Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Pushing Daisies - And Again

Bitches - Ep. 106

If you need any evidence that writers deserve more credit than they are given, just look to Pushing Daisies.

Seriously, where do I start? The fact that Pushing Daisies had the bravado to title their episode "Bitches"? The fact that it was about a dead man who was a polygamist with 4 wives and who was also a dog breader? The fact that each wife had a dog related job? Or that the mystery of his death also had something to do with his dead dog Bubblegum? And that one of his four wives was suspected to be the murderer?

Do I start with Ned trying to deal with his love for Chuck whom he can't kiss, or the kiss with Olive who he does not love? Or that Emerson always lands in the middle of Chuck and Ned's intimate conversations? Or Emerson's fantastic wardrobe? How awesome is his wardrobe? He even makes it look macho! I could never pull it off. Most of the village could not pull it off!

The mysteries on this show loop every which way, always seemingly coming to a logical conclusion when there's still at least half the episode left, meaning, it's not as easy of a solution as you would have guessed.

This weeks Pushing Daisies opens with Ned in his own bed, watching Chuck wake up in hers and they speak lovelies to each other until she gets up, trips and lands on him. And doesn't die. (Oh, must be a dream sequence right? I hate dream sequence openers) They realise the second-death-touch must have worn off and they get to strip off their clothes together!!! Only, Chuck takes her skin off to reveal Olive in her bid to make love to Ned in bed as she tells him to "Don't tell Chuck".

End Dream Sequence. Okay. Fine. Leave it to Pushing Daisies to actually do a successful funny dream sequence that actually has lingering themes that will be explored throughout the episode.

Ned's feeling guilty about the kiss Olive planted on him from Girth. Meanwhile, Olive and Chuck try to bond with Chuck revealing the physical distance she and Ned keep. Olive notes it as tragic, not like "genocide and famine" but still tragic.

Harold Hundin (Talk Soup's Joel McHale and the possible upcoming The I.T. Crowd if it ever airs) from the Papen County Kennel Club is stabbed to death multiple times. Emerson and the gang are on the case and find out that he stabbed himself many times over in some freak milk-spilt accident (seriously, horrifyingly funny and really, it was because of spilt milk and a poorly positioned dog hair brushed with a sharp handle... it makes sense on the show, okay? Just watch). Harold actually died not from the multiple self-inflicted stabbings but from drinking poisoned almond flavoured coffee given to him by his wife.

Easy, done, we have a killer. Sort of. They find out Harold's WIVES (yes. plural) were Hilary (Jessica Lundy) the first wife and who ran Pret-a-Poochie, Heather (Lydia Look) the Asian pet psychologist ("Doggonit"), the tall Black and British Simone (Christine Adams) who owned K18, an obedience school for dogs good enough twice over, and Hallie (Jenny Wade) who bred Labradors for the blind. Harold was both a polygamist and a niche dog breeder who bred a crossbreed (something Labra Russell a Poo) Bubblegum who also died, adding to the mystery.

With Emerson pushing the positives of polygamy (through an analogy of Neapolitan Ice Cream, uh, which I love, does that explain my non-commitment) into lovelorn Ned with his predicament with Chuck and Olive, adorable Ned feels all perplexed and bothered.

The Odd Mod Squad goes undercover, each taking a wife to question with Olive along for the ride.

Olive and Pimento (Digby's alias) questions the 1st wife Hilary. Digby (Ned's alias) and Ned (Digby's second alias) question Heather whose psychological mumbo jumbo frazzles Digby (Ned?) some more. Emerson goes after the strong Simone, while Chuck questions the sweet Hallie. All gave Harold coffee before his death, but only Hallie uses almond flavour.

Hallie is arrested and case closed. Or is it? Chuck refuses to believe that the sweet natured Hallie could have killed Harold, and luckily for her, the blind children who Hallie had helped, hire Emerson and co. to exonerate Hallie. Chuck is shocked that he would take money from blind kids but "I could pay my bills with blind kids smiles but their money would be a lot easier." - Emerson

There is a rival dog breeder Ramsfield Snuppy (Mark Harelik)(where do they come up with these names?), one who bought the rights to Bubblegum to clone in his chain of pet stores, and through some zigging and zagging, as Emerson suspects it's Simone, despite his personal interests (after a LSD/James Bond opening sequence inspired dream sequence (another hilarious one with great fake green screen backdrops and the most hilarious looking faces from Chi McBride who has completely won me over finally after several different tries in several different shows)).

There's an urn with Bubblegum's fake ashes, which Simone had given to Ramsfield as she hid the real Bubblegum at her obedience school, meanwhile, Olive spills to Hillary the fact that Ramsfield had in fact already gotten the contract to clone Bubblegum. The gang finds Ramsfield dead of course, and they decide to revive him during his funeral to see which wife runs like a guilty dog to catch their killer.

In the end, it was of course the most known actress as the killer (Jessica Lundy) while the always mysterious Simone is scott free, leaving Emerson even more charmed by her directions. Meanwhile, Ned learns there may are more ways to love a person and that both Olive and Chuck are special parts of his life, while Olive truly wishes him the best, even though she's secretly hoping she's his best.

I'm liking this Simone as a future re-occurring character and who makes a good match with the strong willed Emerson. Love that she's a dog obedience instructor whose skills transferred to Emerson (HILARIOUS! With every snap and instructional shout! Loved it!)

Also loved the little clay animation that young Ned would imagine back in his youth, after his mom had died twice.

Finally, loved that there is a real relationship developing between Chuck and Ned with real issues and problems despite their awkward situation (dead girl? can't touch? Not exactly Friday Night Lights realism here) and that there can still be room for realistic emotions and drama amongst the colourful whimsy and mysteries of the fantastical series.

Here is the sneak peak video with some clips of "Bitches":


Manuel B said...

Gah. Can't believe Canada gets Pushing Daisies a day earlier - not fair! That said, I'll come visit your PD entries right after the Wed airings since we both have good taste and you pick up on all the great one-liners I always wish I had jotted down ;)

Vance said...

Yeah, I usually just rant about shows here on my blog but I feel with PD, there is just SO MUCH GOOD STUFF that I really should be taking notes and doing some work because it's that good and worth the effort!

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