I just finished watching Pushing Daisies and I'm happy to say it absolutely exceeded my expectations. Visually, it's very Tim Burton-esque...a slightly odd but brightly colorful world. Kinda like a Claritin commercial on acid.
The story unfolds like a sort of magical fable, with allusions to both Sleeping Beauty and Forrest Gump, but with a bit of procedural crime drama thrown in.
In short, Ned, who runs a pie shop, has a remarkable gift. With a touch, he can resurrect the dead. However, as with any magical gift, there are stipulations. One, if he touches the person (or dog, or plant) again, they die again and cannot be brought back. Two, if he keeps them alive for more than one minute, they will remain alive (as long as he never touches them again). And three, if he chooses to keep someone alive past the 60-second mark, someone else has to die to take that person's place. With the help of a streetwise cop, Ned realizes the profitable potential of his ability. He awakens murder victims, asks who killed them, then after putting them back to "sleep", collects the reward.
It's this conundrum that creates the interesting relationship between Ned and his childhood sweetheart, Chuck. (Chuck is a girl, in case you were curious.) When Ned finds out that Chuck has been killed, he revives her with the initial purpose of reward money, but when they realize that they both still have feelings for one another, he decides to keep her alive past the minute mark, invariably causing the death of the nefarious funeral home director.
Ned and Chuck, though very much in love, can never touch. No kisses, hugs...nothing. But through some inspiringly clever writing, this limitation is overcome, at least emotionally.
The writing on this show is fantastic. There are too many cleverly crafted bits of dialogue and story turns to mention. I can't wait to see how future episodes play out. If tonight was any indication, consider me hooked.