Friday, January 14, 2011

Pushing Daisies

"I suppose dying's as good an excuse as any to start living"
--Chuck Charles

Pushing Daisies.
My obsession with it borders on the unhealthy.
But, just like a great big slice of pie teaches us, the truly delicious is best experienced in unhealthy amounts.
Never since When Curiosity Met Insanity have I encountered a more adorable, addicting, innocent, and endearing love story. 
Never have I giggled at innuendos as clever and as sharp. Never have I marveled over dialogue as clever and as hilarious. 
This show is what we colloquially would deem: a winner.

1) The Colors

Pushing Daisies is a feast for the eyes. The colors of the world are brilliant and brightly saturated. The world has a quirky, fairy-tale-ish quality. It's endearing and charming.

2) The dialogue. 
Oh, the dialogue. There are a plethora of quotes that I love peppered through this post, because I simply cannot restrict myself. But in case you, like myself, can never get enough, here are a choice few:

"Just because there's a dead body doesn't mean I have to touch it."--Ned
"Just because there is vodka in my freezer it doesn't mean I have to drink it. Wait, yes it does."--Emerson Cod

"I'm sure it's just the mailman. Or a windmill-to-windmill salesman." --Olive

"That ain't a grain of salt. That's one of those blocks they give cows to lick."--Emerson

“Is it vodka?”—Lily Charles

“As in Russian for vodka?”—Lily Charles

"You said you wanted to know who killed me so that justice could be served. See, I don't think that "Justice" was on the menu. Maybe as a side dish, but not as an entrée."--Chuck
"It was most definitely an entrée. It was a Special of the Day. Could we drop the metaphor?" --Ned

3) The actors. They're all lovely, adorable, and witty to a fault.

Ned, The Piemaker- played by Lee Pace.

"Everything we do is a choice. Oatmeal or cereal, highway or sidestreets, kiss her or keep her. We make choices, and we live with consequences. If someone gets hurt along the way, we ask for forgiveness, it's the best anyone can do."--Ned

Ned, a.k.a. The Piemaker, is adorable, quirky, and endearingly awkward. Having discovered his unusual and peculiar talent (raising people from the dead) at a tender age, Ned has dealt with the moral ramifications and the consequences (both disastrous and delightful) of his supernatural abilities ever since. His heart is made of pure gold, which keeps him, if not exactly on the straight and narrow, at least on a more or less zig-zag path of morality. His sweet, innocent love for Chuck melts the heart, and makes you want to blubber, giggle, sigh, or hug a everyone and everything in sight.

"You don't know nothin about her except she had soft lips when she was ten!"--Emerson Cod
"That should be enough."--Ned

Charlotte "Chuck" Charles-played by Anna Friel

"I'd kiss you if it wouldn't kill me."--Charlotte "Chuck" Charles
Charlotte, a.k.a. Chuck is as sassy and as sweet as they come. After being raised from the dead by Ned, she's the sweetness and warmth in the Piemaker's lonely life, like golden organic honey in cup of black coffee. Chuck loves Ned, but being fiercely independent, she's constantly working on staring her own life anew, which is difficult, considering that the man she loves is the man she owes her new life to. However, if the man she loved hadn't inadvertantly killed her father, then maybe she wouldn't have died in the first place. Yeah. It's complicated.

Emerson Cod-played by Chi McBride

"In the third grade I did a report on great whites. Discovered we were a lot alike seein' as how we're both misunderstood bad*sses."--Emerson Cod

Emerson Cod: Private Investigator extraordinaire, and a regular at the Pie Hole. What sets Emerson apart from just your average hard-boiled private eye is his affinity for knitting and his hobby of pop-up book crafting. His sardonic humor steals the show and my heart. A perpetual cynic and wise-guy, Emerson slowly (but surely) reveals his soft and cuddly side over time.

"The truth ain't like puppies: a bunch running around and you pick your favorite."--Emerson

Olive Snook-played by Kristin Chenoweth
"I spent so much time praying, I've run out of things to say. I'm having awkward silences with God!"--Olive Snook
Olive Snook. No one sassier. No one more passionate, ridiculous, well-meaning, and downright bewitching. Pipsqueak develops from an tag-along and odd-man-out in the Piemaker-Chuck-Emerson trio to an essential part of the Pie Hole family. Olive harbors a not-so-secret love for Ned. While other men appear in her life throughout the series, they are but little strikes of a match on tinder compared to the flame that Olive holds for Ned. Olive strikes up an unlikely friendship with Chuck's spinster aunts, providing them with a link to the outside world, pie, and lots of tender love.

“Did you tell them I was alive?”--Chuck
“Kinda think that would make their little heads explode. What was that rhyme? "I scream, you scream, we all scream 'cause you faked your death!"—Olive

The Narrator. Voiced by Jim Dale.
"Chuck, you’re the only human being I’ve ever made alive again to stay."--Ned
"He lied."-- The Narrator

Hilarious. Snarky. Sentimental. Amazing.

"In her own way, Olive identified with the plight of the abandoned pie. It was meant for someone who, without a little effort, would never be with the one it was meant to be with."--Narrator

4) The Quirky Combination of a Fairy-Tale and a Whodunnit

"So a kiss is out of the question?" --Chuck
"I've lost my train of thought."--Ned

Think of it as a twist on the Sleeping Beauty tale: only the touch of a handsome prince/piemaker can awake the beautiful princess from her eternal slumber. But, there's a catch. If the prince/piemaker ever touches his true love again, she'll fall asleep again, but this time the prince is out of luck. Nothing will ever awake her again. This fractured fairy-tale is juxtaposed with crime-busting activities, and the solving of slightly gruesome murders, led by Emerson Cod. While Chuck waltzes around in beautiful dresses, and has the disposition worthy of any Disney Princess, she eagerly forces her way into Emerson an Ned's crime fighting gig, and sets out to solve mysteries with the pluck and determination of an Agatha Christie sleuth. Ned is everything a prince in a fairy-tale should be. Except that if he kisses the princess, she'll fall down dead. Ned's and Chuck's happily ever after is happy, but nonetheless teeming with adventure.

"You can't die of evilness."--Emerson Cod
"Happens all the time you do something mean or hurtful to someone like tell a secret... Bang! You're dead."--Chuck
"Or Bang! You're not really dead you're just pretending to be dead while other people who think you're dead are heartbroken"--Olive
"Or Bang! You talk too much and you both go wait in the car. "--Emerson

5) PIE.
"Well, it's pretty much I bake pies and wake the dead. I live a very sheltered life."--Ned

The whole series revolves around a pieshop where a handsome piemaker bakes succulent, picture-perfect pies. Pies are a backdrop, a plot device, and in general a theme for the series. If you're a pie fanatic, then you should love the show already. If you haven't discovered homey comfort and piquant quaintness that is pie, this show will reveal to you all the beauty of pie.

You've had enough convincing. Do yourself a favor, bake a pie, and sit down with a slice to watch Pushing Daisies. It'll make you very, very happy.

"Oh, everyone wants stuff. We wake up everyday with a list of wishes a mile long and maybe we spend our lives trying to make those wishes come true, but just because we want them doesn't mean we need them to be happy." --Ned

"What do you need to be happy?"--Chuck


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