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October 22, 2014

Pushing Daisies: Bitches

by Joel Keller, posted Nov 14th 2007 10:23PM
Pushing Daisies: Bitches
(S01E06)
Up until now, we've only seen Emerson as a gruff P.I. whose role was to throw a sprinkle of cynicism on the decidedly sprightly environment around the Pie Hole. But you knew that eventually we were going to either find out more about his past or see him get involved with one of the people he was investigating. Tonight we got the latter. And his dalliance did a nice job of throwing some needed darkness into what was an overly-sweet episode.

I had gotten used to the progressive de-sweetening of Pushing Daisies over the last few weeks. In fact, I almost welcomed it, as I didn't think I could handle the diabetic shock I was being given week after week. But, even while Ned and Chuck were starting to wonder if their prophylactic love was enough to sustain in the long term, and the episode was discussing some not-so-sweet issues polygamy and cloning, there was still a sugary sheen all around. It came from the tainted almond cream creamer that the doomed dog breeder Harold Hundin drank, the Coll-a-Dor-Russel-a-Poo named Bubblegum, and the evil pet store magnate named Ramsfield Snuppy. It also came with Ned's hopelessly romantic assertion at the end that what he and Chuck have may be strange, but it's still more than enough for him.

There are weeks when the cutesy tends to weigh the hour down, and this week was one of them. On top of that, the mystery of Hundin's (played by The Soup's Joel McHale) demise was a bit more convoluted than it needed to be; it seemed pretty clear that the stern obedience mistress Simone was the killer, and it would have been fun to see Emerson bring her down despite his growing feelings for her. But they threw a left turn in there when all of a sudden original wife Hillary was the one who was the killer, even though the motive -- not wanting to give up Bubblegum to the evil Snuppy (see how cute this week was?) -- was the same as Simone's.

Eh, I guess it doesn't matter, right? We got to see Chuck and Ned touch, albeit in Ned's dream, with the added twist that Chuck was really Olive in a Chuck suit. It seems to be the first decent dream Ned has had since his dad dumped him on that dreary school (in 1987 or so, though it looks like 1957 from the way Sonnenfeld and Fuller has drawn it up). But it's ironic that the Halloween kiss from Olive is what brought it about. "She got into your subconscious and dropped a bomb with her saliva," is how Emerson put it.

The P.I.'s not-so-subtle allusions to how some people are "Neopolitan kind of guys" and that some guys want "one to have, one to hold" were not lost on Ned, who's got the enviable choice of the adorable Chuck or the adorable Olive. We know who he's going to go with, but the writers and Kristin Chenoweth have gotten us to really like Olive; we wish someone would give her some lovin' at some point, whether it be the homeopathic drug guy or the tall jockey (who looked suspiciously like the brother from Old Christine) or even Ned in a particularly weak moment. She's just too damned cute to see her pining after someone week after week.

It was also fun to see everyone participate in the investigation part of the mystery, with Olive going so far as donning a wig and calling Digby "Pickle," and naming herself "Pimento." Ned wasn't so creative; he just switched names with his companion, trying to get some free dream analysis from the pet shrink wife, Heather. And it was quite clever that Chuck had a ready reason for her fake blindness when she visited the seeing-eye trainer wife, Hallie; it was the exact cause of her Aunt Lily's right-eye blindness.

Other fun stuff:

  • Emerson on Chuck's horror that he's accepting reward money from Hallie's blind students: "I guess I can pay my bills with blind kid's smiles."
  • Notice that Simone was the only Hundin whose first name didn't begin with an H. That's because she was a different wife than the other three; she and Harry were in a business relationship, while the other three "sister wives" actually loved the guy.
  • Maybe I'm just getting used to Jim Dale's narration, but I didn't find it to be intrusive at all this week, especially considering how the Halloween episode's narration was very noticeable. Maybe it's because the narrator didn't rhyme this week.
  • I liked how Ned's touch was utilized a little differently with Snuppy. They brought him to Harry's funeral to see which wife would react to him being alive.
  • Interesting story about how Olive came to the Pie Hole. Her horse Pie died and she felt that a diner shaped like a pie was a sign from somewhere. So it's not only proximity to Ned that's keeping her there.
Nothing from this episode made me think that Daisies is doing anything but being as consistently good as it's been all year. The surrounding tweeness in this episode was a bit much, but the underlying emotions in the stories of Ned, Chuck, Emerson, and Olive are always what's going to drive the series. And this episode did a good job of exploring everyone's emotions.

Will we see Simone Hundin again?
Yes. She seems to be a good match for Emerson.223 (63.0%)
No. Without the dog breeder, there's not much more for her to do.131 (37.0%)

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17 Comments

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clgbutterfly

This show is much like Tim Burton movies. You watch them first time and you think you like them, but there was some underlying disturbance that rubbed you funny, so you decide they were not that good. However you then see it a second time (or get used to the series in this case) and you understand the odd nuiances that seemed weird at first and are now loveable. Pushing Daisies is such a series. In the end you will absolutely love this series for its quirks, including its overly-sweetness.

November 16 2007 at 10:49 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Oreo

I hated this show when it started, too cute, but it's really growing on me.

November 15 2007 at 3:01 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Mel

Anyone else get a scooby doo vibe last night with the co-ed crime solvers, complete with dog in tow?!? They were just missing the van!

November 15 2007 at 1:50 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Karen

"tall jockey (who looked suspiciously like the brother from Old Christine)"

That's because he was: Hamish Linklater. It was nice just to see him on TV--what ever happened to Old Christine, anyway??

November 15 2007 at 11:53 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
tiff

Am I the only one that thinks Olive would be a better match for Ned? I know Chuck and Ned are supposed to be childhood sweethearts, but their "sugary-sweetness" is so annoying. Oh well, I guess I'm the cynical one.

November 15 2007 at 11:13 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Jack Cheng

"Almond flavored coffee cream creamer in his coffee."

God I love this show's writing.

November 15 2007 at 10:35 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Kevinc

Another solid episode. How long until Olive is brought in on the whole pie man re-animation secret?

The show is getting sloppy with Ned and Digby. In the scene just after he tackled the wife, the dog was right next to him, practically touching. Also when he went to see "his wife", he took the lease off, and I assume put it back on Digby.

November 15 2007 at 8:58 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Lora

To #7:

Same damn difference. Forgive me if I do not have an umlaut key on my keyboard, Anal Annie.

November 15 2007 at 8:54 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
fred

I've never been a fan of Olive, but I really liked how she was involved with this week's case. There are a couple of characters on this show I for one don't really like, and I was also pleased not to see them this week. And to keep with the great stuff, I felt like we got more of Emerson than we usually do, and with him being my favorite character on the show I was, obviously, very happy with that!

Yes, this is a really good episode. It didn't feel "over-sweet" or anything like that to me, I guess I like my pies with a lot of sugar ;)

About the narration, I think we got less of it yes, and also what annoys me the most is when he says exactly what the character is just about to say. Luckily, this didn't happen this time.

Then there's also the time thing, but while it may have been obvious to some I never really realized that this may be done on purpose, to only focus on exact time length, because the time plays such an important role on the show. I'm not sure it'll stick, but for this week it allowed me not to be really bothered by those precise ages.

Definitely a great episode, if not one of the best, one of those I enjoyed most!

http://88.191.26.34/i_watch_tv/2007/11/15/pushing-daisies-bitches/

November 15 2007 at 7:29 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Clint

I believe that this show is one of the few bright spots of the new shows this year.
However, I do worry that it will become very formulaic over time, with the group solving crimes. With that said, this episode was pretty good, and I thought PI's "troubles with the ladies" were very funny.

http://www.tvdeuce.com

November 15 2007 at 6:29 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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