Now that we’ve gotten the broad swath of shows I’ll be catching up on over the summer out of the way, it’s time for something I mentioned in passing to in that last post: selecting the show I’ll be doing an in-depth rewatch of. Unlike the other five shows where I’ll only be writing about them in passing if at all (depending on how much I like them and how many original thoughts I can drum up) this is a selection I’m going to spend serious time with on a weekly basis and review episode by episode.
A few shows were automatically ruled out for this choice, given that other critics are devoting time to them and far be it from me to give you one more summer repeat. The A.V. Club has expanded their coverage to a broad swath of shows ranging from critical darlings (Alias, Veronica Mars) to cult animated shows (Cowboy Bebop, Avatar: The Last Airbender). Alan Sepinwall over at HitFix.com will be reviewing the first season of Deadwood every Thursday starting this week, and he and podcasting partner Dan Fienberg will be going into the first season of Twin Peaks on the excellent Firewall and Iceberg series.
All of those are great choices and I’ll be following along with several of them, and they not only winnowed the list but helped me define the criteria for the show I wanted to spend some time with over the next few months. I wanted to pick something no one else was talking about, and ideally something no one’s yet talked about in great detail – or if they have, enough time has passed that covering it certainly feels novel. I wanted a show where it’s been so long since I’ve seen it I can approach it with a clear head, and maybe find something new this time around. And I wanted a show that’s very encompassing in terms of atmosphere and characters, in order to make me feel less guilty about not going outside.
So with said criteria in mind, I raided my Netflix instant queue and DVD shelves to pick just the right show. My choice?
Pushing Daisies, season one.
This is a show that checks off every single one of the criteria above, and it helps that it’s also one of my favorite shows of all time. Bryan Fuller’s uncategorizable program about a pie-maker with the inexplicable ability to bring the dead back to life is one of the most unique things I’ve ever seen on television, and (in my opinion) a shining example of just what can be done with the medium when you throw off all convention and embrace it as an artful and playful storytelling engine. Despite a fair share of critical love and award recognition at the time, the show’s fallen off the radar in the two years since its sad cancellation and I’d like to bring it up again.
So starting next Thursday, June 9, check in every morning for an in-depth (and I hope, entertaining) coverage of each episode, beginning with the series premiere “Pie-lette” and spanning all nine episodes of the first season. I encourage you to chime in on the conversation afterward – if you’re a newcomer or like me have been away from the show for a considerable period of time, the complete first season is easily available on Netflix instant and standard Hulu.
Pull up a stool, order a slice of tart apple with Gruyère and scratch your golden retriever behind the ear – this is going to be fun.