Every now and again we come across a diamond in the rough. One of my greatest discoveries was of Bryan Fuller's sensational show "Pushing Daisies." For those of you who are not familiar with the show, it centers around a pie-maker, Ned, [played by the ever-so-handsome Lee Pace *sigh* ;) ] and his childhood love (Charlotte "Chuck" Charles), brought to life by the incredible Anna Friel. To help round out the cast are such talents as Chi McBride, who is likened to the curmudgeon private-eye, Emerson Cod; Swoosie Kurtz and Ellen Greene as Chuck's reclusive aunts; and Kristin Chenoweth, as one of the pie-shop's waitresses. Girls and boys, I implore you to put down whatever it is you are doing to instead enter a world of imagination, bright colors, murder-mysteries, and perhaps most importantly, pies!
1. Lee Pace
Bless. I mean, do you even need more of a reason?! Who doesn't love a nice southern-boy-gone-yankee-thanks-to-Julliard (Special shout-out to Spring, Texas for nurturing two amazing creatures: Lee Pace and Matt Bomer. Yes you read that correctly. Hold on to your hats, folks)? As a relative newcomer to the non-theatrical acting world, Pace's first major role was as Transgender Trailblazer/Activist/Goddess Calpernia Addams, whose budding relationship with a soldier is chronicled in the aptly named film: "Soldier's Girl." This was a rather unique choice, especially for a newcomer. Had the role not been received well, his Hollywood career may not have existed. He then went to replace Adam Scott as Aaron Tyler in an early Bryan Fuller project: "Wonderfalls." This was the beginning of Pace's and Fuller's relationship that would eventually lead down the path to "Pushing Daisies."
2. Kristin Chenoweth, as Olive Snook
I mean, girl. GURL. Not only is this one of the few occasions in which I find her voice incredible (She sounds nasal and squeaky on the Wicked OST, ugh don't even get me started...), but it also allows Kristin to play a fully realized character. For every time her character, Olive, appears chipper and happy on screen, there are equalizing scenes where she is spitting, curt, and bursting with sarcasm. It's great. She is also a perfect example of the every-girl. She says things such as the above quote (which, let's be honest, just made this really real). She's a character who has the balls to say what others are too often afraid to, which is admirable. Additionally she sings, which is, most often, a gift.
Now, if your soul is not satisfied with one of the above items, let it be satisfied with the cinematographic choices made. In many of today's television shows, we see a desaturated color scheme (e.g: "How To Get Away With Murder"), which promotes a darker environment in which the characters have to interact with one another. Instead, Daisies chose to saturate the color schematic. Yellows are up-played, as are greens, and oranges. It ushers the viewer into a colorful world of imagination and love, that is too often overthought in other shows.
4. Suspension and Invention of Reality
If you're going to sit down and do this you're going to have to suspend and, to a certain extent, re-invent reality. The world inhabited in "Pushing Daisies" is rather fantastical. Darkness exists, but only in the presence of lightness. It's a rather difficult phenomenon to describe, especially without revealing major spoilers. So I implore you to trust me. It's a world unlike anything you've seen. It just makes you smile.
Okay, okay. If any of the four other reasons didn't do it for you, perhaps this will. One of the main locations is Ned, the pie-maker's, shop: "The Pie-Hole."
Aside from the genius name and architectural design, the Pie Hole is home to some of Pushing Daisies' greatest moments. And you only want to gorge yourself on pies for about 85% of the time, I swear! We are taught many important lessons about pie and its holistic benefits. Pie is home. Pie is comforting. Pie can be a slice of sunshine on a cloudy day. Pie can be what you need it to be, at least in this world. And although never too explicitly implied, pie brings people together.
It's a real challenge to get someone into a show like "Pushing Daisies" without ruining any fun surprises, of which it is full. As corny as it is to say, this quirky little show got me through some of the hardest times in my life thus far, and left me smiling. It reminded me that my life is precious and a terrible thing to waste. It also taught me to value my quirks ( I mean, someone has to). It is those who are passionate that find themselves successful in life, which is certainly something to which I aspire. So, grab a friend, a bottle/box/jug of wine, and settle in for 2 seasons of laughs, sharp wit, murder-mysteries, and pies. You won't regret it.