One of the few great surprises(along with "FRINGE")to debut on network tv in recent years, is the short-lived, "PUSHING DAISIES." WARNER BROS. has released "PUSHING DAISIES: THE COMPLETE 2nd SEASON" on blu-ray, and it deserves to be part of any serious blu-ray collection, along with the first season!
Due to a writer's strike, only 9 episodes aired during the first season, and almost an entire year has passed since the first season ended and the 2nd season began, alienating whatever fan base had been there. Produced by Barry Sonnenfeld, "PUSHING DAISIES" is one of those rare gems, achieving entertainment value without sacrificing artistic freedom, for the most part! The series is built around Ned, a young man with the ability to bring any corpse he touches, back to life. However, this gift comes at a price. If he fails to touch them again, sending them permanently back to a state of death, then someone else already living must die in their place. Joining forces with Emerson(Chi McBride, the principal from "BOSTON LEGAL"), these two employ this gift to solve murders, trying to obtain as much helpful information from the corpse, as is possible in the 60 second time span given to them. While SEASON 2 starts off feeling more unnecessarily complicated than the first season, within the first three episodes, it manages to get back onto the quirky, beautiful track that made it so endearing, originally. Unfortunately, the cancelled "2nd" season only offers 13 episodes, so one can't help but feel disappointed that such a great series can't continue! The 2nd season gives the audience the sense that the series was really finding a strong voice, even with its varying writers, as characters begin to feel fully multi-layered here. Emerson's search for his missing daughter is both beautiful and poignant, and allows one to fully appreciate the range of Chi McBride, in a way no other vehicle has thus far.
Even while the 2nd season ended abruptly, the producers at least attempt to give some finality to its narrative in the final episode. There will be as many viewers annoyed with the conclusion as pleased by it, but this reviewer finds himself among the latter.
WARNER BROS. has provided the correct 1.85:1 aspect ratio for this VC-1 1080p blu-ray. Colors are pushed to extremes, without any sense of oversaturation. "PUSHING DAISIES" revels in its colorful production design, blending surreal and natural settings. With this in mind, the vibrant yet stable colors are even more impressive. There are a few instances wherein fleshtones veer towards an artificial appearance, but these are short-lived and more than made up for with the glossy, three-dimensional feel of the overall image. This transfer never looks flat!
WARNER BROS has provided a Dolby Digital 5.1 mix. While it's frustrating to find WB isn't offering either Dolby TrueHD or DTS-HD for this and other tv on blu-ray so far, at least this mix is as impressive as it had been when originally aired. Bass is more prominent than we'd expected and although center channel focused, some creative, engaging directional effects kick in effectively at just the right moments!
WARNER BROS. has provided some extras, including some short featurettes, comprised of interviews, visual effects, make-up and a look at recording sessions.