I’m thinking going to Disney World so often when we were young is what gave you a messed up idea about pirates. After all, Peter Pan’s flight (in a pirate ship) and Pirates of the Caribbean are two of the best rides at the Magic Kingdom. My favorite, though, is the Haunted Mansion – talk about morbid; you certainly don’t have a monopoly on that in the family.
To prove this point, let me introduce my next geekdom: Pushing Daisies
I mean, this one is straight up about death.
Well, it’s also about mystery and magic and true love and synchronized swimming and dogs and candy colors and lots and lots of pie. It’s even a little bit about knitting.
Do you remember this show? It came on ABC in 2007, and the next year the writer’s strike hit, which killed it. It did get two seasons, which were enough to make a stained-glass-window jewel box of near-perfection. What I’m saying is, I still think it was something special.
The premise: Ned bakes pies and wakes the dead. He’s a bit of a loner. Emerson Cod (private investigator and closet knitter) teams up with Ned to solve murders (by “waking up” the victims and asking who killed them) and collect rewards. One of the murdered is Charlotte Charles (“Chuck”), Ned’s childhood sweetheart and true love. In the background, pining for Ned, is his pie shop’s only waitress, Olive.
The conflict: If Ned touches a previously dead person again, he or she goes back to being dead permanently. Therefore, Ned and Chuck can never touch. Also, no one can know that she was once dead.
- Seriously, the color and style in this show will make your whole day better. It’s like they filmed inside Van Gogh’s paint box, and the costumes and sets are ridiculous and amazing and gorgeous.
- Jim Dale narrates the first few episodes. It gets a little old after those few, which is probably why they stopped, but Jim Dale! Narrator of the Harry Potter audiobooks!
- Pie!! Ned is a professional pie baker and owns his own pie shop (which has a roof that looks like a pie crust). I don’t even much like pie, and it looks amazing. Dutch apple, three plum, rhubarb, banana cream. Other ongoing food themes include cheese and honey. You can gain weight just watching this show.
- Lines like: “I’d kiss you if it wouldn’t kill me.” -Chuck. Or, Chuck: “You can’t just touch somebody back to life and be done with it.” Ned: “Yes, I can. That’s how I roll.”
- The supporting cast includes Ellen Greene and Kristin Chenowyth, and both get to do musical numbers!!!
- And it all takes place in a very weird world, with the mysteries reflecting that: For example, in the second episode, the victim works for an automobile company that is developing cars that run on dandelions and is killed by someone dressed as a crash test dummy. The cars are sold by young women dressed as dandelions. In others, dim sum doubles as an illegal poker game; Ned and Olive have a deadly feud with a candy company that opens across the street from the Pie Hole; the owner of a honey-based cosmetic company is killed by someone wearing a bee beard.
- If you have a low tolerance for cuteness (puns, goofy lines, people breaking into song), you should probably avoid this show. Really, the title sums it all up: Pushing Daisies, and they don’t skimp on the daisies.
But my threshold for that – especially with plenty of sweetness, cleverness, and morbidity thrown in – is quite high, so every time I watch this, I end up grinning through the whole thing.
Have a great weekend! Can’t wait to see what your next geekdom is! In the meantime, I’m off to watch more alive-again (zombie and undead are apparently offensive terms) shenanigans.