By Miles Baker
The facts were these: Miles Andrew Baker was 27 years, 1 month, 23 days old when he watched Pushing Daises for the first time. His parents had bought him the DVD box set for his birthday even though he had never seen the show before. Shortly after popping the present into the DVD player, young Miles exclaimed that his heart hurt. The DVD watcher was in love.
Eighteen weeks, three days later the DVD set of the second season arrived on his doorstep, a present from the good people at Warner Brothers, and Miles did a little dance.
An unbiased review was impossible; Miles knew this too well. So instead he tried to steal the voice of narrator Jim Dale into a review which became harder and harder with every sentence until he stopped at this very moment.
If you liked the first season of Pushing Daises you’ll be at home in the second. The show still focuses on its small cast of characters in a fairytale-like — yet still very gruesome — world, solving mysteries that the Scooby Doo team would feel at home in. The comedy and scripts remain sharp, as do the colourful guest characters and causes of death. The tight ensemble of the Pie Holers (a name that gets only more and more funny with time) is a delight to watch, especially as we get to learn more about their pasts.
There are a few changes, however, to the formula from season one. Mainly, there are larger plot threads between the episodes. First season had this as well, but it mostly rested on what I’d call the emotional story of the characters. Every episode still has a done-in-one mystery, but there’s an increased focus on the melodrama between characters. It feels like a natural progression for the show, but I did end up missing some of the more elaborate wacky mysteries. The other main difference is that Charlotte Charles (played by Anna Friel) wears a lot more pants this season; it makes more sense considering she’s a detective, but I do miss the lovely dresses she wore.
The only other disappointment in the set is a lack of episode commentaries. A lot of people don’t listen to them, but a cult show like this one attracts the kind of fan who does. I know I would. The special features that are there are interesting enough, although typically “I love everyone on this show.” Which, I’m sure is honest, but a little less interesting. There’s a great feature on the music, which is an essential but often overlooked element of the show, so that’s nice to see.
But the special features don’t matter when the show is this re-watchable. The episodes are dense with jokes and character moments and it’s unlikely you’d get everything with a first pass. So, if you were a fan of the show, you can’t go wrong with this set and if you’ve never seen an episode do yourself a favour and get both seasons at once — you don’t want to waste gas or bus fare.