Television can be so repetitive: full of cops, doctors, reality TV contestants, and pie makers who revive the dead. Okay, there may be exceptions—like ABC's Pushing Daises (Wednesdays, 8/7c), an unconventional fairytale whose script is as imaginative as its visuals.

The new Tim Burton-esque hit, averaging 7.5 million viewers each week, is a fantasy, crime show, and romantic comedy rolled into one. With colorful art direction and a tone recalling Amelie, Northern Exposure, and Big Fish, the dramedy is narrated and written as a bedtime story. Pushing Daises allows viewers to escape into a 1950s world with neon-lighted pie restaurants, musical numbers, and one-of-a-kind characters like two elderly shut-ins (one with an eye patch) who found fame as a synchronized swimming duo, the Darling Mermaid Darlings.

Daisies follows a pie maker named Ned, who discovers he can revive the dead with a touch. But with a second touch, Ned's gift is undone and the revived person dies again. But, if Ned doesn't reverse his deed in 60 seconds, someone else dies.

At first Ned wants nothing to do with his gift, but later realizes it can help solve murders. On his first try, he brings back to life his childhood sweetheart, Charlotte "Chuck" Charles. Blind with love, Ned refuses to touch her a second time, and after a nerve-racking minute, another man dies.

This episode opened two story tracks: an exploration of morality and a love story. Ned and Chuck share genuine affection, if not a bed (after all, if they touch, Chuck will die again). So they hold hands wearing thick gloves and kiss through Saran Wrap, and as such, their love requires work, compromise, and commitment. This only adds to the story's tension, and, as Entertainment Weekly wrote, "makes being in love heroic."

Todd Hertz, associate editor, Ignite Your Faith.

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Directed By
Lee Pace, Anna Friel, Chi McBride
Theatre Release
October 03, 2007
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