During the summer I feel like I’m constantly waiting, anticipating the last week of September when the fall TV season begins. This summer was no different. I already had “my shows” picked out, my TiVo prepped and primed with a new To Do List, quivering with TV thrills. I salivated at the bright, Technicolor dream “Pushing Daisies,” brought to us by Bryan Fuller (“Dead Like Me” and the prematurely canceled “Wonderfalls”), while just barely noticing “Cavemen.” Now before I break any hearts, I do want to mention that I enjoy “Pushing Daisies” and I plan to watch it as long as it stays entertaining, but it just wasn’t as flawless as I anticipated. I had expected a fabulously whimsical fairy tale of unrequited love and unattainable intimacy, but what I got was a flashy and colorful visit to Willy Wonka’s factory. The images far overshadowed the superior writing and acting, and left my teeth throbbing. This is not to say the show is a bust, I just think it was too hyped, too, well, anticipated for its own good.
On the other hand, “Cavemen,” which I had no intention to watch until I discovered that Nick Kroll starred on the show, surprised me the most of any show out this season. The writing is clever, and subtly masks its commentary on social and ethnic prejudice in the form of three hairy and not-so-dim-witted cavemen. I find myself each Tuesday wrapped up in the world of cavemen trying to co-exist with Homo Sapiens. Each week the show slabs on layers of low-brow humor with a few nuggets of truth and honesty. I don’t think it means to send a message to the audience, but it speaks louder about racial inequality than Jesse Jackson at a Neo-Nazi/KKK bake sale. It’s just that good…
Anticipating shows is what I do, but actually getting to genuinely enjoy one is rare. I love “Cavemen” without ever expecting to, and I’m eh about “Pushing Daisies.” I think the best thing for anyone to do is to watch both, and see which one makes the weekly wait worth it each time.
Gwen Reyes writes and maintains the movie blog Reel Vixens (http://www.reelvixens.com/)—which yes, doesn’t get updated enough. She loves feedback and chatting about anything pop culture.