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Wednesday, 16 March 2016

Why We Love Pushing Daisies

Dearest hearts,

In a world where all people talk about hate and chaos and disorder, I prefer to "look at the bright side of life" and immerse myself in books and movies/tv-series that show the world in a more comforting color. "Pushing Daisies" does just that - for the amount of time that you watch the series, it manages to get you out of the world now, out of the moment, and get you thinking that there are beautiful things out there, in the world, if only you search for them. It gets you thinking that life comes in many shapes and sizes and that even though not always love is returned, life can still amaze you and you would still have your own story to tell. "Pushing Daisies" seems like a fairytale land taken from the 40s... where everything is just a tad more colorful and alive than our world nowdays. "Pushing Daisies" tells the story of Ned - the pie maker - that has a very specific and out of the ordinary gift: he can bring people back to life, only with his touch! 
But there is a downside to that - SPOILER ALERT!!! - if the person/being that he brings to life stays more than a minute alive, another has to take its place (a person in the closest proximity). He helps private detective Emerson in his "quests", but he soon is faced to his childhood sweetheart, Chuck - and yes, she is dead! Of course he wakes her up to see whom killed her, and solve the mistery for Emerson... but he doesn't put her back to "the everlasting sleep"... add to all that the lovely and talented Olive Snook that works at the pie shop run by Ned, and that she is very much in love with him + "Chuck's" 2 talented aunts (the retired Darling Mermaids Darling) and you have yourself a weird but yet very sparkly and bubbly cast. 
Without any further ado, let me share with you why we love "Pushing Daisies" - even though, sadly, it had only 2 seasons to present itself to the world:
  1. Because of The Pie Hole = Ned's pie shop. As he also points it out to the audience: Pie is home. Pie is comforting. Pie can be a slice of sunshine on a cloudy day. Pie can be what you need it to be, at least in this world. And although never too explicitly implied, pie brings people together. I don't think there is one episode with a good and hearty conversation over a piece of pie... it's addictive! At a certain point you might start believe that pie is the secret key to the universe ;))
  2. The uncanny resemblance every episode has to one of the most wonderful movie on this blessed earth: Amelie. From the very first second the narrator starts telling us Ned's story, it was as if I was having a deja vue... watching Amelie but in a slightly different way... starting with their childhood dramas (death of their mothers) to the daddy issues... to the helping of the people they love (most particularly in this case "Chuck" helping her aunts by baking them special pie "enhanced" with homeopathic substances, to make them feel better). If you don't believe me, that means you just haven't payed attention to Amelie Poulain (played awesomely by Audrey Tautou) - SHAME ON YOU!
  3. The main masculine role: Ned, played marvelously by Lee Pace (whom you might know as Legolas elf father in The Hobbit trilogy). Ned is one of a kind, sentimental and awkward (who wears eyebrows like that and still looks good?!), someone who makes you believe that the notion of love/romance in its true sense is not yet gone. How wonderfully romantic is it to know your other half loves bees, so you redecorate the entire roof with dozen upon dozen plants/flowers and at least half a dozen man-size beehives?! Especially when you are not a bee/honey fan yourself! How wonderfully romantic and very "Sleeping Beauty" like is waking up from death your beloved one, knowing that you will never be able to touch, just in order to still keep her alive... ah... love...
  4. The costumes of everyone in this series, but with predilection "Chuck's" wardrobe - magically old-fashioned and I wish I could own them all! ;))) they are all so well tailored and colorful and perfectly fitted it makes me cry... I would love to go back to the times when ladies truly looked like ladies and gentleman always wore a suit with matching shoes. I guess that is one of the reasons I love period movies that much! Remembering that such a time existed gives me wide smiles...
  5. The magical colors though out the series and the way that the story is being shot - makes me think again of both Amelie and the movie that was recommended to us during out photo classes, Everything is Illuminated. I was thinking during the series the same thing as I was thinking throughout the whole Everything is Illuminated movie: freeze the frame at any moment and it will always be perfectly composed and would work out on its own, as a picture. The colors are strong and it is predominantly yellow - green - orange based. It screams out to you, but definitely not in a negative way! Eye - candy!!! :)
  6. The character of Olive Snook - now that's one crazy, amazing, talented little lady! Kudos to the actress Kristin Chenoweth that portrayed her - I remember her from the series West Wing, where she had a totally different role! Here, in "Pushing Daisies" she is a sight for sore eyes. She is the kind of friend you wish you can have: reliable, kind yet ironic, always tells you what she thinks, knows her boundaries and limits yet she always strives to be the best. Now... I really need to mention this: this actress has an AMAZING voice and God blessed her with beautiful singing talent which she shows in this movie. She shines on the screen be it in a scene where is alone or when everyone is gathered up. The scenes where she starts singing always make me smile wide :) 
  7. The references to "The Sound of Music " - one of the best musicals of my childhood. When lovely Olive goes into hiding at the nunnery... well that will get you ticking if you are as big a fan as I am of this oldie but goldie. From the way it is shot, to the music and the way that Olive is dressed... oh, dear me! It's priceless and I am happy the team decided to pay homage to Julie Andrews lovely role as Maria. Kudos to XXX for playing Olive so wonderfully during those scenes!
  8. The crimes presented - yeah... I know this may sound odd, but none of the crimes Emerson & Ned (with the help of Chuck or Olive) deal with are normal/regular/ordinary. They all come with well prepared scenarios that make you wonder... What next?! And I just love the sense of thrill and wonder - gets you thinking and trying to figure out "the trail" before it runs cold ;)) not to mention that even though Ned brings the corpses back to life for 1 minute, they can never tell whom did it... but they can give clues ;) 
  9. The Darling Mermaids Darling - The 2 eccentric "aunts" of Chuck are just full of stories and surprises. The 2 sisters have been quite renounced performers as a duo of swimming "Darling Mermaids Darling". Still in a very fit stage, even with the high content of martini that they have each episode... they are a sight for sore eyes. They most certainly are out of the ordinary, with stories like why do they love Halloween... because the kids in the neighbourhood created a story that they are witches and they transform little boys into birds! ;))) of course they have a parrot that talks and says "Save me, they turned me!" They have a wicked sense of humour!
  10. The old school love story that touches your heart and soul and makes you think true love can cross ANY barrier! Take Ned and Chuck, you would think that their relationship would not work out as they cannot touch, else Chuck would drop dead and never come back to life... but they fight with every barrier that rises: they kiss through plastic foil, hold hands in rubber gloves and they love winters especial because they wear mittens and can hold hands all day! They sleep in separate beds so they would still be in eachothers presence... I think that is wonderfully romantic and old fashioned. They share their thoughts and help eachother in their daily tasks, even though - from the outside - their "dance" so they would not bump into eachother would resemble the "dance" that particles of dust have when being swepped by a tornado... magical and dangerous at the same time! Somehow it makes you think that maybe, out there, there is still a place for pure love :)
Have you ever watched "Pushing Daisies"? To tell you the truth, I almost would have missed it if it wasn't for my best friend - who is a period movie lover like myself. She was the one who recommend it and we have devoured the 2 series in just a few days... it left us thirsting for more, yet I somehow feel at peace with how it ended... eventually something would have happened... so it's better that it ended up all "raindrops, rainbows and unicorns". Do you feel the same? 

Yours truly,
The Twisted Red LadyBug That Loves The Idea Behind Pushing Daisies