Each week, one of Biff Bam Pop’s illustrious writers will delve into one of their favorite things. Perhaps it’s a movie or album they’ve carried with them for years. Maybe it’s something new that moved them and they think might move you too. Each week, a new subject, a new voice writing on… something they love.
This week we have the pleasure of having Sarah Hawkins Miduski share her love of the television series “Pushing Daisies,” after the jump.
Before he played Ronan the Accuser or rode an Elk through Middle-Earth, actor Lee Pace played Ned the Pie Maker in the Bryan Fuller created show “Pushing Daisies.”
The show was filled with bright colors, quirky characters, and Howard Hawks screwball comedy dialogue. It was creative, brilliant, so of course it met its demise too soon.
Have you ever watched a movie, a show, or read a book and thought,
“Whoever made this must know what it’s like to be inside of my head?”
That was what I thought when I witnessed the first promo for the ABC show “Pushing Daisies.”
I was hooked before the first episode ever aired.
I should apologize to Bryan Fuller for that. Since “My-So-Called Life” I have a history of falling in love with shows that end up abruptly cancelled. I have left many casualties in my enthusiastic wake.
Ned is a sweet, introverted young man, who spends his days baking delicious pies at his shop called, The Pie Hole.
I love pie so this probably contributed to my adoration of the show.
Ned has a special gift. He can bring dead things back to life. This would be amazing if it wasn’t for the rules.
– Touch a dead thing once, alive. Touch a second time, it is dead forever.
– Keep the dead thing alive for more than a minute and something or someone else of equal value must die.
What would be the best use of such a gift, other than reviving dead fruit for pie… solving crimes of course.
Ned reluctantly teams up with Emerson Cod, a private investigator. Ned wakes up murder victims, asks them who murdered them and Emerson collects the reward to a crime well solved. The murders are inventive and silly. I have now developed a fear of death by scratch-and-sniff.
The plot complicates when Ned is asked to help solve the murder of his childhood sweetheart, Charlotte Charles, called Chuck. Ned wakes Charlotte but can’t bring himself to touch her again. Chuck stays alive, loves Ned back, and the two must figure out how to navigate a relationship where they can never touch each other.
Chuck must also learn to live a life where no one, including her loved ones, can know she is a modern day Lazarus.
Things get more complicated from there, which is one of the reasons I loved the show, and perhaps one of the reasons the network did not. The network thought that people tuning into an episode other than the pilot would never be able to understand what in the heck was going on. This is why every single episode includes narration and a narrative recap of the show’s premise that would get tiresome to regular viewers if not for the fact that the narrator is Jim Dale of Harry Potter audio book fame.
The characters are my favorite part of “Pushing Daisies.” Ned and Chuck are sweet, delightful and neurotic. Maybe Chuck is a little too eager and Ned a little too needy, but no relationship is perfect.
Olive Snook, played by perky Kristin Chenoweth, is a retired jockey who works in the pie shop and is not so secretly in love with Ned.
Lily and Vivian are Chuck’s eccentric cheese loving former synchronized swimming star ‘aunts.’ The show is worth watching just to see what blinged-out outfit matching eye patch Aunt Lily will wear each episode.
I wish there was an episode that involved Lily’s eye patch supplier.
My favorite character is Emerson Cod. He is a private detective who knits his own gun holsters and is an aspiring pop-up book author.
Emerson eats sarcasm flakes for breakfast. He’s the kind of character that says the things that you wish you could say to people but don’t because you either can’t think of it until a conversation is hours past, or you are just too darn polite.
Other characters include guest stars that make the viewer point and say,
“Hey it’s… Joel McHale, Rikki Lindhome, Paul Rubens, Eric Stonestreet, etc…”
Darn the Writers Guild Writers’ Strike of 2007-2008. The writers’ strike seemed to be the catalyst that brought about the show’s demise.
The show was just starting to gain momentum when the strike occurred and all production had to come to a halt. When the strike ended, ABC decided to give the show some breathing room. Instead of confusing people by airing new episodes, they would re-launch the show at the start of the new fall TV season.
After the first few fall episodes aired, the network, who was supposed to be up until that point absolutely gaga for the show, pulled the plug due to low ratings. They didn’t give viewers, like me, anytime to obsess over the show and then try to recruit new viewers. The show was there one week and gone the next leaving so many loose ends untied.
There have been many rumors concerning the future of “Pushing Daisies.” Bryan Fuller tried to continue the story via comic book, but when the publisher who had agreed to the project went under, so did any hope of seeing Ned and Chuck’s continued comic book romance.
Rumors abound that there could be a revival of the show on something like Netflix or Amazon Prime, a movie funded by Kickstarter like “Veronica Mars” perhaps. A stage musical has even been whispered into the wind, but nothing has been confirmed and it appears that like its name, the show will forever more be pushing daisies and I will forever be mourning by its graveside.