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David T. Cole

Pushing Daisies

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Emerson Cod gets many of the best ones. Besides the topic title, which always makes me chuckle, there's

"Just because there's vodka in my freezer doesn't mean I have to drink it. Wait... yes it does."

"The money don't care."

"If I'd wanted to hang out with geeks in leotards, I would've stayed in art school."

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He was immortal only as long as Ned never touched him again, which required quite a suspension of disbelief, but I was willing to suspend all kinds of things for this show.

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I think Bryan Fuller once admitted that writing for female characters is his weakness, and I'm inclined to agree. I was never quite sure what they were going for with Chuck and how we were supposed to perceive her. Does she seems so unrelatably 'perfect' because we're often viewing her through the eyes, of Ned, who was so prone to idealizing her? Or is she just not a well-defined character?! I fanwank that some of her determinedly perky cheer was forced compensation.  

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Pushing Daisies is a weirdly mood-dependent show for me. If I'm not in the right frame of mind, it can seem really cloying and precious and trying-far-too-hard-ish, but if I am, I'm always dazzled all over again by the jaw-droppingly gorgeous look of it, the clever dialogue, the more-compelling-than-they-should-be mysteries, the sneakily profound insights, and the extraordinarily unique tone and feel. Lately I've been missing it terribly. 

This is the place to chat about our Pushing Daisies superlatives. What were your very favorite and least favorite episodes, individual scenes, characters both major and minor, relationships, mysteries, themes etc.?

If you could keep just five episodes, what would they be?!  

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Not a funny one, but a sweetly inspiring line from Vivian to Lily: "I think it's brave to try to be happy. You've gotten so comfortable being unhappy. Wouldn't it be wonderful to wake up in the morning and choose to be happy, to let the water wash everything away?"

 

Narrator: "Sometimes a crime of passion is not realizing the passion in time."

 

Emerson: "Somebody's always lovin' somebody they shouldn't be lovin'."

 

Ned in Frescorts, which may be my all-time favorite episode: "The truth is that there are a lot of people like you, us, with strange hobbies or talents or gifts and we try to hide it because we're afraid that it makes us seem weird or it will turn people off, but that's a mistake. What makes me unique has brought every person I love into my life."

 

Emerson: "Here Lies Dwight, Here Lies His Gun, He Was bad, Now He's Done."

 

Emerson: "Oh, look, a dumb idea just found a friend!"

 

Narrator: "At that very moment, time stopped, as it was wont to do when present, past and future collide; when one's existence ceases to be measured in days, hours and minutes, but instead in immeasurable quantity of life events."

 

Narrator: "At that moment, in the town of Coeur d’Coeurs, events occurred that are not, were not, and should never be considered an ending. For endings, as it is known, are where we begin."

Edited by mstaken
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I loved Digby. I loved how devoted he was to a master who could only touch him with a wooden scratcher, or through thick gloves. I loved how kind he was to poor, lovelorn Olive. I loved how accepting he was of the weirdness of his life. And I adored him in his dog-ghost costume to accompany Ned on his Halloween trek to find his father.

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I loved Olive - in fact, my love of Kristin Chenoweth drew me to the show - and her indefatigable energy, the way she was able to become friend and ally to Chuck, instead of merely seeing her as a rival, her occasional partnership with Emerson, her stint as a convent girl, her protective love for Digby... I was especially glad that she found someone she could love who would love her back as she deserved, but I had wished it could be Raul Esparza's traveling salesman character. He was so romantic in his approach to her, so appreciative of her, and he could fix her espresso machine! But I guess Esparza was on stage when Fuller got the order to wrap things up. Randy Mann wasn't a terrible alternative, and a mac and cheese restaurant would definitely draw me in, so... ok.

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...I had wished it could be Raul Esparza's traveling salesman character. He was so romantic in his approach to her, so appreciative of her, and he could fix her espresso machine!

 

Ah, I quite liked Alfredo Aldarisio more than Randy for Olive myself, as well. Sad that Raul Esparza couldn't find time to pop up once more.

 

With this show, I came for Lee Pace, but stayed for La Chenoweth. She was awesome, and that Olive was actually once a jockey (at the Jock-Off 2000, no less!) was one of the funniest things I've seen in a long time, and this is a show that had a lot of funny in it for something so morbid.

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I sometimes try to find ways to use "Where did I put that rat's ass that I could give?" and "That idea might make a stupid idea feel better about itself." in everyday conversation. Emerson is truly a fountain of quotables.

 

But the piece of dialogue in this show that struck me the most was this:

 

 

Ned: This is pushing your luck.

Chuck: Yeah, well, luck pushed me first.

 

At that moment, I knew exactly how Chuck felt.

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Digby wasn't immortal, but I'm not sure the right word for it. To me, immortal is like the Tucks in Tuck Everlasting. You could stab them right in the heart and they'd heal up instantly without any after effects.

In episode 2.01, Bzzz, when Ned finds Chuck covered in bees he says something to the effect of "This is why I don't let Digby play in traffic."

The implication to me is that if Digby were to be hit by a car (or have some other lethal kind of accident), he could indeed die. It's possible Ned was just guessing Digby could die and didn't want to risk it. But we saw YoungNed perform lots of experiments on bugs and plants, so I feel comfortable believing that Ned knows and isn't just guessing. Therefore, even without Ned's magical second touch, I wouldn't classify Digby as immortal.

However, it does appear that Digby doesn't age. Not only does he look young, but he still has a lot of youthful pep too. So I don't know if there is a term for someone who doesn't age, likely won't die of natural causes, but can be killed just like anyone else.

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So I had resisted watching the show because I cannot stand Kristen Chenoweth. But my recent interest in Lee Pace finally made me cave. Such a cute show. Really sweet. It got a bit heavy-handed with the quirkiness towards the end, but it was definitely engaging and it's a shame it was cancelled.

 

Also that pic of Lee and Anna is not okay. I have something in my eye. Ned x Chuck forever.

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Love this show.  Unfortunately, I wasn't aware of it until after it was canceled (a friend recommended it), but I have the two seasons on DVD and I've binged watch a few times already.

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I'm a big fan of Kristen Chenoweth and I loved her portrayal of Olive Snook.  She always seems to play these fun and witty characters.

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Too many to type!  But, I always thought that "Trip over an ottoman and Dick Van Dyke that ass," was both hilarious and clever--it never would have occurred to me to turn "Dick Van Dyke" into a verb.  

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My bests: This may be the most gorgeous looking show I've ever seen; it's incredibly unique, creative and vibrant; it's got some really clever dialogue; it's sweet and heartwarming and actually has a ton of wisdom and insight; this show allowed me to discover Lee Pace, the mysteries are an interesting facet of the show and break up the gooey sugary sweetness a bit; Emerson Cod amuses me to no end, especially because he shares my mild disdain for Chuck; all things Digby! 

 

My worsts: I'm not a fan of narration in general; the show gets overly cutesy, sugary, twee and 'precious' sometimes for me; I try so hard to fanwank who Chuck is supposed to be but she's just kind of dull, smug and irritating to me; maybe I just don't embrace the fairy tale angle as much as we're supposed to, but I felt from the beginning that Chuck and Ned represented these happier times in each other's childhoods but didn't necessarily love or even truly know each other as adults, while Olive was a better match for who he is now; I actually didn't love or connect with either of the aunts much and found the whole 'the aunt is really ---dun dun dun---Chuck's MOTHER, who slept with her sister's man!' thing to be soapy and lame.

 

The bests outweigh the worsts, though :)   

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I actually didn't love or connect with either of the aunts much and found the whole 'the aunt is really ---dun dun dun---Chuck's MOTHER, who slept with her sister's man!' thing to be soapy and lame

Don't forget "and who was their step-brother!"

Well, the absolute best thing about PD, IMO, is Lee Pace. Huge crush here. We're talking number 1 spot on my sexeption list; if I actually had a shot with him, my marriage would be in trouble.

Absolute worst was the cancellation. Not just that it was cancelled, but HOW it went down. As irrational as this is, I still don't watch shows on ABC. My ABC hate hasn't diminished one bit.

Some other great things:

I liked Olive and Chuck's non-catty friendship. On any other show, I'm sure that would have gone the other way due to the love triangle.

The music and songs. I know some people don't like it when characters break out into song, but I do.

KC seemed to be such a good sport about letting the show lovingly tease her stature and endowments. She was just so funny!

I don't have too many dislikes about the show. Yeah, Chuck's characterization had issues but they didn't bother me.

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There isn't an Olive/Ned thread, and this forum doesn't get a ton of traffic for it to seem worth it to make one, so I'm posting here.

From another thread...

I felt from the beginning that Chuck and Ned represented these happier times in each other's childhoods but didn't necessarily love or even truly know each other as adults, while Olive was a better match for who he is now;

While I completely see criticisms of the Ned/Chuck romance, and as much as I love Olive, I never really bought into the Ned/Olive pairing. Not even in an "at least better than N/C" way.

Granted, Olive only did what I'm about to describe in the pilot (I think), and many people disregard pilot characterizations for many shows, but I didn't like how physical she was with Ned who clearly wasn't into that. Swap the genders, and I don't think most people would be okay with how Olive was pawing at Ned.

I think Olive definitely showed rapid growth. She backed off of Ned physically, she decided against sabotaging Chuck in Pigeon, and I believe she was sincere when she told Ned she just wants him to be happy.

Honestly, as much as I love Ned, I never got a sense of what Olive loved about him.

Perhaps it's time I go back and watch the series yet again :)

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From another thread...

I try so hard to fanwank who Chuck is supposed to be but she's just kind of dull, smug and irritating to me; maybe I just don't embrace the fairy tale angle as much as we're supposed to, but I felt from the beginning that Chuck and Ned represented these happier times in each other's childhoods but didn't necessarily love or even truly know each other as adults

While I'm not a huge fan of Chuck, I'm going to take a stab at explaining her. Though, perhaps these are all things you've already tried to convince yourself with :)

I don't necessarily think Chuck's personality was the same before and after she died. I think there's supposed to be some amount of "grateful for a second chance at life" that makes her so (irritatingly) sunny and positive. Of course, we're shown some flashbacks where she's already rather sunny, but I think with her aunts she'd have to be or else succumb to their depression.

But I think her super annoying "Do you have any last wishes?" during the critical minute with victims isn't something she'd necessarily do if she hadn't already died and known what it was to have even minor regrets and unfinished business left behind.

So I was never really bothered by her character too much, seeing it mostly as a contrast to Ned's Eeyore-ish ways. So I just accepted them as a couple and focussed more on the dynamics of their relationship (like how with most relationships, you start off living apart and eventually get to a point where you feel secure enough to move in together, but N/C did the opposite).

I do agree with the last part of the quote. What did they really love about each other as adults? Heck, what did they love about each other as kids? I'm looking back at who I liked when I was that age, and I can't say I loved anyone for any deep reasons that would make me want to reconnect with them as adults.

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Honestly, as much as I love Ned, I never got a sense of what Olive loved about him.

 

I always though Olive loved the idea of Ned more than loving Ned himself. Olive seems to me to be a fixer and I wonder if Ned had suddenly become this affectionate person who wasn't socially awkward, would she lose interest?

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You know what the funny thing for me about Pushing Daisies is: almost all the things I find I don't usually care for--breaking out in song; the syrupy lovey dovey couple; the farytale tone; the narration and flashbacks (oh, how I usually loathe flashbacks)--are actually what make me love this show so hopelessly. It could just be the visual direction of the show was so gorgeous that I forgive almost anything? Or, it could just simply be the Emerson Codd factor!! ;) 

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Oh yeah, Pushing Daisies is really guilty of over-narrating. Sometimes I felt like the writers were thinking their audience only consisted of children, because they were explaining things about the characters that were perfectly visible on screen in the acting and would not have needed to be commented on by the narrator, which I found really annoying. I also think the music, while beautiful, often overshadowed a scene - there was just a bit too much of this cutesy magical score, which often took over entire scenes, when it should have been about the characters and their dialogue.

 

I never feel like the narration is there to tell us things that we as the audience can't figure out; often the narration uses very lovely or unusual language and to me was never talking down to the audience, but inviting the audience into the mental space of the show, as opposed to that of the characters.  It wasn't there to explain, but to add to.

 

And I never felt the music was overshadowing the scenes, but again was adding to the ambience and the mood.  I love the music and the narration.

 

But then I absolutely love Pushing Daisies, and I would still be watching in season 100 if it were still going.

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I don't have the show memorized (yet), but if the narration described something that we could easily see, I think it was usually done to be funny. Like the scene in Forrest Gump where on screen is a flashback in 'Nam and presentForrest voiceovers, "and then something jumped up and bit me," immediately followed by flashbackForrest screaming, "Ow! Something jumped up and bit me!"

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I agree that both narration and music were beautifully and appropriately used, and were essential parts of the unique appeal of the show. It wouldn't be Pushing Daisies without them.

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When I rewatch the show my favorite people are not Ned & Chuck. My favorites are Olive & Emerson. Without them the show would have been way too surupy. Not to say I dislike N&C, I just find the Emerson & Olive stuff to be a lot more fun.

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I hate Chuck. She's selfish and perky and gets away with everything because she bats her eyelashes and Ned is a stupid sap.

 

I spent the first two seasons wishing Ned would touch her again so she'd shut up and stop inserting herself into everything.

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I recently saw The Walk. The visuals really reminded me of PD. I didn't see any obviously familiar names in the credits, but honestly at this point only Fuller's would have (and Dooley, but that's music).

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I've always thought of this show as one of my favorites, but after rewatching I realized that it might be my very favorite! It's just so beautiful, aesthetically and otherwise. So warmhearted and life-affirming but with just enough snark, clever cynicism (and murder) to keep it from being too syrupy.

I was in the camp who didn't connect with Chuck initially, but now I love her. I can't pinpoint what changed, but I just started seeing her as this lonely, academic but emotionally naive woman who had missed out on life the first time around and was determined to compensate for that this time around, and I saw some of her pushiness as desperation to be a part of things and her cheerfulness as a way of covering up her insecurity. I don't now, she just suddenly started working for me as a character, but then I'm always predisposed to like characters who read a lot of books :-)  I used to think of her and Ned as this artifical, idealized sort of love, and in some ways it was, but I also think we saw them start to know - and still love - who they are now as adults. And I still love Olive, but I always end up wishing she'd gotten over Ned a lot earlier and spent most of the series with Alfredo. Emerson is just the best, such a joy to watch and the source of so much of the show's best humor. 

I love the mysteries, how many of the characters have so many personal and psychological problems but are able to find a little hapiness anyway, and how the show celebrates life while reminding us we're always in the midst of death. And as much as I like the dialogue, I just love looking at this show so much that I agree with people who have said it's the only TV series they could enjoy almost as much with the mute button on the entire time! 

Now I'm off to write down ideas for a PD fanfic that I will probably never actually finish :)

Edited by lostandfound
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I finally registered for PTV and this is the very first show I looked for! I've seen it a million times and still love it as much as I did the very first time around. 

@lostandfound , I love Ned and Chuck too, though I wouldn't have objected to Ned and Olive. Even though it's a very romantic show, I was invested in so much more than any specific pairing. Like you said, 

Quote

I love the mysteries, how many of the characters have so many personal and psychological problems but are able to find a little hapiness anyway, and how the show celebrates life while reminding us we're always in the midst of death. And as much as I like the dialogue, I just love looking at this show so much that I agree with people who have said it's the only TV series they could enjoy almost as much with the mute button on the entire time! 

This show really is unlike any other I've ever seen, and even after all this time I can't quite get believe it's gone. I keep waiting for Ned to bring it back to life! 

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I too love this little goofy show. It's just so beautifully realized and quirky and fun. One of my pure joy shows that I go back to time and time again. 

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On 2016-02-03 at 3:42 AM, wayne67 said:

I hate Chuck. She's selfish and perky and gets away with everything because she bats her eyelashes and Ned is a stupid sap.

 

I spent the first two seasons wishing Ned would touch her again so she'd shut up and stop inserting herself into everything.

I hated Chuck on my first rewatch of the series bcuase she was so pushy but then I thought about it again and I put my dislike onto Ned. From the beginning, he never told her the full truth so she was only able to assume things. He didn't tell her she had to stick to the 1 minute dead/undead interrogation limit and only ask pertinent questions, he didn't really tell her much about his powers or the consequences, that he didn't like Halloween or magic. She was pushy but Ned never set any boundaries  so Chuck could only assume he just needed a little push in the right direction and not that he was actively against something or that he had changed in the time that had passed between them

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On 2015-12-10 at 5:47 PM, DittyDotDot said:

You know what the funny thing for me about Pushing Daisies is: almost all the things I find I don't usually care for--breaking out in song; the syrupy lovey dovey couple; the farytale tone; the narration and flashbacks (oh, how I usually loathe flashbacks)--are actually what make me love this show so hopelessly. It could just be the visual direction of the show was so gorgeous that I forgive almost anything? Or, it could just simply be the Emerson Codd factor!! ;) 

The breaking out into song it turns out is one of my favourite parts even though im not one for musicals and when I started watching Galavant which is very similar to PD, and the characters broke into songs at least 3 or 4 times an episode, I loved it. But a friend of mine who also loves PD and enjoyed their songs, hated Galavant  for that same reason

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Lee Pace was in a delightful movie called Miss Pettigrew Lives For a Day.  I ran across it recently entirely by chance.  He can sing quite well.

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Bryan Fuller has left 3 projects in the past year: Star trek discovery, American gods, and Apple's amazing stories. At some point you have to imagine it might be the guy, and not every network can have its head up its ass. I can still hold out hope that some day there may be interest of a revival of either PD or Hannibal.

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So on a long flight, I found a series called Marcella, starring Anna Friel as a London detective investigating serial murders.

But it is not some Prime Suspect clone starting a younger female detective than Jane Tennyson.

Turns out the show is created by the creator of the Swedish The Bridge.

So its not some run of the mill crime drama, though I’ve only watch 2 plus episodes.

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I watched all of the first season of Marcella awhile back on Netflix, and it was a mess! Very strange series, and practically all the characters are unlikeable by the end. But it was fun to see Friel in a very un-Chuck-like role. I believe there's a second season of it, too, that just aired in the UK.

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Yeah it's the only other thing I've seen Friel in.

Thought at first she doesn't do a bad British accent but remembered that she is British.

No she isn't the sweet, often-smiling Chuck at all.

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Lee Pace came out of the closet -- not that there's anything wrong with it.

He's doing some play in NY.  NY Times article says he starred in cult favorites like Pushing Daisies and Halt and Catch Fire.

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