The networks have announced their fall schedules, but which of the series will actually be worth watching? Throughout the summer, as I watch the pilots, I'll be posting my first impressions. Note that a lot can change before a show actually makes it to air, so these aren't comprehensive reviews, just quick thoughts on how the shows look now. Today's installment: ABC's "Pushing Daisies."
What's it about? A man who can bring people back to life with a single touch resurrects his childhood sweetheart — but if he touches her again, she will die for good.
Who's in it? Lee Pace, Anna Friel, Kristin Chenoweth, Swoosie Kurtz, Chi McBride
The good: Everything. OK, that's a bit of an exaggeration, but this is my favorite pilot so far. Directed by Barry Sonnenfeld, the pilot thrusts us into Lee's colorful, quirky world, populated by crazy aunts, seemingly immortal dogs, and a restaurant called the Pie Hole. The show comes from the mind of "Dead Like Me" and "Wonderfalls" writer-producer Bryan Fuller, and the show bears his signature surrealistic stamp. ABC is marketing the show as a "forensic fairy tale," and I think it's a perfect description; the show feels like the strangest fable you've ever heard. The dialogue is quick and smart, so full of subtle puns that I wanted to watch the pilot again to make sure I caught them all.
The bad: I'm scared for this show. Fuller has worked on a couple of critically acclaimed series that haven't caught on with the public, and I'm afraid this might be so out there that it won't ever break out of "cult hit" territory. The pilot felt like a movie, and I'm not sure that the show will be able to hit that same level of production and storytelling each week — though I can't wait to watch the cast and crew give it a shot.
Will I watch? Yes, yes, a million times yes. Maybe my hopes are too high, but I thought the pilot was one of the more creative and well-constructed pieces of television I've seen this year.
To watch a preview for the show and check out a gallery of photos,
Photos copyright 2007 ABC, Inc.
Video courtesy of Warner Bros.