TV is the answer

Beth Carpenter

If you’ve ever wanted to watch a television show that can be described as “quirky” or “Tim Burton-esque,” then “Pushing Daisies” is the show for you. With the tagline “what if you didn’t have to be dead?”, “Pushing Daisies” may be a little morbid at times, but its overall lighthearted tone shines through.
The show began in October 2007 and ended its run in June 2009 after just two seasons and 22 episodes in total. There is not an episode among those 22 that I do not enjoy watching again and again.
“Pushing Daisies” was the brainchild of Bryan Fuller, who is perhaps most known for his other unsuccessful forays into television: “Dead Like Me” and “Wonderfalls”, both shows I enjoy immensely as well. Perhaps his ideas are too quirky for mainstream TV and he just needs to find a cable channel willing to support any idea that pops into his head.
The cast of “Pushing Daisies” is phenomenal as well – Lee Pace stars as Ned the Pie-maker, a man who can bring dead people back to life with a single touch. In the first episode, he brings back his childhood sweetheart, Charlotte Charles, known as Chuck, played to perfection by Anna Friel.
Unfortunately, once Ned has touched a dead person, he cannot touch them again or they will die, this time forever, which causes no end of troubles for the pie-maker and his sweetheart.
Ned owns The Pie Hole, a homey pie shop with fresh-baked pie every day. It seriously sounds like the best place on the planet, and I would probably try to live there if it actually existed.
The only other employee of The Pie Hole is Olive Snook, played by Kristin Chenoweth. The show allows her to use her not-inconsiderable vocal talents as she sings songs such as “Hopelessly Devoted to You” while contemplating the unrequited love she feels for Ned.
To supplement his pie-making income, Ned also works with private investigator Emerson Cod, played by Chi McBride, a knitter and pop-up-book maker as well as successful detective. Together they solve murder cases as Ned revives the victims so they can ask who killed them.
As if the great cast wasn’t enough, it’s also narrated by Jim Dale, and if you’ve never heard Jim Dale say, “Oh, hell no,” then you are really missing out.
Most episodes are stand-alone, moving from one murder case to the next, always filled with a quirky cast of characters, from a group of polygamous dog breeders to angry beekeepers.
The show is filled with fast-moving dialogue that puts the Gilmore girls to shame as well as with double talk, such as a town named Coeurs d’Coeurs and the Boutique Travel Travel Boutique. Puns and sarcasm abound, and often I find myself seeing new visual gags and hearing new jokes that I hadn’t picked up the first time around.
“Pushing Daisies” is usually hilarious, sometimes poignant and always excellent. It’s well worth finding the episodes and spending an afternoon or two in the world that Bryan Fuller created to perfection.

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