The best way for me to describe how I feel about this show is explaining my physical reaction to it, and here it is. After each of the nine episodes in the first season, I found myself grinning from ear to ear, filled with what many refer to as “warm fuzzies.” I can’t think of a show that has made me this instantaneously happy in a very, very long time. I think the last one was Arrested Development… I’m starting to see a depressing pattern here.
Pushing Daisies is truly beautiful television. It’s whimsical, quick, dark, colorful, musical, and ridiculous. It’s got my favorite thing, URST, in its most potent form (the two lovers can’t even touch!) and yet I don’t mind it! Maybe it’s because I not only want Lee Pace but delusionally think I can have him (as opposed to David Boreanaz, who is pure fantasy but happily married, good for you, whatever, ugh) so maybe I enjoy that Anna Friel is keeping her cute-ass hands off him. Sed digredior. Their love, based in childhood innocence but maintained by mature adult restraint, is delicate yet deep, simple yet profound, and it’s so lovely to watch the two of them. The actors share a unique chemistry, obviously complicated by the fact that they cannot touch, but enhanced by it, too. And the ways in which they do touch are that much more creative; they kiss through saran wrap, they dance in beekeepers costumes, they hold their own hands while staring in to each other’s eyes.
Some might say the show is absurd, and maybe that’s true. It’s layers of absurd conditions piled on top of each other very carefully, creating an absurd layer cake, or pie I guess I should say. But I see it as an example of the creative capability of the human mind, and Bryan Fuller’s mind in particular. He’s created this world, filled with pie and reanimation and private eyes and crazy outfits and makeup and all this wonderful stuff, and he’s developed it enough to allow absurd things to seem perfectly normal in it. Someone can drive a car that runs on dandelions. Someone can have insanely sensitive olfactory glands. Someone can be a champion synchronized swimmer. Yes, of course. Why wouldn’t these things happen?
And then there’s Chi McBride and Kristen Chenoweth. It’s hard to forget these two superstars, even though I’m smitten with both lead players (LEE PACE WILL BE MINE ALL MINE). Kristen is delightful in anything she does, because she’s so goddamn cute and talented. And Chi balances the straight and the sassy lines so well. He also delivers some of the faster-paced quips quite brilliantly (and there are a lot, turn up the volume on your TV to catch them all). God and then there’s Swoozie Kurtz and Ellen Greene. Kurtz gets all the accolades because she’s more famous, but I actually love Greene’s character and performance more. They’re all so free to create these wacky characters because it’s a wacky world, but yet they’ve reeled themselves in to create beautiful, relatable, realistic people. Just watch this show. Enjoy it. It’s meant to be enjoyed.