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

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Pushing Daisies: Dim Sum Lose Sum

Poor Emerson Cod. This mystery brought real tragedy to the world of my favorite gruff P.I. The master chef behind his favorite dish at the Chinese restaurant downstairs from his office has passed away. Understandably, Emerson was distraught, but still trying to snatch tidbits to eat while interviewing interested parties. Once again, the mystery took a backseat to the character arcs.

The focuse was on Ned in this episode. It’s kind of funny, but in all this time the focus has been on Chuck and Emerson and even a bit on Olive, but almost never have they explored Ned’s backstory, aside from the narrative flashbacks. But Ned himself almost never talks about it nor has to confront it in any significant way. Dwight Dixon turned all that on his head by showing up and claiming to have known Ned’s parents.

I love Stephen Root, and while I was disappointed in his lack of screen time this episode, the future looks bright. It looks like this arc with Ned’s half-brothers and Dwight Dixon (Root) is going to go at least a few episodes. What I did get this time was more fun at the hands of Emerson, Olive and Chuck. Cod was awesome all pimped out, and the girls are always a hoot when they get dressed up and involved in the cases. In fact, what I noticed while watching all of this is that the least impressive character on the show is poor Ned himself.

That’s not to say that Lee Pace doesn’t play the role well, because I really think he does, but it’s an oddly written character. He’s so standoffish and yet so vulnerably needy. He was downright rude to Dixon, and even Olive when he told her she was family “to a lesser extent.” But he’s damaged goods, as I’ve seen on countless occasions, so I guess that gives him a pass? He just doesn’t come across nearly as likable as the others for some reason.
The twins are a fun addition, and I loved the addition of Ned’s eyebrows on them, and I am incredibly intrigued by what’s going on with Dixon and the gun. I have to say, though, it was odd how quickly they dumped the Chuck and her aunts storyline.

Cod’s quest for his daughter is ongoing and can fall to the background, but Chuck just found out that her aunt is her mother and yet not only did the aunts not appear, but there was no mention of them or any of it. I’ll admit it, I’m a continuity buff and like the slightest nods to it to help me feel rewarded for being a loyal fan. Even a passing mention would have sufficed.

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