned. Ned has the power to bring back the dead just by touching them. His power is so good, in fact, that he even comes equipped with his own narrator. Ned learned about his ability at a young age when everyone important in his life died in one tragic afternoon and he brought them all back, only to have some of them die again. You see, there are caveats to his amazing power.

  • Caveat #1 If Ned touches someone, they come back from the dead, but if he touches them again, they're dead forever.
  • Caveat #2 If Ned doesn't touch the recently dead or "alive again" within one minute, they're back for good, but someone else in the vicinity must die to take their place, like the mailman or the peeping Tom or whoever.
  • Caveat #3 It seems, although I may be mistaken, that once Ned revives something and lets that precious minute pass, they may be alive indefinitely without aging. I was wondering exactly what happened here, and they seemed to indicate that Ned's dog, who, in dog years has to be as old as Jesus, hadn't aged. Wasn't sure about this one.
  • Caveat #4 The explanation of his powers makes me use pretentious words like "caveat" and "pretentious."

Pretty straightforward, right? Ned lives a simple life. He bakes pies for a living and earns a few extra bucks on the side by reviving corpses, learning the details of their deaths, and collecting the rewards that, for some reason, everyone in the world offers. Ned solves these murders with the token black character, a fat, bald private eye who was -not- the friendly janitor in "Rudy" despite bearing a striking resemblance, but who is, rather, the principal from "Boston Public," or "Boston Legal," or "Barely Legal 4"1 or something. But I digress.

Everything's going great until Ned's childhood sweetheart, Chuck (I know, guy's name on a girl, makes no sense) turns up dead with a nice reward attached to anyone who can solve her murder because, in this alternate universe, no one dies without some sort of reward attached to their death. Ned revives Chuck, tries to figure out who killed her, and then can't bring himself to kill her again, meaning she's back for good. When she's back, they solve the murder and rekindle their relationship minus the whole touching thing. It's like every great friendship you have with a girl that you secretly want to bone-the only way you'll ever score with her also involves her being dead.

So the show has been established nicely and filled with terrific visuals and narration that seem as if they were directly lifted from the movie "Amelie." The premise is set up so that you imagine each week there will be a new murder to investigate and new ways for Ned and Chuck to make out without her dying (it's called dry humping, look it up, guys).

Overall I thought it was a good premise that was well-executed. I for one can't wait for the second date.

Random thoughts:

Chuck's aunt Vivian is totally Audrey from "Little Shop of Horrors" and she wore a blouse with ferns and vines on it. I would have thought she learned her lesson after a giant plant tried to fuck/eat her.

Ned's neighbor/co-worker is Kristin Chenoweth, most known as the White Witch in "Wicked." Is it me, or is she the littlest girl in the world with the biggest boobs? When she was trying to get Ned to touch her, I felt like she could have blown him standing up.

Does this show have a sponsorship with the National Pie Foundation? I've never wanted a slice of pie as badly as when I was watching this show. Damn you NPF!

What kind of dog never touches its owner? I mean, Jesus, when I had a dog that thing was always licking me or jumping up on me or trying to hump me. I hope in a later episode the dog dies mid-hump. In fact, I hope that's how I go, too.

Let the necrophilia jokes ensue!

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