The onset of Summer also means the return of my Five Questions series, in which I take a look back at the most recent seasons of some favorite TV shows and pose some hypothetical questions about their future. Today's questions are for Pushing Daisies, which will start its second season in the Fall.
- Hey, remember this show? Pushing Daisies was one of the most precious and beloved shows of the Fall. Unfortunately, Fall was also the last time we saw it. Will the series be able to get its buzz back?
- Where will the show pick up? We ended on a pretty big cliffhanger, with Lily revealing (in a drug-addled stupor) that she's Chuck's mother. Will we start back up right there and then, in the aunts' house, with all the shock of Lily's declaration still fresh in everyone's mind? Or will some time pass — with or without explanation? The show will have to hook viewers fast (see question No. 1), and so I'm quite curious to see where the first episode back will take us.
- Will there be any new characters — or will any of the guest stars return? Paul Reubens was an absolute delight as Oscar, the slightly off-center olfactory expert, but will his schedule still allow him to be on the show now that it's so many months later? I'm guessing that, since Molly Shannon is heading to NBC's Kath and Kim full-time, taffy emporium owner Dilly Balsam won't be showing her face anymore. I love all the regular cast members, of course, but Pushing Daisies is the kind of show that really knows how to work a guest star, too. I hope we'll see some great, new quirky folks come Fall.
- Will the show retain its visual style? There were rumors that Pushing Daisies had been asked to cut back its production budget for the Fall episodes after Barry Sonnenfeld's expensive pilot. The show did appear to be scaled back visually after that, but for the most part, I thought the changes only added to the show's surreal appeal. But with all those windmills and pies and brightly colored costumes, the show can't be cheap to produce. Will lingering effects of the strike force the show to cut back even further?
- Is the show sustainable? That was the one question dogging Pushing Daisies in its first season: How long would viewers stick around just waiting for Ned and Chuck to touch? Through nine episodes, the premise proved sustainable — but that's less than half the length of a typical US network TV season. Barring any more strikes (fingers crossed!) or disruptions, Pushing Daisies should have a full 22 episodes to prove that it has a lot more going on besides the "will they or won't they?" story. How will the show do under those conditions?
Three more questions, so read more.
Photo copyright 2008 ABC, Inc