When I heard I was getting a chance to see Push, I couldn’t wait to write about Dakota Fanning fighting evil with kick ass, telekinetic super powers. Then I discovered that it was not an upcoming, utterly mediocre film, but an utterly mediocre web series called Pushed. Guess what? No Dakota. No super powers. No Dice!
The answer to the not-so-eternal web question, “Does suspense translate into 3 min clips?”, has been answered. So far it’s no. Brought to us by the WB and (I can’t even believe this is on the same site as Childrens’ Hospital), Pushed wants us to be riveted when all we can do is shrug.
Successful model, London has some hang-ups. When she was a kid she pushed (get it?!?) her mother off a hiking trail (issues). Never convicted, she stands to inherit her mother’s considerable $80 million wealth. And her conniving husband wants it. See, he secretly digs London’s do-nothing sister, Sasha, who conveniently lives with them. Sasha asks country bumpkin Zip to be her live-in boyfriend to throw London off the scent of her affair. You follow?
London frequently has video chats with her shrink because she kind of sees dead people (like her mother). London’s father pops up from time to time to talk business with the husband. They’re partners in something called “Booze Cube” or Booze Cue” (or maybe it was “Dushku“?). But the husband doesn’t like his deal.
Before you can say Keyser Soze, it seems the shrink has something to hide, as well. And what’s the deal with Zip? Does he really have a thing for London? Was that really his girlfriend in a mental hospital?
Throw in some PG-13 Sliver sexual encounters (why am I dropping Sliver two weeks in a row?) and you have Pushed; a series of reveals with no real plot development. It’s an uninspired take on the “let’s film everything in one house” genre of web television (insert numerous examples here). Seriously, WB, you want to make money, but you don’t want to give the budgets for consistent quality? Please, there has to be more.
I suppose this could be mindless, soapy fun if any of the characters were particularly engaging, but they’re not. The cast is uniformly meh. Catherine Hicks (we’ll always have The Voyage Home) plays the shrink like someone has her under house arrest. Did someone cut off her 7th Heaven residuals? I welcomed the comeback of William (formerly Billy) Moses. This may date me, but this guy would rage on Battle of the Network Stars. He was right up there with top celebrity athletes like Gabe Kaplan.
So, kudos, Mr. Moses. Welcome back. Pushed should be about Billy Moses and Gabe Kaplan as two dudes that can tell when you’re lying. I feel like I’ve been pushed. To the edge of my sanity.
And now a word about “snark.” David Denby recently released a book about how snarkiness is like “pink eye” and is ruining public discourse and modern criticism. Snark is as omnipresent on the web as porn, yes. I, of course, am as guilty as any web contributor of snarkiness (did you read that 7th Heaven line?). Denby is absolutely right.
However, most of what we are being given as entertainment (music, movies, television,the web) is becoming so homogenized and so, well, mediocre, that our only release is snark. Yes, many may spew bile and hide behind the anonymity of the web, but give us something that actually entertains us and perhaps the snark will cease.
It’s not the cause, its the effect. Of too much crap. Until that day comes, I will try to do my part to foster civil conversation. Right after I go see Push. With a smile.