Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Pushing Daisies, "Circus Circus": What sort of contraptions?

I don't have time to say much about tonight's big top-flavored "Pushing Daisies," save that I still don't understand Chuck's family tree, that Chi McBride is the man, that Rachael Harris was her usual brilliant deadpan self as the client, and that Olive's description of how the convent porridge tasted ("I could throw up in my mouth a little and not even know the difference") is immediately going into my database of pop culture quotes to be used in everyday conversation. Oh, and, like the subject line says, what sort of "contraptions" is Ned building?

What did everybody else think?

37 comments:

Myles said...

I'd order a "If this Van's a Rockin', I'm being Murdered" bumper sticker and a "Mimes Do It Improvised" T-Shirt on sight.

Great second episode, fingers crossed for improved ratings.

the2scoops said...

The clown car gag just killed me. You sort of see it coming, but the parade of bodies and the deadpan reactions from Ned and Emerson sell it. Still charmed by this show.

Bobman said...

Seriously, how awesome is Chi McBride in this show? I think this episode may have been his best yet. "Do you know how heads work?" Legitimately had me cracking up.

Karen said...

"Mimes Do It with Imagination."

But, yeah, I'd buy those, too.

Alan, I thought your headline would be about limericks.

By the way, sending Kristen Chenoweth to a convent is a much better and more humorous commentary on her religious life than every last minute of Sarah Paulson's performance on Studio 60.

Chi McBride is a genius, but Lee Paterson's delivery of "Did. Not. Know. You. Were. There" was priceless.

The show is still charming, but they have GOT to get Olive out of the convent. That's getting boring.

Katie said...

We could do just quotes on this one couldn't we?

"Pigby enjoyed the warbling sounds made by the nice-smelling thing that fed him."

Matt said...

A little continuity thing--hasn't it been established that for Ned's "touch" to work, it has to be skin to skin? Yet when he touches the mime on his glove, the mime becomes undead, and then he touches the mime on his glove again to "redead" him.

Jennifer J. said...

I heart Pigby. :)

dez said...

Spider-Pigby, Spider-Pigby, does whatever a Spider-Pigby does!

I still don't understand Chuck's family tree

I think Lily did have an affair with Violet's fiancé and was trying to cover it up with a new lie, which Olive did not buy.

I flove this show so very, very much. The belching human cannonball especially cracked me up tonight (that, and the arrogant French acrobat).

DonBoy said...

Wait, now it's a year and a half since Chuck died and was reborn? In eleven episodes, most of which (I think) have to follow rather closely after the previous ones because of various plot points and emotional connections? Not that I've checked, but it sure feels impossible.

R.A. Porter said...

Uh-oh. I'm the only juvenile one. Of all the fantastic lines, the one that got my biggest chuckle was that the acrobat was "unaware that the left-behind Nicki was done with her duty."

Duty. :)

My best guess on the family tree is that Vivian or Charles canceled the engagement at some point and when Lily brought Chuck to him, Charles raised her on his own. Vivian was probably Chuck's godmother, so when Chuck's dad died, that's why the sisters ended up her guardians.

And even that makes my head hurt.

Jennifer said...

Ooh, good point on glove continuity.

Also adored "Did. Not. Know. You. Were. There."

I think this should have been titled "Send Out The Clowns."

Yeah, the aunts thing...sounds like an "Aunt Lily and Aunt Robin" sort of aunt rather than actual blood relations at this point. Even Lily (er, this show's Lily) doesn't seem to know what the heck she's saying. Oops.

Michael said...

I did love "The mimes aren't talking" and agree about the clown gag being obvious but still hilarious.

Amy said...

I thought there would be clarification on the patronage, like as we discussed last week that the man Chuck thinks is her dad actually adopted her and that he is brother of the aunts. But, I am willing to give them a couple more weeks for it all to make some sense. Obviously they are going somewhere w/ it.

Such a beautiful show, I think I could watch it with the sound off and still appreciate the sets and the camera's attention to detail. My dog goes a little nuts every time it is on because there is so much visual for him - he can almost stop staring at our dinner plates and just look at the tv.

daveawayfromhome said...

Towards the end of the episode, Chuck refers to her aunts in a way that makes them non-blood aunts, though I cant remember the exact quote.

Yeah, the clown car full of clowns was obvious, but I still found the reaction of Ned and Emerson funny, and I laughed out loud at the clown on stilts going by.

Sister T said...

When I saw the room full of stuffed animal prizes I couldn't help thinking of Wonderfalls shout out to Jaye Tyler's worst nightmare.

Grunt said...

Dave, she said something like "two nice ladies who took me in" or something. I caught that too.

I'm looking forward to Olive coming back. I, like Chuck and Ned, also miss her around the Pie Hole.

LA said...

There were many laugh-out-loud moments last night. I love this show, especially Emerson. Chi McBride is awesome!

Matt said...

Not good at all on the ratings front. 5.75M viewers at 8, lossing 400K at the half hour. In the second half hour, tied for 4th with Top Model among 18-49.

And Criminal Minds inexplicably continues to dominate at 9, despite Private Practice being much improved.

Anonymous said...

Does anyone else wonder about Digby the dog? If he was brought back from the dead about 15-20 years ago, shouldn't he be ready to "really" die? Or does the touch bring someone back to life and then they don't age anymore?
Granted, I've thought way too much
about this..........

Kelly said...

Loved the episode!! Chi McBride is so freaking fantastic in this role. Love him!

I think I missed the "Did. Not. Know..." line by Ned though. Can someone tell me when that was in the episode? I watched the entire episode without doing anything else and I still can't remember that line...

ken said...

hey alan

love your blog. i came across it by way of mo ryan's "the watcher" column.

i've noticed an interesting pattern. in the second season premiere, the husband of the dead bee woman is played by peter cambor- formerly on the show "notes from the underbelly". then in last night's episode, the client is played by rachael harris, also from "notes from the underbelly". and recently i read that michael weaver will appear in an upcoming episode as part of a trio of norwegian detectives who bear a striking similarity to our trio of detectives. and what show did weaver previously appear on? "notes from the underbelly".

is someone on the "daisies" staff a really big fan of that dearly departed show and when can we expect an appearance from jennifer westfeldt?

gina said...

This show is amazing. The clown car gag had me OTF, as did the scene in the morgue (especially the stilts and the feet with striped socks and ruby slippers), and the human cannon ball as murder weapon (“ta da!”). I’m still laughing at the clown car. “The clowns travel in a pack.” “Like wolves!” “No, like cigarettes.” Ha!

Other things that had me cracking up:

"A truckload of mimes just pulled up, and they ain't talkin'."

“I could throw up in my mouth and I wouldn’t taste the difference!”

The early-mid-afternoon, late-mid-evening and late mid middle night prayers.

And just when I thought the show was done making me laugh, I saw scenes from next week. Father Mulcahy and Sister Christian!! “Nun on the run! Nun on the run!”

Brandon Nowalk said...

Great episode! I'm really relieved that Pushing Daisies is as enjoyable as I remember it.

My favorite part: Jim Dale saying, "What was with the attitude, lady?" in his narration about Chuck.

Grunt said...

I know. Every week I pray that they'll give it one more week before they cancel it.

Kate said...

The family relations are pretty clear at this point. Vivian was engaged. Her sister Lily slept with her fiance. Lily got pregnant and went to a convent to have the baby, so Vivian never knew Lily was pregnant. Somewhere in there the engagement was broken off--possibly because Vivian found out that Charles-the-fiance sired a child, given that he did raise Chuck until he died, so the fact that *he* had a child was no secret. Charles died, "aunts" raise Chuck. Ta-da! I think the show has been pretty clear by now, and we have all just been confused by assumptions we made before the show made things explicit.

Anonymous said...

The clown car gag was almost as funny as the first time I saw it... when Reno 911 did it BACK IN JULY.

dez said...

^I bet it wasn't nearly as colorful, though :-p

filmcricket said...

@ Kate: that would work, except that according to both abc.com and IMDB, Lily and Vivian's surname is "Charles" - the same as Chuck's and her "dad's." I know the show's quirky, but there's "strange" and then there's "incest" and I don't think the show would cross that line. Which is why I'm inclined to believe that Charles Charles is, as others have suggested, an uncle, not Chuck's bio-dad.

Anonymous said...

Oh please please TV gods..do not
cancel this show.

a said...

As I say to my 12-year-old daughter every week, "Chi McBride is gold, baby. Gold!"

Also: "Clowns only make two things around here--balloon animals and enemies."

Kristin said...

I'm saddened by the numbers report. This show is so different, so quirky, so sweet. There's nothing else like it out there.

I just love it every week.

The clown car gag was hilarious.

I cried inside when Emerson pulled out his "Lil' Gum Shoe" pop-up book.

Tracey said...

In addition to everything everybody else has already mentioned... love Chuck's interrogation of the friend in the beginning.

Re Chuck's family tree: The key line is at the end, where Chuck is starting her new life, telling her own life story: "raised in a small town by two unmarried sisters I call my aunts." (emphasis added) That very clearly indicates that these are courtesy aunts, not biological aunts. As for the aunts' surname: I don't know if that was ever stated in the series. I don't particularly trust IMDB.com, because like Wikipedia, it's a collection of what people think they know and not necessarily correct, but the information on ABC.com is more problematic. It's possible that the show's creator decided to go in a different direction with those characters this season and is explicitly retcon'ing it, although I'm not sure if it counts as retcon if they didn't actually specify the relationship in the series.

Tracey said...

Regarding the family tree: I went back and looked at the first episode. Yes, they did specifically refer to the aunts as Vivian and Lily Charles on two occasions: in a news story about Chuck's death, and in a news story about the aunts killing a home invader. So either they're retcon'ing this or something's not what it seems.

Anonymous said...

Just reading the comments made me giggle about this episode again, which is probably my favorite in the series. My two favorite quotes were the one about the mimes not talking (I knew that one was coming and I still laughed) and the one about the clowns only making two things around here: balloon animals and enemies.

Brian said...

I don't have it on my DVR to re-watch and confirm, but I thought the "contraption" that Ned referred to was his dog-scratcher-hand tool that he uses to pet Digby and occasionally to caress Chuck's face (as he did at the top of this episode).

[BTW, that whole miscommunication between Ned and Emerson, regarding Ned and Chuck's intimate interactions and Ned's subsequent "there's a mask" line (re: the clown mask on the side of the road), was hysterical.]

Anonymous said...

I know this is an old thread but I came across it in passing and thought I'd help ya'll out with the Charles family tree. In the 2nd season episode "Bad Habits," Chuck hires a genealogy tracking expert, explaining to Ned, "... they're step-aunts. Dad was in his 20s when his dad married Lily and Vivian's Mom." Thus, they are all "Charles," (Lily and Vivian taking their step-father's surname). Vivian Charles and Charles Charles' engagement and Lily Charles and Charles Charles' secret baby-making romance are not incestuous (genetically speaking!)
All of the confusing little hints they give can be explained after all! I was so happy when I finally figured it out :)

Anonymous said...

Anon...u got it...i was thinking the exact same thing...trying to recall the episode where chuck says that they are her step-aunts...thats it..