Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Morbidly yours

I'm a tad late in posting this but hey, `tis still the season for talk about the dead, death and dying. Yes, morbid thoughts, but not necessarily sad or depressing.

1.


First off, let me tell you what new tv show has taken my fancy lately, and what you should also be watching: Pushing Daisies. It's a sort of forensic or procedural fairy tale (say what?), a dark comedy that has caught my attention much like Six Feet Under did when I first discovered it (that is, before it went a tad too dark to be funny. I did like how SFU finished though). Pushing Daisies is about Ned, a piemaker who has the power to bring the dead back to life by a mere touch. But if he lets the newly undead live for more than a minute, the nearest living thing of the same species will die. To prevent this, he must touch said newly undead again - to die forever. Now Ned has a partner, Private Investigator Emerson Cod. Cod finds people who have died under questionable circumstances, the solution of whose murders carry a reward. They go to the see the corpse, Ned touches it, they ask the undead who killed them and presto, case solved (not so straightforwardly, naturally). Sounds lucrative, no?

In the pilot episode (cleverly entitled Pie-lette hee hee), said corpse happens to be that of Chuck, Ned's childhood crush and first kiss. Ned ends up letting her live. Which makes Emerson very unhappy (because it spells 3 way split on the reward money from then on). So here we have it, Ned and his childhood sweetheart reunite, never to kiss again. Talk about platonic, well this takes the cake. Or pie as the case may be.

The show has been said to be reminiscent of Amelie and Tim Burton movies. Each episode is introduced by a narrator, in keeping with a storybook-like feel that is complemented by super-saturated colors and CGI. The dialogue is witty, littered with brilliant turns of phrase, and delivered in tongue-twisting speed. Any show that gets me continuously chuckling, giggling, snickering, snorting, laughing, and guffawing and hah-ing and ooh-ing and ahh-ing, is an instant favorite of mine. The characters (and that includes the narrator and Digby, Ned's golden retriever) are all lovable and wonderfully casted.

Very early on (that is to say, after the pilot), naysayers (including myself) have speculated that this show will not likely last beyond one season, for how long can you keep the whole resurrect-the-dead-and-solve-the-case schtick going? And how will you keep things interesting between Ned and Chuck? But after having seen 5 episodes already, I've forgotten to be skeptic. Who cares if they do the same thing all the time - some shows have stayed on using far less imaginative formats - the show is the most delightful there is on tv right now (right, like I actually watch TV. Hah!). What's not to love? As for Ned and Chuck, well. Surprisingly, the producers didn't bide their time at all because we see Ned and Chuck kissing in the 2nd ep. Hah!

So far, Pushing Daisies has gotten lots of good press, and critical acclaim to boot. It's been picked up for one full season. (Hopefully, the Writers Guild of America strike will be resolved soon, but if it isn't, the season might end with episode 9, according to thepiemaker.com.) You might want to check out the official website. Here's a preview of the show's pilot:




2.

On a less flighty note. I wouldn't be surprised if none of you had ever heard of Loreena McKennitt, she's not that well-known in these parts. Certainly not as popular as Enya to whom she is often compared. In keeping with the theme of this post, I thought it apt to share this favorite track of mine from McKennitt's album The Book of Secrets.

In a lonely train journey across Siberia, Loreena thought of Dante's The Divine Comedy and wrote this song. It is a profound meditation on the human condition, on what lies beyond life. I have loved it since the first time I heard it. It moves me with each listen.



Dante's Prayer

When the dark wood fell before me
And all the paths were overgrown
When the priests of pride say there is no other way
I tilled the sorrows of stone

I did not believe because I could not see
Though you came to me in the night
When the dawn seemed forever lost
You showed me your love in the light of the stars

Cast your eyes on the ocean
Cast your soul to the sea
When the dark night seems endless
Please remember me

Then the mountain rose before me
By the deep well of desire
From the fountain of forgiveness
Beyond the ice and the fire

Cast your eyes on the ocean
Cast your soul to the sea
When the dark night seems endless
Please remember me

Though we share this humble path, alone
How fragile is the heart
Oh give these clay feet wings to fly
To touch the face of the stars

Breathe life into this feeble heart
Lift this mortal veil of fear
Take these crumbled hopes, etched with tears
We'll rise above these earthly cares

Cast your eyes on the ocean
Cast your soul to the sea
When the dark night seems endless
Please remember me...

4 comments:

jillsabs said...

pushing daisies sounds interesting nga. but when chuck lived for more than one minute, who/what died in her stead?

imogen_ph said...

The answer is in here *wink*
http://youtube.com/watch?v=z5-tXgji1RI

Emerson freaked out when Ned told him the proximity principle (the nearest living thing of the same species dies in the stead of the newly undead) ha ha.

And here's an interesting bit - when Ned's newly dead mother was brought back to life, Chuck's father died. Chuck doesn't know this (at least til Ep 5; Ep 6 will air Weds in the US so I don't know what happens then).

Beck said...

I'm an SFU fan, too! I will definitely check this one out!!

Anna Friel is the girlfriend of David Thewlis, Harry Potter's Prof. Lupin!

imogen_ph said...

So, a dead girl and a werewolf wizard eh? Interesting tidbit, beck. I assume you've also heard of Dexter with Michael Hall? I love that show too! ;-)