Tuesday, October 23, 2007


Though the new TV series I've seen this Fall season is limited (Pushing Daisies, Chuck, Bionic Woman, Back to You), the best of the bunch so far is "Pushing Daisies." It's about a pie-maker named Ned who has the ability to raise the dead simply by touching them. However, if he doesn't touch them again (and thereby return them to dead status) within 60 seconds, someone else dies in that person's place.

Ned was able to follow these rules until he brought Chuck, his childhood sweetheart, back from the dead and couldn't bear to let her die again. Now, though the two of them are deeply attracted to each other, they can't make any skin-on-skin contact because it would send Chuck back to the great beyond. It's a great premise because, as most great storytellers know, couples who are destined to be together are more interesting when they're kept apart. It forces them toward a deeper understanding and appreciation of each other that's not just based on sexual attraction. Eventually there comes a time when the couple needs to get together or risk viewers and readers getting tired of the endless back-and-forth. Hopefully the writers on "Pushing Daisies" will be able to maneuver around this question for a while so that the show and the relationship between Ned and Chuck stay as interesting as possible.

The Daily News also weighs in on this aspect of the show here.

...sex sells big on prime-time TV, which is one reason it's so fascinating to watch "Pushing Daisies" (ABC, 8 p.m. Wednesdays), whose whole premise is that the couple at the heart of the show can never even touch each other.

No, this didn't come about because some Bible Belt group, fed up with Eva Longoria's behavior on "Desperate Housewives," sued ABC and won a settlement requiring equal time for abstinence.

It's even more startling than that. This is ABC gambling that viewers will watch a show in which they know upfront that the charming, good-hearted, immensely likable boy and girl at the heart of the show will fall in love and yet never be able to so much as kiss or hold hands.

Their problem stems from the fact that Ned (Lee Pace) brought Chuck (Anna Friel) back from the dead, which he can do with just a touch. Once he'd done it, he realized this was a girl on whom he'd had a long-distance crush since forever (think "Ed"), and now it turns out she likes him, too, especially since he brought her back to life and all.

So it would be all be good, except Part Two of Ned's gift is that if he touches that person a second time, he or she dies again.

Bad for Ned, Chuck and ABC.

So "Pushing Daisies" becomes the chastest love story this side of Minnie and Mickey Mouse.

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