Thursday, October 02, 2008

Pushing Daisies: GLORIOUS!

I don't know what it is about Pushing Daisies, but it fills me with a feeling of pure, unadulterated joy that no other program has ever given me. Not Buffy (sorry), not Lost (really sorry), not anything. Both those shows were ones where I was on the edge of my seat week after week, barely unable to contain my excitement at what the week would bring. I would watch them, then immediately watch again for anything in the background that I might have missed the first time. (And in the case of Lost, again... and again... and again... frak, I missed that? Again... and again...)

But Pushing Daisies is a show where I immediately start it over just to be filled with the warm fuzzies again. I'm never looking in the background, I simply want to enjoy the beauty of this unique and amazing show all over again.

The first season was only 9 episodes, but they were 9 sublime, perfect episodes. (I was talking to my friend Crissy today and said I've decided I'm going to buy the DVDs after all, just to watch them over and over again... I buy EVERY show on DVD, but I watch it one more time and that's it. Unless I'm writing on it.) I worried they might have changed the formula or switched things up for season 2.

Luckily, they didn't change A THING.

The episode opened with probably a 7-minute rundown of season 1, summed up so perfectly you wouldn't even have to watch season 1 in order to watch season 2 (but oh, you must, because it's just THAT good). Those colours... those clothes... that music-box music... that wonderful, WONDERFUL voice of the narrator. When he brought us up to date on the life of Ned and Chuck and then said Ned went on to become (camera moving down a street, zeroing in on the Pie Hole, flying through the doors and moving in on a close-up of Ned standing with arms crossed in front of him) "The Pie-Makah" I squeeeeeeed. Right out loud, just SQUEEEED. I was SO happy. And then when we found out a woman died, and it suddenly zipped into her life story and the narrator said, "The facts were these," I did it again. I LOVE THAT VOICE. I want him to sit by my bed and tell me bedtime stories to put me to sleep every night.

I watch this show with a stupid grin on my face the whole time. I swear my heart beats faster. That silly grin on Chuck's face most of the time? That's me watching the show. When Olive was spinning on the mountaintop like Maria in The Sound of Music, I was bellowing with laughter. When Emerson was playing with his "Li'l Gumshoe" pop-up book, my hands were clasped before me in pure joy. When the two aunts showed up at the Pie Hole, I gasped in horror. My reactions to what happen on the show are as over-the-top and melodramatic as the show itself. I swear one of these days I'm going to slap the back of my hand to my forehead and fall to the ground.

And when French Stewart guest-starred, I wondered if this may be the greatest program of all time. (Did anyone else watch Third Rock from the Sun JUST for him? I LOVE HIM.) Sure, the crime didn't make a lot of sense and they never really explained how he encased himself in bees or did the whole queen bee thing, but that didn't matter... the crime rarely matters in this show, it's just a quirky, weird thing that's added. It's the magnificent set design, the bright colours, the adorable little dresses Chuck wears (how awesome was her old-fashioned lingerie??), the music...

I think it might actually be the fact it all looks like a storybook from childhood, told by a grandfatherly voice with the children's music playing in the background. Maybe there's some subconcious return to the innocence of our youth that we fall into, completely unknowingly, and for one hour, all the troubles and stresses of our lives just fall away. I don't know what it is, but I feel like Chuck's aunts after they eat her herbally-enhanced pie: I'm so incredibly happy, and I have no idea why, and I don't care.

Pushing Daisies is magical. Please check it out if you haven't already. Don't make me gush to no avail.


MW said...

'Pushing Daisies' have pushed the envelope. One of the most surreal series to ever grace the TV. Hope it will continue for many seasons to come. 'Lost' has all the ingredient for a perfect drama, but 'Pushing Daisies' is an original dramedy with an identity of its own. I was glad that it won 'Outstanding Directing' and 'Outstanding Music' in the recent Emmy. The best deserves recognition.

Roland said...

Hey Nikki
I must admit that the show is beautifully shot, I'm amazed by the graphics. Unfortunately the ratings took a big tumble, not sure if its the absence from the strike. I do think they will have a hard time trying to keep it novel with the whole can't touch her thing. Viewers are a fickle bunch aren't they?

Brian Douglas said...

You enjoy this show too much. Are you sure Olive isn't delivering any of Chuck's pies to YOU?

Crissy Calhoun said...

i'm with you, Nix. this show makes me so happy. i am in love with every single character...but mainly Ned. and Chuck. and Olive. and...oh nevermind.

roland: the whole Chuck-and-Ned-can't-touch is still a part of the show but not the focus, at all. this week, there were a few moments about the no-touch touches -- with Ned's dog-hand and with Chuck's bee suit on -- but the tension in their relationship was about finding and making a home.

I hope people start watching this show. It truly is magical. I should go watch it again. Lurve.

Michelle Rowen said...

This was my #1 favorite show last year for all the reasons you state. I don't know why, but I watched the premiere the other night and was sad that the magic had left the building for me. I'm going to try it again, but this year it just seems a bit too silly for me. Sigh. I hope I can get back into it. Stupid strike.

The narrator, Jim Dale, also voices the Harry Potter audiobooks. So you can definitely have him read you to sleep if you want him to. :-)

Danielle said...

I just simply love this show. You nailed it - it feels you with joy and makes you smile. And to top it off, on the October 7 episode (the one with the clowns), Chuck was wearing a blouse I own!!
Love it.