Pushing Daisies is a compelling and hilarious story about a man who can touch the dead and bring them back to life. Despite this slightly strange fantasy world that Fuller has created, the show is very real. There is something special, something magical, about Pushing Daisies that beautifully ties in real life emotions and relationships with whimsy and comedy. The writing, cinematography, soundtrack, acting, and Olive’s occasional musical outbursts are what make this show the great show it is.
The facts were these…Ned the piemaker can bring the dead back to life with a single touch but only for a minute. If that person stays alive for more than a minute, another person has to die. When his childhood sweetheart, Charlotte “Chuck” Charles, is found dead, he chooses to let his love live and let somebody else die. He must now live with his childhood love but never touch her again because if he does, she’ll be dead again forever. The couple goes on investigative cases with their private investigator friend, Emerson Cod and the snarky and wonderful waitress of The Pie Hole, Olive Snook. These four go on crazy adventures of solving murders but also self-discovery. The story of Pushing Daisies just completely entices you and pulls you into this hour long fun, comical, and even sometimes, emotional roller coaster ride that keeps you coming back for more.
The writing on Pushing Daisies is absolutely superb. Bryan Fuller and the rest of the writing team should be extremely proud of what they’ve created with their words. The witty retorts from one character to another compliment the emotional and intimate moments that each character has. Not only that but after reading some scripts, I have read how imaginative Fuller’s mind can be. He’s extremely descriptive and knows exactly what he wants from the show. Which brings me to my next point: the set design and cinematography.
Pushing Daisies is a visually powered show. The Amélie-esque color scheme pops right out at you and you’re immediately taken into this whole new world. Each set is intricately designed and put together. Even if the location has like a 2-minute shot, you can still tell that the set designers worked really hard to not miss a single detail in making the set look as visually pleasing as possible. Speaking of visually pleasing, the cinematography is just grand. Like I said above, Bryan Fuller knows what he exactly wants in the show, so he does mostly write in all of the camera movements in his scripts. But when you actually see everything come to life, the close ups, the wide shots and everything in between, the show becomes something more. The set design and cinematography go hand in hand in complimenting this show visually and making everything work.
Adding to the show’s artistic beauty is the show’s soundtrack. Grand orchestral themes play throughout the show showcase the magical world of Pushing Daisies. The fast tempo and big hits from the orchestra make the show an even more exciting experience to watch as you are brought along on these investigative adventures. Not only that but there are also sweet, small, and simple themes during the more serious moments of the show. As a whole, he soundtrack gives the show an even more cinematic feel and sets the show in a more heightened reality.
Now, the acting in this show is beyond phenomenal. The cast work so well together and their chemistry between each other can definitely be seen when watching the show. Lee Pace (Ned) and Anna Friel (Chuck Charles) have such a great dynamic between each other and when they’re on screen together, sparks fly. Then, there’s Chi McBride (Emerson Cod) and Kristin Chenoweth (Olive Snook) who serve as perfect and sassy comedic relief. They all deliver their lines so well and their facial expressions and small gestures are some of the more hilarious moments in the show. Also, Swoosie Kurtz (Lily Charles) and Ellen Greene (Vivian Charles), as Chuck’s aunts are fantastic. They play so well off of each other and are always enjoyable to watch on screen. In addition to the great cast, there are also brilliant guest stars, too, like Raúl Esparza as Alfredo Aldarisio, Molly Shannon and Mike White as Dilly and Billy Balsam, and David Arquette as Randy Mann. The acting on this show will make you laugh and cry tears of joy and sadness. The whole cast is just absolutely wonderful.
Pushing Daisies is a truly magical show that will keep your heart filled with joy, happiness, and hope. It’s hilarious, action packed, and everything in between. If I had one complaint about the show, it would be that it was cancelled way too soon. One can only hope Bryan Fuller is writing a Pushing Daisies musical or that Netflix will pick up the show. Until then, I can only sit and enjoy the show as it is, and you should too.
this article was written by former Staffer Monica Codina