I really love describing Pushing Daisies to other people who have never heard of it. “Its a beautiful, colourful, sappy romantic show…” “Oh how lovely!” “…about violent murder and death.” “Whaaaaaaat.”
Created by Bryan Fuller, Pushing Daisies follows the story of Ned the Piemaker (played by the excessively perfect Lee Pace) who has the unique and disturbing power of bringing people back to life with just one touch. The drawback is that if he touches them again, they die again, for good this time. And if the person is alive for more than one minute, someone else dies. Ned and his powers are enlisted by Emerson Cod (Chi McBride), a private investigator, as he can now talk to murder victims, get them to tell him who killed them, so he can then solve the case and get the reward. In the first episode, Ned and Emerson come across Chuck, Ned’s childhood sweetheart who has died. Ned brings her back to life, and then, obviously, can never touch her again.
Sounds pretty morbid, so you wouldn’t expect it to look like this:
It only ran for two seasons, which is devastating, because honestly I miss this show like a person. Despite the less than comedic premise, Pushing Daisies is both hilarious and heartwarming. Ned the Piemaker, due to his unique gifts, is exceptionally socially awkward, but endearingly charming. In addition to his relationship with Chuck, he also has a hilarious relationship with his employee, Olive (played by Kristin Chenoweth), who is not-so-secretly in love with him. What Olive lacks in height, she makes up for with enthusiasm, and her antics involving her crush on Ned form a lot of the comedic sub plots in the series.
If you were a fan of things like Better Off Ted, Dr Horrible’s Sing-A-Long Blog, or campy shows that are basically the TV equivalent of a warm hug, give Pushing Daisies a chance.
Be warned though, if you marathon this show, please prepare yourself for the disappointment of coming back to the real world after the cartoonish-ly cheery colour and heart-seizing romance of the world of Pushing Daisies.
Side Note: Bryan Fuller is also the creative developer, writer and executive producer of the American Gods TV series and the Star Trek: Discovery TV series coming out in 2017, both of which I am really looking forward to seeing. In addition to Pushing Daisies, he was also head honcho for the Hannibal TV series which I really loved.