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Friday, June 10, 2011

Pushing Daisies 1x01-'Pie-lette'

This is, by far, one of the sweetest -- as in 'awww' -- scripts I've ever read.

Let's get started:

What we have here is a 58 page Revised Network Draft, Dated January 6th, 2007 written by Bryan Fuller (download here).  The show breaks down into six acts - yes, six acts! - as follows (18/8/10/7/9/5).

Now, having read this script, there's really no way to describe this show except to say that it's the closest thing to a Fairytale that I've ever seen on Network TV; an odd, at times gory, but still sort of sweet, Fairytale about a man who brings dead things back to life with one touch, or kills them forever with two.

If he doesn't re-dead them after 60 seconds, they keep on living and some random bystander dies in that person's place.  It's definitely an interesting twist and way to keep such an awesome power in check.

In fact, the consequences of his powers -- the fact that he can't touch anything he's brought back to life ever again -- makes for a fantastic setup, especially considering his love interest was once a corpse (and former childhood friend).

All necrophilia jokes aside, I can see why some viewers might end up frustrated with such a setup.  It's one thing to create a 'will-they' won't they love interest in your story but it's a whole other thing to turn it into a tragedy waiting to happen.  If Ned (the main character) and his would-be sweetheart ('Chuck' -- nee Charlotte) ever touch, skin to skin, that's it, one of your main series characters is gone and they ain't coming back (according to the rules of the world he can't bring them back after he's touched them twice).

If I was a regular viewer, I think that might be something that would push me away; especially if you're asking me to invest in these characters and their budding romance -- and then make it a large part of the show...  It'd be sweet, for a time, but after a while it'd come down to a 'okay, seriously, enough is enough' sort of moment amongst the viewers.

Asking them to hang on that long, knowing that that moment will never reach a satisfying conclusion (in the viewer's eyes, I mean -- I'm sure someone as talented as Mr. Fuller had something in mind) may have been a bit much to ask for.

But otherwise, this show has so much heart behind it -- even in script form -- that I wanted to buy in... at least for the short term.  I completely 'got' our protagonist and a lot of his decisions made sense for who he was.  There's also a lot of chemistry in these pages, including a fantastic setup that really pays off down the line (the first act is a monster and the bulk of it is setting up the characters, the tone, the rules and the world).

And yet I'm not sure if this is really my sort of show.  The script is a fun read and I enjoyed the characters... but I didn't really get a sense of why I should come back every week.  What the gist of the show was -- was it them solving crimes by bringing dead people back to life (a feat that they pulled off in as short as four pages in the pilot) or is it some sort of ongoing mystery thing?  Or is it the pseudo-romance between Ned and Chuck?  Everything was wrapped up so cleanly... I kind of felt like this would've been an amazing movie.

Then again I know that a few friends of mine were die-hard fans of this show and that, while it was on, it got a decent amount of love from the critics.

Also -- and it is worth remembering -- this is only a Revised Draft after all, so maybe there were some more kinks worked out before it made it to air.

Either way, it's not a bad script at all... it's got heart and it'll charm your pants off.  Not a bad way to kill forty-five mins or so if you've got it to burn.

Maybe I'll check and see if this show's on Netflix.

Tomorrow I'll be checking out the script for Episodes 1x01 - Pilot, so come back then and hey, maybe give it a read with me.

Cheers!
Brandon

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