If you’ve been feeling a little dejected lately, Pushing Daisies is the right show for you: Bryan Fuller’s gorgeous fairy tale series is just what you need to kiss the clouds goodbye and let the sunshine in. Get ready to gorge yourself on romance, murder, mystery and pies!
Pushing Daisies (2007-2009): Created by Bryan Fuller (Hannibal, Heroes); 22 episodes over 2 seasons à 45mins; starring Lee Pace (The Hobbit, The Fall, Guardians of the Galaxy), Anna Friel (A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Limitless), Kristin Chenoweth (Glee), Chi McBride (iRobot, Hawaii 5-0).
For fans of: iZombie, Tru Calling, Hannibal, The Fall, Lee Pace, star-crossed lovers, gorgeous art direction, modern fairy tales.
It’s been eight years and I am still desperately clinging to the hope that one day Pushing Daisies will return to our screens. If you’re not familiar with it already, here are five reasons why you might want to acquaint yourself with the show…
1. It’s hopelessly romantic
Pushing Daisies is essentially a modern fairy tale: piemaker Ned (Pace) has an extraordinary gift (besides making the most amazing pastries imaginable): he can revive the dead with a touch of his finger. However, if he touches that person a second time, they will drop dead on the spot and cannot be revived again. When Ned’s childhood sweetheart Charlotte “Chuck” Charles (Friel) is murdered, he resurrects her, fully aware that they will never be able to touch, because as he explains “I just thought my world would be a better place if you were in it.” It is Ned and Chuck’s pure love for each other, which is also reflected in the romantic music composition, that is the heart and soul of the show.
2. It’s gorgeous
Even if you don’t care for romance, it is hard not to be affected by Pushing Daisies’ outstanding visual style. As is befitting to the show’s playful narrative style, most notably its rapid camera movements and transitions, the art direction is extremely rich in colour and contrast, making each episode a true feast for your eyes. It almost feels as if the entire show was a dream sequence, or as if it was animated.
3. It’s full of witty, fast-paced dialogue
It’s probably fair to say that Pushing Daisies isn’t the kind of show you want to watch while ironing your shirts or baking a cake. Not just because you don’t want to miss out on its gorgeous aesthetic, but because it would be difficult to follow the characters’ quick-witted interactions unless you are willing to give each scene your undivided attention. The dialogue is replete with double entendre and wordplay and even becomes melodic at times. Take this wonderful alliterate line from the Pilot for instance:
“I was being selfish. I’d love to tell myself that I was being unselfish, but I know deep down in my primal sweet spot I was being unselfish for selfish reasons.”
4. It celebrates its quirky characters
First and foremost, this goes for Chuck’s aunts Lily and Vivian, one of whom has a lisp and the other one wears a funky eye-patch, who share a deep love for gruyère cheese-crusted pies. But one could argue that Olive Snook (Chenoweth), Ned’s assistant at the pie-shop, is a weirdo in her own right. “When I was younger I thought that masturbation meant chewing your food”, she admits at one point and at another she joins a convent Sound of Music style to protect a secret. Not to mention the myriad of unusual guest-characters like this guy:
5. It’s set in a pie-shop
I think everyone will agree that making a living by managing an organic pie-shop would be ideal. Consequently, you will find yourself thinking of names for your own little (vegan / gluten-free / home-grown ingredients only) café, as Pushing Daisies invites all kinds of fantasies about quitting your job and becoming a small-business owner instead (my café would bec alled Cutie Pies, in case you were wondering).
To binge or not to binge: Try to resist the urge to binge, as there are only 22 episodes. I recommend limiting yourself to three episodes a day at most.
Where can I watch? Both seasons of Pushing Daisies are available for streaming on Amazon and Maxdome, and available for purchase on iTunes and Google Play.