“Pushing Daisies” pushes on with a full season order

Who here is watching Pushing
Daisies
? Raise your hands. OK, keep them up. So who here would be
excited to hear that Pushing Daisies got a full season
order
? Feel free
to wave those arms around with joy. Here, I’ll join you.

The quirky little show is one
of the season’s most unexpected successes. And when I say quirky,
I mean really quirky. Like women-in-giant-dandelion-outfits quirky.

The show’s touched-by-a-piemaker premise is a grown-up fairy tale. It’s like Dr. Seuss,
dipped in Tim Burton, then sprinkled with Disney. In other words,
it’s weirdly sweet. Or sweetly weird. The sweet part mainly has to
do with the piemaker Ned (Lee Pace) and his back-from-the-dead
childhood love Chuck (Anna Friel). They’re so cute, it’s
almost annoying.

But the weird part is where things
get really interesting. The show’s supporting cast of oddballs and
misfits pushes Pushing Daisies

into the full-blown appointment television category in my book. And
the biggest (though clearly not in stature) oddball of the bunch
is little Kristin Chenoweth. She has taken the cutsie Olive and,
in a few short episodes, has made her more nuanced than anyone that perky
has a right to be. I think I’m even secretly rooting for her to win
over the piemaker. I mean, how can you not love a gal who has a habit
of breaking into song?

Did anyone else do a happy
dance when Olive and Chuck’s aunts started singing They Might Be Giants
in yesterday’s episode? Talk about making a little birdhouse in your
soul. Speaking of Chuck’s aunts, the formerly famous synchronized
swimming stars turned cheese-loving recluses are a hoot in their own
right. Though I hope the writers give Swoosie Kurtz
and Ellen Greene (who I totally did not recognize as Audrey from
Little Shop of Horrors
until a co-worker pointed it out) more to
do as the season wears on. As is, they’re a great sight gag,
but I know they’re both capable of so much more.

So now, with a full season to
play around with, I’d like to see the series push more into its slightly
darker corners. The sweet stuff is all fine and good. But it’s
the weird that makes me really want another slice.

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