PUSHING DAISIES “The Norwegians”: But Isn’t Stockholm in Sweden?

Pushing Daisies

We’ve devoted considerable attention (read: whinerpantsering) to the mystery of why the delightful Pushing Daisies has not been successful at capturing enough hearts to stay alive. “The Norwegians” may help provide some answers. While I adored it–how could I not? It addressed a key character issue that sticks in my craw and had a higher-than-average number of sly jokes–it felt like an hour of television that might seem impenetrable to someone who just stumbled over the show on a Wednesday night.

This hypothetical newbie might have gotten the giggles over a Mobile Investigative Lab Facility nicknamed Mother (wow). She might have laughed even harder at Shaft references or a Titanic-esque sketch of a lost love or a DNA match making a Norwegian flag or at a subterfuge suggesting that miscreants with blue and yellow truncheons stole Mother or at the male lead Norwegian detective having a surname like Olsdattir. But she also might reasonably ask why the rival detectives are Norwegian. Loyal Daisies enthusiasts know the answer is “because it’s funny,” but someone watching the show for the first time might not as easily decipher what has deep meaning and what is merely a juicy joke.

Our new viewer almost certainly wouldn’t feel the full pain that plays out in the synchronized swimming sisters’ relationship, especially whenVivian has to tell Lily Charlotte’s body has been “stolen from her grave.” She wouldn’t understand why Olive is suddenly much more content with impending death when Ned admits he wouldn’t say he’s never felt attraction for her, or why Olive’s frustration over being excluded from secrets is more than overdue. She wouldn’t feel the full weight of how touching it is that cynical, arrogant Emerson feels responsible for involving everyone in danger. Heck, she might not even have a full appreciation for the juciest joke in the episode, Jim Dale’s narrator intoning “Oh, HELL no” when we think Olive might be a traitor. All of these tidbits combine to make the whole greater than the sum of its parts, so if a newer viewer can’t get the parts in the first place, that might cause problems. Why can’t five million of us watching every week be enough? The Tudors finale got fewer than a million viewers; Dexter‘s got 1.5 million. True Blood allegedly gets 6 million viewers when you count DVR delay and On Demand viewing, and it stinks on ice. Dear pay cable networks: here’s a show that might not grow brand new viewers for itself right now, but it might bring a chunk of devoted new subscribers your way.


Golden Globe Television Nominees Offer Few Surprises


The 66th annual Golden Globe nominations were announced this morning by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association. Although the televised ceremony (AKA the drinky Oscars) is generally a rip-roaring good time due to the mingling of film and television stars and the copious amounts of alcohol consumed by attendees, the awards themselves are invariably somewhat dubious, given as they are by a small group of irrelevant journalists known for being easily swayed by studio marketing campaigns. Still, they’re awards, so we’re gonna talk about ’em.

For the most part the nominees this year are exactly who think they are: 30 Rock, The Office, Mad Men, Dexter, House, etc. Once again we are bored to tears by been-there-done-that nominations for Tony Shaloub, Mariska Hargitay and anyone connected with Entourage. There is some pleasure to be gained by the nods for Cranford, January Jones and Neil Patrick Harris. On the other hand, multiple nominations for Californication and True Blood just go to show that absolutely anything can get nominated for an award if it airs on premium cable, and the total exclusion of Pushing Daisies suggests the HFPA doesn’t even watch TV.

A complete list of television nominees is under the cut…

Continue reading

Guide to Upcoming Season Premieres


You’d pretty much have to be living under a rock (or, you know, be my dad) not to know that the new season of Lost is starting on January 31. But what about all the other shows that are due to return this winter/spring? It’s a lot to keep track of, we know, so to help you out, here’s a list of some upcoming season premiere dates to guide you through the upcoming months.

RENO 911 (Comedy Central)
Wednesday, Jan. 16, at 10:30 PM

Monday, Jan. 21, at 9:00 PM

Saturday, Jan. 26, at 9:00 PM

Thursday, Jan. 31, at 8:00 PM

Monday, Feb. 4, at 9:30 PM

Tuesday, Feb. 12, at 10:00 PM

Wednesday, Feb. 27, at 10:00 PM

Sunday, March 2, at 10:00PM

THE TUDORS (Showtime)
Sunday, March 30, at 10:00PM

Friday, April 4, at 10:00 PM

2007 Golden Globes Television Nominees

The Hollywood Foreign Press Association announced its nominations for the 65th annual Golden Globes this morning and the biggest surprise among the television nominees was the head-scratching exclusion of The Office from the comedy series category.

The awards will be presented Jan. 13 and televised on NBC, although the ongoing writers strike could impact the telecast. If the WGA refuses to grant a waiver allowing guild writers to work on the ceremony’s script, it’s unknown how many presenters and nominees would be willing to cross the picket line in order to attend.

Look behind the cut for the complete list of television nominees… Continue reading

CBS Plans Edited Broadcasts of DEXTER


CBS president Leslie Moonves told reporters at UBS’ Global Media & Communications Conference in New York that the network is planning to re-broadcast some series that air on its Showtime cable unit. “Dexter is probably the first one to go on–with some edits,” Moonves said. “It fits with our crime shows.” The blood-spattered series has become a critical and ratings success for Showtime, but might need more than a little editing to tone down the language and gore.

In addition to Dexter, CBS also is considering Showtime’s racy period drama The Tudors, which originally was developed for CBS, and the critically praised dark comedy Weeds, about a pot-peddling soccer mom. Both shows commonly feature nudity and graphic sex, and since the FCC has traditionally cracked down on these vices while becoming increasingly lenient towards graphic violence, they may prove far harder to clean up for network broadcast than the viscera-laden Dexter.