I refuse to use the Q word to describe Pushing Daisies on ABC. Oh, no not THAT Q word... it was PUH-lenty Queer.
There may not be a gay character in the show but they've woven some familiar gay themes into the hour. Lots of bed and breakfasty sets, idyllic small town settings, a man who has to restrain himself from touching the ones he loves, tragically romantic secrets. Heck, it even opened with a big Little Gay House on the Priary scene of a boy and his dog running in slo-mo through a field of bright yellow flowers.
The eye candy doesn't stop at the scenery though. Ned (Lee Pace), the Pie Maker who can bring dead things to life with just a touch, is just as eye popping as the special effects! IMO.
No, I'm going to avoid another Q word when talking about this show at all costs. The one people use to describe the town of Stars Hollow, or the dancing baby on Ally McBeal. The inevitable comparisons to Northern Exposure, Twin Peaks and Picket Fences will come, and all those shows are worthy of being labeled with the Q word. But Pushing Daisies relies less on our ability to accept kookie situations and more on our ability to suspend disbelief.
"P" says it was too "Dr. Seuss" for him, and I can see his point. The fatherly narrator does kind of "sweeten" the show a bit much. I have to admit though, if he hadn't said it I wouldn't even have noticed that. At least it doesn't all rhyme.
A bonus for me was getting to see my favorite TV High School Principal, Chi McBride back on TV as Ned's new "business partner." Some might be tempted to use the Q word to describe this new role when compared to the moody Steven Harper on Boston Public... but I will resist.
The BIGGEST BONUS though was the "twofer" of Swoosie Kurtz (remember her with Tony Randal in "Love Sidney?" One of my first ever gay television touchstones, even though Sidney was just "fussy" not necessarily gay in the series) AND Ellen Greene as the spinster Aunts who's niece becomes Ned's "untouchable" love interest. So GREAT to see Ellen Greene on TV! I almost didn't recognize the face but as soon as she spoke I knew it was her. I know EVERY word to EVERY song in Little Shop of Horrors and no matter how many Broadway revivals or movie remakes come along, she will always be Audrey to me ("Yes DAHKTAH!"). According to IMDB the Aunts will be around for a few more episodes which makes me happy... glad to know they weren't just really hip and cool stunt casting for the pilot (or "pie-lette" as the episode was officially titled).
By the way, Swoosie wears an eye patch in Pushing Daisies & K-Fed rocked an eye patch when he went to court for his custody hearing Wednesday... the same day as the premiere of the show! Coincidence or ingeniously subtle marketing?
Well, I've almost done it... almost made it through my whole post without using the Q word. Sure it fits, but it's TOO EASY! I mean, K-Fed in an eye patch... now THAT is QUIRKY. But Pushing Daisies is just cool looking and warm hearted with a touch of sexy pie maker biceps thrown in for good measure. I'll be back for more.
You can catch a special "encore presentation" of the show tonight on ABC.