As Cool As A Fruitstand

…and maybe as strange. A movie blog.

Pushing Daisies

Posted by Hedwig on February 16, 2008

Originally, after hearing the premise of Pushing Daisies, I’d dismissed it as ridiculously high-concept: a guy can bring people back from the dead by touching them, but if he then touches them again they die for good. And if he doesn’t touch them again within exactly 1 minute, someone else in random proximity dies.

There is one positive thing about the strike, however: because there are no more new episodes of my favorite shows, I have the time to go back and watch things I probably wouldn’t have otherwise. And Pushing Daisies, while indeed ridiculously high-concept, is also unbelievably fun.

daisies.jpg

It’s a high-wire act that’s being performed here, trying to keep the precise balance between the tweeness and the multitude of mutilated corpses. For instance, the guy, Ned, is a pie-maker (=all too cute), because he can give rotting fruit everlasting flavor – as long as he doesn’t eat his own pies, that is. But due to his ‘gift’ he also works together with a P.I., Emerson Cod, because corpses can sometimes, in 60 seconds, give useful clues as to who murdered them.

The corpses are a great part of the show, with tire-tracks on their faces, hoof-impressions, etc. And Emerson, as played by Chi McBride, is a vital ingredient, a surly, cynical guy who provides a much needed counterpoint to all the cuteness… and loves knitting.

I know, I know, there’s practically no way of describing this show that makes is seem bearable. Especially not if I add that the pie-maker brings back to life his childhood sweetheart Chuck after she got murdered on a cruise ship. He can’t bring himself to kill her again, of course, and so the two go on, living together, in love but unable to touch. And if I then tell you that Chuck sends her two grieving aunts pies with mood enhancers baked into them, and that these aunts used to be synchronized swimmers called the Darling Mermaid Darlings, well… I can’t imagine anyone would want to give it a try.

But please, do so anyway. Because there might be an overdose of quirk here, but the dialogue is incredibly well-written, well-performed (Kristen Chenoweth as lovelorn Olive Snook is brilliant), and incredibly funny. And it doesn’t look like anything else out there: while later episodes have been a little more subdued than the first two, Barry Sonnenfeld-directed ones, the saturated colors and stylized compositions make this a thrill just to look at. I probably wouldn’t have given this show a chance without the writer’s strike, but there is a drawback of course: only 9 episodes were aired, and now I can’t wait until fall, when there will finally be new ones.

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3 Responses to “Pushing Daisies”

  1. Nick Plowman said

    This show started about a month ago in SA, and it certainly makes my Tuesdays a lot brighter. It is so cleverly written and the art direction is very beautiful, it actually makes you feel sickly good inside, just like the feeling you would get if you ate any of the magnificent pies that are made in the witty titled “Pie Hole”. This is one of my favourites.

  2. sarcastig said

    It’s still not showing on Dutch TV… Luckily I have a very fast internet connection.

    And I agree, it’s so sweet you think it’d make you sick, but it just stays there on the balance, like a good pie. One thing’s for sure: I’m going to try to bake a pear pie with gruyère baked into the crust. Although I think I’ll skip the mood enhancers 😉

  3. Lol, it does sound great doesn’t it? That show makes me hungry every time!

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