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PUSHING DAISIES is one of the most unique and entertaining comedy/dramas to ever appear on television. The show has all the charm of a whimsical fairy tale made for grownups, plus it contains a delightfully oddball quirkiness- thus making it unlike anything else playing in primetime. The premise of the series is concerned with the life of a pie maker named Ned (Lee Pace), who at an early age, discovered that he has an incredible ability to resurrect the dead. Ned first learns of his ability, when a passing truck kills his dog Digby; Nedís touch restores Digby to life. Nedís second experience with his ability teaches him of the consequence of restoring life- something else in close proximity has to die in its place. Trial and error defines the rules more completely- a second touch from Ned will restore the recipient of his ability to a permanent death. The last ruleÖ Nedís ability can be invoked without consequence, as long as the dead are only restored to life for one minute or less.

As a result of his unusual ability, Ned ultimately retreats from having any emotional attachments to life; maintaining a quite existence making pies and operating an establishment called The Pie Hole. Nedís existence is complicated by Emerson Cod (Chi McBride), a private detective who unearths Nedís unique ability and uses it to briefly resurrect murder victims, discover who killed them, and collect the rewards. Nedís existence is further complicated by Charlotte "Chuck" Charles (Anna Friel), Ned's childhood sweetheart, whom he resurrects, but doesnít have the heart to return to the grave. Romance is rekindled and blossoms between the two, but their relationship is also complicated by the fact that if Ned and Chuck actually do touch- their romance and her life will be ended in the same instant. Of course, Chuckís presence doesnít sit will with Emerson because she serves as a distraction for Ned. Even less thrilled by Chuckís presence is Olive Snook (Kristin Chenoweth), a waitress at The Pie Hole, who happens to be "hopelessly devoted" to Ned. The cast of PUSHING DAISIES also features Ellen Greene and Swoosie Kurtz as Chuckís eccentric aunts Vivian and Lily Charles, while Jim Dale serves as the series Narrator.

PUSHING DAISIES: THE COMPLETE FIRST SEASON ($40) comes to Blu-ray Disc in a thee-disc set that features the following nine episodes that were aired during its freshman year: Pie-lette, Dummy, The Fun In Funeral, Pigeon, Girth, Bitches, Smell of Success, Bitter Sweets and Corpsicle.

Warner Home Video has made all nine episodes from PUSHING DAISIES: THE COMPLETE FIRST SEASON available on Blu-ray Disc in 1.78:1 wide screen presentations that have been encoded onto the disc with the VC-1 codec. The 1080p presentations of the episodes are terrific and bring out the beauty of the series unique visual style. Image sharpness, clarity and fine detail all rank very highly for a weekly television series. Colors are wonderfully saturated, and produce highly appealing flesh tones. Black and whites both appear very accurate and stable. Contrast and shadow detail get top marks for a television series produced for hi-def transmission. There are no flaws in the source materials. Neither grain, nor video noise are excessive, nor do they appear as though they have been artificially processed out of the image.

All of the episodes that constitute PUSHING DAISIES: THE COMPLETE FIRST SEASON are presented on Blu-ray Disc with 5.1 channel Dolby Digital 640kbps soundtracks. These sound mixes have a sweet musical fairy tale quality, but the sound design of the episodes do no go beyond what one would normally expect from a production intended for television broadcast. As expected, the forward soundstage dominates, but the rear channels do deliver a few active effects, as well as ambient sounds, and some musical fill. One will find some nice channel separations across the front. The bass channel doesnít have much to do by nature of this material. Dialogue is warmly recorded and easy to understand. A French 5.1 channel track is also encoded onto the disc, as are English, French Spanish, Danish, Finnish, Norwegian, and Swedish subtitles.

The interactive menus allow one access to the standard episode selection and set up features, as well as, as well as Pie Time: Time For Pie, which is a series of brief interactive featurettes that include members of the cast & production team.

PUSHING DAISIES is a unique, whimsical fairy tale that is unlike anything else on television. The Blu-ray presentations of the episodes are gorgeous. PUSHING DAISIES: THE COMPLETE FIRST SEASON, like a piece of delicious fruit pie, comes very highly recommended.



Pushing Daisies: The Complete First Season [Blu-ray] (2008)


DVD & Blu-rayDisc reviews are Copyright © 2008 THE CINEMA LASER and may not be copied or reprinted without the written consent of the publisher.
THE CINEMA LASER is written, edited and published by Derek M. Germano.



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