"In cooking, as in all the arts, simplicity is a sign of perfection." - Curnonsky

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Pushing Daisies: B*tches

Dear Pushing Daisies:

I already spend most Wednesdays in sugar shock over your preciousness, so did you really need to amp it up this week by bringing in puppies? If there's such a thing as a cuteness heart attack (a cute-attack?), I was definitely having one.

But the Coll-A-Dor-Russell-A-Poo wasn't the only thing making me swoon during this episode. There were also some truly adorable moments between Ned and Chuck, a whole new side to Emerson Cod, Claymation dreams, and a potentially fatal dose of "almond-flavored coffee cream creamer." It's really saying something when the closest thing your show has to a villain is a wisp of a woman named Olive Snook.

If there's one image from this episode that will be irrevocably burned into my brain, it's the moment in Ned's dream when Olive stripped off her Chuck suit. Wow. I knew the whole being-apart-together situation was wearing on Ned and Chuck (as evidenced by Ned's Halloween kiss of Olive) but that was a pretty vivid representation of where the two of them are right now.

Emerson's description of polygamy — one woman to have, one to hold — certainly hit home for Ned, despite his protests that he'd make a terrible polygamist ("I'm easily distracted; I wouldn't know where to focus"). Trouble is, Ned doesn't even want to hold the woman he can hold. His schmoopy "You're the only one for me" certainly prompted a chorus of "awwwww"s in my living room.

As compelling as their romance is, though, I got more of a kick out of Emerson's love-goggles when it came to Harry's stern ex-wife, Simone. Clearly, there was no love lost between Simone and Harry, who had themselves quite the business arrangement. Emerson, though, somehow got charmed by Simone despite her freakishly sterile dog-training room and her tendency to chloroform others to get her way. Hey, love knows no logic.

The case itself was a typical knot of twists and turns and satisfying resolutions, albeit one with more fabulous fashions (and more Joel McHale) than normal. This show will never be about the cases for me; instead, it's about the perfect dialogue and the visual confections. So on that note, here were some of the other things that stood out to me this time:

Olive on Ned and Chuck not touching: "That's the most tragic story I've ever heard, notwithstanding the big-ticket items like genocide and famine."

The alive-again part of things got a new dimension this week, as Ned and co. brought Snuppy back to life during the funeral to see which of the wives would freak out.

Loved the shot of the re-dead Snuppy crumpling to the ground, then Ned asking Emerson to "take care of that."

Best moment of Jim Dale narration, possibly of the whole series: "Harold Hundin was, indeed, a damn polygamist."

My favorite Emerson quip: "I suppose I could pay my bills with blind kids' smiles, but taking their money seems a lot easier." Speaking of the blind kids, nice throwback to the aunts with Chuck's story of how she became blind from kitty litter in the eye.

How perfect that Simone had apparently taught Bubblegum the command "go hide!"

Sight Gag O'The Week: Digby covering his eyes during Ned's sexy dream, with the pew of mourning dogs and Emerson's drug-induced dream close runners-up.

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