Every few years, there come a few shows that are really, really fantastic and that combines great writing, great acting, and great sets.
And then there are shows that turn conventional television all on its head.
Pushing Daisies was that sort of show. For one thing, its writing was, to say the least, odd – many characters had alliterative names (such as “Chuck” Charles and her dad Charles Charles), the ways people died were…exotic, and the dialogue was incredibly fast-paced. The whole story seemed like a wonderful fairy-tale, a love story where neither Ned nor Chuck (the amazing duo of Lee Pace and Anna Friel) could touch, where Olive (Kristin Chenoweth, in possibly her best role since Glenda in the original cast of Wicked), and where private eye Emerson Cod can’t do much without Ned’s assistance (and knitting).
Here’s a little sample of Pushing Daisies:
Frankly, though, it was the sets that really set the show apart from others. Michael Weaver, the cinematographer for the show, once said that it should “feel somewhere between Amélie and a Tim Burton film — something big, bright and bigger than life.” And, indeed, it was – it was bright, it was colorful, it was a pop-up-storybook-esque setting – quite odd, considering every show involved a murder, with others involving fraud and embezzling.
But what carried it was the love story of Ned and Chuck – childhood sweethearts seeing each other, longing to touch and embrace, but having to express their love to each other in different ways. That was, despite all the great dialogue, despite all the color, and despite all the death into life (and back into death again), the most beautiful part of Pushing Daisies.
Rest in peace, one of the most original shows on television.
Join me for next week’s installment of Saturday Night Stuff I Like, where I discuss the ringworm-like growth of support I have for Lady Gaga.