Augh, why? Pushing Daisies was my favorite thing to watch on primetime, even more than Ugly Betty and even House. (Yes, I do watch things other than cartoons.)
What really bugs me is that ABC said they "gave it the best they could" which was seriously not true. First, they pulled it for two weeks during NOVEMBER (sweeps, and all that), and then, when it finally was back, they did ZERO advertising to let people know it was back. And that Fred Willard was the guest star (come on, it's Fred Willard!). *sigh* The article mentions the possibility of a movie or comics to continue the story, but it just wouldn't be the same. Although a movie would be pretty cool, I must admit.
Because I tend to be the last one to find out these things, I had no idea that American Greetings had added a page to each of their brands for video clips until yesterday. And even though they by no means had to do this, they posted an entire 11 minute episode of the new CGI Strawberry Shortcake series, which won't debut until next Fall. I'm assuming that this is the pilot episode, so there's no telling what elements will show up again. Overall, I thought it was cute, although there were a few things that I know are going to bug people.
The plot of this pilot concerns itself with the party Strawberry's throwing to celebrate the grand opening of her new cafe. With just a few hours to go, Strawberry delegates some of the preparations to two of the three berrykins that hang out around town. I know a lot of people are not going to like them, and in fact, I wasn't that crazy about them myself, until I looked up the definition of nebbish (AGP describes them as "nebbish creatures"), which turns out to mean pitifully ineffectual. Heh. Anyways, Strawberry sends them off to get favors from her core friends, and Custard tags along to keep an eye on the Berrykins and try to keep them from messing up, but since she doesn't talk in this incarnation (Thank you!), she isn't too good at that.
First stop is Plum Pudding's dance studio. Although she doesn't have any glasses this time around, she's still too cute. Now, since Strawberry didn't actually tell them what she wanted from Plum Pudding, and only actually said, "Who loves dancing more than her?" the Berrykins assume (as I did the first time around) that she wanted Hula Dancing at the party, and ask Plum to teach it. Improvising a hula skirt from a nearby flower, Plum Pudding is on the case!
Next, the Berrykins head to Raspberry Torte's dress boutique to borrow a dress for Strawberry to wear (guess she used up all her savings on opening the cafe), but can't remember which one she wanted. It was the one with the bows, but the one with the rose looks much nicer. And apparently Raspberry is so allergic to flowers that even one made of cloth is enough to send her into a fit of sneezes. There's a quick interlude at the cafe to show Plum Pudding showing up, and Strawberry realizing the Berrykins mistake. Neither seems too worried about it.
Moving on to Orange Blossom's general store, the Berrykins can only remember that Strawberry wanted something orange and sparkly (sparkling orange juice, actually), so Orange Blossom pulls out all the things that fit the bill, including vases and a tablecloth, and even her Orange Brand laundry detergent (to make clothes sparkly clean). The Berrykins tell her to bring all of it, just in case.
Again, Strawberry was too vague about what she wanted from Blueberry Muffin's bookstore. She just told them that Blueberry put all the recipes Strawberry uses at her cafe into one book, but not whether she wanted one copy to display, or a copy for all her friends (which doesn't make good business sense when there's only five or six inhabitants of the city to begin with). The Berrykins assume she wants one book per friend, but don't remember which cookbook Strawberry was talking about. Fortunately for Custard (who hasn't been able to let the others know how wrong the Berrykins have been about things), Blueberry easily intuits that Strawberry probably wants copies of her own book, not someone else's.
Back at the cafe, Orange Blossom shows up with everything but what Strawberry wanted, and Strawberry "smells a little trouble" (I hope that's not a recurring catchphrase or anything). Meanwhile, the Berrykins are at the last stop, Lemon Meringue's Beauty Salon, and I admit, I had totally forgotten what Strawberry told them she wanted from there by this point, so it's no wonder the Berrykins forgot, too. The best they can come up with is having Lemon give Custard a "cute clown" makeover (in reality, Strawberry wanted Lemon to make fruit crowns as party favors, although why she'd be asking that so late in the game I have no clue). And Custard does make a very cute clown once Lemon is done with her.
With all that taken care of, the Berrykins return just as Blueberry Muffin finishes telling Strawberry about their inability to remember stuff, and Strawberry gives them a quick lecture about actually listening to people when they tell you stuff. Which is when Raspberry Torte and Lemon Meringue show up with the last of the Berrykin's mistakes. Strawberry makes the best of it, though, as Lemon Meringue ties some dandelion puffs to Custard's neck ribbon for the finishing touch. Which make her start to float away. You'd think it would take more than three to do that, though. As the girls watch in horror, the dandelion fluffs start to blow away in the wind, and Custard drifts ominously closer to the ground. But Strawberry "smells a plan" (seriously, that better not show up every episode), and grabs the tablecloth. She instructs everyone to grab an edge, and even the Berrykins help out (no doubt, the other girls are confused as to why Strawberry keeps telling them to "hula to the left" and "hula to the right" as they follow Custard's trajectory, since only she, Plum, and the Berrykins know about the hula/who loves incident). And thus is Custard saved. The Berrykins claim it was because of their listening skills, but Strawberry reminds them that it was actually teamwork that saved the day. And just like that, it's four o'clock, time for the start of the party (kind of late for a grand opening...) and the end of the episode.
So generally I liked the episode. The moral wasn't overly anvilicious, even if the Berrykins' rhyming talk got annoying after a while. But seriously, Strawberry brought it on herself by not writing it all down, anyway. BTW, I'm 89% sure that Orange Blossom is voiced by Janyse Jaud. There aren't any end credits, so I don't know who else does voices here, although there are stills that are definitely where the end credits will go when it actually airs. I have a sneaky suspicion Ashleigh Ball is one of the Berrykins, but their voices are so sped up that I could be wrong.
It seems a little odd that after all the talk of harkening back to original series, no one had their original personalities. But then, we didn't really get to know anyone all that well. The actual series and upcoming movie will probably flesh out the other characters a little more, but I can tell you this, the original Raspberry Tart would never own a dress shop.
Night Shift - "I dont have to take that from pudding!"
While I may have described "Good Knight Bedtime" as a day night in the life of Bedtime, it's this episode that really gets that honor. The episode begins at the dawn of a new day in Care-a-lot, and Bedtime is just about done for the day. Funshine comes up, obviously a morning person, and begins regaling Bedtime with all the plans he has for this beautiful day. Bedtime just wants to get some sleep, and tells Funshine so. Funshine essentially says "Sleep? Pshaw!" and Tenderheart (whom they happened to be walking by at the time) calls Funshine out for picking on poor Bedtime. Funshine is rightly confused at this, as he was just joshing around with Bedtime like he always does. Tenderheart accuses Funshine of having a one-sided conversation, and Bedtime's all "Dude, now that you mention it, he's right. You should see what I do at night, then you'd know a thing or two." Funshine is contrite for exactly one second before coming up with a fantastic idea: he'll shadow Bedtime tonight and see what he does. Share and Grumpy show up for absolutely no reason at all except for Share to say this is a good idea. Funshine invites the others, but only Tenderheart and Oopsy (who has been in the scene, but hasn't said anything yet) take him up on it. Bedtime doesn't seem to mind. Funshine likens the idea to a slumber party, which apparently gives Grumpy and Share an idea of their own...
Skip ahead to that evening, just as the sun is going down. "And now, it begins," quotes Bedtime. First order of business, put those cubs that may or may not be Hugs and Tugs to sleep. Cheer tucks them in, but the rest is all Bedtime. He picks out a lurid romance novel from the shelf, but since his audience is under the approved rating, he bowlderizes it something fierce. Magic pajamas indeed... Watching Bedtime, Funshine is once again convinced of the simpleness of his job. With the story over and the cubs asleep, Bedtime tries to sneak out, but the floor creaks and the cubs are awake, demanding another story. Funshine offers to do the honors this time, and picks out the same romance novel Bedtime did (seems he wanted to read the actual story himself, hm?), but the cubs are not fooled and demand something different. Funshine goes for sci-fi this time. A screenwipe later and all the stories from the shelf have been read and the cubs are finally asleep again. As are Tenderheart and Oopsy.
Funshine is starting to see the difficulty of working at night, but Bedtime tells him that their work has just begun. He uses his belly badge to send them all the dreamland with him, and they are instantly bombarded by a sigh. They go to investigate and find Surprise, who accuses them of visiting her again. The four bears are confused, since they just got there, and Surprise is not pleased when what happened four other times already happens again. Bedtime easily deduces that Surprise is have a nightmare, albeit a tame one. Funshine doesn't get it, so Tenderheart enlightens him: since Surprise loves surprises, obviously the scariest thing in the world is something turning into wood happening over and over. To help her out, Bedtime reminds her that she's just dreaming (as Grizzle goes by in the background), but Surprise is not reassured, since she already dreamt Bedtime came and said that. Case in point, the dream-Bedtime shows up, annoyed that the real Bedtime is intruding. Funshine points out the weirdness of two Bedtimes, only to be confronted by the sight of two of the rest of them, too. Nothing comes of this, though, as the cubs bounce by on huge rubber ducks and Bedtime sees this as something that should be monitored.
The cubs bounce around Care Square, creating havoc, before blinking out of existance. The others are confused, but Bedtime knows what's going on: they woke up, and thus Bedtime and the others have to follow suit. Back in the real Care-a-lot, Bedtime and the others check on the cubs, who want a drink of water. Tenderheart and Oopsy get them each a cup of water, with nothing untoward happening to Oopsy's cup (not enough time in the episode, I guess), and then they set off again. As Bedtime flips out the light, the pink cub demands light, which goes against Bedtime's bedtime code, so instead he gives her a lecture about how the dark is not really scary, and makes a nightlight from his belly badge. But the blue cub refuses to sleep without darkness, so Funshine, inspired by his earlier stint, piles up all the storybooks to make a barrier.
Bedtime congratulates Funshine on his quick thinking, and Funshine tells him he's getting the hang of it. Good news to Bedtime's ears, since there's still plenty of work to be done. Tenderheart and Oopsy are not enthused.
Back in dreamland, the four bears observe the various dreams, and Grizzle goes by again, this time seen by all four of them. Shouldn't Grizzle have his own dreamscape? Does he sometimes dream of defeating the Care Bears and succeeds, even with Bedtime there? I guess it would all depend on who had the stronger dream power, or something. Anyway, Bedtime suggests they split up to keep an eye on their friends' dreams, but Tenderheart and Oopsy stay together anyway. Funshine, on the other hand, gets the definition of "split up," and tells Bedtime that he's got the hang of working in dreamland, and goes off. As he leaves, Bedtime cryptically says, "I hope he's right," (seriously, he's all dramatic about it, or as dramatic as Bedtime gets, anyway). Meanwhile, Tenderheart and Oopsy come upon Grumpy dreaming about fixing stuff, and complain about how mundane a dream that is, until they see the real point of Grumpy's dream: telepathic tool fetching powers!
Grizzle goes by again (he's having some strange dreams from the looks of it),
and Funshine is called to Share's dream by a shriek. Seems she was dreaming about making pudding for all of Care-a-lot, but instead she created a sentient (and more importantly, animate) pudding monster. Funshine doesn't quite see the gravity of this, since it's just pudding after all, but he prepares to defend Share's dream, just like Bedtime would. He attempts to tough-talk the pudding back into the bowl, but the pudding monster is having none of that, and it soon has Funshine surrounded. He breaks free, and he and Share head for the hills.
The Pudding Monster starts invading the other available dreams. It starts grabbing Grumpy's tools as they appear in his hand. Grumpy is unfazed by this, and tries to enlist its help in fixing whatever it is he's working on. The pudding monster takes off for less boring dreams instead, causing Grumpy to remark, "Figures. Just try getting a pudding to help with anything." The pudding monster soon finds easier bears to scare, sending everyone else to join Funshine and Share in the hills. Bedtime stops Amigo Bear to find out what's going on, but since Amigo's voice actor wasn't available that day, he just points to the monster. Tenderheart and Oopsy show up to find out what's going on, and Bedtime fills them in. He tells them the first step to getting rid of the monster is to figure out whose dream it came from. At that point in time, Funshine and Share finally make it to the hills and let the others know what's going on. Since it's Share's nightmare, only she can really get rid of it, so Bedtime advises her to think about how to get rid of pudding. Bedtime already knew the answer, but apparently Share had to be the one to think of it: eat it, of course. As soon as Share has the answer, spoons appear in everyone's paws, and all the Care Bears converge to gobble down the chocolately menace. During the puddingfest, everyone starts to wake up, and indeed, the night is over.
As day dawns in Care-a-lot, Bedtime congratulates the others on a job well done, but points out that they could have just asked him what he did all night. But by then the other three are already asleep, so Bedtime joins them for a well-deserved rest.
I've said it before and I'll say it again, but these bears have some pretty boring dreams. I mean, when the majority of it is something you do all day in real life (and I'm not just talking about Grumpy here. Wish was shown flying on her starboard, which is about the only thing we ever see her do period), there's gotta be something wrong there. Maybe Bedtime should give a seminar on "How to have exciting dreams" or something. Of course, mundane dreams probably make his job easier.
When this ep first started, I thought it would be about the debut of Sweet Dreams Bear. Like, Bedtime feels lonely because he's the only bear that stays up at night, so Sweet Dreams shows up to fill the void. But I guess since he interacts with everyone in dreamland, that's not a problem for him. But still, it would have been cute.
No Snow Day - "His arms are made out of sticks. That's even dumber!"
Once again McKenna has come to play with the Care Bears, although she doesn't seem that enthusiastic about it. Probably because she's been bundled in a helmet and plenty of pads so she doesn't hurt herself rollerbearing. This doesn't actually involve rolling of any kind, actually. It's more like sliding on a "sunny sidewalk" made by Funshine. Funshine demonstrates his fancy technique, and McKenna is less enthused than before. Share and Cheer assure her that she just has to slide, regardless of any tricky moves Funshine may pull off, and they drag her on the sidewalk. Without a word of warning, they let go of her, and she falls right on her patukis and off the sidewalk. McKenna is rightly annoyed at the others, though Cheer claims their intentions were good. Grumpy shows up, even more bundled than McKenna, and the two bond over their lack of rollerbear skillz.
Since rollerbearing is a no-go, the others try to find something else fun they could all do, but McKenna shoots them all down. Cheer accuses her of having a negative attitude, but the only downside of this she can think of is "not learning new things." McKenna is not swayed by this argument (and I can't blame her), and points out that Grumpy has a negative attitude, too, and nobody complains about him. Funshine counters that Grumpy is grumpy, not negative, so McKenna changes the subject. She does like playing the snow, but since it's not winter in Care-a-lot, she's out of luck. Or is she? For as she and the others leave, the trash can that she threw a piece of trash into suddenly sprouts eyes. Yes, it was a numbnut Nimbit all along (and there was much lamenting on my end of things). The two cloud beings wonder what the big deal about snow is, so they prove they have yet to learn anything from any of the episodes they've been in and make it snow all over Care-a-lot. Elsewhere, McKenna wishes for snow, just as the snowflakes start falling. She takes this as a new property of Care-a-lot (wishing for things makes them come true), but Cheer sets her straight. Grumpy goes on a tirade against snow, but the others just go to get their snowsuits.
Unlike in most episodes, the Nimbits' involvement in the episode is revealed right away, and by themselves, no less. No one seems very worried, though, as Funshine, Cheer, and Share start building a snowman, and McKenna goes off to sled. Meanwhile, Grumpy makes his way through the snow, thinking maybe this time it'll be fun. Little does he know that he's trudging up the same hill McKenna is sledding down, and the two are on a collision course! He ends up on top of her, covering her eyes just as they're about to hit a huge snow bank. And hit it they do, but rather than be shook up and upset, they just laugh it off and head back up the hill to do it again. This is suspicious, especially for Grumpy. No way would he ever be that happy...
The three snowman builders are not pleased with their handiwork (although I laughed when Funshine got annoyed because it had sticks for arms), and sit in the snow and sulk. Grumpy and McKenna sled down to them and confuse the Nimbits with their cheery greetings. When the Nimbits point this out, Grumpy puts it all together: those who were positive earlier are suddenly negative, and those who were negative earlier are positive, which can only mean one thing: the "snow" is actually No Snow, which makes everything negative (and two negatives make a positive, pretty clever for a kids show). The Nimbits repent, but I bet you anything they'll be at it again the next time they show up (oh, please, let that never happen!). Seeing the others so downbeat, Grumpy asks the Nimbits to melt the No Snow, but since they're clouds, they can't do that. So Grumpy asks Funshine to make a sun, but Funshine refuses. Grumpy tries to convince him by rubbing Funshine's belly badge, but Funshine has a negative reaction and distances himself from his friend. McKenna, who has been sledding during all this, notes that the others aren't very happy, and Grumpy explains about the No Snow. McKenna suggests he build a machine that will melt the No Snow, and they're off!
By the next scene, the machine is ready. McKenna and Grumpy take it to the top of the hill, and McKenna muses on how she must have seemed when she was negative. No time to really think about it, though, as the machine doesn't seem to be working. McKenna doesn't really care, since she loves snow, and she gushes on about it. Her extra-positive attitude melts the snow around her feet to Grumpy's amazement. The snow around him starts melting, too, which is a start, but to with so little time left in the episode, they need more than just the two of them. So they sled down the hill to where the rest of the core four are. McKenna's attempt to cheer them up en masse fails, so she takes them on individually, reminding Cheer of her cheer, and soon the two of them have the No Snow melting away. With Cheer's example, it doesn't take much to get Funshine and Share in a better mood, and even the Nimbits get in on the act. Funshine makes a sun that sweeps away all the snow, and there are cheers all around. Except from McKenna, who is in a negative mood again with all the snow gone. Cheer reminds her to just focus on being positive, and this apparently works. Funshine adds that a positive attitude can be catching, but does not give her a badge this time. Although he does wonder what they'll do now that Grumpy's back to normal (that's a joke, son). And the episode ends with everyone laughing as per usual.
I seriously thought this episode was going to be horrible, horrible! Not only does it feature McKenna being a brat again, but it also has magical mishaps thanks to the Nimbits! If ever there was a recipe for a disaster, that is it. But thankfully, the episode managed to lift itself above these elements (mostly thanks to a lot of Grumpy cuteness) and just be a middling episode (the end dragged it down again, sadly. Everyone got positive way too conveniently).
Whyyyyy? Why are the only shows I actually watch being not shown this week? I can understand Heroes and House being pre-empted by election related programming, but there is no reason to not show Pushing Daisies in favor of Dancing with the Stars! At least I still have Ugly Betty to look forward to...
Of course, once I finally get caught up with Shugo Chara, the latest episode is late. And of course that episode would be the first actual plot-related episode of the season (the first two were glorified recaps). This season's enemy was revealed, along with the ? Egg. As Yaya points out in the image, if the first season eggs were called X (batsu, or wrong, as in a wrong answer) Eggs, then this season's eggs are called ? (nazo, or riddle) Eggs.
That just makes me think of if this scene were dubbed, the eggs might be called Why Eggs, with Yaya explaining that since it's not an X Egg, it must a Y Egg. But maybe that's just me.
There's a new game up on AGkidzone.com, but I'm really only pointing it out because it is totally a reworked version of Chip's Challenge, only with way fewer levels (149! I never got that far. I don't think I even made it to level 100...).