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Wednesday Notebook: "Pushing Daisies," "Private Practice," "Heroes," "Back to You"

By admin Published: October 25, 2007

Pushing Daisies

Maybe it's the Broadway geek within, but to have Kristin Chenoweth and Ellen Greene singing together on "Pushing Daisies" was simply a kick.

By the way, Ann V. in the comments below noted that it was a They Might Be Giants song. (News to me. But if you want to talk about the new Robert Plant/Alison Krauss collaboration, I'm ready.) So here's a video of They Might Be Giants' version ...

And, since I'm in a full video frenzy, here's the "Pushing Daisies" version:

Getting back to the actual TV show, it continues to improve, once again going into the emotional territory involving its core gimmick ...

The hand-holding business worked well when Chuck imagined she was holding hands with the Pie Maker, not so well when the show got around the problem with the bee suits. I know there's a love-conquers aspect to the show, but it's finding an awful lot of ways to let its lovestruck duo make contact -- and the plastic wrap was much funnier than the bee suits.

But it's beginning to feel as if I'm with this show for the long haul, however long that may be.

If nothing else, I am more satisfied with it than with "Heroes," which continues its slide into tedium. This week's episode, with the much ballyhooed arrival of Kristen Bell, should have been an opportunity to impress the Bell cult when it checked in.

But Bell's moderately amusing villainy aside, it wasn't much. I mean, if you've acquired the power to learn anything you see being done, wouldn't you want a more rigorous test than jumping rope? (I kept thinking of Claire's tests in the first season. That was proving your power.) And it was pretty quickly evident that Nathan and Parkman were fighting each other; based on how they looked afterward, they did surprisingly little damage to each other, too. And they should have brought Hiro home by now. I'm hanging in with "Heroes," but with less and less enthusiasm.

My big reservation with "Private Practice" had to do with some of the obviousness in the plots. The teen girl's sexual claims sounded a bit fake from the beginning, we knew that the return of Violet's ex was going to go bad and it was immediately clear that the assault victim's injuries went beyond what she first said. (On that last plot, too, I'm still uneasy with the idea that the woman who has been assaulted is supposed to be strong for her upset-by-the-attack man. I don't like the suggestion that the man's problem is more serious than the woman's.)

But the show wasn't entirely unwatchable. The Bill Clinton monologue was pretty amusing, for one thing. Addison is toughening up. The characters' interaction makes more sense. Sam and Naomi talking as parents was a nice touch.

I think I mentioned last week that "Back to You" is figuring out how to be funny, and Fox apparently thinks it's doinf all right. The network has ordered 11 more episodes, on top of the 13 already commissioned, for a full season of 24 telecasts.

Since I was watching other stuff (as should be obvious from this post), I did my laptop thing for the World Series last night. Even there, it was stunning, especially in that sequence of three run-scoring walks. And no commentary, and no commercials -- other than the ones we were fast-forwarding through in the shows we watched.

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