Oh, joy! Pushing Daisies is back! And it seems to have returned perfectly in form, too, with a premiere that finds Chuck putting her love of bees to use, Olive letting secrets get the best of her, and the introduction of a pig named Pigby. I wish I could just scoop this show up into a big bear hug.
If you missed the first season, the first five or so minutes of this one would get you caught up right quick, as we zoom through a quickie explanation of Ned's powers and Chuck's resurrection. But the good stuff starts with Chuck's dead bees, so to talk about it, just
- Chuck bringing her bees back to life by dumping them over Ned's bare back might be one of the best visual effects this show has done. I love how Chuck decided it would only be fair to strip down to her silky unmentionables to balance things out.
- Speaking of which, Chuck and Ned appear to have a relatively normal romance — as long as they both wear bells on their slippers and only touch with the help of Ned's Digby scratcher.
- This week's victim is Kentucky Fitz, who had just been tapped as the face of Betty's Bees, a honey-based business that recently sold out to a big conglomerate that wanted to strip the products of their honey ("even the honey!") (sound familiar?). I'm already a little bee-phobic, so that shot of Kentucky in the morgue with bees spewing out of her mouth made me shiver.
- I guess we're not worried about Chuck being recognized in public anymore, because she poses as Kitty Pims to get in with the bee people. So many great visual gags in those scenes, including the beehive dome, the honeycomb-tiled floors, and Chuck's pin-turned-microphone that's a direct line to an eavesdropping Emerson.
- Maybe my favorite line of the night, after Chuck protests that Betty was too young to be replaced at just 38: "Which rounds up to 40, which rounds up to 50, which rounds up to old!"
- The aunts are out of the house, fulfilling Chuck's goal from when she started sneaking happy drops into their pies but creating drama for everyone else. Their appearance at the Pie Hole sends Olive into a fit, since she's become the dumping ground for everyone's secrets and now feels like a gun stuffed with "truth buckshot." I know Kristin Chenoweth can sing, but man, that lady can also scream.
- It seems appropriate that Chuck's having a (re)existential crisis: "I haven't gone anywhere with my life, and this is my second one!" Once Olive's off to the nunnery, Chuck takes over her apartment, thus beginning Chuck and Ned's "Parisian lifestyle."
- Love Olive's mixup between "the porter" and "the poor."
- Chuck's dad was Vivian's fiance? I'm going to need a genealogist to document this family tree.
- The crew figures out the murder, but not before Chuck finds herself dressed head to toe in bees. Ned quickly reminds her she can get dead again: "There's a reason I don't let Digby play in traffic."
- OK, scratch everything I said before. My actual favorite line: "You want a drink? Lily, hand me your purse." Runner-up: "But it's also sweet, like a taxidermied pet, or stuffing someone's ashes in a teddy bear."
So, Olive's living simply at the place where Lily sneaked off to have Chuck, Ned has (somehow?) rescued Chuck's special pillow, and Emerson's adorable Lil' Gumshoe has been put into the world to help his daughter find her way back. There's nothing left to say but "Aww!" What did you all think?
Photos copyright 2008 ABC, Inc.