Blu-ray and DVD Reviews

Pushing Daisies: The Complete Second Season (Blu-Ray)

Reviewed by: Scott Chitwood
Movie Rating:
7 out of 10
Extras Rating:
7 out of 10
Movie Details:
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Rating: Not Rated

Starring:
Lee Pace as Ned
Anna Friel as Charlotte 'Chuck' Charles
Chi McBride as Emerson Cod
Jim Dale as Narrator
Ellen Greene as Vivian Charles
Swoosie Kurtz as Lily Charles
Kristin Chenoweth as Olive Snook
Field Cate as Young Ned
Sy Richardson as Coroner

Special Features:
The Master Pie Maker: Inside The Mind Of Creator Bryan Fuller
From Oven To Table: Crafting A Script Idea Into Reality
Secret Sweet Ingredients: Spotlight On Composer Jim Dooley's Work
Add A Little Magic: Executing Some Giant-Sized Visual Effects

Other Info:
Widescreen (1.85:1)
Spanish, French, and German Languages
Spanish, French, and German Subtitles
Running Time: 562 Minutes

The Series:
The following is the official description of the series:

"Dig into a delicious second helping of 'Pushing Daisies,' the multiple Emmy Award-winning series. In this season, Papen County's Pie Maker with a witching finger for waking the dead, and his alive-again love Chuck, have more on the menu than a Terrifying Bee-Man and a Deep Fried Chicken Magnate. The secrets are served deep-dish when family skeletons - both literal and figurative - loom over the Pie Hole and its patrons. As jockey cum waitress Olive Snook joins a nunnery to mend her broken heart, the Pie Maker who broke it hides Chuck from her Aunt Vivian and mother Lily, who believes she's dead. Naturally, this results in resurrecting Chuck's father, who actually was dead. Private Investigator Emerson Cod has daddy issues of his own when his baby-stealing baby-mama finds herself at the center of a damned dam murder case. This wondrous, witty and moving confection is as irresistible as the Pie Maker's three-plum pie. "

"Pushing Daisies: The Complete Second Season" is not rated.

Mini-Review:
This DVD set features the second and final season of "Pushing Daisies." The show had critical acclaim and a cult following, but that didn't translate to ratings and ABC elected to end the series. In fact, they did so with 3 episodes still unaired. (However, I believe they were finally aired about 6 months after ABC pulled the plug on the series.)

While I didn't regularly watch this series, I did enjoy every episode I caught. The quirky humor, amazing cinematography, and impressive production design made it a lot of fun to watch. (The elaborate look of the show was also probably one of the reasons it was cancelled - it was likely expensive.) I also loved the silly deaths that kicked off each story. Whether it was being fried on a lighthouse lamp or eaten by a shark, death was never so amusing.

When I got this set, I immediately went to check out the last episode of the series. I was curious to see how they wrapped it up after the premature death. It starts out like all the other episodes. We're treated to a bizarre death, a murder mystery, and a colorful cast of characters. This time around we get guest stars Nora Dunn and Wendie Malick as rival synchronized swimmers. "Mad TV's" Michael McDonald also has a cameo as a shark riding Texan. As the series draws to a close, the last 5 minutes is a rush of scenes that attempt to quickly wrap up many of the lingering plotlines. In part it's a nice little close to an otherwise terminated series. On the other hand, it's not a satisfactory conclusion to two seasons of build up. Even worse, if this show is somehow resurrected on another channel, the writers have kind of stuck themselves in a corner if they try and continue the series. I won't spoil the conclusion here, but I imagine any "Pushing Daisies" fan that missed the unaired episodes will want to check it out.

It's an unfortunate end to an otherwise excellent series, but at least fans will get one last hurrah on Blu-ray.

There are only four bonus features, but that's the best you can probably expect on a cancelled series. "The Master Pie Maker" features writer/producer/creator Bryan Fuller. They talk about his writing style, the development of this series, and the challenges of bringing it to the screen. "From Oven To Table" shows how they went from a script describing a corpse that looks like a fried egg to the final shot footage. It's interesting to see a little of the makeup process. "Secret Sweet Ingredients" talks about Jim Dooley's score. It's funny to see Dooley and Fuller referring to everything from "12 Monkeys" to "Savannah Smiles" while crafting the music. Finally, "Add a Little Magic" covers how they did a CG rhino for one episode.

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