Pushing Daisies was my favorite new show last year and after a long hiatus it is finally back on the air! Bryan Fuller, the creator and writer of the show, is also responsible for the wonder that was Wonderfalls (before Fox canceled it, like they do to anything good FORTHELOVEOFDOG), another favorite show of mine.
Pushing Daisies has the same sort of clever, fearless whimsy that made Wonderfalls so great, and the talented cast and amazing art direction don’t hurt too much, either.
Wonderfalls alumnus Lee Pace plays the main character, Ned, aka The Piemaker. Here he is pictured in his pie shop:
The pie shop’s red and green decor is just one example of the overall red-and-green color palette favored by Fuller and the art direction team – it’s a bold look for the show and it pleasantly reminds me of a lot of the Jean-Pierre Jeunet / Marc Caro movies. Most excellent!
Here’s the outside of the pie shop:
The name of the shop, The Pie Hole, is just one of the show’s many puns. The narration voiced over by Jim Dale is rife with clever wordplay every week, and that same sense of fun and playfulness shows up in a lot of the design of the show, too.
Here’s Emerson Cod, a private investigator with whom Ned works, solving mysteries with his supernatural gifts:
In the season two premiere, it was revealed that Emerson, an avid knitter, has also recently authored a pop-up detective book for children, entitled Lil Gumshoe. (And you were wondering why I love this show?!)
Here are Emerson and Ned doing some spying with their clearly state-of-the-art spy gadgets:
This is another interesting aspect of the look of the show: while it is apparently set in modern times, there are very few traces of 21st-Century technology to be seen. For the most part, it’s quite difficult to date the show at all based on props, set, or wardrobe.
Here we see Ned’s love-interest, Chuck, going undercover at the offices of Betty’s Bees, a cosmetic company:
The cheeky set design may admittedly be over the top, but I love the repeated hexagonal motif in the walls, flooring, architecture, and even the tufting of the chair. Honey-like colors seal the deal.
The visual excesses pervade the show. Here for example, is a moment where Ned is able to bring Chuck’s deceased bees back to life with the power of touch. As Chuck dumps the contents of the hive over him, the bees come back to life in a sparkling, swirling display:
Oh, and Lee Pace is without a shirt, so there’s that, too.
Basically, Ned the Piemaker is pretty fucking dreamy. Not only does he bake pies (I LOVE PIES), but he also does things like this:
Who would not want to come home to find this guy building a wall of books for you? A WALL OF BOOKS, I ASK YOU.